Food Is Our Medicine

What I have come to know from  the years of experience and experimenting is that unless we take some responsibility and learn about our body and circumstances in which we live in, food can be a poison. If that sounds a bit harsh, remember that in the West we constantly swing in extremes from excess to deficiency in either the amount of food or type of food.

In Oriental medicine we look at the individual, and assess their body/mind, emotions and spirit in what it is telling us, correlate this with the lifestyle of the person and look to bring balance as is needed . With the pace of life and pressure to have everything now, we create the biggest problems by not creating a firm foundation to build on especially with food.

When a person is sick, first regulate a person’s diet and lifestyle.
– SunSi Miao

In terms of Oriental Nutrition, the stomach works most efficiently between 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. Naturally this should be the time for the largest or most nutritionally substantial meal to give us the best start to the day, but as is most experienced in the clinic, people are not hungry at this time as having had a late evening meal that hasn’t been digested and transformed, and therefore, pushing back the Qi cycle and creating imbalance throughout the rest of the day.

If we had to start from the foundation I would begin with breakfast and the  strongest time of the stomach energy 7-9am, if we can build from here the energy of the day starts well and things flow on. What type of food would be ideal at breakfast? This is where knowing someone becomes important in the selection of food, having said that a lot of people I come across are stomach/spleen deficient, that is to say their ability to break down, transform and assimilate food is very poor, leaving them with symptoms of bloating, full feeling in the belly, tired after eating, flatulence, reflux, looking for something else after eating their main meal, then, further down the line, irregular bowel movements.

So the foundation principle would be a warming action to ease digestive work, particularly warm up grains like muesli as this is very hard to break down and transform for the already weakened spleen. Also oats /rice flakes, congees, some stewed fruits, some seeds – any of these warming dishes would be a great way to start the day in most cases, but, again check with your Oriental practitioner who deals with these Nutritional cases.

More of the foundation principles to come in future articles with recipes that I have found or currently using on this journey to optimal Qi and health.