An Introduction to Yang food

During a three hour skype session with my friend Jen, I not only ditched a concert in my life as a winter hermit, but also seemingly mended some of the crumbling puzzle pieces of my life plan.

Living in the home of the bella vita, I felt I had ironically lost much of my passion.  Blame it on the winter greys, or jupiter in the heavens, or whatever you believe in.  Although my passion for health and fitness could never fade, I did not feel the same in other sectors of life.  The dark grey days ran together like rain on a wind shield, and I couldnt for the life of me remember how my lessons had gone.  My life seemed to settle into that terrible thing I dread, routine.  Breakfast, walk to work, work, return from work, exercise, shower, cook, clean.  The only color I found was in my hours of running in the cold and my bright veggie heavy meals.

I’ve always wondered why I feel different in the winter and why I crave different things.  Why was salad no longer as appealing as soup? Ok, I know you think the answer is obvious.  If you are cold you want to eat something hot not cold like salad, but it cant just be that, can it?

Anyways back to my skype session, amidst talking about life, work, love, and spirituality, Jen told me about her experience getting acupuncture for the first time.  I have never gotten acupuncture, but the idea has always appealed to me as I seem to have cramps and pain in my calves that never die.  Amidst this conversation she mentioned that her acupuncturist had introduced her to a Chinese diet and food theory that seemed to have done her a world of good.

This approach to food promised energy, bright skin, health, and possible weight loss.  For my friend, this meant eliminating milk products, with the result of eliminating phlegm.   She was also told her to eat only foods of the hot category to find balance.  Hot in this case does not only refer to temperature, but rather to the yang category of food created by ancient chinese medicine.  There are also sub categories of  yang foods including:

1. 燥火 zàohuǒ (dry fire): chili pepper, spices, smok

ed meat, lychee, fried food…

2. 濕熱 shīrè (wet heat): mango, pineapple, cherry…

3. 行血活氣 xíngxuè-huóqì (vigorating): red wine, ginseng…

Other yang foods include: roast beef, toast, root veggies, nuts and seeds, winter squash, oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, dark poultry, salmon…

What you eat not only depends on the season, but also your personal body chemistry.  Personally, I shift constantly between yin and yang.  Sometimes my balance shifts towards yang and I am agitated and overheated.  Other times I seem to be unbalanced towards the yin, constantly cold, bloated, and mentally foggy.  Anyways, next time I feel unbalanced I may try this approach to food.  For my friend Jen, it seems to have helped.  I’ll let you know if I notice any difference.

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