“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”
Hippocrates, ca. 460–ca. 370 BC
Q: What is Eastern Dietetics?
A: Eastern or Oriental Dietetics is knowledge stemming from sophisticated traditional systems of medicine (Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ancient Greek Medicine, Ayurveda, Tibetan Medicine, etc), concerned with diet and its effects on health, especially with the practical application of traditional eastern philosophical understanding of nutrition.
Q: What is the concept of the Eastern Dietetics?
A: The concepts of Eastern Dietetics, or the effects of food on our health, have records dating back as far as the third century BC which state that there was little difference between the application of foods and that of medicine. Recipes for foods were often similar to those for medicines. A quote by a famous fourteenth-century physician describes the role of Oriental Dietetics within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): “Doctors first have to find the cause for an illness and determine which disharmony prevails. To balance this disharmony, the first and foremost measure is appropriate diet. It is not until this measure bears no results that one should use medicines.”.
Q: Are Eastern Dietetics connected with alternative therapies (Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Herbalism, etc)?
A: Eastern Dietetics is closely related to all the alternative therapies, like acupuncture and medicinal plant medicine and follow the same diagnostic principles. The focus is on the qualitative effects of foods on the body. For example, the term “qi,” which has many meanings in Chinese, including life force or life energy, is of vital significance in this context. Health is an expression of balanced qi; disease occurs when qi is unbalanced. The body extracts and absorbs qi from food. Foods, therefore, are mild therapeutic agents that help the body stay balanced, or bring it back into balance. Food classification follows the same criteria used for Chinese medicinal herbs: thermal nature, flavor, organ network, and direction of energy flow.
Q: How can someone practically follow Eastern Dietetics?
A: Understanding one's constitution is vital. Full knowledge of what the body and mind need to avoid and what to engage in regards to lifestyle, season and temperament are all vital.
Here is an example of balancing hot and cold:
Cold weather is balanced by eating foods that have a warming effect on the body, such as ginger tea, garlic, fennel, oats, lamb, salmon, etc.
Hot weather is balanced by eating cooling foods such as raw fruit and vegetables, salads or, tomato and barley.
Q: What is the difference between Eastern & Western philosophy on Dietetics?
A: Knowledge of the healing qualities of food was practiced and treasured in our own culture until recently, but has gotten lost in the trend toward “fast food.” Similar connections between food and medicine have been made since antiquity. Hippocrates recommended, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”. Even the original meaning of the word “dietetics,” drawn from the Greek “diaita”—“life care” or “art of living”—shows the comprehensive meaning of diet as supporting life. Even today, in some more isolated villages in Greece, food, and health are favorite topics of conversation. “Did you eat well today?” replaces “Hello” as a popular greeting.
Q: What will happen during the first session?
A: During the first session we will have a discussion regarding your health history. Using the finest diagnosis skills, Materia Medica of Food and Therapeutic Protocols, which are essential to individualize treatment and help not only to resolve symptoms but also create the constitutional change needed for physical, emotional and spiritual wellness, we recommend foods and cooking methods/preparation with the most appropriate thermal
nature (energetics), organ network (actions on the body) and direction of energy flow, everything based on the constitution of the person and the season where he lives.
Q: What will happen after the first session? How many visits do I need?
A: After the first appointment, we hope you put the theory into practice by cooking having fun and enjoying amazing culinary experiences! Exploring seasonal, local, fresh and living food from local farmer's markets! A challenge will be to track your meals every day, try to understand the difference between experiences (that create amazing memories) and eating habits (that you are used to them because of trends, media marketing, etc). Then, every new appointment will be a new topic (like fermentation methods and recipes, Spring's best foods and best ways of preparing the food in Spring, etc), based on someone's needs. Usually, after 4 or 5 visits, you are in a position where you can manage your needs and adapt to seasonal and lifestyle changes.