The Perfect Diet

Paleo? Vegetarian?  Low-fat?  Low-carb? Vegan? Plant-based? Dairy-free?  Low-calorie? Gluten-free? Food combining?  According to your blood type?

All of these dietary regimens have their die-hard proponents who claim theirs is the perfect and healthiest way to eat.  Staunch supporters of such dietary regimens are often downright hostile if you suggest their way of eating may not be right for you.  I have read more than one nasty Facebook thread about differences of opinion about the right way to eat.  Fascinating how there seems to be so many “ideal” ways to eat. It’s almost like what may work for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another person.

Is there really a perfect way to eat?

Actually, Chinese medicine would say yes, there is a perfect way to eat, and the fantastic thing is that your perfect way to eat may not be my perfect way to eat.  The perfect way to eat differs according to a variety of factors, including your current health, your activity level, your constitution, the season of the year, the climate in which you live, your age, and your health history.  Why would we not consider all these things when determining how to eat?

The perfect way to eat in the summer is not the perfect way to eat in the fall.  The perfect way to eat in Toronto is not the perfect way to eat in Ecuador.  The perfect way to eat for a woman of child-bearing age is not the perfect way to eat for a 78 year-old man.  The perfect way to eat for a triathlete is not perfect way to eat for a monk who meditates eight hours a day.  The perfect way to eat when recovering from surgery or illness is not the perfect way to eat when you are strong and well.

This reasoning extends not just to the type of food you eat but also to how you prepare your food.  Grilling, lightly steaming or not cooking at all are more suited for summer and warmer environments.  Baking and roasting are more common and appropriate in cooler weather.

Think about how silly it is to claim that everyone, at all times, should eat the same way.  That stance is utterly absurd.  Your body’s needs differ at any given time, and a healthy diet is one that accommodates your situation. A healthy diet is one that helps you feel energetic, clear-headed, emotionally centered, and allows you to sleep soundly.  Food is medicine, and not everyone needs the same prescription.

Some people have a greater need for meat in their diet.  Some people have a greater need for green vegetables in their diet.  Some people need more fruit, some more grains.  Some people should really avoid raw food and some people should eat more of it.

Instead of letting the next diet book or latest super food craze dictate how you eat, maybe tune in to how you feel. What foods make you feel vibrant and clear?  What foods seem to unsettle you or make you feel foggy and sluggish?  That is your body trying to tell you something, and it is perfectly ok to listen—even if it seems to conflict with what other people say suits them.

If you have questions about how Chinese dietary ideas can support your specific health needs, please call to make an appointment at 323-475-9282. I would love to be of service.