Tuesday, 16th April 2013
Chinese Medicine looks at the world on an energetic level. It sees how our body functions through how we interact with our surroundings, the food we eat and the seasons we live in. As Chinese Medicine practitioners we believe we can improve our energetic function and overall well being by eating the appropriate foods for our body type and the season.
While we tend to place less importance on the vitamin and mineral components of food and more importance on whether the food will do such things as strengthen the digestive system or clear heat from the body, we do believe in the consumption of whole organic foods and ditching the processed, poor quality foods.
As a rule of thumb if you are preparing your own meals, eating a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables and staying away from too much wheat, dairy, sugar and packaged foods you are doing well. If you are a meat eater choosing free range, organic meats that have been processed chemically free is ideal. It’s a good idea to get to know your butcher and where your produce is coming from. There are some great local farmers who may not be organically certified, but still produce good quality meats.
Coffee and alcohol artificial sweeteners and MSG are other things that everyone can benefit from cutting back on substantially if not avoiding all together. Green tea, dandelion tea and any herbal tea are great substitutes.
If you have a tendency towards a Spleen deficiency, or cold digestive system we recommend the following:
Avoid: Eating cold food directly from the fridge or freezer (eg icecream); Eating raw foods, avoid too much salad, especially in winter; all processed, refined foods; deep fried, overly greasy foods; sugar and artificial sweeteners; too much wheat (wheat bread, pasta); too much dairy especially cheese and cows milk; citrus and tomato; bananas, watermelon and mango; peanuts; soy milk (marinated tofu, tempeh, miso are all fine)
Include/substitute: Almond, rice or oat milk; Rye or spelt bread; Porridge; Roasted root vegetables; Aduki and kidney beans; Barley, bulgur wheat, quinoa and rice; Chicken, turkey, and white fish; cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, ginger, nutmeg and black pepper; Soups and stews are a perfect meal; Blanch or steam veges instead; Make sure fruits are very ripe or stew them. Always eat in a quite, relaxed environment and take the time to chew your food. Exercise such as yoga and pilates are ideal.
If you have a tendency towards blood deficiency we recommend the following:
Avoid: Sugar and artificial sweeteners, Alcohol, Coffee
Include: Red meat, Chicken especially as a soup, oysters, all dark leafy greens, seaweed, black beans, Black sesame seeds, Beetroot, Black currents, cherries, dates, eggs, figs, whole grains, dandelion and nettle tea, wheatgrass shots
If you are vegetarian floridix is a good gentle way to build the blood
Insuring you are resting during your menstrual flow is important, as is getting to bed early and not burning the candle!
Gentle exercise such as yoga or pilates to outside the menstrual flow is beneficial.
If you have a tendency towards heat in the body we recommend the following:
Avoid: Coffee, Alcohol, Chilli, greasy, fatty foods
Include: Raw foods such as bitter salad greens; herbal teas such as peppermint; Watermelon, mangos, cucumber. seaweed. miso soup, fresh fish, shellfish and pork: tofu, Asparagus. Eggs. Honey, Kidney beans, whole grains, spelt, parsley, pears, tomato.
Avoid exercise during our menstrual flow. Take a bath with essential oils such as chamomile, geranium and rose.Make sure you are not sleeping too hot. Use layers of sheets and blankets rather than a doona to make it easier to regulate temperatures at night.
If you have a tendency to Qi and Blood stasis we recommend the following:
Avoid: Coffee, alcohol, chilli, greasy foods, nuts, be careful not to overeat
Include: Rye, Bitter greens, Dark leafy greens, all fresh spring veges, root veges, Eggplant, radish, basil, cardamom, marjoram, garlic, dill, plums, pickles; chicken soup, carrot and coriander soup;herbal tea such as jasmine, fennel, chamomile and spearmint: Start the day with warm water and lemon
Daily exercise is very beneficial. Tai qi and Qigong are highly recommended, yoga, pilates and walking are also beneficial. Daily meditation can also be beneficial to help control the emotional side of stagnant energy