Chinese Nutritional Therapy And An Underlying Imbalance In Self-Realization

When we explore Oriental medicine in general and Chinese nutritional therapy in Boca Raton, in particular, we are learning how to attain balance in our lives through balanced eating that can provide us the energy we need to live the life we want to live.

According to great sage Lao Tse, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

Health is a Balancing Act

If someone asks you “How balanced are you?” How will you answer? Most people associate balance with not falling while riding a bicycle or not falling while standing or walking. Asking one how balanced he/she is in the framework of Chinese medicine may mean if he/she is balanced not only physically but emotionally and psychologically, as well.

“You Are What You eat”

If your diet is energetically and nutritionally balanced, so are you. From the perspective of Oriental medicine, you may want to include in your checklist the questions: Am I ‘energetically’ balanced?, or Am I ‘nutritionally’ balanced?; your food provides you with the energy you need to be balanced energetically and nutritionally balanced — and you’re healthy in terms of spirit, mind, and body when you consider yourself an energetically and nutritionally balanced person.

The Five Flavors

A diet that’s energetically and nutritionally balanced may include foods that combine the following five flavors:

1. Spicy
2. Sweet
3. Bitter
4. Sour
5. Salty

A Balanced Feeling

Lots of individuals ‘think’ they’re balanced. But obviously there’s a huge difference between ‘thinking’ and ‘knowing,’ just as there’s a definite distinction between thinking that you just ate something nutritious compared to knowing you did. When it comes to knowing if you are indeed energetically and nutritionally balanced, the most important factor to consider is that you FEEL energetically and nutritionally balanced.

Intellectually, it is easy to demonstrate the difference between feeling and thinking, but because our culture espouses the development of our mental faculties, whilst tending to abandon the fostering of our intuition and feelings, it’s a little bit hard to know what balance feels like. This irrational and unhealthy imbalance can hilariously manifest in a normal conversation when a person genuinely asks someone “Are you really feeling okay?” and the other wryly responds, “I think so.”

Even this underlying imbalance in self-realization can be addressed with the power of Chinese nutritional therapy.

Six Highly Nutritious Foods Commonly Used In Chinese Cooking

Traditional Chinese cooking focuses more on having more vegetables than meat and because of this, it is considered a healthy way of eating. It also fosters a variety of crisp and colorful vegetables that can be a part of a healthy recipe. The following are some of the popular Chinese cooking herbs, spices, and ingredients that can assist you in choosing the right flavors to your Chinese meals, if you are interested in learning how to cook Chinese recipes at home

1. Mushroom

As one of the more highly popular Chinese cooking ingredients that can add more taste to your recipes, mushrooms are very easy to find that you can buy in markets. Some of them can actually be bought right after they’re harvested from their natural environment. You can also use dried mushrooms for your stir fried recipes and for soups and stew.

2. Tofu

Bean curd or tofu is also a very commonly used ingredient in Chinese cooking and is widely used in vegetarian recipes. This type of food originated in China and is now a very popular recipe ingredient in a lot of Asian diets. This food possesses little smell or flavor and prior to use one should drain it to allow it to absorb the spices and flavors of the other ingredients in the dish. For vegans and vegetarians, it is usually a replacement for meat since it is considered to be a good source of iron and protein but low in fat and calories. Because tofu is soft and tender, it can be easily digested.

3. Bok Choy

Another commonly used vegetable in Chinese cooking and a very popular food throughout the world. Bok Choy is a vegetable commonly used in stir-fried dishes, soups, and stews

4. Dried fungus

This is one dried ingredient commonly used in Chinese cooking. Dried fungus is commonly used in stir-fry cooking and is often cooked with onions, celery, chicken, and tofu. Its size is small when you buy it in the market, but it expands after you soak them in hot water for about 15 minutes. After they are soaked, you can cook them along with the other ingredients.

5. Ginger

Ginger is one of the most popular spices used not only in Chinese cooking but in other dishes throughout the world. Because of its biting, pungent, and aromatic flavor, it is one of the most basic flavorings in Chinese cooking. At times, instead of fennel, ginger is included in the five-spice powder. Besides enhancing flavor to your food, ginger also provides certain benefits to health such as its ability to prevent nausea and motion sickness, and in fostering good digestion.

6. The five-spice powder

One of the very popular ingredients in Chinese cooking, five-spice powder is usually utilized as food seasoning which you can include to your dish like pepper. Five-spice powder, as its name indicates, is comprised of five spices that typically include cloves, cinnamon, fennel, start anise, and Szechuan peppercorn. This powder is typically used as seasoning for fatty meats as well as in vegetarian recipes.

Heather Shultz is a licensed acupuncturist in Marlton, NJ with advanced training in modern acupuncture techniques and traditional Asian therapies.