Dietary Principles According to Traditional
Deirdra Claiborne specializes in promoting a healthy diet using dietary principals according to traditional Chinese Medicine. She treats patients with high cholesterol, stress, anxiety, digestive disorders, bloating (such as stagnation and excessive phlegm) and suggests a diet to promote health.
In Chinese medicine, fresh, seasonal diet plays a significant role in maintaining health and vital energy. Some important guidelines are:
• Enjoy your food in a relaxed atmosphere
• Eat foods that are high in fiber
• Chew food well
• Eat portions of food that won’t overtax the system
• Eat seasonally, organically and locally
• Do not skip meals
• Keep the body hydrated
Any deficiencies or excesses in our bodies are directly affected by the food we consume. The Chinese diet is based on the theory of Yin & Yang - foods are categorized by flavors, which have specific influences on the body.
A variety of flavors is recommended.
The Five Food Flavors are:
Sweet: To strengthen, moisten and tonify. In moderation, sweet foods benefit the spleen & stomach. In excess, they damage the digestive system, and can cause abdominal distention, goiter, swelling of the lymph glands, laziness and obesity.
Pungent: To disperse stagnation and promote flow. In moderation, pungent foods benefit the lungs & large intestine. In excess, can lead to diminished strength, dizziness and emaciation, as well as burning sensations and tremors.
Salty: To moisten, soften and detoxify. In moderation, salty food benefits the kidneys & bladder. When used in excess, impairs kidney function, causes stagnation of blood, wasting of muscles and can aggravate skin conditions.
Sour: To stimulate absorption and contraction, helping break down fat. In moderation, sour food nourishes the liver & gallbladder. In excess causes sensitive teeth, twitching of the eyes, a flacid body, and creates edema in those with injuries.
Bitter: To counteract dampness. In moderation, bitter foods nourish the heart & small intestine. In excess, they produce dryness & reduce appetite.
Dampness - The digestive system is slowed down by foods that are damp/cold in nature (such as ice cream, iced drinks) as they tend to put out the "digestive fire". This slowing of the transformation of energy and blood weakens the digestive system. Some symptoms of dampness in the body are: fatigue, body heaviness, sluggishness, excess weight, cysts, tumors, yeast infections, bloating and gas, unclear thinking, chronic sinus infections, cloudy urine, foul smelling stools, thick tongue coating.
Foods to Avoid to Reduce Dampness
cold drinks, cold raw foods, fruit juice
breads, pasta, pastries, processed foods, refined flour
refined sugar and sugar substitutes
deep fried foods
avocado, bananas, peanuts and peanut butter
Foods to Eat to Reduce Dampness
organic lightly cooked vegetables, celery, corn, pumpkin, turnip, watercress
alfalfa sprouts, button mushrooms, capers, radish
amaranth, barley, brown rice, oats, rye
adzuki beans, kidney beans, legumes, lentils
small amounts of lean organic fish, meat, poultry
small amounts of whole fruits, lemon
kelp, pumpkin seeds, seaweed, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
green tea, jasmine tea, raspberry leaf tea
Yang energy is responsible for warming and activating bodily functions.
Symptoms of Yang Deficiency include: cold hands and feet, frequent, pale urination, low libido, low back pain or weakness, pre-menstrual lower back pain, shortened luteal phase.
Foods to Avoid for Yang Deficiency
cold food and liquids
raw foods especially in the fall and winter
damp producing foods
Foods to Add to Tonify Yang (tend to be warming and drying)
chestnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts
lamb, trout, venison
black pepper, cinnamon, clove, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, peppermint, chai & jasmine tea
cayenne, horseradish, nutmeg, rosemary, sage, thyme, turmeric
Yin energy is responsible for moistening and cooling. Symptoms of Yin Deficiency include: internal heat, hot flashes, night sweats, ringing in the ears, prematurely grey hair, lower back pain, vaginal dryness, shortened menstrual cycle.
Foods to Avoid for Yin Deficiency
alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes
artificial stimulants, recreational drugs
Foods to Add to Tonify Yin (tend to be cooling and moistening to the body) hot spicy foods
barley, millet, sesame seeds, black sesame seeds
adzuki beans, black beans, kidney beans, black soya beans, mung beans
duck, egg, fish, pork
artichoke, asparagus, peas, potato, seaweed, sweet potato, yam
apple, banana, pear, pomegranate, watermelon
Nourishing Bone Broth Base Recipe
Boost your health with this nutrient, mineral-rich stock!
It’s a great way to support one’s health, especially when recovering from an injury or illness
and is easily digested.
- 2 lbs of organic chicken bones. If using fish, use wild salmon bones
- 1 medium onion, unpeeled & quartered
- 6 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
- 3 celery ribs, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 3 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 small knuckles of ginger unpeeled
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ bunch watercress or cilantro
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar - helps draw out the nutrients from the bones.
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 3-4 quarts water (enough to immerse above ingredients)
- If you desire salt use sea salt or Himalayan salt
Add all of the ingredients to a large crock-pot or slow cooker. Cook on low for 10 to 12 hours. While still warm, pour and smash through a wire mesh strainer to remove solid bits in order to get all nutrients. The fat contains a lot of nutrition, do not skim it.
Broth can be refrigerated for 5-7 days. After that, it can be frozen. For convenience, freeze it in 2-4 cup portions.
This broth can then be used to make soups and stews or as a liquid to cook brown rice, grains or any recipe calling for chicken broth. You can also drink it as is.
In Chinese Medicine, bone broths are used to support the digestive system, strengthen the kidneys, protect the liver, and build blood. It is a mineral-rich strengthening food for healing support during recovery of an illness, surgery and post-partum recovery. Bone broth is used to strengthen the bones, reduce inflammation, and supports joints and tendons. It also nourishes nails, hair, skin (increases collagen) and the gut.
Nourishing Soup Recipe
- 4 cups of the above Bone Broth base
- Organic bouillon (we like Organic Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base – 1 heaping Tbls)
- 2 stalks Celery - quarter sliced
- 1 handful Cilantro - diced
- 2 stalks Green Onions – diced
- 2 organic eggs, beaten – add towards the end
- Options: Organic peas, zucchini, organic ground chicken (sautéed or raw
Add above ingredients, except for eggs. Cook until vegetables are tender. Mix in egg. Can add Sea Salt
This soup is perfect in times of colds, flu, and digestive discomfort or on weekly basis throughout the year to improve and protect your health.
For more information call 415.485.5834