Many of my patients are surprised to learn that a consultation and treatment with me may include nutritional advice. Often, I discover that diet can actually be contributing to a patients particular health problem. While Traditional Chinese dietetics is based on respecting individual differences and needs, I regularly share the following general guidelines to healthier eating to help all my patients achieve optimum health. As you’ll see it’s as much about how you eat as what you are eating. Consult a qualified Chinese Medicine practitioner before making any drastic changes to your diet.
1) Drink either warm or room temperature liquids. Cold drinks weaken the digestive system because the stomach has to work harder to reheat its contents so as to prepare it for the rest of the digestive process. Some signs of a weakened digestive system are abdominal bloating and or cramping after meals, loose stools and lack of energy.
2) For the same reason as above, try to prepare warm meals and limit intake of raw, cold foods -especially during the colder months. Opt for steam and stir-fry cooking methods more often.
3) Cut back on dairy. For many people, dairy can lead to mucus forming conditions such as frequent common colds, allergies and sinus infections.
4) It seems like a “no brainer” to say eat 3 meals a day but I encounter so many people who do not. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, often results in fatigue and headaches.
5) Eat with an awareness as to the atmosphere in which you take your meals. This is such an important aspect of healthy eating! I can not overemphasize how the way you eat directly influences the absorption of your food as well as the efficiency of your digestive system. Arrange to eat in peaceful surroundings and avoid discussing business or any topic that may engender emotional tension. Take time to sit down at a nicely set table-even if you are eating alone. Please turn the TV off and allow your body to concentrate on doing its job of properly assimilating your food. Rushing or eating while driving, reading or studying can contribute to heartburn, indigestion, constipation and eventual weakening of your digestive system.
Eating should be a pleasure, a time devoted to consciously nourishing our bodies with foods that enhance our health. If you’re curious to find out if nutritional changes, according to Chinese Medicine can help you contact me for a free 15 minute consultation.