Porridge or Steak?: Let’s imagine, it is cold and raining outside; and you have just arrived to a big meeting. You spotted some of the participants sneezing, coughing and blowing their noses; and you have a bit of shiver on your back and a slight headache. Now, you fear that you may be coming down with a cold too… You want to go home, get warm, eat a nourishing food and have a good rest. What would you eat then to get yourself to feel stronger…a simple porridge or a lean steak?
You probably have some favourite foods, but “If you are quite particular about a certain food or your cravings recently or suddenly changed, it may indicate an illness”, warns Dr. Tei.
Summer is here. Even in London the temperature hit 36℃ one day, which was a record high in the last 10 years. It makes you want to reach something cold like ice cream, cold drinks & juices, and chilled foods. If this continues for weeks and months, you may develop a condition called Summer Heat Weariness or “Natsu Bate” in Japanese.
Let’s look at more closely dieting programmes done in the Kampo way, as there are important basics that both Jitsu Sho and Kyo Sho should follow.
The basis of losing weight is “Don’t eat more than you use up.” This is true, because if you are not consuming the energy you take from foods, the excess energy is accumulated on/in the body as fat. Theoretically, if you want to lose weight, you just do the opposite.
It is important to understand the concept of a person’s overall conformation described by Jitsu Sho, Kyo Sho, or Chuyo, taking on board Dr. Tei’s ideas on the merits and demerits of various dieting methods. A person’s conformation or Sho is also an important part of the essence of Kampo medicine.
From a Kampo point of view, the root cause of overweight and disease can come from your weakened intestines. Without training the intestines, any dieting might never be a success.