Food: Your Path to Health and Happiness ©
Deborah Barr. All
Food is therapeutic. It has
properties that give you clarity, focus, emotional harmony, good
health, vitality, and a strong spiritual connection. It
reverses disease when you use it appropriately. Food is
medicine; however, one man’s nutritional remedy can be poison to
another. Scientific nutrition fails to understand the
Think of the
big picture of your life. You pay a high cost for managing your
health problems, including loss of vitality, creativity, and
productivity. If you’d like to spend less time and money on
doctor visits and have less reliance on prescription drugs
you’ll benefit by learning food energetics to create a healthy
mind and body.
modern information age our relationship with food has resulted
in much confusion, as evidenced by the many dietary trends that
espouse their plan to be the ideal way of eating for everyone,
regardless of personal condition. High protein, raw foods, low
carb, blood type eating, and other fads have their limits.
Many of these trends conflict with each other,
and each is limited by a narrow and fixed view. Their
ideologies differ, but their principle is the same--everyone
should eat according to the same rules.
A perfect diet
that will insure good health does not exist.
There is no one way of
eating that will bring everyone health and happiness. Not
everyone benefits equally from foods that contain the same
measure of nutrients. The best foods for you are determined by
your constitution, condition, age, lifestyle, emotions, climate,
and the seasons.
Following the popular trend of the day designed by someone who
knows nothing about you will not bring long term health and
modalities of alternative health and in Western medicine,
dietary advice is given in a standardized way without regard for
individual differences. There is a more accurate method to
determine your dietary needs.
Chinese Medicine is thousands of years old and is energy based
medicine. It offers an accurate dimension to food analysis that
classifies food and disease according to simple patterns. TCM
understands the ways specific foods, herbs, and cooking methods
affect different types of people and ailments.
science is relatively young and has failed to take valuable cues
from the wisdom of traditional healing arts. For example,
scientific nutrition treats obesity with low-fat, low-calorie
foods, many of which are chemically processed or, worse yet,
concocted of chemicals in a flavor factory. According to
scientific principles all foods that are within quantitative
caloric and nutrient guidelines have the same effects. Those
foods are considered healthy by Western science even when they
leave you irritable, unsatisfied, tired, and with cravings.
Many of these foods create excess dampness, heat, or coldness in
the body contributing to poor health. These patterns are
described in detail in this article.
energy nutrition it’s determined whether the person has hot,
cold, damp, dry, excess or deficiency patterns. Foods are
recommended to dry dampness which eliminates bloating,
puffiness, edema, and poor digestion. If there is coldness,
warming foods are given to stimulate metabolism back to normal.
Foods that cool down excess heat in the body will normalize
weight. Minimizing building foods and emphasizing healthy
cleansing foods will eliminate excess weight. This approach to
obesity provides satisfaction from food, better energy,
digestion, sleep, and restores health.
energy, and its essence is far more than the sum of its
nutrients. All foods have characters that can be
described, and specific energetic properties that surpass
description and science. This is more important than
combination of nutrients for reversing imbalances and creating
traditional cultures have based their dietary philosophies on
energy principles. We’ve experienced a departure from this
holistic, common sense approach to diet in favor of science and
technology. The results are evidenced by the growing numbers of
sick, obese, and unhappy people.
made of energy or life force called qi, chi, ki, and prana in
different cultures. Traditional cultures knew of the existence
and importance of energy and developed practices for enhancing
health and correcting imbalances. Modern day researchers
discovered ways to measure and detect life energy using electric
or magnet machines.
schools of thought agree that we are supported and
sustained by an underlying flow of life energy.
When this flow is impeded, we become weak or sick; our emotions
become disharmonious; our relationships, finances, work, and all
areas of life suffer. When the flow of energy is strengthened
or cared for, we become stronger and healthier in every way.
When the flow stops, we die.
subtle vibrational frequencies from everything you expose
yourself to. Your health and happiness are based on what you
consume from everything in life. Since you eat 2, 3, 4 or more
times daily, your body/mind health are greatly impacted by food.
Demystifying Food as
Food can be distinguished by its thermal
properties, flavors, building or cleansing abilities, drying or
moistening qualities, and how the food is prepared. Choosing
from these criteria can restore health, create balance,
happiness, seasonal harmony, and free you to live the healthy
life you were meant to live. This is not new information.
Fortunately it is being revived.
According to traditional culinary wisdom, foods
are warming, cooling, or neutral.
need the cooling, moistening properties of raw vegetables and
fruits to maintain balance. The health of others will seriously
decline by including too many of them.
the cooling quality of raw foods balances the heat and
congestion resulting from years of eating excessive amounts of
meat, cheese, fried and spicy foods and alcohol. Some
conditions caused by excessive heat in the body are high
cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, tension headaches,
stroke, aggressive, angry behavior, and many others.
A diet high in raw fruits and vegetables
encourages loss of body heat and production of fluids—perfect if
you’re hot and dry. If you are cold and damp, you
need foods to
reduce watery and mucus accumulations caused by too many raw
foods, cow’s milk products, icy cold foods and drinks, sugar,
and poor food combinations.
cold, damp foods include fixed joint pain, edema, hay fever,
sinus infections, bloating,
digestive and bowel problems,
yeast and fungus, puffiness, edema, mental fuzziness, and
difficulty losing weight. Damp, mucus conditions are helped
with drying foods such as parsnips, arugula, brussel sprouts,
black beans, aduki beans, pumpkin seeds, trout, and others.
Dry patterns include blood sugar imbalances, some
types of arthritis, dry cough, restlessness and anxiety, dry
eyes, hair, skin, scalp and nails, constipation and other
conditions. They can be helped by adding moistening foods such
as quinoa, millet, salmon, miso soup, beets, winter squash,
pears, cantaloupe and others.
Spices are warming and fruits are cooling.
Garlic and ginger, for example, warm you up while grapefruit and
watermelon cool you down.
foods can energetically calm the mind and emotions, and
strengthen energy. Whole, unprocessed grains cooked with
unrefined sea salt and many vegetables are most beneficial.
people need cleansing, depleting foods; deficient people need
building and replenishing foods.
Food preparation affects its thermal properties.
Fruits and vegetables are cooling and cleansing, and animal
foods are warming and building. Raw foods are more cooling than
cooked foods. Cooking helps break
down food structure making the nutrients more available
which aids digestion.
On a sweltering day, you'll prefer a chilled barley and
vegetable salad and sliced melon; on a cold winter day you’ll
favor barley/vegetable/beef stew, and a warm apple crisp.
To create a more warming effect, cook with a
little more good quality fat or oil, at higher temperatures, and
for a longer period of time. To make food more cooling, use
less fat, more water, and shorter cooking time.
Fried, broiled, baked, fat-rich foods and spicy
foods stimulate circulation and generate body heat. Animal
foods produce more heat in the body. You’ll benefit from these
foods, cooking styles, and spices if you’re cold and deficient.
Signs of deficiency are anemia, weak adrenals, loose stools, gas
and bloating, slow metabolism, and depression.
angry, depressed, or experiencing any negative emotion puts that
energy into the food and returns it to you when you eat it.
When you eat in restaurants, you are being nourished with the
essence and character of the cook. Understanding his health can
help you know why you feel the way you feel.
How Flavors Affect Your Mind and Body
Did you know
that eating certain flavors can help you restore physical,
mental, and emotional health? According to the system of
flavors developed by traditional Chinese healers, the
sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and salty
flavors are important. They each have specific healing
You don't need every flavor at
every meal. While it is desirable to have each flavor every day
to maintain and good health and balanced weight, some imbalances
benefit by emphasizing specific flavors.
flavor is energetically astringent,
contracting, and cooling. It is useful for urinary dripping,
excessive perspiration, hemorrhage, diarrhea, and hemorrhoids.
Sour foods include lemon, lime, grapefruit, leeks, sauerkraut,
vinegar, strawberries, rhubarb, raspberries, cranberries, and
is the most
energetically cooling and drying. It is useful for overweight,
hot conditions, high blood pressure, headaches and cleaning the
arteries of cholesterol and fat. Bitters have antibiotic,
anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and benefit those
with bloating, gas, water retention, herpes, and other hot, damp
asparagus, parsley, arugula, broccoli, celery, collard greens,
kale, dandelion greens, kohlrabi, scallions, watercress,
amaranth, papaya, quinoa, rye, and oregano are classified as
Sweet flavor - There are full sweets
and empty sweets. Full sweets are energetically warming
and harmonizing with a slowing, relaxing effect. They moisten
dry lungs; slow an overactive heart and mind; and calm
aggressive emotions. Whole, unprocessed grains, some meats, and
many specific vegetables provide the full sweet flavor that you
sweets burden digestion; make you
overweight, tired and anxious; cause intense cravings, poor
immunity, weak bones, colds, flu, restlessness, and worry. All
simple sugars are empty sweets, including fructose, honey,
sucrose, and most fruits.
has a stimulating energy which improves blood flow and
circulation, dries congestion and keeps the lungs clear and
open. This flavor can help sluggish, overweight, lethargic
clear phlegm and
mucous including bloating, puffiness, edema, respiratory
scallions, broccoli rabe, cabbage, onion, kale, leeks,
horseradish, garlic, cinnamon, fennel, rosemary, turmeric,
collard greens, celery, daikon, marjoram, and peppermint.
has the most grounding and centering energy of all the flavors.
The right amount and quality can strengthen energy; build
healthy bones, improve digestion; moisten dryness; detoxify
poisons from poor quality foods; and enhance mental focus.
Salt is an important mineral and is vital to human life;
however, there is great potential for its misuse. Poor quality
salt and too much of it creates the opposite effect.
Use a small
pinch of unrefined sea salt in cooking only. Avoid adding salt
to the food on your plate. Commercial salt is highly refined
with chemicals; is 99.5% or more sodium chloride, with additions
of anti-caking chemicals, potassium iodide, and sugar to
stabilize the iodine. Many common varieties of sea salt are
highly refined and stripped of trace minerals.
Understanding the various
flavors of foods can be a helpful guide in choosing appropriate
foods for health and weight issues. The same flavors or foods
that, in moderation, help reverse certain conditions can cause
discomfort, excess weight, and illness when eaten in excess.
Mental, Emotional Imbalances
The following are a
few examples of conditions caused, to a large extent, by food.
They can be improved by educating
yourself on food energetics and therapeutic properties, and
learning to holistically evaluate your condition.
Unhappiness, disease, and mental/emotional problems are not
random. They are the effects of the many ways food transmutes
energetically within you.
Heat in the
liver is expressed as impatient, irritable, angry, even violent,
behavior. Conditions such as dry eyes, constipation, headaches,
insomnia, high blood pressure and menopause disorders can
from prolonged consumption of caffeine and caffeine-like
substances, including coffee, cocoa, colas, and chocolate;
alcohol and other intoxicants; sugar, fatty, greasy foods;
dairy, turkey, chips, and spicy hot foods.
mental rigidity, depression, and many health problems including
skin, muscle, tendon, vision, and menstrual disorders are the
effects of stagnant liver energy. Overeating, late night
eating, rich, greasy food, meats, cream, cheese, and eggs;
hydrogenated fats, refined and rancid oils; chemicals in food
and water; drugs; intoxicants; and highly processed foods are
some causes of liver stagnation.
confused mind and mental illness indicate energetic heart
imbalances and manifest physically as hypertension,
hyperthyroid, stroke, poor circulation, insomnia, and others.
Some food causes are stimulants such as coffee, alcohol, sugar,
drugs; strong spices, excessive heat producing foods (meat,
cheese and eggs); tobacco; and many drugs, both pharmaceutical
negativity, anxiety and worry are related to deficient lung
energy. Physical indications are asthma, allergies, eczema,
immune, digestive and other disorders. These conditions are
caused by mucus promoting
foods such as dairy, alcohol, cold foods and beverages, coffee,
too many hot, spicy foods, fried and greasy food, poor quality
fats, and sugary foods
are characterized by low metabolic rate, weak adrenals, malaise,
anemia, bone, teeth, and hair problems, and manifest emotionally
as fear, phobias, isolation, and insecurity. Some causes are
icy cold foods and drinks; tropical
fruits; excessive animal fat; toxins in food and water,
intoxicants such as alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, coffee,
tobacco; and heavy metals.
No food is good or
bad. It’s all cause and effect. Determine the effects you want
for your health and happiness. Be
open to a new perspective on food and health. Make the effort
to learn how food is energetically creating your physical,
mental and emotional health.
wisdom and commonsense of our ancestors has been traded for food
technology, chemicals, and processed foods that in no way match
the nutrition and life force of whole foods.
revive your innate wisdom about food and everything else. How
long it takes depends on your condition, what you’re choosing,
and how you feel about those choices. Small, consistent steps
lead to big results. In no time you’ll be a healthier, happier
version of yourself.
Resources for Getting Started
professional guidance for the right nutrition and holistic
health plan for
you. You can greatly improve every aspect of your physical,
mental and emotional health with a customized holistic approach.
Schedule an Introductory Holistic Health
and Nutrition session with Deborah Barr, 30-year
Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor. You'll be on your way to better
health. Sessions can be done by phone,
skype, or at Pittsburgh office.
Questions? Call 412.361,8600 or send an
30-year Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor/Coach, speaker, and author,
has helped thousands of clients reverse health and weight issues;
achieve emotional harmony, radiant health, passion, peaceful
living, work-life balance, and a life they love. In 1985 she
founded Whole Health Resources, the premier Holistic
Health Center in Pittsburgh. WHR’s mission is to
promote the healing and development of body, mind and spirit,
and to teach an understanding of the relationship between diet,
attitudes, lifestyle and wellness. She offers free help through 2 e-newsletters,
Holistic Weight Loss, and Whole Health
Matters, and free articles.
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Deborah is a sought after speaker
and writer sharing her Holistic message to audiences of regional and
national scope. She can be reached by calling 412.361.8600,