Nutrition Workshop #3 The Spleen

Last Updated on Wednesday, 1 June 2011 02:30 Written by Flax Wednesday, 1 June 2011 02:30

Spleen/Pancreas (לבלב)

The spleen/pancreas in Chinese Medical theory is the organ that is most responsible for the digestion and distribution of food and nutrients. Someone with a healthy spleen will have a healthy digestive system.  These people are hard-working, practical and responsible.  Those with a weak spleen are characterized by chronic fatigue, both physical and mental stagnation, weak digestion, hard lumps in the abdomen, and loose stools.

One of the common features found in people with weak spleens is excess dampness. Excess dampness is a Chinese Medical term that refers to a condition with excess mucus and/or excess weight.   Overconsumption of meat and dairy cause the thickest and stickiest mucus buildup.  The commonly eaten foods, wheat and sugar are also major contributors to mucus buildup.  Other likely contributors to excess mucus buildup are; processed and refined foods, toxins found in “food” and water, meals which include too many food combinations, late night eating, and overeating.

Foods that help to heal the spleen are:

  •  all orange vegetables (especially the sweet potato)
  •  whole grains (especially rye, amaranth, and quinoa)
  •  bitter vegetables and herbs (including romaine, celery, alfalfa, turnip, and chamomile) 
  • Cooked vegetables are healthier for the spleen but raw vegetables can be eaten during the hotter summer months.

Healing the spleen means improving the digestive system and as a side-effect, losing excess weight.  A healthy spleen means that you won’t need to fight unhealthy cravings for sugary foods and snacks.  This is because you won’t be craving them.  Sounds simple, well it actually is.  One of the methods I use during the summer months to help this process is the Celery Smoothie.  Eat a celery smoothie every day for 2 weeks and see  the results for yourself.

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Nutrition Workshop #1

Last Updated on Friday, 20 May 2011 08:59 Written by Flax Tuesday, 17 May 2011 04:38

Principles of Nutrition:

Food Pyramid:

  • 1% sugar and fats (including fruits)
  • 10% max. protein, includes animal protein and legumes
  • 40-50% grains
  • 50-60% vegetables

Water:

  • 2 Liters a day, filtered water. 
  • Water should be at least room temperature.

Fats:

  • Olive oil (5% acidity or less)
  • Flax seed oil
  • Sesame oil (small amounts)
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Borage oil

Dairy:

  • Never
  • Goat products are preferable
  • Not to be replaced with soy

Animal Products:

  • Try to slowly eliminate animal products from the diet.  Look for higher quality products or organic produce. 

Salt:

  • Atlantic Grey Sea Salt

Seaweed:

  • Between 5-15 gr. of seaweed every day using as many varieties as possible.

Vegetables:

  • Use organic produce as much as possible.
  • Eat a daily mix of orange (carrots, pumpkin, squash),  white (radish, turnip, kohlrabi, parsnip),  and green leafy vegetables (lettuce, seaweed, kale, collard).

Grains:

  • Whole grains
  • Avoid wheat and focus on other grains such as; rice, spelt, rye, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, wild rice, barley…

Fruits:

  • Fruits count as a sugar and should be eaten in very small amounts.
  • Apples are the healthiest of the fruit, especially green apples.
  • Other than apples, pears, peaches, and nectarines are ok.  Avoid the sweeter fruits and melons, such as mango and watermelon.

Exercise:

  • The two that I recommend the most are walking and exercises that come from the Eastern practices.

Awareness:

  • Become more in tune with your body, your moods/cravings and intuition.
  • Keep a food journal of the time of day that you eat and what you eat it.
  • Restrict eating to daylight hours, preferably until 6 p.m.
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