Balance is the foundation of TICM. Eating a balance of cooling (Yin) and warming (Yang) foods is essential to maintain the free flow of energy (Qi) and Blood in the body to create a healthy environment for the mind, body and spirit.

With that as the foundation, you should adjust your intake of cooling and warming foods according to your body’s individual needs. I cannot talk for my colleagues but when I first see a new patient, I will advise what foods their body needs according to their own constitution. Then as we get further into treatment, as we see healing progress, we adjust. In TICM, we do not believe in eating according to Blood type as that is another big pHARMa concept just like DIEting and calorie counting setting you up to fail. We believe in eating a balanced meal according to our constitution, eating seasonally and purchasing from the local farmers market.

For example if your watery stools, nausea, and diarrhoea, that is a sign of too much coldness in the Stomach, so you want to eat warming foods such as ginger, sweet potatoes, cinnamon, proteins, oats, carrots and turnips. Avoid cold foods, dairy, sugar, ice cream, iced drinks, and sushi, which can tax the Spleen because of their extremely cold quality. Use herbs like ginger powder.

Another example is for those who have constipation, feel very hot easily, have red face or eyes means you have heat. You have no moisture which makes you dry and hot. This is known as Yin deficiency. In this case you still need to avoid the same foods as if you were cold but focus on nourishing Yin with foods like sweet potatoes, wood ear mushroom, bok choy, artichokes, spinach, and cucumbers. You could use herbal formulas to replenish the Kidneys. Speak to your physician about a food list.

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