January 23, 2011 at 5:41 am #36403
I love the healing tao system, and how you can use what you learn in one part you can also use in another part of it. Most of it seems very straight forward and becomes common sense type of thing but I am a bit confused with the 5 element nutrition and it seems there isn’t a book on it.
Looking on the charts at http://www.tao-garden.com/5elements/5ElementsCDmenu.html i can see that pineapple is hot & yang for the wood element but lemon is listed as cold & yin… even though they are both have a sour flavour.
So i don’t understand how the framework of this 5 element nutrition works if one can excite/heat the liver and one can calm/cool the liver but they both have the same sour taste.
Like i could understand if i ate some mustard it would excite the lung then bring the liver into check and cool it in the process.
I could also understand if the fu(yang) organ was given a yang/hot food that excited it then the associated zang(yin) organ would become cooled and more yin.
But how can one know what effect, say a sour food, would have on the liver network. According to the chart the liver could become more yang or more yin which then leaves pretty much no usefulness in the knowledge that sour foods effect the wood element because it could effect it in ANY way – not a known way.
Can anyone offer any insight? Thanks in advanceJanuary 23, 2011 at 11:31 pm #36404
In Daoist nutrition, there are multiple dimensions of yin-yang expressions in food. Heating and cooling, building and cleansing, moistening and drying, and more. For you specific question about taste, you could consider that the general aspect of the element, and the other aspects being yin-yang variations. There is a Healing Dao book on the subject, called The Tao of Delicious, but it is more of a recipe book that a treatise on Daoist dietetics. I have it, but it is packed away so I cannot easily reference it right now. I have seen in some Healing Dao catalogs advertisements for two new books to be coming out on the subject, but not sure when that will be. I think Livia Koan also released a book on it recently.January 24, 2011 at 12:03 am #36406
In Daoist nutrition, there are multiple dimensions of yin-yang expressions in food. Heating and cooling, building and cleansing, moistening and drying, and more. For you specific question about taste, you could consider that the general aspect of the element, and the other aspects being yin-yang variations. There is a Healing Dao book on the subject, called The Tao of Delicious, but it is more of a recipe book that a treatise on Daoist dietetics. I have it, but it is packed away so I cannot easily reference it right now. I have seen in some Healing Dao catalogs advertisements for two new books to be coming out on the subject, but not sure when that will be. I think Livia Koan also released a book on it recently.January 24, 2011 at 8:45 pm #36408January 25, 2011 at 1:05 am #36410
I think this study is fairly complex and non-trivial.
According to the site that I linked (which
provides some information about 5 element
nutrition theory), pineapple is not listed
as Wood . . . but rather as Earth. So there
may be some consistency issues across the field.
You might want to check out:
Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition
But it is kind of a tome . . .
A couple of less comprehensive books on Daoist nutrition
that we usually carry in the Healing Tao summer retreats
Tao of Healthy Eating by Bob Flaws
Staying Healthy with the Seasons by Elson Haas
StevenJanuary 25, 2011 at 3:55 am #36412
I am actually asking again same question which I have asked earlier.
So my question is not really belonging to this thread, but it has to do with nutritional questions anyway.
Steven claimed that raw food diet is unbalanced and it could even induce cirrhosis of the liver for some.
I just wonder, if there is really some complex and non-trivial study about this.
It’s hard to think that there w9ould be – big enough group & long enough study – group of people prepared to become subjects for this kind of study. It’s simply too unpleasant for most.
On the other side I have known several persons, who have had parents who have been vegetarians, and their children have had their development several ways retarded: being psychologically too different from common kids, physically small, developing rationally more slowly, being ridiculed because of their eating habits et cetera.
Ps. I just read recently about Lizzie Velasquez, a young woman from Austin, Texas, who has to eat almost nonstop and still she stays skeletal. She also starts to lose her body temperature very quickly, if she doesn’t eat like she has used to do. My opinion is that although much is known about human nutrition, also there is still much more to know.January 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm #36414
I will tell you everything I know, and then
therefore mostly take myself out of the discussion
as I then will have nothing to add.
*Most* of the cautions I have seen against eating
an all-raw food diet come from Chinese medicine.
Here are a just a few that are even in the
Healing Tao books:
“In general, cooked food is better than uncooked,
and eating a little is better than eating a lot.”
“Do not eat raw fruit on an empty stomach, because
it heats above the diaphragm.”
“Too many raw vegetables can upset one’s healthy color.”
All of the above quotes are from Mantak Chia, taken
from just one of his books, in this case “Taoist Ways
to Transform Stress into Vitality”.
However, these and additional such comments esp. in
relation to stress on the liver can be found in books
on Chinese nutritional theory . . . as well as
being “well-known” to many Chinese.
I think the main western medical reason behind why an
all-raw food diet is not necessarily wise . . . is that
raw plants naturally contain small amounts of phytotoxins.
Cooking destroys/denatures these phytotoxins (and also
destroys the beneficial enzymes that raw-foodists want
to capture). Normally, in eating raw food, any such
phytotoxins are naturally detoxed by the liver. The
problem is that if you eat ALL raw food, then the
load of these phytotoxins is substantially higher.
Then continuing with this onslaught year-in year-out,
it causes damage to the liver. Plus, there are
certain fibrous compounds that are partially broken down
by cooking, and thus the liver/gallbladder system needs
to produce more bile etc. to break down raw food, i.e.
liver has to work harder for digestion. In total,
this just all creates more stress on the liver.
I remember reading a story once about a man who went
to a doctor because he felt ill. Upon going to the
doctor, the doctor diagnosed him with liver cirrhosis.
He did not have any hepatitis infection or other
organismic disease vectors, and the doctor asked him
if he were alcoholic. The man said that he did not
drink any alcohol, and that he actually lived on an
all-raw food diet for the past 20 years. Therefore,
the “suspicion” was that this was due to eating
nothing but raw foods. Of course, this *proves* nothing,
but it does seem to confirm the Chinese medical position.
I unfortunately do not have the resource for this story;
I could not find it; so you’ll have to just consider it
anecdotal evidence . . . possibly speculative, but
not necessarily worth dismissing entirely.
In total, I think the best approach is to eat a healthy
mix of both raw and cooked foods, along with limiting
the amount of processed foods you eat.
I.E. Put simply:
Behave moderately and avoid extreme behaviors.
But if you want to do differently, do what you please.
Regarding phytotoxins, here is a small list I found on
Wikipedia. I have seen more extensive lists, but
this should get you started in your research. In
particular, it would be hard to argue against the
idea that all plants have some natural phytotoxins
to some slight degree (as part of natural defense
mechanism–In particular, plants don’t want to die
anymore than animals do):
* Buckwheat greens are toxic when raw, particularly if juiced or eaten in large quantities by fair-skinned individuals. The chemical component fagopyrin is known to cause severe photosensitivity and other dermatological complaints.
* Kidney beans, including sprouts, are toxic when raw, due to the chemical phytohaemagglutinin.
* Alfalfa sprouts contain the toxin canavanine.
* Some types of raw cassava or cassava flour can be toxic.
* Raw eggs contain avidin, a vitamin B7 or biotin inhibitor, which can cause egg white injury. As many as 24 egg whites would have to be eaten to inactivate biotin. Avidin is denatured by heat.
* Raw seeds of the genus Lathyrus (peas), can cause lathyrism.
* Raw Brassica species can contain glucosinolate.
* Raw parsnips contain furanocoumarin.
* Raw foods, particularly raw meat, may contain harmful bacteria and their associated bacterial toxins. Other parasites and viruses may also be present, such as Toxoplasma, Trichinella, or rotavirus, which may cause serious foodborne illnesses.
* Raw milk may contain Mycobacterium bovis (which can cause non-pulmonary tuberculosis) and Brucella bacteria that cause undulant fever and spontaneous abortion.
* Raw sweet potato, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, rutabaga, canola oil, cassava, pinenuts, mustard, millet, soybeans and peanuts contain small amounts of goitrogens which can interfere with iodine metabolism and worsen hypothyroidism.January 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm #36416
IT IS THE STOMACH FIRE THAT IS EXHAUSTED BY ALL RAW FOODS.
mJanuary 26, 2011 at 2:00 am #36418
Awesome, I eat none of that stuff raw.January 26, 2011 at 2:05 am #36420
I can see how that happens, because of all the work required to digest something in its raw state as opposed to half-digested (cooked).
It does seem though that almost all animals in the world eat raw food and do just fine, except some that pre-chew it, but that seems mostly for their babies. I guess this leads us off into another question about the origin of humans. All things said and done, I really enjoy cooked food, but are humans so weak that we cannot eat a reasonable amount of raw food?January 26, 2011 at 12:05 pm #36422
Chris and I went to a raw food restaurant nearby Toronto…man did I suffer afterwards, my stomach hurt badly and I felt sick for hours, like I had a rock in my belly…. It hurt so bad I no longer look forward to eat raw food like I did in that restaurant. The taste was surely good but my body was not happy with it.January 27, 2011 at 5:20 am #36424
But if your stomach has enough “guts” in it then i think it could handle raw food just fine. If it’s weak then best to stick with cooked food untill it gets stronger. Nothing wrong with cooking cooked forever but i think there is something about raw food that makes me personally feel great after.
Like i’ve eaten steaks raw straight from the supermarket out of the packet from the fridge and felt really good after. I don’t know about Alfalfa sprouts and stuff being not good for you i’ve heard they’re great for you. Inside the pips of apricots (i think thats the right fruit) there is cyanide or something and even eating one or 2 of the centres of them is supposed to be good for you. Homeopathy relies on poisons in small amounts to heal illness.
I mean it wouldn’t have been that long ago that we drank water straight from the well or from the river, in winter when it was freezing cold. We can handle it. Chinese body makeup is much weaker than westerns so they need to be more careful than us…. thats why i think it is chinese medicine that sees raw food as a bad thing.
I mean at times when i was training hardcore with running + swimming + weights nearly every day raw food balanced me out, gave me the energy i needed and stopped illness. My energy was super high and i couldn’t get sick because i was so full of energy even though i’d never even done qigong at that stage. Now i do alot more internal stuff and much less physical training and i eat mainly cooked food with some raw food… mainly because it tastes better (but also a problem then that you eat more of it!)
Generally i think if you’ve got a body like a racehorse it can handle digesting more difficult foods and can reap the benefits from the additional nutrients of raw food. If you’re a skinny weakling physically who sits on the computer all day then best to stick with easily digestable cooked foods. If you’re in the middle then mix and match.
In australia we had an advert that said 2 fruit n 5 veg servings a day which i think is just about spot on, along with some meat with some fat and ya can’t go wrong. If ya wanna eat more well then you can fill it up with bread, cakes, or other crap if you want but as long as you keep with the base you’ll still be right.
The best thing about qigong is you can try different things and see how it feels straight away. After trying it a few times you can know exactly how it effects you. But i still thirst for the framework/theory on how to work on myself and others to improve things for the future without all the trial and error.
Sometimes you just come accross a magic author like mantak chia and everything you wanted is just given to you in a few volumes. The amount of sand you need to sift through to find diamonds like that though is huge. I just want to find a good food & herbs book thats a diamond and is compatable with the healing tao system.January 28, 2011 at 12:15 am #36426
I agree, that if you are in good physical and energetic shape than your overall functioning is much stronger…imagine people who live off the land, and how much more physical exercise they do every day compared to our sedentary overly intellectual society…with the resulting lack of physical body awareness. Being constantly exposed to the elements in everyday life puts the body much more in tune with its inner and outer environment.
Interestingly there were two branches of practice in early daoism…the southern branch favoured physical development (through martial arts or other physical training) much more than the northern branch.
I usually eat only apples, carrots and nuts in the morning and afternoon, and usually cooked food in the evening, and it feels fine with me.January 28, 2011 at 10:56 am #36428
>>>but are humans so weak that we cannot eat a
>>>reasonable amount of raw food?
depends on how you define “reasonable”
simply deciding from a rational head center that
you are going to eat raw and nothing but, is probably not . . .
the head comes up with all kinds of funny rigid regimes
that are not the best approach
SJanuary 28, 2011 at 11:15 am #36430
>>>But if your stomach has enough “guts” in it
>>>then i think it could handle raw food just fine.
>>>[some snipped] Homeopathy relies on poisons
>>>in small amounts to heal illness.
If my body is strong enough, it could probably handle
me swallowing an eyedropper’s amount of my car’s antifreeze
each day, but I’m not going to do that. It’s not going
to produce optimal health.
Yes homeopathy relies on poisons in small amounts
to heal illness, but oftentimes the application is meant
to be only for the short term to correct the imbalance,
not meant to be continued daily for decades.
Besides, the point is that by eating ALL raw food, then
this daily load of phytotoxins and stress is much much
higher . . . then it is no longer a matter of poisons
in “small amounts”. Eventually it just gets to be too
much for the liver.
And I think Michael’s comment about STOMACH FIRE is
really about the Chinese medical model of the stomach
as a furnace/wood stove . . . if all you ever do is
throw cold wet wood into the wood stove, you shouldn’t
be surprised if at some point, the fire goes out.
Again, personally, go ahead and do what you want.
I’ll stick with moderation and balance.
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