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Nutrition and Lifestyle Therapy

Nutrition and Lifestyle Paper


Please Note: This is a work in progress, but you can still get a lot out of this as it is now, enjoy.


There are three main thought processes you have to consider with nourishment and food.

1. What you eat.
2. When you eat.
3. How you eat and prepare your food.

Remember the most important thing is the actual nourishment you absorb from your food and drink.

As every body is unique, there will always be variations according to individual needs. A few basic guidelines, however, are appropriate as we seek a way of eating that creates balance and harmony. Frame of mind is of utmost importance at mealtime; relax and slowly chew your food for optimal digestion and assimilation.
Mealtime is not the place to discuss the day’s problems.

What you eat.

What you eat and drink is one of the main source of nourishment besides breathing, sleeping, and the environment around you. In general food should be in its whole for as much as possible, meaning the less refined the better. Refined foods generally equal loss of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fats, fiber, and phytonutrients. The natural fiber is also taken out, including insoluble fiber, which is food for our intestinal bacteria and yeast that help us by breaking down certain foodstuff, detoxify, and even creating chemicals that influence our mental and emotional state.

You should eat a wide variety of foods for a good balance of nutrients. This does not mean that in one meal you should have three different grains, five different vegetables, legumes/beans, fish, etc. It would be better to have one grain, one legume, and one or two different vegetables at a meal and then at another meal have a different grain or, legume with one or two different vegetables or fish with rice and one or two vegetables. This is what I mean by a wide variety of foods. Another way to do this is to rotate you foods so you don’t eat the same thing over and over.

Example: For a 1 week meal plan you should have 3 different breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that you can rotate throughout the week.

The long winded, important subject of fats.
You can skip this section, just knowing all the fats talked about below are good for you, its just that some are better for you then others.

Fats come in three forms, polyunsaturated, monosaturated fats and saturated fats. They are all good for you!
Polyunsaturated Fats: Nuts, seeds, algae, leafy green vegetables, fish (esp cold water fish) and krill.
Monosaturated Fats: Red meat, whole milk products, nuts, olives and avocados.
Saturated Fats: Animal fats and their products; butter, ghee, lard, cheese, cream and vegetable products: coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and cocoa butter.

There are 2 Essential Fatty Acids and 2 other very important Fatty Acids that you will want to get in you diet at least a few times a week. We can not make the first two and many people have a poor ability to convert these into EPA and especially DHA.

The first is Alpha-Linolenic Acid (LNA or ALA), and it belongs to the omega-3 family of fatty acids. You can find ALA in Chia Seed, Perilla seed, Flax Seed, Hemp Seed, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Brazil Nuts, Sesame Seeds, Avocado, Dark green leafy vegetables such as Kale, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens, Purslane.

By by far the highest food source of ALA is flax oil and flex seed then Chia seeds.

These foods are not especially popular in the typical American diet, so it is no wonder that many people in the US population are deficient in ALA. This deficiency plays a role in practically all degenerative diseases like heart disease and cancer, arthritis, skin conditions, diabetic neuropathy, immune function, and premenstrual syndrome.

The second is Linoleic Acid (LA) belonging to the omega-6 family of fatty acids. It is found abundantly in safflower seeds, evening primrose seeds, grape seed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, corn oil, soy oil, and in most nuts.

The typical American diet contains too much LA in comparison to ALA because people consume so much refined vegetable oils made of the above mentioned foods. They not only cook with these oils, but also eat margarine, crackers, cookies, and other processed foods which contain those oils.

The right ratio of linoleic acid versus alpha-linolenic acid in the diet is important. It should be between 4:1 and 1:1, meaning equal amnounts of LA and ALA and up to four times as much LA as ALA, while the typically American diet can be as high as 20:1.

Some researchers believe an imbalance may lead to a variety of mental disorders, including hyperactivity, depression, brain allergies, and schizophrenia.

Besides nourishing the brain, neurological, eye and vascular system, another primary function of EFAs is the production of prostaglandins, which regulate body functions such as menstrual cycle, fertility, conception, induce labor, regulate platelets, heart rate, blood pressure, blood clotting, cell wall integrity, increase gastric mucus secretions, decrease gastric acid secretions, help regulate bronchial dilation or constriction, and play a role in immune function by regulating inflammation and encouraging the body to fight infection.

Now the so called non-essential omega-3 fatty acids.

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). The body can convert ALA to EPA, and then EPA to DHA; however, some people do not convert ALA to EPA and especially EPA to DHA efficiently so getting these oils in your diet would be a good assurance policy, especially if you are planning to get pregnant or are currently pregnant.

Infants and children need DHA for proper brain, nervous system and eye development so getting this from their diet can be extremely important. Breast milk will have all the fatty acids needed for healthy growth only if the mother has these in her diet, and the same goes for vitamins and minerals.

Non-essential omega-6 fatty acids include AA (arachidonic acid) and GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) which your body makes from LA (the omega-6 essential fatty acid). GLA is the only one you may want to supplement is easy to get in foods or supplements such as Spirulina, Borage Oil, Evening Primrose, Hemp seed Oil and Black Currant Oil.

AA is very important for growing babies muscle, brain and nervous system, is easy to get in foods such as Animal Organs, Poultry, Eggs, Meat, Fish and can be converted from Linoleic Acid (LA).

GLA can convert to DGLA and then ProstaglandinPGH1 which has helps regulate the immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties.

WARNING! Oil pesticides, which are very fat-soluble, tend to be concentrated in oil products. Therefore, it is a good idea to buy organic oils whenever possible.

Oils especially high in pesticide residue are soy, corn, cottonseed, and canola.
Store oils in the refrigerator, tightly capped away from light. Buy oils in small quantities and use before they become rancid.
All unsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated are subject to oxidation and rancidity, (monounsaturated less so.) Protect your oils from air, light and heat.
Look for oil that is organic and cold pressed, not cold processed or solvent extracted. Ideally, the oil should be in an opaque bottle. Buy smaller quantities, amounts you can use, before they become rancid. Keep your oils in the refrigerator. Avoid frying at high heats, all oils will go bad with high heat, see below.
Do not use margarine; this is an artificially hydrogenated product with trans-fatty acids.
Butter, Coconut and Olive oil are probably the best oils to cook with low heat and longer cooking times while safflower, rice bran and peanut oil for higher heat and shorter cooking times.



NEUTRAL = refined

Safflower Oil



Rice Bran Oil



Light/Refined Olive Oil



Soybean Oil



Peanut Oil



Clarified Butter



Corn Oil



Sunflower Oil



Vegetable Oil



Beef Tallow



Canola Oil



Grapeseed Oil






Avocado Oil (Virgin)



Chicken Fat (Schmaltz)



Duck Fat



Vegetable Shortening



Sesame Oil






Coconut Oil



Extra-Virgin Olive Oil



When You Eat.

Since digestion is predominantly a calm, relaxed, meaning parasympathetic function, you should eat in a calm and relaxed manner to improve digestion especially for people with naturally weak or sensitive digestion.
So having a heated conversation, or excited conversation even if it is a positive one will inhibit the digestive process to some degree, and for many to a large degree.
Do not eat late in the evening or close to bed time. If you still have most of your undigested food in the stomach when you go to sleep, meaning lying down, your food with digestive juices can go up to the top of the stomach and irritate the lower esophageal sphincter, and over time (for some people a shorter time) this sphincter will loose it’s ability to keep the stomach contents away from the esophagus. As time and irritation continue it may loose this ability to a great extent and result in what is called GERD. You don’t even have to be lying down to promote this, if you do lifting, bending, jumping as any part of your daily activities, or even excessive laughing soon after eating any meal, this may be a problem, especially if it is already irritated.
Once the lower esophageal sphincter is irritated enough to prevent the food contents of the stomach from going up the esophagus it can take a long time to heal. Even if you changed your habits to eating an early dinner, in a calm manner, chew your food well, eliminate the irritating foods, reduce the amount of lifting, bending and jumping after a meal, it only takes one bad day or night to reverse the healing process. Remember the two steps back and one step forward analogy!

Breakfast: Quinoa or whole Oat groats with walnuts, almond, sunflower seeds, (pick one) or blueberries, raisins, apples, cranberries, etc. Eggs with a bagel or toast (organic sprouted whole grain), or an omelet with grilled vegetables. Butternut or acorn squash omelet, or make a burrito with black beans and you favorite salsa or herbs and spices, or nut butter with a sour apple or celery for a lite breakfast.

If oil is desired, put it on after the food is cooked or cook at a low enough temperature so that the oil does not smoke. Even the best quality oils become hard to digest or even toxic to the body when overheated, see above.

Again, foods should be eaten in their whole form, or as minimally processed as possible.

Peel fruits or vegetables only if the peel is hard to digest or contaminated with chemical sprays that you can’t remove with soap, salt water, diluted hydrogen peroxide or just washing the outside with a sponge.

Search out organically grown foods to avoid the toxic chemical residues of the commercial growing processes.
Below is a link to Environmental Working Group, which has a simple list of foods and their ranking for pesticide use. As always not everything on this website or any website is completely correct, but I think this part of it is helpful.

Keep snacks to a minimum between meals or try not to snack at all. Most snacks tend to be junk food and we tend to consume them without thought or need or even worse, emotional eating. We usually aren’t hungry when we do snack, it is just something to do while we are watching TV, reading, studying or socializing. The emotional foods tend to be sugars or refined carbohydrates, and according to Chinese Medicine, the sweet flavor tends to relax you for a short period of time but the craving can come back even stronger and you end up in a sugar/carb trap.
Should some people have snacks between meals? Yes, some constitutional types are fast metabolizers and need to eat more often, just so it is normal food you would eat at a regular meal.

Do not space meals too far apart or too close together, generally 2 – 5 meals per day are enough. This varies from person to person, but a regular eating schedule is helpful and less stressful to us than skipping a meal or eating at random times. This is also true for exercise, elimination, and sleep.

Have most of your fruit between meals. If fruit stays in the stomach too long, fermentation can begin, causing a fullness sensation and gas. Fruit should be eaten in small amounts because of the high amount of sugar, (esp fructose) and the lower nutrient value compared to vegetables, since most people drink juice rather than eat the whole fruit and think that counts as a serving of fruit. Most juice is processed and has very little nutritional value compared to the whole fruit. Some people are juicing the whole fresh fruit and even though this is much better than regular juice they tend to have too much. If you are going to juice, it should be a mixture of mostly vegetables with some fruit and the quantity should be a reasonable amount that you could eat at a meal.

Although fruit is a “natural” sugar it can still cause a severe fluctuation in blood sugar, especially with people that have borderline hypoglycemia. This quick increase in blood sugar levels from fruit happens because out body glucose regulatory system has become inefficient due to excessive intake of refined sugars/carbs in our everyday life. This has made fruit an extreme food for some people, when it should be a nourishing and energizing food.

You should stop eating approximately three hours before you go to bed or before 7pm if possible. Do not have a late night snack; as this will start the whole digestive process going again when you should be sleeping and promote one of the most common disorders today, gastric reflux. This has become one of the most common disorders that most people think it’s normal to get heart burn and taste our food again at night or the morning. This will also inhibit the body’s normal functions that only occur at night when we are asleep.

How you eat and prepare your foods.

When you eat, you should be thinking about what you are eating and that the ultimate purpose to this mandatory joy or chore is to nourish our whole being!

How you eat relates to the chewing, complexity or simplicity of your meal, cutting you food, especially harder to digest foods, into small pieces and chewing each bite well before you take another bite, and how you prepared your food.

As stated above, are you sitting down and taking time to specifically eat, or quickly grabbing a bite while you are working, rushing around or driving? Your goal is to eat in a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere that promotes digestion and not when you are overly excited, angry, or emotionally charged which inhibits digestion and your ability of getting the full potential from your food and drink.

This includes our protein, fat, carbs, sugars, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and anything else we receive from our food that we are unaware of, and hopefully the mental and emotional enjoyment that should be a part of the nourishing function of food and drink.

Are you chewing you food thoroughly or just going through the motions so you can quickly wash it down and get the next bite in. Chewing is a major part of digestion, it tells our digestive system what it needs to do next, allows us to extract the flavors of the food, and increase the foods surface area.

This allows the digestive enzymes, amylase from the saliva to breakdown starches, and hydrochloric acid (HCl) and pepsin from the stomach to breakdown proteins. The Hydrochloric acid in the stomach can also destroy pathogens we may have ingested with our food, while the mucus the stomach lining produces protects the stomach lining from the extreme acid in the stomach.
Since all of our digestive juices work by surface contact the more you chew the greater the surface area and the easier it is to digest the food.
Digestion, particularly of the starches, begins in the mouth, due to the enzyme in saliva called amylase, and continues in the stomach as long as the pH is mildly acidic. One the HCL level increases amylase function decreases and pepsin increases which breaks down protein.

Foods that are difficult to masticate, such as red meat, should be cut into small pieces, or Chia and Flax seeds, which should be ground up or soaked before eating.

Digesting food takes energy, approximately 5-15% of our daily energy expenditure, with the most energy consuming being alcohol, then protein, carbohydrates and fat taking the least. (I could not specifically find the energy expenditure for sugar, but it is less then the carbohydrate energy expenditure),

Drink only a minimal amount of fluids just before, during and approximately 1 hour after your meals. If you drink to much fluid with the meal the excess fluid will slow the digestive process down by diluting the hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes. Digestion can be one of the more energy consuming processes of the body if you are eating the wrong foods let alone the wrong way. I am not saying you don’t drink fluids with your meal, in fact some foods need water to help with digestion, such as animal protein, while other need very little, such as vegetables, so you fluid intake just before, during and right after meals will vary according to your constitutional dietary guidelines and the type of food you are eating. If this is done in a chronic manner, it can weaken the whole body by weakening your ability to break down and assimilate your food into the nourishment needed for your daily life.

You should drink most of your fluids (water) between meals. A good general guideline to determine if you are drinking too much or too little water is to count the number of times you urinate in twenty-four hours.

In general you should urinate five or more times a day and the urine after the 1st urine in the morning (which tends to be a darker yellow and can have a slight odor) should be straw yellow to clear, not cloudy, or odorous, and the flow good and with a “normal” volume. If the urine is always clear with copious amounts and no odor you are probably drinking too much water and if it is darker yellow, slightly cloudy and/or odorous you are probably not drinking enough water.

The foods you eat should not only nourish you but also nourish your good gut flora which can help you digest your food, make vitamins, detoxify, and promote a healthy mucosa lining in the bowel. Speaking of good bacteria: any fermented food you buy like Yogurt, Kefir or Sauerkraut, must state on the label: “with active cultures,” “living cultures,” or “contains active cultures.” If the label doesn’t say this, then assume that the bacteria in that product are dead. Of course we are talking about the good bacteria and yeast in fermented foods that promote our health and not the bad bacteria that will make you sick!
One of the best ways to ingest and promote good bowel flora is to eat fermented foods, such as Sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables, Kefir, Water Kefir, Kombucha, Natto, and Miso, and remember they must say they have live cultures in them.

This website has excellent videos and free ebooks that teach you how to make almost any kind of fermented food.

Food preperation.
Cooking Methods: Baking, Broiling, Oil Stir-frying, Pressure Cooking, Raw, Sauté, Sprouted, Steaming, Stewing (light boiling, as in soups), and Water Stir-fry.
Each of these methods has their time and place for each constitution type.
You can use herbs and spices to influence the property of foods for good or bad depending on your type.

Cookware: Glass, stainless steel, earthenware or ceramic coated are the best utensils for cooking. Aluminum and copper are the worst because these metals can easily leach into the food. Cast iron can leach too much iron into your food if used too often.

Under each food category I will talk about specific food preparations that will improve digestion and nourishment you can get from these foods.

Just to get this out of the way!

According to botanists a fruit is the part of the plant that develops from a flower and the part of the plant that contains the seeds. The other parts of plants are considered vegetables. These include the stems, leaves, roots, and the flower bud.

The following are technically fruits: avocado, beans, peapods, corn kernels, cucumbers, grains, nuts, olives peppers, pumpkin, squash, sunflower seeds and tomatoes. Vegetables include celery (stem), lettuce (leaves), cauliflower and broccoli (buds), and beets, carrots and potatoes (roots).

All food should be Organic if possible, and wild caught fish over farm raised fish.
The yes and no list for each category and constitutional type are very broad in general. Some foods will be a big no for some and only mildly aggravating for others. You can use warming spices for cool or cold property foods to help balance them out for the Water constitution, but this is not the best way to do it.

Below is a food list for each of the four primary constitutions. Each constitution has a No that you want to eat less or stay away from and a Yes food list you want to eat more often. Some of the foods are really bad for the constitution while others you want to have infrequently, these should be the easiest to find. This is that individuality you have to figure out for yourself by paying attention to how you feel when you eat and directly after eating.

Below is a discussion of the foods and how they applied for each constitutional type.

Wood or Green relates to Tai Yin
Metal or White relates to Tai Yang
Water or Blue relates to Shao Yin
Earth or Yellow/Orange relates to Shao Yang

Each of theses constitutions have a “Big that tends towards over activity” and “small that tends towards under activity” part to it.

For example: Wood constitution has a well developed Wood system which includes the Liver, small intestine, subcutaneous tissue, waist, navel, and nose as part of its physical and physiological system.
It also means is has a less developed pair, the Metal system which includes the Lungs, esophagus, tongue, ear, skin and brain as part of its physical and physiological system.

A simple example to illustrate what this means is that the Wood constitutions liver is well developed and can handle rich foods, drugs, and toxin much better then the other constitutions while their respiratory system is less developed and they can get respiratory diseases or infections that last longer then normal compared to other constitutions.

Each constitution has a primary and secondary aspect to it, such as Wood having Earth or Water as a secondary aspect to the primary constitution.

Earth = Wood primary and Earth secondary

Wood can be divided into two constitutions; Wood +
Water = Wood primary and Water secondary

What you want to get out of this is that each constitution has two food list, one for the primary constitution, which will be the dominant food choices and one for the secondary constitution which will expand and add variety to the primary food choices.

The shortened constitutional names will be:
Wood/Earth and Wood/Water
Earth/Metal and Earth/Wood
Water/Wood and Water/Metal
Metal/Earth and Metal/Water.

Thus we have 8 constitutional types. This part is not complete yet!

For example; Wood + Earth constitution will look at both food list and combine them with emphasis on the Wood list over the Earth list. The Wood + Water diet will be different in the fact that they will handle warming foods and spices better then the Wood + Earth constitution and the Wood + Earth constitution will be able to handle salads and raw foods better then the Wood + Water constitution but they will both be able to handle rich, fatty foods better then the other constitutions.


All meats, fish, and poultry should be as fresh as possible, without any hormones or antibiotics or excessive heavy metal contamination (especially fish). If you have digestive problems, meat should be cut into small pieces before chewing or pounded before cooking for easier digestion.

Meat: beef, buffalo, lamb, pork, rabbit, venison. 100% grass fed Organic meat.
High quality protein, fats, cartilage and much more.


Poultry: chicken, duck, pheasant, quail, turkey. Organic “free range” poultry.
High quality protein, fats, cartilage, and more.
Of these chicken seems to be the main problem for the LangGang constitution.
Metal has a problem with meat and poultry in general and does better with fish.

Fresh Water Fish, Seafood and Shellfish

Fresh whole fish will not smell “fishy” if it is fresh. Shark and skate are exceptions to this rule, as they naturally have a slight ammonia odor when fresh. The eyes will be clear, not cloudy, and the skin will be moist and shiny but never slimy. The scales should be intact and attached, instead of dry or flaking. Cuts of fish should be moist, with no fishy odor, bruises, odd-colored edges, or spots.

Frozen fish is harder to evaluate, unless you notice any discoloration or a strong odor. Look for intact packaging, recent package dates, and a piece of fish that feels frozen solid. Avoid pieces covered with a lot of ice crystals, or rips and holes in the packaging. Shellfish such as Crab and Lobster are best purchased live, or as fresh as possible. Shrimp can be frozen, preferably with shells on. Clams, Oysters and Mussels should be purchased live or as fresh as possible.

Fresh Water Fish:
bass (large and small mouth), catfish, grayling, pickerel, pike, rainbow trout, sunfish, tilapia, trout, walleye pike, whitefish. Wild caught, not farmed.

Seafood: ahi (yellow-fin tuna), Alaska pollock, albacore tuna, anchovy, cod, flounder, fluke, grouper, haddock, halibut, hapuka grouper, herring, john dory, lingcod, mackerel, mahi-mahi, monkfish, mullet, ocean perch, orange roughy, redfish, red snapper, rock cod, salmon, sardine, sea bass, sea trout, skate, shad, shark, smelt, snapper, sole, striped bass, sturgeon, swordfish, tilefish, tuna, weakfish. Again wild caught and not farmed.

Shellfish”: clam, crab, crayfish, cuttlefish, lobster, mussels, octopus, oysters, prawns, scallops, shrimp, squid. Wild caught and not farmed.


L egumes: Aduki, Anasazi, Black, Black-eyed Peas, Black Soybeans, Bolita, Fava, Garbanzo, Great Norther, Kidney, Lentil, Lima, Mung, Navy, Peanuts, Peas, Soybean, String Beans. Organic.

Some people can handle beans better than others. You can increase the digestibility and decrease the irritants by soaking them long enough to start the sprouting process. Legumes should be soaked in water for 12 hours, then pour out the water (you can use this to water your plants) and rinse with clean water and pour out again, add new water and soak another 12 hours, rinsing them two more times, until they begin to sprout. This helps reduce the carbohydrate that produces most of the gas, and the vitamin content of the beans can increase in the sprouting process while the carbohydrates are broken down into simpler carbohydrates that are easier to digest and assimilate. This soaking can also reduce the amount of “anti nutriants” found in legumes. Before cooking, discard the final soaking water and cook until soft. If you have a foam layer, skim it of, this will also decrease the amount of starch that causes gas even more.

Soaked legumes will cook faster, while allowing most people to handle them in moderate amounts.

Fresh Edamame, Green Beans, Green Peas, Peanuts and Snow Peas are an easier way of ingesting legumes.

Herbs and spices that are traditionally used to assist digestion of beans:

Coriander, Cumin, Ginger — Lentil, Mung, Black, Azuki/Aduki.
Sage, Thyme, Oregano — Black, Pinto, Lentil, Kidney.
Dill, Basil — Lentil, Garbanzo, Split Pea.
Fennel, Cumin — Pinto, Kidney.
Mint, Garlic — Garbanzo, Lentil.


Grains: Amaranth, Barley, Basmati Rice, Brown Rice, Buckwheat, Corn, Kamut, Millet, Oats, Quinoa, Rye, Sweet Rice, Wheat.

Water constitutions have the most problem with gluten, so eat more Amaranth, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Oats, Quinoa, and Rice.

Most of the grains should be in their whole form since they have more nourishment then refined grains, such as brown rice, barley, millet, buckwheat, tritical, oat grouts, instead of white rice, pearled barley, etc. Refined breads should be the smallest portions of grains.

The preferred breads are made from sprouted whole grains. These should be the predominant forms of floured products, then whole-unprocessed spaghetti, macaroni, etc.
Also sprouted grain breads and tortillas are easier to digest and less reactive for most people.

If you have digestive problems or just have a hard time digesting grains, you should soak them for 12 hours or over night, then pour out the soaking water and rinse with clean water before cooking.
The amount of cooking water needed and cooking time will be reduced, in some instances substantially.
When you cook grains they should be soft, and if there is weakness of the digestive system, then they should be cooked until soupy, and always at low heat, just enough to simmer.

Since fully sprouted grains can be easier to digest you could continue the rinsing phase for 2-3 more days or until they are fully sprouted.
Dr.Axe’s website has a excellent guide for sprouting.

If you still have a problem with grains or you just want to reduce the amount a grains in your diet you can replace grain starches with vegetable starches such as squashes, potatoes, and root vegetables.

Nuts and Seeds

acorn, almond, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnut, coconut, ginkgo, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, pine, pistachios, walnuts.

Seeds: chia, flax, hemp, pomegranate, pumpkin/squash, sesame, sunflower.
Both best if Organic and raw if possible.

Nuts & Seeds can be hard to digest due to their “richness”, so should be consumed in moderation for many people. You can soak them to make them easier to digest and remove some of the “anti-nutrients”.
Nuts have a short soaking time, usually 2-10 hours and are general not sprouted except for almonds*, so just the soaking process alone will improve digestibility. Remember to pour off the soaking water and rinse before you dry them and then store in the refrigerator. If you are going to eat them right away, no need to dry them.

If you have a sensitivity to any nut or seed you may have a general sensitivity to all nuts and seeds. This sensitivity may be so minimal for some that you will not notice the negative affect, so just consume them sparingly and you should be OK.

If you want to sprout the seeds, this will take 2-4 days for most seeds.
* and *



The EWG website has a simple “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” list of the most and least sprayed fruit and vegetables.

: apple, apricot, avocado, banana, cherry, fig, grape, grapefruit, lemon, lime, melons (cantaloupe, crenshaw, honeydew, muskmelon, watermelon, etc), mulberry, orange, papaya, peach, pear, persimmon, pineapple, plum, pomegranate, raspberry, strawberry. Organic.

Most fruits are cooling and some are cold in property. So the Water + Wood Constitution should stay away from melons in general unless they are during the summer and you are feeling excessively hot, but even then don’t overdo it. Eat fruit in season and ripe, so your best bet is the farmers market.

Water + Metal may be able to handle more fruit in general.


Vegetables: Arrowroot, Asparagus, Bamboo Shoots, Beet, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Celery, Chives, Cucumber, Eggplant, Jerusalem Artichoke, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Mushrooms (Chanterelle, Oyster, Portobello, Porcino, Shiitake, White Button), Mustard Greens, Onion,, Parsley, Parsnip, Potato, Pumpkin, Radish, Scallion, Spinach, Squash, Sweet Potato, Swiss Chard, Taro Potato, Turnip, Watercress, Yam.

The property of vegetables in general are cold or cooling in their raw state, but can be changed to a degree by the cooking methods, although the easiest way is with herbs and spices. One of the most common ways to do this is with ginger, garlic or green onion, when you stir-fry, this will add a warming property to the vegetable you are cooking.
As a general rule for many people v
egetables should be cooked to some extent, (at least 25 to 75% of the time depending on the time of year and the person’s overall condition), such as soups, steamed (you can drink the water), baked or stir-fried. The decrease in nourishment of some vegetables from cooking (although the availability of some nutrients are increased in some vegetables) is more than made-up by their increased digestibility.

If you have a juicer, preferably a masticating juicer, you can juice some of your vegetables. Green leafy vegetables are the most desirable and only organic vegetables should be used. The fiber from them could be used in cooking because the fiber is an important part of vegetables, especially as a prebiotic in the intestine.


: aduki beans, alfalfa seeds, , black beans, fenugreek seeds, garbanzos, lentils, mung beans, mustard seed, oats, radish seeds, red clover seeds, rice, selt, soy, sunflower kernels, wheat.
Sprouts have a higher nutritional profile and are easier to digest for most people.



: Agar-Agar, Arame, Dulse, Hijiki, Kelp, Kombu, Nori, Wakame.

Seaweed is a vegetable that most people don’t eat or don’t know how to prepare, and is extremely nourishing. You can just soak them and then put in a salad or use then in a soup or added to beans when you cook them to increase the mineral content of the beans.

Seaweeds are generally classified as cooling or cold so cold/weak digestive systems (Wood) may have a problem with them unless you add warming herbs when you cook them.

Herbs and Spices

Herbs and Spices: Water types do best with herbs and spices because most of them are warming and help with digestion. Earth types need to stay away the most due to their over active digestive system.

Herbs and spices that are traditionally used to assist digestion of beans:

Coriander, Cumin, Ginger — Lentil, Mung, Black, Azuki/Aduki.
Sage, Thyme, Oregano — Black, Pinto, Lentil, Kidney.
Dill, Basil — Lentil, Garbanzo, Split Pea.
Fennel, Cumin — Pinto, Kidney.
Mint, Garlic — Garbanzo, Lentil.



Below is a strict representation of food combining which is usually not needed for everyone and will be modified for each individual.

Eat protein foods first because they require a lot of stomach acid to digest properly. Any starches eaten first will tend to reduce the amount of stomach acid and thus the digestibility of protein. Examples of protein are all animal products, then the protein/starch foods such as legumes and their products (tempeh, tofu, miso), nuts, and seeds.
Green and not-starchy vegetables combine well with all proteins, fats, and starches.

PROTEINS: Legumes (dried beans, lentils, peas), and their sprouts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, miso, soy sauce; all meats, fish, eggs combine best with green and non-starchy vegetables. An exception is that high-fat proteins also combine with acid fruit. Protein foods are best eaten before starches and fats. At most, eat two proteins per meal.

HIGH-FAT PROTEINS: Nuts, oil-bearing seeds (flax, sesame, etc.), dairy products. Follows the above rules.

FATS & OILS: Avocado, butter, cream, olives, sour cream, oils (olive, sesame, flax, ghee, etc.), combine best with green and non-starchy vegetables, starches, and acid fruit. Eat in small amounts.

STARCHES: All whole grains and their sprouts, including bread, pasta, and sprouted grain flours, beet, carrot, pumpkin, parsnip, potato, sweet potato, winter squash, combine best with green and non-starchy vegetables, and are best eaten after protein foods. At most two starches per meal.

LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES: Bokchoy, cabbage, chard, beet, collard and mustard greens, kale, lettuce, parsley, spinach, turnip, watercress, sprouts of alfalfa,

cabbage, radish, and mustard seeds; seaweed and micro-algae (spirulina, chlorella, Klamath wild blue-green), wheat and barley grass, combine with all other foods and three acid fruits (lemon, lime, and tomato).

NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES: Cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, turnip, radish, onion, green bean, sweet corn, sweet pea, zucchini, leek, garlic, eggplant, bell pepper, mushroom, asparagus, summer squash, okra. Combine with all other foods. Underlined foods are mildly starchy.


SWEET: Banana, date, fresh fig, persimmon, raisin, and all dried fruit.

Preferably eaten alone, although can be eaten at end of meal, ideally preceded by a green of lettuce and celery.

Fruit combines with other fruit except sweet and acid fruits do not mix. Melons are best eaten alone. Combine only two or three fruits at once.

SUBACID: Apple, apricot, berries, cherry, grape, mango, nectarine, papaya, peach, pear, plum.

ACID: Currant, grapefruit, kiwi, lemon, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, pomegranate, sour apple, strawberry, tomato.

MELONS: Cantaloupe, casaba, crenshaw, honeydew, and watermelon.

CONCENTRATED SWEETENERS: Honey, maple syrup, rice syrup, barley malt, amasake, dried unrefined cane juice, pure fruit and it’s juices, and the herbs stevia and licorice.

Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds

A NPR audio of the above article.

Think Twice: How the Gut’s “Second Brain” Influences Mood and Well-Being

Microbes Help Produce Serotonin in Gut, A Caltech study.

USDA Website

List of certified USDA organic operations.

Energy to digest food

For Grass-Fed Beef or look up

Thousand Oaks Farmers Market:

Pleasant Valley / Camarillo Farmers Market:

Dr.Axe’s website has a excellent guide for sprouting.

Below is a link to Environmental Working Group, which has a simple list of foods and their ranking for pesticide use. As always not everything on this website or any website is completely correct, but I think this part of it is helpful.



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