A very wise Russian doctor once told me to buy the best food I can possibly afford, that advice stayed with me. As a result I’ve become particularly choosy where I buy my food from, and in particular the meat I eat. We’ve all heard the saying ‘You Are What You Eat’ and it is true, even a recent conversation with a consultant dermatologist we ended up chatting about food and nutrition. I stated that so many health issues can be resolved, if we all eat good quality food and in the right proportions. She was in total agreement. So the buck stops with each and every one of us, to eat right because our food plays a huge part in keeping us healthy.
As a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner, diet and the food you eat is something I’m particularly interested in, especially good quality meat. People don’t realise that humans are genetically supposed to eat meat, our stomach enzymes have evolved to digest meat, and animal proteins are complete proteins, which means they provide essential amino acids that our body needs.
People also don’t realise that within TCM, meat has it’s own qualies. Of course we know that red meat is good if you are iron deficient, or you have anemia. But each meat type brings individual benefits. For example:
BEEF and CHICKEN are warm in nature within TCM. Both help increase your energy, nourish blood and relieve mucus. So if you are unwell, having beef broth or chicken soup is a great idea. Even bone broth is making a come back because of the nutritional value it provides.
LAMB is quite hot in nature, but is great for strengthening your energy. Nourishing blood and promoting appetitie
PORK is neutral to slightly cold in nature, again it helps your energy, but its a good meat to eat when its warm weather.
DUCK is cooling in nature, again its a good meat to eat during warm weather.
Keeping in mind these qualities of meat, its why I advise my patients to eat certain types of meat during specific times of the year, in accordance with a patients pathology. To explain what I mean by this, I wouldn’t advise a menopausal lady, suffering with severe hot flushes and night sweats to eat lamb in the middle of a heat wave. However a lady trying to concieve, that’s emenating deep cold would need to eat plenty of red meat to provide the heat she requires to boost her Qi and nourish blood. I use the analogy ‘you can’t put a bun in the oven, if you don’t switch on the heat’. Using the same principle, I advocate ladies that are menstruating, to eat meat because they are literally loosing blood regularly, and eating meat nourishes Blood.
But it’s not only about the type of meat you eat, but the quality. As I said previously, I’ve become very choosy where I purchase my meat, I will only buy and eat the best I can afford, and I advocate Cross Lanes Organic Farm just outside Barnard Castle. They know exactly which farm the meat has come from, and what the animal has been fed during it’s life. I find that very reassuring. I stumbled across it a few years ago quite by accident, and now I won’t buy my red meat from anywhere else. Even if it means cutting back in other areas of my life, its worth it. In addition to the quality of meat, you also need to address your portion sizes, it’s much better to have excellent quality over large quantity.
So, from today keep in mind the ability to build Qi and Blood is directly related to your nutritional health and what you eat.
For more information contact Shen Holistics or read the Cross Lanes Blog here.