´╗┐ Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition
Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition

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Used as a reference by students of acupuncture, Healing with Whole Foods is an invaluable guide to the theory and practice of Chinese medicine. With facts about green foods such as spirulina and blue-green algae and information about the "regeneration diets" used by cancer patients and arthritics, it is also an accessible primer on nutritioní¬and a inspiring cookbook with more than 300 mostly vegetarian, nutrient-packed recipes.

The information on Chinese medicine is useful for helping to diagnose health imbalances, especially nascent illnesses. It's smartly paired with the whole-foods program: because the Chinese have attributed various health-balancing properties to foods, you can tailor your diet to help alleviate symptoms of illness. For example, Chinese medicine dictates that someone with low energy and a pale complexion (a yin deficiency) would benefit from avoiding bitter foods and increasing "sweet" foods such as soy, black sesame seeds, parsnips, rice, and oats. (Note that the Chinese definition of sweet foods is much different from the American one!)

Pitchford says in his dedication that he hopes the reader finds "healing, awareness, and peace" by following his program. The diet is certainly ascetic by American standards (no alcohol, caffeine, white flour, fried foods, or sugar, and a minimum of eggs and dairy) but the reasons he gives for avoiding these "negative energy" foods are compelling. From the adrenal damage imparted by coffee to the immune dysfunction brought on by excess refined sugar, Pitchford spurs you to rethink every dietary choice and its ultimate influence on your health. Without being alarmist, he offers dietary tips for protecting yourself against the dangers of modern life, including neutralizing damage from water fluoridation. There's further reading on food combining, female health, heart disease, pregnancy, fasting, and weight loss. Overall, this is a wonderful book for anyone who's serious about strengthening his or her body from the inside out.

Used as a reference by students of acupuncture, this is a hefty, truly comprehensive guide to the theory and healing power of Chinese medicine. It's also a primer on nutrition--including facts about green foods, such as spirulina and blue-green algae, and the "regeneration diets" used by cancer patients and arthritics--along with an inspiring cookbook with more than 300 mostly vegetarian, nutrient-packed recipes.

The information on Chinese medicine is useful for helping to diagnose health imbalances, especially nascent illnesses. It's smartly paired with the whole-foods program because the Chinese have attributed various health-balancing properties to foods, so you can tailor your diet to help alleviate symptoms of illness. For example, Chinese medicine dictates that someone with low energy and a pale complexion (a yin deficiency) would benefit from avoiding bitter foods and increasing "sweet" foods such as soy, black sesame seeds, parsnips, rice, and oats. (Note that the Chinese definition of sweet foods is much different from the American one!)

Pitchford says in his dedication that he hopes the reader finds "healing, awareness, and peace" from following his program. The diet is certainly acetic by American standards (no alcohol, caffeine, white flour, fried foods, or sugar, and a minimum of eggs and dairy) but the reasons he gives for avoiding these "negative energy" foods are compelling. From the adrenal damage imparted by coffee to immune dysfunction brought on by excess refined sugar, Pitchford spurs you to rethink every dietary choice and its ultimate influence on your health. Without being alarmist, he adds dietary tips for protecting yourself against the dangers of modern life, including neutralizing damage from water fluoridation (thyroid and immune-system problems may result; fluoride is a carcinogen). There's further reading on food combining, female health, heart disease, pregnancy, fasting, and weight loss. Overall, this is a wonderful book for anyone who's serious about strengthening his or her body from the inside out. --Erica Jorgensen

Customer Reviews:

  • Great reference, but not for a beginner
    As a patient of TCM and acupuncture for the past 7 months, there is much to "digest" from this book, as it contains a huge volume of in-depth information of the TCM properties of individual foods, which can be helpful as a complementary to treating underlying TCM pattern diagnoses. However, I find it in a sense to be too complicated for a beginner delving into a whole foods diet, or a beginner learning about the correlation of whole foods and TCM. Of good importance though is understanding which foods create warmth, cold, dampness.

    The previous reviewer recommended a raw foods book at the end of his review, and I just wanted to add that those with spleen qi deficiency or cold conditions need to avoid raw foods because they are cold in nature. With qi deficiency, the body needs more energy and heat, and eating raw/cold foods robs the body of these, because the body has to use up its own heat and energy to digest and warm them. Steaming is better.

    Before purchasing this book, I had read extensively about TCM in the book The Infertility Cure by Randine Lewis for about a year before receiving treatment. Now while I understand the whole foods book isn't focused on infertility, I learned extensive information about TCM and diet in general from Lewis' book before even attempting to tackle this one. If you're looking for dietary structure, guidance, using this book will take some time and strategy to figure out what will work best for your body, and that can be a good thing if you have the patience. If you're looking to balance Yin and Yang with this book by eating specific foods, think again because with many of the TCM pattern imbalances, the body can continually switch extremes. It's better to achieve a middle ground by avoiding excess of sugar (including refine carbs that turn into sugar) and dairy which is extremely yin, and excess of meat and salt which is extremely yang. Too much dairy can also cause damp phlegm conditions. In the middle of this, you would find your whole foods (whole grains, organic fruits, vegetables). Nonetheless, this book is a great addition to your TCM and whole foods library, but be prepared to study....more info
  • Hmmmm..
    Some wonderful pearls of wisdom. Unlike the true Chinese principles, Pitchford is very biased and towards vegetarianism pointing out the political reasons why to be a vegetarian and why "flesh" eating is so horrendous for the earth, your soul, etc. I much prefer the balanced, non-judgemental approach of Linda Prout Live in the Balance: The Ground-Breaking East-West Nutrition Program and/or Daverick Leggett Recipes for Self Healing andHelping Ourselves - truly non-biased, balanced simple in his approach, informative. The Leggett books can be ordered from http://www.meridianpress.net/ and are much less expensive than Amazon....more info
  • If I could only own one book
    it would be Paul Pitchford's Healing with Whole Foods. I use it constantly. I have been reading it for the last 2 years, and every time I pick it up I find something more interesting about food and health.

    I have bought 5 copies of this book for friends because it is so life changing and fantastic if you are looking to make a dietary change from the Standard American Diet (SAD), if you want to incorporate more whole foods into your diet, or if you are looking to better understand the realationship between your diet and your health.

    In addition to the being the most comprehensive reference book on the specfic healing characteristics for whole foods, it also contains delightful inspiration and discusses things like vibrational cooking, and how different methods of cooking impart certain energies to the dish. It is also a huge VEGAN recipe book!

    This book revolutionized the way i think about food. My health and well being has never been better, I am cooking more and with greater pleasure, and my diet has never been healthier and more attuned to my needs.
    ...more info
  • whole foods rock
    This book is compleate, well the second edition does have more info on the Ume plum. But it does include Arivedic technologies. There are so many answers. I like to turn people onto the book by having them turn to any page, fasinating. I have also given about a dozen as gifts. They always love it. It contains many great recipes, besides other knowledge....more info
  • An information-packed read.
    I attended the Heartwood Institute for massage therapy in 2003-04, where Paul Pitchford teaches and resides, for six months. I turned down an opportunity for a personal assessment and nutrition counseling with the author himself. I look back now and know the reason - I wasn't ready to make a change in my lifestyle. I am still not a 100% "health-nut," but I have been educated beyond words by this book. It can be a very slow read, due to the amount of information packed onto each page. There is so much to know about the properties of foods and the direct impact they have on one's body. Coming from a society where meals are generally rushed through, animal products are deemed "essential," and foods low in calories and fat are considered "healthy," no matter how stripped they are of natural content, I found this to be fresh air to clean out previous assumptions on healthful eating....more info
  • Indeed a Classic
    I got this book 3 or maybe 4 years ago and I still use it for reference AND still reading it from time to time- each time learning something new. This book is like a giant sign-post pointing you to investigate deeper whatever dietary advice you might be interested in...
    It is not perfect, but as compassionate and non-dogmatic (as much as a vegan-orientated book can be), I'd say it is very close.
    ...more info
  • Healing with Whole Foods
    Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern NutritionExcellent reference material. Easy to understand, you don't have to have a PHD....more info
  • Must for anyone interested in Chinese medicine and nutrition!
    This book is fantastic. It is a must have if you are interested in Chinese medicine and nutrition. My acupuncturist recommended it to me because of my interest in my supplementing treatment with diet. The book has been so helpful in helping me to better my diet and add things to it that are necessary for my health. What I really like is that although it does stress vegetarian diet, it still makes points about the effectiveness of animal products and meat (which I need for my condition).

    The structure of the book is really clear even for a non practicioner. It explains chinese medicine theory simply and goes through many different disorders (helpful if you've had a TCM practicioner diagnose you first) and treatments. It can be used as a reference manual or the whole book can be read through from beginning to end. The latter is recommended because of the different coinciding remedies given throughout will have you flipping back and forth through chapters if you just choose to plunge in to a specific section. I highly recommend this one for your library, you will use it often!...more info
  • Awesome - A Bible of Good Nutrition
    This book has changed our lives. The information is so complete and easy to use....more info
  • Eastern tradition meets Western nutrition
    I have recently been studying Feng Shui, which has introduced me to Macro Biotics, acupuncture, Traditional Chinese medicine and the eastern philosophy of Taoism. If I hadn't learned about the 5 elements and yin and yang, I don't think I could've comprehended much of what has been written in many of the books that are out there- and I've ploughed through several. This book, however, not only gives a much better and more complete explanation than many of the other books that I've read, but I think that someone new to eastern medicine and philosophy could very easily understand this. Having been actively involved in nutrition for the last 12 years, I am familiar with many of the options that are available in alternative and natural medicine. This nutritional plan, however, makes the most common sense of any I have read about or tried. It just "feels" right to me. I bought four copies to give to family members for Christmas. And I just gave one to my clinical nutritionist for her birthday. She hadn't seen it and was overjoyed. I have been talking to her for months about "stuck qi" and "summer heat". Now we will be on the same page. She mentioned that she's interested in studying acupuncture after her kids get a little older. I think that maybe I had something to do with her decision. That and the fact that she saw incredible results in me when I visited my TCM doctor. Spread the word. ...more info
  • A way of Life
    When you make the decision to get your health back, this book is a great start, I am amazed at how often the principles my mother employed 50 years ago pop up in this book. Beside my Mums guiding hand Mr Pitchford lays it out as it is, My thanks to him....more info
  • Molly Stubbs
    I bought this book six years ago in the Unity Church bookstore and have referred to it regularly ever since. I was having gastro-intestinal problems at the time, and several (mainstream) doctors had said they couldn't help me. I believe this book has helped my manage some of my health issues, but not all. The book is very thorough, and gives the reader a good sense of the healing properties of almost all commonly-used foods.

    Having said that, I think there are some serious downsides to this book and Mr. Pitchford's approach. First, I think he is very extreme and biased, and too quick to refer to every frightening or negative study that shows why you should not eat a certain food or product. For example, he advocates avoiding any food or cookware with aluminum, citing a study done several decades ago liking aluminum with alzheimer's disease. After going into a panic, I threw away all my aluminum cookware. As it turns out, the results of that study were never repeated, and even the Sierra Club is no longer supporting that theory. He cites countless other frightening studies as well, many of which have not been vetted by the scientific community or the community of nutritionists and dietitians.

    Another major problem with the book is that no normal person could possibly follow his recommended diet plans. I am a pretty disciplined person when it comes to food and cooking, but I could not in a million years follow all of his recommendations. For one thing, I would never be able to eat out or travel again. By the way, I lived in Japan for four years, and they sure as heck don't eat like this.

    Finally, The recipes in the book are bland and boring. Hats off to anyone who can actually eat that stuff....more info
  • Very helpful resource
    This book is a great resource and a treasure trove of information. It's the best book in my natural health care library. Pitchford backs up his statements with research references. His writing is clear and understandable. It's obvious that Pitchford has the wellbeing of people and the planet at heart. ...more info
  • Recommended
    Well-researched and makes a lot of sense. There is a lot of information in this book and I have found it extremely helpful.

    Great buy!...more info
  • Real information on all aspects of foods
    There are many books that advise a certain way of eating, but this book gives scientific back up information that isn't slanted to pushing a diet book. It is good for anyone with an interest in nutrition, but also should not be missed by anyone interested in Chinese medicine. It has become a textbook with multiple printings for good reason. It helps you really understand the way foods work with your individual makeup and gives guidelines that help you choose what will be most beneficial for your weaknesses.

    I took this book out of the library and then added it to my personal collection as an important reference. ...more info
  • Useful but not exact
    This book can be very informative and contains a great amount of information but misses the mark especially in context to Traditional Chinese Medicine's(TCM)approach to nutrition and treatment with food. The author seems to advocate vegetarianism--which has never been a philosophy of TCM. Pitchford has also confused or flipped many of the energetic qualities of foods. On a lesser note the recipes lack flavor and vitality themselves.
    This is a good reference book, but by no means should this be your only reference to nutrition from either a western or eastern perspective....more info
  • Excellent book!!! Must have book.
    I would definitely recommend this book everyone who wants to know basics of Asian philisophy of human body, the nature and their relationship while discovering completely new approaches to healthier diet.

    Besides tons of useful information about all essential kinds of food, the book will make you well informed of the diet for certain kinds of illness.

    Only thing I'd like to have is some photos, but I'm sure that would make book uselessly thick and anyway we have Google Images :)...more info
  • Book Deserves 10 Stars
    With so so many books on food, diet and nutrition, if I was to recommend just one book, this would have to be it. ...more info
  • THE Classic
    This book is the best investment a student or practitioner can make--period. If diet is the foundation of health, and I firmly believe it is, then this book is the foundation stone.

    It is 700+ pages and covers both basic and detailed info with an background of TCM diet therapy. The TCM jargon is explained well and made understandable for the professional and amateur alike. Pitchford's understanding was years ahead of many others, even noting the importance of fermented breads, foods, and sauces as a staple in healthy people around the globe. His recipe section is very easy to understand and implement.

    I bought this book long before I started acupuncture/TCM school and I am glad I did. It propelled me far ahead of many of my classmates in understanding the humoral basis of TCM and the importance of Sun Si Miao's famous axiom: "Before resorting to herbs and acupuncture, assess and change diet and lifestyle".

    My only minor complaint about the book is Pitchford's vegetarian leanings. He inserts some sections on Hindu dietary philosophy--basically that one can become more enlightened or 'Sattva' by elminating meats. I whole-heartedly disagree with this philosophy and have tried both vegetarianism and eating healthy, organic, properly slaughtered meats (Kosher/Halal). Being vegetarian made me lethargic and diminished my natural and healthy motivations. Healthy meats in moderation are essential--for more info see Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions" my second favorite book on Diet in my extensive collection. These two books compliment each other well and should be the foundation pieces of every person's library who is truly interested in health....more info
  • Fabulous
    This book is a great source of information on natural alternatives to improving your help. Very helpful and a great read, must buy. ...more info
  • Comprehensive, Authoritative & Inspirational
    If you have even a modest interest in the healing properties of a healthy diet, this is an excellent starting point to opening up a new perspective on food and its relationship to the body and mind. An excellent counterpoint & supplement to materialist medical & dietary knowledge. *Not* a great recipe book, but it excels in every other aspect of one's diet. Highly recommended....more info
  • WOW!!!
    This book is VERY detailed yet NOT boring. It is very well arranged and the explanations given are concise and easily understandable. This is definitely a must for the library of anyone who is interested in this art!...more info
  • Holistic benefits
    A well-researched explanation of the whole-food lifestyle, complete with its holistic benefits, backed up by sound science...more info
  • A nutritional bible
    This is a nutritional bible. I bought my now well worn copy when I worked in a health food store. Paul Pitchford is brilliant! He give you facts without New Age hocus-pocus, and some very, very good basic recipes - easily adaptable for different tastes. You will find his explanation of the Five Phases to be fascinating and logical. A "must have" book for anyone interested in long term health and a sustainable lifestyle.Bob's Red Mill Organic 7 Grain Pancake & Waffle, Whole Grain Mix, 26-Ounce Bags (Pack of 4) ...more info
  • How to heal your body by eating the right foods!
    Excellent reference for determining the constitution of your body and learning how to nurture and heal it with the right foods for you. Written for the layman, easy to read and understand. I find the remedies and advice effective....more info
  • Comprehensive and easy to understand nutrition concepts and specifics.
    Paul Pitchford is a leading author in the US on foods that help and foods that harm us. His book needs to be on every medical practitioners desk for quick reference and for sharing instructions with our clients....more info
  • An AWESOME BOOK. I keep it for a reference!!!!
    This is a TREMENDOUS book for those with beyond the basic knowledge of TCM....more info
  • A Must Have
    I first purchased this book about 15 years ago and it changed my life forever. I was thrilled to get the latest edition. If you want to learn about health and nutrition, this is the book for you! It does get a bit technical, but provides a wealth of information on how food can be used to improve and maintain health. I consider it my health and wellness Bible and highly recommend it to everyone!...more info
  • Great discussions of Chinese vs. Western medical approaches
    Pitchford does an outstanding job discussing the difference in approach of Chinese vs. Western medicine and nutrition in incredible detail. Many foods are covered in great detail and recipes are included. It's a huge amount of information and takes some time to absorb. My only complaint regards application of the principals. There is not a clear, concise approach with time line check points if a person decides to implement the Chinese way. Perhaps that's another difference in approach and more a western thought than a Chinese medicine approach. ...more info
  • Priceless
    This is the first and only book that anyone need purchase if they have a desire to learn more about nutrition, particularly from a TCM perspective. This book is exceptional value for money, is clear and concise, and has more relevant content than any other book I have read on the topic. Anyone who purchases this book will not be disappointed, and it is a constant reference manual for my ongoing study. Has basic introduction on such topics as 5 elements, yin yang theory etc.

    A particularly positive aspect of the book is the well organised and detailed index, which makes it very easy to use as a quick reference manual, if say for instance you need to know what foods assist with a certain ailment.

    A brilliant, brilliant book that you MUST own to fully appreciate it. Buy it! Now!...more info
  • Take your home healing to the next level.
    For anyone who has enjoyed books on health and alternative healing, this book will help you take your home healing to the next level. Paul Pitchford outlines the basics of oriental medicine, and how the principles of yin and yang can be applied to your diet to improve your health. Facts in this book are well documented, and theories are well-balanced. In other words, this is NOT a book of extremes, fads, or cult-like practices.

    This book can be frustrating to some because it is not designed to be used as a reference book (even though the index is extensive and thorough), but rather as a book you read from start to finish. It is encyclopedic in length, but reading chapters in their entirety is much more beneficial than trying to skim for answers.

    There are no "quick fixes" in this book. It advises you on how to make lifestyle and dietary changes in order to realign your health. It takes TIME to follow the approaches suggested inthis book, and it's not always convenient. But if you're ready to dedicate yourself to truly healing your body with the foods you eat, then this book is highly advised. ...more info
  • Healing with whole foods: asian traditions and modern nutrition
    Excellent. A must read for anyone wanting to change unhealthy nutritional habits. Offers a life long approach to food and it's intrinsic value to the body. ...more info
  • Healing with whole foods
    A wonderful, easy to read, all encompassing and scientific. A true enjoyment, both for a conventional, health seaking, reader, and a health professional. ...more info
  • Extraordinary Book
    If there's one book on health you need, this is the book. Always current and full of in-depth information on the body and its systems and needs. Well written, well researched, well organized. I wouldn't be without this book and give it as gifts often. ...more info
  • Excellent reference book for anyone serious about health & nutrition
    This is one of the books on Health and Nutrition that I refer back to most frequently. It's detailed and well written. Highly recommended!...more info
  • This is The Best book in The Universe
    Really. It going to help you understand what is goin on with food and your body. It has helped me a lot. There is a huge amount of information in here and it can get confusing, so take it slowly.

    This is written more or less as a textbook. It has wide margins for taking notes. I take notes and underline significant passages when reading this book. This helps me find those parts later.

    In the end, being healthy with whole foods is about listening to your body:

    Knowing what to eat and how much

    Knowing what NOT to eat and when

    Shifting diet with seasons, stress, and circumstances.

    Having a healthful diet is different for everyone. Moderation is probably the essential virtue that will help to attain radiant, lasting health. ...more info
  • extraordinary
    A truly wonderful reference book for almost anything to do with health. If you need to know what body constitution you are - which elements are out of balance and what to do about it - how to look for, avoid, treat and cook for certain imbalances - it's all here in one book. Amazing.

    The recipes are easy to follow and delicious! The information on general health issues astounding. I was pleasantly surprised to even see information on IP6 and MGN 3 - two groundbreaking treatments for immune system dysfunction and cancer.

    If you don't have a health problem, buy this book to assist in staying that way. If you do have a health problem - this is a priceless gem....more info
  • Excellent Foundation for Nutrition
    This is the most comprehensive book I have ever read on the subject of nutrition. It reads like an encyclopedia providing a detailed yet interesting analysis of food and how it is developed and produced. No matter what the dietary need, there is something in this book for everyone.

    A must read!
    ...more info
  • Healing with Whole Foods
    "Healing with Whole Foods" is a masterful review of oriental and western understandings of nutrition, looking back millenia to China and weaving that understanding with present day western thought.
    The author has done his research; he presents the material clearly, in a well organized tome, that is easy to read and understand.
    I've been using ideas and recipes (wish he had more) and have discovered another realm of health and wellbeing.
    I purchased this book after glancing through a friend's copy and realizing I needed the book in my own health reference library....more info
  • This one changed my life!
    I have had this book for about 6 or 7 years and it is one I have always had with me. I have used it to experiment with my own health and it has improved as a result. It has been easy for me to understand, it seems to say things that I feel like I know already inside myself, from my own experience. I also had the chance to meet the author and found him to be kind and caring, wanting to help others but not judgmental. I highly recommend the book!...more info
  • Great book in nutrition!
    I almost live by this book (accept the fact that I slip into bad habits).

    It's great becuase Pitchford certainly knows a wealth of information of the human body both Chinese medically and Eastern medically.

    I highly recommend this book to those who want to be healthy and intuned with the cosmos....more info
  • Perfect nutrition
    This book is very thorough and comprehensive. The advice works, explaining to me things like how coffee, hot sauce, processed breakfast cereals, etc is bad for me. As a recovering alcoholic, this book has helped me self-diagnose myself with having an unhealthy liver, along with the steps to take for healing. You can't just buy this book and live to be 100 and/or stop getting sick, reading this book and applying it takes discipline and effort. Most all the foods you enjoy are the ones that are bad for you, and seeking out and preparing the healthiest foods is quite a chore. Being healthy is a prerequisite to being happy, and the best guidance on health ive found after much searching is certainly this book. Buy it....more info
  • excellent book
    I find myself referring to this book often, even though I am not a vegetarian. Great information on better health through better food choices....more info
  • How to cure what ails you
    My accupuncturist keeps using this book to direct the nutritional portion of my healing. I found it practical and sometimes easier to understand than he is. I am very interested in being well and am very commited to being empowered to do so through nutrition. This book is very comprehensive towards that end....more info
  • Whole Food Healing
    This work integrates ancient notions of yin (coolness and saltiness) with
    yang (sweetness, ascending and energy). Chronic diseases; such as, arthritis
    benefit from avoidance of calcium inhibitors, coffee, too much meat/protein, alcohol, refined sugar, increased salt, avoidance of nightshade veggies i.e. tomato, potato and eggplant.

    Arthritics also need to reduce wind dampness with black cohosh, devil's claw and ginger herbs. Sea veggies; such as, hijki and wakame have the highest level of calcium or 1300-1400 mg. per serving. Kelp has approximately 100 mg of calcium and dried wheatgrass has 500 mg. In addition, calcium should be taken with Vit D and an appropriate level of sunshine. Silicon in plant fiber assists in calcium metabolism.

    This book would be extremely helpful in managing the nutrient load
    processed by the body as a result of whole food ingestion and vitamins....more info
  • Comprehensive, Detailed, Absolutely Amazing!
    This book covers many aspects of traditional Asian medicine, while remaining easy to read for the westerner with an average knowledge of alternative medicine. Pitchford penetrates simple symptoms and gets to the heart of many diseases and maladies, treating the cause of symptoms and bringing the patient back to a more balanced state. This book has been a tremendous help in my recovery from Candida, Prostatitis and Parasite Infection.

    I would recommend it to anyone, sick or not, especially because it focuses on preventative measures and cleaning up one's diet/environment. It makes for an excellent read and an even greater reference text, including charts and images to explain many of the complexities within....more info
  • The Bible of Healing with Foods
    This book belongs on everyone's bookshelf or kitchen, and frankly, as a nutrition class textbook (if the education system ever breaks out of current nutrition teaching practices). It is scholarly, interesting reading, and practical. Yoga Journal comparing it to "a life's work" is about as accurate as you can get.

    You won't find quick fixes here. What you will find is Asian traditional medical concepts/models and properties of different foods.

    As a reader wanting to be healthier, simply:
    1. Use the beginning of the book to find your imbalances however big or small
    2. Use the rest of the book to find food and recipes to address those imbalances

    I first started reading it from the beginning. In a short time, I found myself jumping around using the index as a guide. Before I knew it, I had the week's shopping list ready for myself and family.

    Because of its thoroughness and ease of use, I cannot recommend this book more highly....more info
  • A rational and workable approach to health and eating
    I have fibromyalgia and got tired of doctors experimenting on me with drugs and other substances. The nutrition information out there is highly contradictory, and I wanted to find a way to eat and to live that would make me feel better but also be practical to do and make sense.

    Pitchford presents his material in a logical and mostly easy-to-understand way. Drawing from Asian traditions (mostly Chinese medicine but also Ayervedic) with a wealth of supporting Western research, he goes from general to specific so that both those without medical training and those with can make good use of the book. It's far more than just "eat less refined food." If the end result is that you do so, you'll have gotten plenty of value for your purchase and the good news is that you'll want to. But Pitchford also presents much more information, and although the wealth of specifics pertaining to Chinese medicine were too much for me to understand and reconcile, his approaches to my general constitution type and specific medical complaints were very easy to understand and implement and what's best, they work.

    Pitchford doesn't have a particular dietary axe to grind, other than the aforementioned elimination of refined foods. His recommended way to eat incorporates lots of whole grains and vegetables, but he doesn't advocate vegetarianism for everyone, nor does he present absolutes such as "you should never eat ______." He talks about easing into a new way of eating and makes it painless to achieve. I have shelves full of books on diet and health, but this is the only one I consider indispensable. I wish I'd started living my life this way before I started collapsing. Thankfully, I am well on my way back to a normal life, and I consider this book a large part of the reason why....more info
  • All Goodness
    Through and complete reference of living more of a plant based diet. Discusses, in detail, how to live a more complete, holistic life. Concepts are mapped out in plain and clear detail. Good Stuff ...more info
  • Excellent reference book for anyone serious about health & nutrition
    This is one of the books on Health and Nutrition that I refer back to most frequently. It's detailed and well written. Highly recommended!...more info
  • Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions
    This is a fantastic, easy to understand book on the entire art of Chinese Medicine. Very comprehensive and well-written, with recipes included in the back.
    Highly recommended to anyone interested in healing, health, and wellness. ...more info
  • Foods That Heal
    This is a pretty good book. My acupuncturist recommended it. It has good advice....more info
  • Informative but energetically incorrect
    The author does a great job of covering a vast amount of information with a good amount of detail. The probem I have with this book is that it is extremely bias - it suggests or implies that one would/should ultimately aspire to Sattva ideals. Primarily a lacto-vegetarian diet that tries to eat one to two meals a day. This is simply not in the best interests of many people, certainly not children, teens, or most adults that are working in the real world. To imply it as an ideal - means that anything less than is inferior. It is also not in line with Traditional Chinese nutrition theory.
    Furthermore, the food energy classifications are inconsistantly incorrect. He confuses or miscatagorizes many of the foods. Many of the foods he categorizes as cool are in fact warming and vis versa. Many writers that come from a macrobiotic background reverse Yin/Yang, Warm/Cool from that found in TCM however that does not seem to be the case here as the energetics are sometimes in agreement with classic TCM and other times not. A much more accurate catagorization of food energetics can be found in Daverick Leggett's books, Helping Ourselves and Recipes for Self-Healing.

    That said if one really understand the asian energetics of food and has a strong sense of good nutrition the remainder of the information is valuable. However it should not be relied on for accurancy or used as a resource or required text in nutrition programs or acupuncture schools due to it's obvious bias and glaring inaccuracies. ...more info
  • Notice what is missing from the 5 star ratings....
    This book was recommended to me by an accupuncturist who did a great job on my back. I found it contradictory and ultimately confusing to the point of being useless. Readers are encouraged to diagnose themselves as being damp or dry, warm or cold, with an interior or exterior issue, and with an excess or a deficiency. (There may be more categories, that's all I can remember now.) The main problem with the book is that if one is, say, both damp and cold (which Pitchford states is a common combination) then the dietary advice is contradictory. One chapter says to eat raw vegetables, the next says no. One says eat meat, the next says no. One says fruit, the next says no. One stresses brown rice, the next says very little brown rice. In addition, being too far along one axis is the same as being the opposite condition. If you just said "Huh??" then get used to it if you order this book.

    Lastly, the big puzzle to me in reading all these 5 star reviews is that not one person (unless there is a review I missed) discusses how their health was improved, how they lost weight, anything! Isn't that really the proof of a book on dietary recommendations?

    Bottom line: eat whole foods, not processed, organic if possible, and a variety of produce, whole grains, and small portions of lean meat. I just saved you 700+ pages of reading and $30-something. And you're welcome.
    ...more info
  • What I was looking for
    I was looking for a book that incorporates the organic ideals into the concepts of Chinese medicine. This book was recommended by my acupuncturist. It is very informative. I already notice a huge change in how I feel by changing how I eat. We have all the healing tools right in front of us, instead of popping pills, etc.
    Try it! You wont be disappointed!...more info


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