Eating for Healing

Eating for healing is opening you to an entirely new relationship with food.  Often when we eat we do so out of habit, to soothe emotions or stress, or according to beliefs about what is “good” or “bad.”  Eating for healing is the practice of eating intuitively for YOUR body.  

Level 1: Your Stomach, the receiver

The Stomach must process EVERYTHING: food, information, emotions, your ongoing physical/emotional issues.  You want to provide the best conditions to allow your Stomach to do what it does best: receive, digest, process.  

WARM!  The Stomach lives at our core temp and loves to be warm.  When we repeatedly take in cold temerpature drinks and foods we shock the Stomach energy and it has to work to recover.  Switching to room temperature or warm drinks is an easy way to help support your Stomach.  

NO RAW VEGGIES!  When the Stomach recieves raw vegetables including leafy greens (even if they are juiced), it must use its precious energy to “cook" them so they can be absorbed.  Cooking your veggies even for a short time: blanche, boil, steam, bake, saute, whatever will take the “cold edge” off and make them easier to process.  Fruit has a warm essence and does not have to be cooked.  

Listen to your Stomach.  Identify the physical signals of being hungry and being full.  Try to eat to 75% full so you do not over fill the Stomach and waste energy.  

Eat the largest meal earlier in the day and try to not eat after 8 PM. At night our energy needs to turn in to restore deep function.  If you have eaten late, your Stomach will be stuck working the night shift and may even keep you up with insomnia!  

Level 2: Cravings, your body’s wisdom (really!)

Every organ system is associated with a taste or flavor.  When you crave certain foods it is a sign that organ is asking for energetic attention.  When you understand this message, you can make healing snack choices and explore other ways to support your energy through Dragon’s Way Qigong.

Stomach/Spleen: Sweet

Lung/Large Intestine: Spicy

Kidney/Bladder: Salty

Liver/Gallbladder: Sour

Heart/Small Intestine: Bitter

Level 3: Healing Foods according to  Dragon’s Way Qigong and Five Element Theory

When I speak of healing foods, I am not referring to carbohydrates, fats, proteins, or nutrients.  I am referring to the energy or essence of the foods.  

Specific foods by organ system 

Learn more about the specific organs through the Dragon’s Way Qigong book and In general choosing from this list will help you with picking the highest energy foods.  This list is not limited!  The more you practice the more you will discover for yourself.

Kidney/Bladder Foods: cauliflower, fennel, walnuts, black sesame seeds, bee pollen, cinnamon, bone soup, pine nuts, black beans, sesame oil, walnut oil, seafood (especially shellfish such as shrimp/squid/lobster/clams), goji berry, daikon radish: black, salty foods

Liver/Gall Bladder Foods: eggplant, lemon, bamboo shoots, vinegar, bee pollen, lotus, broccoli rabe, garlic, safflower oil, dandelion greens, ginger, scallions, green pepper, fennel, mung beans, strawberries, mint, goji berry, green apples: green, sour foods

Stomach/Spleen Foods: ginger, tomatoes, mushrooms, scallions, celery, zucchini, chinese red dates, watermelon, red grapefruit, bamboo shoots, fennel, lotus seed, bee pollen, cinnamon, peanuts, chinese barley, yellow mung beans, beets, red apples, hawthorn berry, papaya, soy bean curd, sweet potato, butternut squash, chinese pumpkin (aka butter cup squash): yellow/orange, sweet foods 

Heart/Small Intestine Foods: plum tomatoes, barley, goji berries, bee pollen, broccoli, broccoli rabe, escarole, licorice, watermelon, beets, red apples, red grapes: red, bitter foods

Lung/Large Intestine Foods: mushrooms, pears, almonds, honey, ginger, lily bulb, white sesame seeds, mint, chili, chestnuts, scallions, bamboo shoots: white, spicy foods

Level 4: Healing Recipes

Chinese Healing Super Foods: Get to know the three most powerful healing foods in Chinese Medicine: Chinese Pearl Barley, Mung Beans, and Daikon Radish

Check out the data base of healing recipes at TCM World.  The site is easy to use and the recipes are easy to follow / delicious!  

Check out my own adventures in healing recipes by following this link: Indy Healing Center: Healing Recipes.  Melissa Laborsky, MD 2014