July 15, 2005 at 2:11 pm #6384
I wonder. Do you think that beginning & “keeping” Alchemy can be a success without proper nutrition? How much emphasize do you yourself place on herbs?
thankx in advance
HarryJuly 16, 2005 at 10:43 am #6385
I cannot speak for Michael but we have discussed the subject.
In the end all nutritional inputs are External elixir which can support your training. I could take beneficial herbs all day long, but without practice the might make me more healthy, but they will not create alchemy.
On the other side of the coin is that Chi Kung and Alchemy training can be, in my opinion, very much held back by poor diet and nutrition.
I believe that once you reach a certain stage you can be more effective in dealing with nutritional inputs which some may not view as the most pure or healthy choices.
I have never heard Michael discuss the use of herbs and Alchemy, and it is a good question. Proper nutrition is very important. I myself had the experience of doing martial arts training to the degree that my body began to tell me what fuel worked for me and what slowed me down. This all before real alchemy training had even been encountered by me.
But I believe Michaels opinion is that in the end the most vital is developing the “Internal Elixir”. If your cauldron is cooking well your need for external elixirs is diminished if not entirely eliminated.
Myself, I am all for increasing all beneficial inputs and reducing all harmful inputs.
So if you are looking for permission to eat junk food and do practice you ain’t gettin it from me. 🙂
PS – My diet isn’t always the best, travel, time contstraints etc…July 16, 2005 at 1:21 pm #6387
Its just that most people dont have the discipline to
They will make all these excuses like,
oh i just do what I want now…
I cant tell you how many times I saw Somebody running for the
bread and butter at dao mountain!
It made me sick, literally!
Just goes to show you that knowing something is one thing
but actually doing it is another…July 16, 2005 at 8:26 pm #6389
Substitute Milk with Soymilk
Butter with Extra Virgin Olive Oil…
Avoid Cheese as much as possible!
Most of all,
Eliminate the Butter!July 16, 2005 at 11:59 pm #6391
Food is post natal chi, and can have a big effect on some people’s practice, others it is minimal. Its not what you eat, its what you digest. And each person is unique, why I don’t emphasize it. If you get in tune with your five shen, they will guide the five tastes, and you will get what you need.
don’t follow someone else’s rules. Danny-Satan doesn’t like butter, but lots of traditioinal cultures have done just fine on it. Much better for you than margarine. He likes soymilk, which is very cold/yin and one of the worst things for your practice and your stomach fire. Just using his preferences as an example of not to follow other peoples rules.
michaelJuly 18, 2005 at 8:34 am #6393
Since my previous password has been hacked I had to start a new account.
Danny-Satan doesn’t like butter, but lots of traditioinal cultures have done just fine on it.
But butter in traditional culture was done with unpastorised milk. Which is really fine. While butter in Europe and America has to be pastourized by law (there are exceptions, some shops in California, some market in Germany, one type of butter from a specific brand from France -Isigny de Saint Mere-). All this came out of a panic attack that swept through Western culture 100 years ago when some kids died of Tubercolosis Bovina.
As for a diet there are various options around, and they are a bit like stereo with all in one. But eventually you want to learn about diet enough to be able to design your own diet. To do this you need to be able to solve some basic issues:
The fat issue,
the protein issue,
the sugar issue,
the -how do I go to the toilet?- issue,
the enzymes issue,
the vitamin issue,
just to name the first that come to my mind.
Let’s look just at the first as an example: the fat issue.
There is not ONE traditional culture that lived without some form of raw fat (of course except for us, in the last century). Let it be the fat of pig eaten raw. Raw butter. Raw Oil (Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not raw unless it was pressed in a stone press. Cold pressed means nothing as it involved being pressed under 200 F, while Oil changed its properties at 100 F, oops), Avocado, …
You need fat to:
build your cells (cell walls are made of lipids, for example),
keep you from feeling cold,
link to poison to throw them out of your body, (remember fight club, how soap is made out of fat?)
link to dead cells to throw them out of your body, (or you will get cancer)
keep veins and arteries flexible, (like you would oil a tube to keep it flexible)
slow down your absortion of sugar (but this is part of the sugar issue) .
And what you absorb of fat heavily depend on how much fat you need. If you are a vegan that never eat an ounch of fat, the first time you go to McDonald you can die straight away as your liver will use all the bad fat it receives for your body. If on the contrary you are a man who uses plenty of good fat in his diet, you will not suffer McD. that much as the liver can just dump away the fried fat without using it.
Not having enough fat means being susceptible to die from cancer. Having enough fat but of the wrong type means being susceptible to die from arteriosclerosis. Often people who have a ‘good diet’ die of cancer because they overlooked the importance of fat. Good fat is hard to find. Unpastourized butter (milk, cream) is illegal. Raw oil is hard to find. There are few and few butcher around, and the meat that comes prepacked have generally no fat. On the other side, if you have a good butcher around, and he is a friend you can ask him to give you some of the fat that comes along the spinal cord of the beef. Just near the fillet. Is a long white strip, often an inch wide, and not bad. An other source of good fat can be avocado.
Lack of fat is often at the base of many compulsions, chocolate for one.
This was just to give an example of how you might want to design your own diet. Some people have a strong spleen fire, and are quite ok with the normal western diet. Others don’t. But I would not subscribe to the absolutely relativistic point of view, that we are all different and always what is good for one can be poison for another. There are some issues that have to be solved for everybody, and some food that that are good for everybody (and solve those issues), regardless of age, sex and political affiliation. But then there are some people who have more elbow movement, and can eat a more varied diet.
SO, unless you are at the Messhiah level where you just can pour liters of wine from a single bottle, creating it on the spot, and can do so inside your body creating fat, then whatever your diet will be you need to find a good sorce for fat.
Speaking about traditional cultures, I found this to be one of the best web site around: http://www.westonaprice.org/index.htmlJuly 18, 2005 at 4:15 pm #6395
“soymilk, which is very cold/yin and one of the worst things for your practice and your stomach fire”
I’ve been drinking A LOT of soymilk lately (westsoy unsweetened vanilla to be precise). It’s become pretty much my fluid of choice. So I’m a little concerned about the above quote from Michael.
I’m not really up on my 5 element nutrition. I thought soy was neutral to warm (yang) due to the protein, but mostly neutral.
Why is soymilk “bad for your practice” exactly?
And what for that matter is “stomach fire” and why wouldn’t I want to put it out?.
If there’s issues with drinking soymilk what can I take with it to balance it out?
Anybody’s views on this would be welcome. Thanks.
I never heard it wJuly 18, 2005 at 4:21 pm #6397
Do yourself a favor and go to http://www.mercola.com search for soy/soy milk with the search function and voila…
many reasons to avoid
HarryJuly 18, 2005 at 9:15 pm #6399
Interesting stuff. The soy milk I drink is made from organic soybeans, filtered water and vanilla, and that’s about it.
So there’s no genetic engineering or pesticide problem. Somehow I doubt there’s a hexane problem either.
That leaves the enzyme/protein inhibitor/hormonal stuff inherent in non-fermented soybeans that the site warns about — and I’m not sure how much of that to believe. It is worth further inquiry though (Jesus, I can’t even drink organic soymilk anymore!).
Still though, I don’t understand Michael’s “energetic” objection. Why is it bad for your practice? What’s the belly fire stuff?July 19, 2005 at 4:52 am #6401
I agree with the previous post on Soy Milk.
Organic soy – good, but all soy, even raised organically is from GMO stock.
Soy is the MOST GMO crop in the world.
Fermented vs Non fermented.
When I used to go to health food stores in California they had one or two fresh soy milks in the refrigerator.
They didn’t taste as nice as the others, because they really tasted like Soy.
When I started to drink the soy milk in the asceptic containers which had two year shelf life I began to notice some things. Poor digestion, gas….blah blah. eventually went off it and switched my non dairy intake to Rice milk.
Rich milk with cereal makes more sense to me from a food combining perspective, grain with grain.
Eat traditionally fermented soy products! Fresh soy milk should be available in more places. I don’t know where you are so cannot comment on availability, but go to natural foods stores and ask what is available in the refrigerated section. (Silk brand is often found refrigerated, but is made just the same way as every other packaged soy product.) Just because you find it in a health food store doesn’t mean it is good for you!
Also, notice your reaction when someone contradicts a food choice. My experience of this when working at a natural foods store (in another life…) is that people tend to get very reactive and defensive and refuse to change what they are attached to. Food choices are really a deep issue.
CraigJuly 19, 2005 at 12:03 pm #6403
Agree with Pietro that fat is very crucial. Barry Sears has written extensively on this – essentially our brain is made of fat/oil and runs on oil. he is a lipids scientist, and recommends oil from small fish of the type he thinks the human brain evolved on – with lots of omega 3. He sells a concentrated form of it very different from health food store variety. It will lower your blood pressure, among other things.
mJuly 19, 2005 at 12:11 pm #6405
Just investigate chinese medicine definition of cold and damp syndromes, and you will find out why soy milk is not a good regular in your diet.
I’ve seen too many clients with this cold damp syndrome. it is unfortunately why too much ice cream is also not a good idea.
Stomach fire is what you need to cook raw food in your stomach. Raw foodist eventually risk exhausting it. Its why the chinese cook all their food.
And ferment their soy – it predigests it.
michaelJuly 19, 2005 at 12:47 pm #6407
Thanks. I actually go through phases where I eat a lot of ice cream too, so you’ve given me — dare I say it? — even more food for thought.
Thanks.July 19, 2005 at 12:54 pm #6409
I was into Rice Milk for a while and agree with the food combining analysis. My issue with Rice Milk is that it’s overly sweet. What I liked about soy milk is you could find it without sugar, and I thought it didn’t really have enough protein in it to screw you up with combining with cereal.
About “fresh soy milk” — are you saying this is somehow fermented and better for you than the packaged stuff? I live in NYC, but haven’t noticed it in health food stores (not that I’ve really looked). I do live near a sizeable chinatown area, so could look there.July 19, 2005 at 2:32 pm #6411
I agree that an all-raw diet, when done improperly, can weaken digestion. However, Guy-Claude Burger raised his three youngest children on an all-raw, non-vegetarian diet. My experience has been that an all-raw diet is quite possible with fermented raw goat milk or raw fish/shellfish, or some raw egg yolks, etc.. The quality of health is largely dependent on the quality of the fats, espeically animal fats in the diet, all other things being equal.
I have gone months and years without eating any cooked food, and feel fine so long as I get some healthy raw animal fat in there. I have heard plenty of raw foodists say the same thing. Have you read Weston Price’s book “nutrition and physical degeneration”?
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