There are moments of defiance. Special little moments where I get to check in with my personal commitment to not indoctrinate L and V, but help show them a possible way to greater nutritional wellness given what L is working through. Special little moments where I know what I prepare them isn't exclusively what they are ingesting. And that isn't my set of expectations. But all this to say...I am excited to see where we are a month, six weeks from now when the results are even that more tangible and the relationship deepens for L between what she is ingesting and her rehabilitation process. They really are great sports overall, though, I must say. They have a three-day trip coming up soon, and I'm planning to just set them up for success as much as possible, and cross my fingers and hope for not too many cheats.
So, I'm putting together a master list of foods that are recommended for L in the various medicinal dietary traditions - Ayurvedic, Chinese, which I've touched on already - and I'm adding into it some recommendations from a book that L's acupuncturist really resonates with and told me I/we should read. It is "Change Your Genetic Destiny" by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo. This is a new, revised edition of his first book, "The GenoType Diet" - you may have heard of it, it was primarily concerned with eating for your blood type. L's acupuncturist, based on her body measurements/proportions and blood type (O), identified her Genotype as The Gatherer, based on this system. I'm reading the book right now, and when I finish it, I will certainly post some of my conclusive thoughts. I do have some mixed feelings at the moment (mostly due to the recommended inclusion of meat and dairy in excess for some "genotypes"), but I also do see a lot of places where it dovetails with Paul Pitchford/Healing with Whole Foods/Chinese culinary healing tradition.
First, here's an Ayurveda perspective: There are three doshas, or general body types and therefore nutritional/dietary profiles for each that guide how to eat to maintain homeostasis. L, as best as I can identify using the reading and research I've done, is Kapha (the three doshas are pitta, kapha, and vata) - meaning she's seated in the elements of earth and water, likes comfort and food, can be prone to a heavier body shape, and the foods that aggravate her dosha are sweets, meat, dairy, salty foods, and anything overly heavy or oily. I don't want to draw too deep of conclusions as I am not, nor have I consulted, an Ayurvedic expert - but it's interesting to resonate with L being a kapha dosha as it looks like the Ayurveda model further corroborates what we're already doing (taking out wheat/gluten, sugar, meat, and dairy as much as possible). A useful website if you're curious: http://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/article/dosha/1
Second, here's the Chinese perspective on L - gleaned from Paul Pitchford and L's acupuncturist's diagnosis and trajectory of treatment: L is an Earth constitution, and has a spleen qi deficiency, and a damp accumulation causing phlegm to obstruct the energetic channels in her body. Due to the high number of medications in her system, L also has liver qi stagnation and toxicity. Remember that the liver and spleen are the home of middle qi, which is concerned with animating the peripheral extremities. In the Chinese thought, the peripheral neuropathy is associated with these liver/spleen issues. So, nutritionally speaking, I should be focusing on preparing foods that strengthen the spleen, harmonize the liver, and clear/transform damp accumulation.
Thirdly, we have the perspective of Dr. D'Adamo of "Change Your Genetic Destiny" and his model of eating for your specific "genotype", which is identified through body measurements/proportions (carefully guided through in the text), one's blood type (both ABO and Rh), and secretor status (to put it easily, whether or not you secrete your ABO blood type in other bodily fluids besides blood - about 85% of people are secretors, as opposed to the 15% that are non-secretors). Dr. D'Adamo's theories have been met with a considerable amount of criticism, as I touched on in last Friday's post, but this second book is definitely standing up far better than the first one. And I do think there is something to it. I don't think it should necessarily prescriptively dictate all of what one eats and doesn't eat, but I do resonate with much of it.
So, using these three perspectives, here's my master list. I'm going to denote Ayurvedic recommendations, the Chinese recommendations, and the Genotype recommendations. I've also denoted L's acupuncturist's recommendations. Just to be clear: these are recommendations specific to L - her pathology, her body type, her blood type, her symptoms, and her constitution. When something is asterisked, it means another perspective agrees with the either incorporation or exclusion of that food item. It's interesting to see where everyone agrees.
Healing foods to incorporate:
Well-cooked rice Black Pepper
Oats (gluten-free) Ginger
Winter squash Cinnamon*
Garbanzo beans Aduki beans
Black beans White pepper
Peas* Bitter herbs - chaparral, chamomile, pau d'arco
Sweet Potato* Very moderate amounts of minimally processed sweeteners:
Yam* Stevia* powder, unrefined cane juice, date sugar, molasses*, rice syrup,agave
Onion* Fava beans
Yellow legumes Cherry
String/green beans* Pine nuts
Zucchini* Almond/almond butter/almond oil
Butter bean Pecan
Pumpkin seed Walnut
White bean Olive oil
Bell pepper Breadfruit
Yerba Mate tea Ginseng tea
Nutritional yeast Fruit pectin
Aggravating foods to stay away from:
Cold/cooling/raw foods** Highly refined/highly processed foods
Citrus fruits/orange juice** Chemically treated foods
Sprouts/cereal grasses Wheat/gluten**
Spinach Oily/heavy foods
Chard Sour foods
Micro-algae Brussels sprout
Sweet foods** Cucumber
Sweet liquids** Eggplant
Dairy products** Radish
Bananas* Red wine
Sugar Cola beverages
A couple things that are noteworthy right off the bat with this list:
- L has eaten, in the past two weeks, 44 foods/seasonings, etc off the healing foods for her list!
- It's interesting to scan the above, taking note of what is generally agreed upon across the philosophies.
Here's my favorite P. Pitchford quote of the day (pg. 342): "A weak spleen-pancreas indicates neglect or ignorance of the Earth Element at the level of food; properly preparing food with nurturing care imparts healing essence." I'm really deepening my relationship with myself as nurturer through this process, and it's an awakening experience in many ways. And probably a timely and divinely-appointed task for this season, as I'm preparing to get married soon and stepping into a nurturing role as the future matriarch of my new primary familial identification, a wife and (maybe) mother. I'm spending 2-3 hours on average making these meals for L, not because it takes that long, but because I'm really trying to be mindful and intentional about "properly preparing food with nurturing care" to impart as much healing essence and vibration as possible.
Toning for Digestive Righteousness,