• Lesley Heidrich

How Do You Eat?

We all have preferences, habits, and 'guilty pleasures' when it comes to food. Ever wonder why? Yin - Yang Nutrition explains a lot...

“Cool” or Yin foods are lower in calories, larger in size, have more potassium, and grow above and away from the ground. These foods are usually green/white in color. “Hot” or Yang foods are higher in calories, more compact in size, have more sodium, and grow beneath the ground. They are also usually red/orange in color. (See chart)

If you are naturally more yin (cold-type individual), you should eat more yang (warming) foods, and when you become more yang, you can eat more cooling foods. Conversely, if you are naturally more yang (hot/warmer individual), you should eat more cooling foods (yin-type). The goal is internal harmony. Usually, people need to eat both yin and yang foods to achieve the ideal internal harmony.

When the yin and yang energies are balanced, you feel calm/relaxed, and your moods won’t bounce up and down. If you eat a lot of fruits and green leafy salads - which are all foods grown above ground - you may become yin. Your body temperature will be colder, you'll be unfocussed and have trouble completing tasks (brain fog). If that sounds like you, I suggest eating more root vegetables, whole grains, and fish, and avoiding salads, sugar, and fruits. In contrast, if you eat too much yang (hot/warming) foods, you may feel uptight, stressed/agitated, overly focused, and unable to relax. To counter those feelings, eat foods toward the center of the chart. Including whole grains, vegetables, and locally grown fruits.

Chemicals, alcohol, and sugar are on the extreme yin end of the spectrum. Salt, eggs, and red meats are on the extreme yang. Whole grains, various kinds of vegetables, nuts, and white-fleshed fish are in the middle. When we crave foods, it’s usually the foods at either ends of the spectrum—be it chocolates or salty snacks. Cravings are a way for your body to talk to you... It is the body’s natural way of seeking harmony. If you eat more foods on one end of the spectrum, you will crave foods on the other end. For example, when eating a lot of salty yang foods, your body will soon crave sweets and sugar to balance itself out. Cravings of sweet or salty foods can indicate an imbalance of either yin or yang. Best way to avoid this cravings is to eat foods from the middle of the chart like vegetables, beans, and whole grains. 

There is no magic pill to create balance, unfortunately. It’s a matter of finding out what your individual food needs are and - as always - moderation is key!

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