Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition / Edition 3

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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 nutrition—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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Healing with Whole Foods contains a wealth of information on health, diet, alternative medicine, natural food presentation, and recipes, researched by an expert in the field. Readers will learn how to apply Chinese medicine and the five-element theory to a contemporary diet; treat illness and nervous disorders through diet; and make the transition to whole vegetable foods. The most detailed source book yet published on preparing food and eating consciously, Healing with Whole Foods includes complete sections on Ayurvedic principles of food—combining; the treatment of disease conditions through meals; transition from animal products to whole vegetable foods; micro-algae; selection of waters and salts; the extremely complex varieties of oils, sugars, and condiments; vitamins and minerals; fasting and purification; food for children, food presentation and proportions; vibrational cooking; the physiology of nourishment; color diagnosis and therapy; consciousness in diet changes; plus descriptions of the nature and uses of various grains, legumes, miso, tempeh, tofu, seaweeds, nuts and seeds, sprouts, and fruits. Also featured are sections on chutneys, relishes, pickles, different milks, rejuvelac, yogurt, salads, and desserts."
—Midwest Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556434716
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 784
  • Sales rank: 232,404
  • Product dimensions: 8.12 (w) x 10.26 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Pitchford is a teacher and nutrition researcher. In his healing work with individuals, he develops rejuvenative plans based on awareness and dietary practices. His early training, following ancient traditional practice, was primarily through apprenticeships and private instructions with masters of meditation and East Asian medicine. For more than three decades, he has applied the unifying wisdom of Far Eastern thought to the major dietary therapies available in the West to create a new vision of health and nutrition.

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Read an Excerpt

From Part I, Chapter 2: The Principle of Extremes
When the excessive principle reaches its limit, the extreme yin or yang transforms into its opposite. This is known as the “Principle of Extremes.” This principle is readily observed in warm-blooded animals, when a fever is produced in response to an exposure to cold, or when chills result from an excess of summer heat.

Other examples:
1. Extreme activity, such as hard physical work, necessitates rest.
2. If activity is very fierce and yang (such as in war), death (which is very yin) can be the result.
3. People frequently become more child-like with extreme age. Also, with advancing years, a person gradually exhibits less physical strength but, if healthy, greater wisdom. This represents the loss of bodily attachment to earth and the shifting of focus toward heaven, an example of extreme yin changing to extreme yang.
4. As internal heat and blood pressure become higher (yang), a stroke resulting in paralysis (yin) becomes more likely.
5. Extremely energizing substances such as cocaine cause utter debility later. One also is eventually weakened by stimulants such as caffeine and refined sugar.
6. In meditation, proper concentration on a single object ultimately results in universal awareness.

The process by which phenomena change into their opposites may be described graphically with spirals, a very common pattern in the universe. These cycles of change are progressively quicker while contracting, slower while expanding. Such cycles are balanced by opposing cycles. For instance, when the national economy slows toward stagnation, cycles of emotional anxiety become ever more intense. Another pair of spirals illustrates the way in which metabolic cycles in the body take longer to fully repeat with age, with a simultaneously greater need for nutrients. For this reason, we need less quantity but more nutritionally concentrated food as we grow older.

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Table of Contents

1 Origins 1
Pt. I The Roots of Diagnosis and Treatment
2 Yin-Yang and Beyond 49
3 Qi Vitality 56
The Six Divisions of Yin and Yang 57
4 Heat/Cold: The Thermal Nature of Food and People 58
5 Interior/Exterior: Building Immunity 67
6 Excess and Deficiency 89
Pt. II Essentials of Nutrition
7 Dietary Transition 105
8 Water 122
9 Protein and Vitamin B[subscript 12] - The Plant and Animal Kingdoms as Sources 129
10 Oils and Fats 158
11 Sweeteners 187
12 Salt 196
13 Condiments, Caffeine, and Spices 204
14 Vitamins and Supplements 211
15 Calcium 217
16 Green Food Products 227
17 Survival Simplified 250
18 Enjoyment of Food 251
19 Food Combinations 260
20 Fasting and Purification 274
21 Food for Children 283
Pt. III The Five Element and Organ Systems
22 Five Elements: Seasonal Attunement and the Organs in Harmony and Disease 305
23 Therapeutic Use of the Five Flavors 308
24 Wood Element 316
25 Fire Element 331
26 Earth Element 339
27 Metal Element 346
28 Water Element 354
Pt. IV Diseases and their Dietary Treatment
29 Blood Sugar Imbalances 371
30 The Stomach and Intestines 378
31 Blood Disorders 387
32 Cancer and the Regeneration Diets 405
33 Other Degenerative Disorders 424
Pt. V Recipes and Properties of Vegetal Foods
34 Vibrational Cooking 447
35 Grains 456
36 Breads 489
37 Legumes: Beans, Peas, and Lentils 506
38 Nuts and Seeds 530
39 Vegetables 535
40 Sprouts 568
41 Salads 571
42 Seaweeds 580
43 Soups 596
44 Sauces 602
45 Condiments 606
46 Spreads and Pates 608
47 Pickles 609
48 Grain and Seed Milks 612
49 Rejuvelac and Yogurt 613
50 Fruit 614
51 Desserts 624
52 Summary 640
Epilogue 653
App. A Parasite Purge Program 654
App. B The Effect of Root Canals on Health 667
Bibliography 670
References and Notes 681
Resources 704
Index 710
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 26 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2006

    The bible of nutrition and healing

    By far the most comprehensive book I have ever purchased and read cover to cover! It is not just for healing but for overall health and daily maintenance. Everyone should have this knowledge on how our bodies use foods and what it needs to stay healthy. A must have for everyone who wants to feel happy, healthy and alive!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010


    The references and citations alone are worth the price of this excellent source of nutritional information.

    It is a large, heavy volume with over 700 pages of detailed, well-researched, educational, eye-opening information. If you eat, if you care about what you eat, if you care about your youthfulness, if you care about how your body looks, feels, functions, if you care how sexy you feel, if you want clear, smooth skin, you should refer to this. If you care about how your body ages, if you care how to help your brain remain optimally functional, you should read this.

    I have recommended it to my allopathic general family practitioner physcian, to my periodontist, to my acupuncturist (who already has the older edition), to my friends recovering from cancer, to my friends who want to prevent cancer, to anyone who cares about food and what effect food has on them, to my friends who want to lose weight (just about all of them), to fitness and yoga enthusiasts, to my friends going through menopause. And anyone else I run into who brings up the topic of eating.

    I already had the older edition and I purchsed this newer edition because I want to keep up with the newest information.

    Food is the best medicine. If you owned the most expensive Ferrari, would you put cruddy, cheap fuel in it? Would you drive it with crappy tires? No! So why would you put junk in your body and expect to win a good, happy, fulfilling life? How much money would you pay to keep your body alive and functioning well?

    You only have one body during this lifetime. This book has information that is worth reading to keep and maintain your multi-trillion dollar, irreplaceable body. Buy this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    For my health

    I loved this book and have gotten to use it several times while looking for that alternative solution to an everyday problem. I found the remedies easy to use and especially easy to find at the local market.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2009

    Should be taught in schools

    This book is very educational about how the foods that we eat work in our bodies. It should be taught in schools. It is a great reference book. The author writes very clearly and you can feel his passion for understanding how the foods we eat affect how our bodies work, or don't work efficiently. I have given 6 copies of this book to all my friends, to help them better understand the role of Food and Health.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Healing With Whole Foods

    This book is the most comprehensive book I have ever seen pertaining to health and foods. I refer to it daily. This book has really made me think about the foods that I eat and what they can do for me so that I live the best quality of life. I have actually purchased this book twice. The first time I bought it my daughter came to visit and just had to have it so off it went. I soon found that I couldn't go another day without referring to it's pages and purchased another one. It is worth every penny that I paid for it. Anyone who is concerned about health, natural healing and disease prevention would like this book. You would have to purchase many books for the information that is contained in this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2008

    Great book!

    Worth every penny I've spent on it! I read it every day and keep improving my family's diet (and health).

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2005

    This book has become my nutrition/healing bible.

    I have had this book for over three years now and have not once been let down by the advice in it. My daughter had pink eye one day and this book recommended a grated apple poultice. Twenty minutes later she was on her way to school, no signs of pink eye. This book rocks.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2005

    It Works

    I have found similar books to be disappointing. This is a very large book with a lot of information that allows you to tailor treatments for you and your family. I have owned the book for about a year and have yet to find an ailment that wasn't covered.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    eye opening reality

    its about time we start looking at our bodies as a working piece of machinery. The Asian traditions are slowly leaking into the western hemisphere and this book helps explain how the eastern hemisphere has been living for years. The healthy, natural way to heal is so much better for us. This book shows you how and explains how the body reacts to certain foods. It's time we fight off the pharmacutical industry and heal ourselves naturally and rid our bodies of all of the chemicals they get us addicted to. Recommended for the beginner who is going holistic and for the advanced who wants to learn another culture of healing and diet.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A very fine nutrition reference book

    This book has everything, including a helpful index and an alphabetical listing in back. It has many recipes as well as suggestions for ways to prepare food. Just look up a condition or ailment and find many references to healing for that particular issue. Years of research went into the writing of this wonderful source of information. I bought it for myself and then for two others as gifts. It's worth every cent.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2009

    Healing with Whole Foods

    This book has so much information and is a very good reference book. Eastern philosophy and techniques are described to combat more Western illnesses and deficiencies. Nutrient absorbtion, immunity, immune deficiencies, symptoms of illness and remedies through food are covered in a very pragmatic and practical way. Very easy to understand and apply. A wonderful book all around.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2002

    Marriage of East and West

    I am in Chinese Medicine at the moment, however this book has been in my library for sometime. It has been of incredible value as the author integrates East and West in laymen's terms. Moreover, it has been the most helpful resource in my studies to date.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2001

    Great information on living a happy,healthy life.

    Since discovering this book.I have began to understand my emotional body and how food relates to it.I suggest this book anyone who wants to heal thier body,mind and soul

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2000

    Excellent Body-Mind-Spirit Nutrition

    As a practitioner of Medical QiGong (a type of Oriental Energy/Body work), I turn to this book for the majority of my clients. It is extremely interesting in the way that it presents information from an Eastern point of view, and then applies it to our Western minds. The dietary recommendations are very common everyday items that are easy to incorporate into your current way of eating. I highly recommend it to be included as a consideration in every healing process. The chapter on Cancer and Regeneration diets, great for chronic illness of many types, is one of the best I've ever seen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 21, 2010

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    Posted March 28, 2010

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    Posted June 4, 2010

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    Posted April 8, 2010

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    Posted May 19, 2009

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