Chinese nutritional therapy in Bellmore works on the premise that consuming a more balance diet based on one’s own constitution can resolve an underlying pattern of imbalance. The aim of creating the best nutritional diet is to know that there is no one best diet for every person. Each person’s rate of metabolism is different, our levels of physical activity vary, and the climates that we live in also vary. In addition, all of us have distinctively unique health patterns. While some people seldom become ill, others are always sick. Also, parts of the body in some people that are affected by the same pathogen may differ in others. Each of us has some basic needs in common and Chinese nutritional therapy begins with these basics in mind.
Chinese Nutritional Principles
A Chinese Medicinal diet depends on energetic principles that helps promote clean burning digestion, balance, and a well-functioning body full of energy and free of diseases. In Chinese medicinal training, we are taught how to bring back balance in our bodies after it has become off-balanced and are now experiencing disease or pain. In Chinese Medicinal therapy, herbs or needles are used to restore this balance, although it can also avail of a wide variety of tools such as tai chi, qi gong, and nutritional therapy. While these techniques can treat illness by repairing imbalances, the primary objective is to prevent the body from becoming imbalanced in the first place.
From the viewpoint of traditional Chinese energetics consuming an insignificant amount of meat once a day was deemed to be beneficial. Even Tibetan Buddhist monks, who affirm the inviolability of all living things, would occasionally eat meat in order to preserve warmth in their bodies against the cold, severe Himalayan winters. Most of us lead hectic lives with demanding schedules, and meat provides the nutrition and energy we need to function and survive. Alternative choices for obtaining protein are available for vegetarians. These people procure energy and nutrition through various foods that contain a healthy nutritional balance and good energy. As vegetarians, some people can possibly obtain adequate nutrition from a variety of non meat products. While most people in our culture do not follow a vegetarian diet, a lot of us who strive to eliminate or limit meat from their diet end up actually eating an excess amount of milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products.
According to Chinese nutritional theory, children are the only ones who should consume milk. These days, a preponderance of dampness is one of the most common energetic imbalances Chinese medicine practitioners diagnose. Aside from being extremely allergenic substances, dairy products are not appropriate for people with this type of imbalance and should be avoided. Cheese, in particular, has an inherently extremely warming property and also creates dampness in the body. People manifesting a pattern or dampness may benefit by eating a tiny portion of meat, or by knowing how to properly derive protein from vegetable sources, rather than by deriving it from dairy products.
One other Chinese nutritional theory is that all foods are supposed to be consumed while hot or warm. Our bodies must first bring food to body temperature in order to utilize the energy obtained from it. So, if food is eaten while hot, the body can transform it into energy much faster. This is the reason icy drinks, or drinks taken from the refrigerator, are not recommended in Chinese nutritional therapy. All drinks, including water, should preferably be drunk hot, even though this is neither always practical nor desirable. Request drinks without ice when you eat. At home, simply allow refrigerated drinks to warm to room temperature or simply do not put ice in drinks before drinking. Since fluids expedite the conversion of food into energy, during meals, herbal tea or hot water rather than cold drinks should be taken.
Since the process of cooking breaks down the cell walls of vegetables (where most of the nutrients and vitamins are found) cooking your food really helps with digestion. By mainly consuming hot or warm food, a person will have fewer digestive problems and will feel more energetic.
Chewing your food slowly and carefully is one other aspect of Chinese nutritional therapy and one that is common to a lot of spiritual traditions. Most people chew with reckless abandon and then swallow their food with the aid of liquids. When you take the time to chew (for each bite, usually seven times or more), digestion, as is the way you enjoy the food, can be enhanced. You shouldn’t be pressured to finish your meals and they should be eaten in a relaxed mode. The Chinese also recommend eating food when they’re in season. If you’re healthy, this means eating cool food when the temperature is warm and eating hot food when the climate is cold. People who are not in good health should only eat hot food. Fruits should not be taken as juices since they tend to be overly concentrated and should be eaten whole.
During the Jin dynasty, a famous physician named Li Dongguan, stated that the foundation of life is the primordial Qi of the abdomen and spleen. Pathogenic injury of the abdomen and spleen can result in a number of diseases. Li recommended moderation in drink and food as well consuming less meat and more cereals, avoiding desire and worry, and being satisfied with life without wealth and fame. A person should avoid overexertion, cold, and wind and keep himself warm in order to foster his primordial Qi.
In the Qing dynasty, in his Four Essentials of Health Preservation, Chen Shongling suggested moderation in drinking and eating, shunning anger, “sparing the mind,” and avoiding infiltration of cold and wind. Chinese medicine states that problems in the flow of blood and Chi will increase if the mind isn’t calm. A person needs to consider the ancient Chinese adage: “Anger hastens your death, distress causes your hair to become gray, and laughter makes you ten years younger.” A famous Chinese poet once said, “… with the mind in a pleasant frame and the spirit improved, disease can be cured.”
In the West, millions of people drink substantial amounts of coffee every day. However, besides being a stimulant with almost instantaneous effects, coffee causes the overstimulation of the adrenal gland which can result in a delayed fatigue sensation. In addition, coffee contains acids that can cause digestive issues. Coffee is considered warm and sweet in Chinese nutritional therapy, which is the reason lots of coffee drinkers suffer from an overabundance of dampness in their system. Tea, on the other hand, is a bit cool and bitter which makes it a vital component of any Asian (including Chinese) diet.
While tea has a number of varieties, the more common ones are herbal, black, and green tea. Jasmine tea and other herbal teas may be drunk during all seasons. Black tea is especially recommended in winter since it warms the abdomen and spleen. Green tea has a cooling quality which makes it an ideal drink in summer and is capable of reducing fever.
Lu Tong, a poet of the Tang dynasty once said, “Seven advantages is brought by drinking seven bowls of tea: One, it ensures longevity; two, it boosts memory and stimulates thinking; three, it helps people lose weight; four, it induces sweating to alleviate colds; five, it promotes digestion; six, it refreshes the mind; and seven, it quenches thirst and increases the production of body fluids,.”
Dietary Rules and Regulations
1. So as not to bring on new illnesses, worsen existing conditions, or cause imbalance, dietary modification should be slowly implemented. To move immediately from junk food and/or high protein diet to a diet that mainly consists of grains and vegetables is unwise.
2. It is important to not overeat; a much better way is to stop eating before you become full and to eat smaller portions of foods and eat them more frequently.
3. Dinner should just be a light meal while breakfast and lunch should be your main meals.
Listed below are guidelines based on Chinese nutritional therapy principles that can help a person improve his health.
Processed beverages and foods should be avoided:
o Diet foods and sweets
o Cane juice, white sugar, refined sugars,
o Raw foods (except in warm climates or during summer months)
o Junk food
o Ice cold beverages and foods
o Fried and greasy foods
o Fruit juices
o Alcohol (except for people with cold patterns)
Recommended healthy alternatives and foods:
o Vegetables — with skins retained (for irritable bowel sufferers, skinless) stir-fried, lightly cooked or fresh
o Unrefined cold pressed flax oil, sesame oil, olive oil,
o Unrefined cane powder or juice
o Soups, casseroles, stews,
o Rice syrup
o Peas, beans, and oats
o Lean meat — 2 oz./day
o Green stevia powder, extract
o Grains — should be the staple of the diet, including corn (if not allergic), buckwheat, wheat (if not allergic), whole grains (if not allergic), rice, or millet
o Fruits — whole (not recommended for candidiasis sufferers)
o Eggs — in moderation
Foods that need to assessed:
o Citrus fruit
o Yeast-containing foods
o Cereals (may aggravate digestive issues)
o Fermented foods
o Tomato products
o Spicy foods
o Soy products