In Part 1 of this East-West detox series, we outlined places of alignment between primal principles and Chinese Medicine. We also explained why, together, they offer a powerful antidote to Day After Pizza situations (or other post-indulgence disasters).
Then, in Part 2, we laid out the first half of our custom prescription for balanced cleansing: primal eating parameters (with special Day After Pizza caveats).
Today, we get into the second half of our Day After Pizza script: Chinese Medicine.
Chinese Medicine not only treats diseases that have arisen—it helps prevent them from happening in the first place.
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, food and diet are a first line of defense against illness. They are also a key medicine when food choices and health go awry.
When you see a Chinese Medicine practitioner, the specifics will vary depending on your pattern, symptoms and needs. If you come to us, we’ll most likely prescribe an herbal prescription in addition to a dietary one.
But, for a basic balanced-cleansing protocol, you can start with the following foundations:
1. Let balance be your guide.
Sure, typical detoxes featuring cleansing, draining and raw foods might bring relief for a day or two…but will only weaken digestion and slow metabolism in the long run.
To prevent this, Chinese Medicine artfully balances different foods with different energetics and actions: cooling and warming, draining and consolidating, clearing and nourishing, for example.
2. Incorporate cooling, cleansing foods, such as greens, cilantro, celery, fennel, apple and Asian pear.
Some can be raw…but too much raw can further impede digestion and metabolism. For most people, a little raw and more steaming or sautéing is best during this balanced-cleaning time. Cooked green drink, anyone?
3. Balance these cool-natured foods with warming, moving ones to disperse accumulation, open stagnation and boost an immune system taxed by sugar and stress.
Think onions, garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric and cumin, for example.
4. Alongside these cool-cleansing and warm-dispersing foods, feature foods that nourish and regulate the digestive organs and metabolic processes.
These include cooked yellow and orange veggies as well as healthy, quality sources of animal protein.
Foods cooked at a low temperature for a long time (in a slow-cooker, for instance), are super-easy on the digestion and super-good choices here.
If you know a big indulgence is coming, perhaps throw on the slow-cooker the night before, adding some animal protein, carrots, celery, onions, garlic and ginger.
5. Stay away from the overly cloying, sweet, heavy, greasy stuff.
Sorry guys. This is not the time for a paleo waffle test run.
Bringing our primal parameters and Chinese Medicine dietetics together, what does a daily dose of balanced cleansing actually look like?
Ahh…ancient Chinese secret. Not really, but we’re still going to leave you hanging (or slumped on the couch with a pizza hangover, as the case may be).
Don’t worry though. A Recovery Day meal plan is coming soon, including breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Meanwhile, one place to start is our weekly newsletter. You’ll get our Free Guide to Overcoming Sugar Addiction with sign-up (helpful for working with other habits and cravings too). To sign up and get your free guide, go here.
Wondering whether Alchemist Eating is a good fit for you? Go here to find out if we’re made for each other.