Ideas, theories, trends and science around nutrition are continually changing to sell the next fad. One kind of diet will always remain constant - focus on seasonal, local, whole, unprocessed foods, vegetables, fruit and not over eating. Stick to a weekly calorie budget - if you overeat on one day, under eat on another to stay within your calorie range. 

 

Qi constraint can be thought of as a systemic tightness in the body. This tightness has many sources including but not limited too, stress, a tendency to bury emotional states, lack of exercise, fatigue, lack of sleep, and a liver taxed with filtering out an over processed diet of salt, preservatives, alcohol, and recreational and prescribed drug use. Start every meal with an 8 ounce glass of water. Never sit down to eat if your emotional state is turbulent or violent. Mealtimes should include some form of mindfulness practices, such as putting your fork down between bites. Never discuss work and avoid business lunches. However do not skip meals - as if you have qi constraint, you also likely  will get “hangry.” Smaller meals and vegetarian meals can be helpful. Steaming, poaching, and stir-frying a diet of rainbow colored foods are important - aim for 9 servings a day of fruit and vegetables. Supplementation with fiber may be useful.

 

Therapeutic foods: Mildly dispersing favors and spices like onions, garlic, mustard greens, watercress, turmeric, basil, mint (anything kind), cardamon, ginger, cumin, fennel, dill, ginger, combine these flavors with cooling or neutral foods of fresh vegetables like, asparagus, cabbage, turnip, cauliflower, broccoli (any brassica), beetroots, sun chokes, leafy greens, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc. Small quantities of molasses, red wine, coffee (1 per day, and not more than 40 mg of caffeine - about 8 oz drip coffee), extra virgin olive oil - especially those with a peppery taste. Small amounts of sour foods like citrus, vinegar, pickles. Fermented foods at meal time can help if you suffer from indigestion, burping, or flatulence.

 

Restrict or avoid: Foods high in saturated fats like cheese, eggs, cream, ice cream, ret meats, lard, shortening, margarine, nuts, pizza, french fries, coconut milk, hot chilies, hard alcohol, beer. Avoid preservatives, colorings, added sugar in packaged foods, and recreational drug use.

 

Example meal: Bi Bim Bap (Korean rice bowl) with brown rice - with lots of veggies, a little kimchi and a small amount of   organic ground chicken

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References:

Maclean, W., Lyttleton, J., Bayley, M., & Taylor, K. (2018). Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine: The treatment of disease with traditional Chinese medicine. Eastland Press.

Pitchford, P. (2009). Healing with whole foods: Asian traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books.

Wang, Y., Sheir, W., & Ono, M. (2010). Ancient wisdom, modern kitchen: More than 150 recipes from the east for Health, Healing, and long life. Da Capo Lifelong.