Dietary principles to leave you feeling amazing
Eat regular, consistent meals and NEVER skip breakfast. Breakfast is preferable to be eaten from around 7-9am, when the Stomach organ system is activated. Skipping breakfast results in the depletion of Qi, the vital life force of the body, and Yang, which is essential to covet in our modern world. Yang becomes depleted from intense emotional activities, irregular diet, lots of cold/iced drink consumption, stress, unnecessary surgical operations, antibiotics, alcohol and drug use.
Don't eat late at night. I know this one may cause some eye rolls and many medical professionals may even argue with it. But the core of TICM describes the body running on a specific schedule, with Qi moving through each organ system in 2 hour increments.
At night, Qi is drawn inward, ready to cleanse and restore the body. Eating late hinders this process, as the Qi has be used for digestion and not restoration. The Liver will also be affected here and can lead to emotional imbalances, irregular periods, and toxin overload.
Eat protein with every meal to stay satisfied. The digestive system processes proteins more slowly than carbohydrates, and this keeps the blood glucose more even. Protein is used in smaller quantities in TICM, almost like a side dish, usually the size of the palm of the hand. Too much protein is hard to digest.
Drink warm/hot water or ginger powder tea for hydration. See my previous post about why to only drink hot water and what happens to your body after only consuming warm liquids. This is truly life changing as it aids digestion and helps all the organs function efficiently.
Limit sugar and fried foods, which directly damage the Spleen. These often lead to bloating, gas, fatigue, and foggy thinking.
Seasonal eating helps digestion as the body is living in harmony with nature. Certain foods come into season to support your body during that time of the year.
Pay attention to how you feel and when. Our body's main organs are highlighted during specific seasons. For example, the Kidney's season is Winter, the Liver's is Spring. Many people experience allergies in the Spring because their Liver's are overburdened and can't detox properly so allergies and the change of weather manifest into symptoms.
Look at your emotions. Our emotions provide great insight into the state of our health and vice versa. It is a cycle. For example, stress and worry harm the Stomach and Spleen function, which is essentially our digestion. The more you worry, the more trouble you will have with digestion, and you may have symptoms like an upset stomach. The weaker your digestion, the more susceptible you are to worry and be stressed.
Focus on strengthening your constitution. Many of the modern wellness crazes focus on detoxing. In TICM, we always focus on strengthening the internal atmosphere of the body and creating a healthy balance of Yin and Yang principle. This strong foundation makes the body emotionally and physically resilient and tends to naturally resolve undesired conditions. Detoxing on a weak body can be harmful, make sure to speak with your TICM doctor before starting any detox regime.