In the western world, the food and ingredients are analyzed from the chemical point of view, categorized based on food components such as carbs, fat, protein, vitamins or minerals.
Based on different schools of thought, several types of nutritional schemes have been popularized through media channels. More than that, the nutritionist job itself became very popular, because everyone wants to be involved in eating better for their own health. Nutrition should be one of the first topics in the education system, even before languages or mathematics.
Every Day is Unique. Every Person has Unique Needs
Our body requirements differ from day to day. The outer factors (weather conditions for example) and inner factors (emotions and thoughts) form together a matrix algorithm which involves consumption of energy. Each organ needs a certain type of elemental energy (fire, earth, metal, water and wood). When we make a choice of eating a certain food, we can combine pleasure with staying balanced and healthy.
With a bit of self-education on the food energetics and developed self-awareness, we can literally change our life. No diet can be prescribed for more than one person and for longer than a few days.
Each person has different needs, and these also change with time. If today we have too much heat in our body, we will eat cooler foods such as cucumber and yogurt. If we feel cold and we need to warm up the body, we could add a spicy taste in our food or maybe add some honey.
Herbs, Tea and Food
It is pointless to look into finding natural remedies to fix up imbalances in our body if we do not also adjust our dietary intake accordingly. In other words, the first step in self-healing is to manage our food with the purpose of achieving balance. If one is suffering from running nose, excess of phlegm in the respiratory channels (lungs, esophagus, etc), we can for example find different natural remedies such as: thyme, ginger, fennel, eucalyptus. But all these remedies won’t be efficient unless we also change our diet. If we eat junk food, bad fats, dairy products in excess, the herbs are not efficient.
I would go even further, by saying that we should start first by changing our diet, and only of this alone doesn’t improve our health and balance, we can use herbs and tea. This is why one of the Ki Train Method pillars to become energy efficient and balanced is the phrase: “Food is our medicine”.
Thermal Nature and Flavor
Thermal nature and flavor are the main elements of using nutritional therapy to find balance.
Foods’ thermal nature can be placed in any of the five categories: Hot (Yang), Warm (Yang), Neutral, Cool (Yin) and Cold (Yin). See below a few day-to-day ingredients. If you want to search for a particular ingredient I recommend to visit www.chinesenutrition.org
Star anise Wine
|Beer Chamomile Elderflower Green tea||Fruit juices Peppermint Sour milk|
|Blackberry Cherry Dates Longan Lychee Peach Quince Raspberry||Apricot|
Papaya Plums Pineapple Pomegranate
|Apple Avocado Blackcurrant Blueberry Mandarin Orange|
Pears Pomelo Strawberry Tamarind Tangerine
|Banana Cranberry Lemon|
Melon Rhubarb Watermelon
|Bell pepper Caper Coriander Kale|
Onion Parsnip Scallion
|Artichoke Beetroot Cabbage Carrot Cauliflower Olives |
|Asparagus Broccoli Celery Cucumber Eggplant Lettuce Spinach Tomato|
|Lamb||Beef Chicken Chicken liver Goat Mutton Turkey||Beef liver|
|Trout||Eel Mussel Anchovy Salmon Shrimp Prawn||Mackerel Lobster|
Herring Cuttlefish Crawfish Sardine
|Chestnuts Coconut Pumpkin seed |
|Almonds Cashew nuts Flax seeds Hazelnuts Peanut Pistachio Poppy seed Sesame Sunflower|
Flavor is related to the five elements through expressed through one of the specific tastes: Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Sour and Acrid (which includes also spicy). The two food parameters are often combined to describe a flavor and its effect on the body, e.g., sweet–hot or sour–cool.
Since the five elements theory applies to everything in this universe, it also encompasses the foods. In this case the five elements are represented by the five tastes. Any food will fall into one of these categories. Each group of foods affects the organs related within the five elements theory. For example, bitter foods nourish the heart. Salty foods stimulate the kidney. Sweet affects the spleen.
|Element||Taste||Organ/Bowel||Superficial organ||Organ Opening|
|Water||Salty||Kidney Urinary bladder||Bones||Ears|
Self-Healing Case study
Using the five elements theory for self-healing implies not only knowing which element is stimulated by which food ingredient based on the tastes, but also by understanding how elements affect each other. (Creation and destruction cycles of the elements). If you want to strengthen your liver organ, you would have to work also on the supporting element (Water – Kidneys). And for stronger kidneys, you need stronger lungs, as metal nourishes the water element.
Build your Own Algorithm
The bottom line of the concept of balancing our Yin Yang energies through foods is based on the idea that we need to build our own nutritional algorithm. Our body knows best what it needs to regain balance, provided the fact that we listen carefully. I have to admit that the practice of fasting (more about fasting in the article you can visit: here) has helped me tremendously to understand my own body cravings for different foods. When the body is clean and detoxified, it balances much better the five elements and the Yin Yan energies.
It is easier to read your own body’s messages (clues) when you are not loaded with food. When you are never hungry it is truly confusing when one seeks balance.
It is impossible to find balance unless you get hungry regularly. There is no diet that matches everyone. And there is no diet for a long period of time. We change our needs, we evolve and succumb to the universal biorhythms.