Updated: Jun 28, 2019
Reflecting on the foods you eat over the course of the day, which foods make you feel great?
Which foods do you regret eating?
Which ones bring you the most pleasure?
Food is a beautiful thing. Powerful properties of food incite all sorts of change in the body. Food can cause healing, nourishment, movement, and balance. It can also cause dampness, dryness, psychological change, and destruction.
Examining our own food choices helps us discover how we care for ourselves.
Think about feeling completely satisfied after a meal. You feel grateful, fulfilled, and satiated. You don’t feel bloated or uncomfortable. You feel perfectly comfortable, and happily nourished.
In this vision, what kind of meal did you just eat?
A healthy, satisfying meal consists of the exact nutrients which the body needs to achieve optimal wellness at any given time. Our bodies routinely tell us through cravings what nutrients we require. This is why the foods we eat must always rotate to include varying values on the nutritional spectrum.
How would you describe the food choices of your perfect meal? Crisp, juicy, tangy, hearty, wholesome, clean, soft, savory, spicy, warm, or fresh?
Food vs. Food Medicine
Food is considered to be anything with any nutritional value to sustain life. Food Medicine, however, is the practice of making food choices which provide nutritional value in order to reverse disease or achieve optimal health. Chinese Medicine has deep understanding of food energetics and nutritional properties, and so it is no wonder why the discussion of medicinal eating would include insights from the doctrine of Chinese Medicine.
How do you Practice Food Medicine?
1. Choose a Dietary Structure that Heals
Listen to the body, stay informed, and choose a dietary structure that is complete. There are many nutrient-depriving fad diets that are not complete, meaning they are not designed to provide adequate nourishment for long-term healing results. Beware of any diet that omits whole grains, as they are a necessary component to a complete nutritional plan. The Chinese Medicine Diet, or macrobiotic diet, has very basic guidelines for achieving complete nutrition for optimal health.
50% of the diet consists of whole grains.
At least 25% of the diet consists of vegetables.
The remaining 25% consists of beans, animal products, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
2. Rotate Foods for Nutritional Sufficiency
The structure above provides a complete nutritional foundation for those beginning a food medicine diet. An important part of a medicinal diet is that foods always rotate in order to provide the body with all nutrients on the spectrum. For example, one meal consists of quinoa, spinach, garlic, and salmon, while the next meal includes brown rice, black-eyed peas, bok choy, carrot, and water chestnut.
3. Make Foods Choices Based on What Your Body Needs
This basic dietary structure serves as a foundation for nutritional eating. Within the structure, food choices can be made to optimize the reversing of disease even further. Food choices can be made to support the liver, ease the digestive organs, dry dampness, promote production of bodily fluids, treat headaches, move stagnant blood, etc. There is limitless potential in the power of medicinal eating. Without a thorough education of food energetics it is easy to determine which food will benefit your body by referring back to this question: What foods would make you feel completely satisfied right now? Salty, sweet, fresh, sour, spicy, warm, bitter? Choosing foods within the structure mentioned above, and in accordance with your personal cravings, is the formula to practicing food medicine.
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