Website Visitor Writes:
I have been trying to lose weight through a raw foods diet for almost five months now with mixed results; while my weight dropped about 4 pounds in the first few months, I haven’t lost any more weight and my energy level is dropping. Additionally, I am finding that my digestion is becoming irregular. I would appreciate any guidance!
Hi, When speaking of raw foods, a basic Chinese medical theory comes in to play; in Chinese medicine, the Spleen is the organ system in charge of the ‘transformation and transportation of food and fluids’. The Chinese concept of ‘Spleen’ is not merely an organ that helps to cleanse the blood like a large lymph gland, but functionally, the Spleen is central in the utilization of foods.
Chinese medicine is very practical in regards to the way the body actually functions. In Western medicine, many of the theories and deductions that have been formulated relate to the way that information has been gathered; through the lifeless, stagnant cadaver and the dissection of the lifeless body. Chinese medical theory is based on the living organism and a myriad of interrelated functions.
Raw foods diets are not typically seen in traditional systems such as Aurvedic medicine and Chinese medicine, and lack the empirical proof of supporting life over a number of generations. Those going through juicing fasts will often comment that the process is ‘cleaning their system out’. Often, this translates to loose bowel movements removing waste; what is actually occurring is that they are damaging their Spleen function.
Many people become frustrated when trying to live a healthy lifestyle or lose weight because of these contradicting philosophies. If we try to utilize historical uses of herbs and foods to avoid reductionism thinking, we can see that raw foods and juices are best used in moderation. Unfortunately, raw salads, juice, fruits, and iced drinks are a staple in many diets that are reputed to help people improve their health, and possibly maintain a healthy weight. Actually, raw foods best play a minor role, while cooked grains, legumes, steamed vegetables, nuts, and fish would be more beneficial in an overall strategy for sustainable weight loss.
I would suggest utilizing a Spleen Qi tonic to reverse the damage done and to promote healthy weight loss. Please let me know if you have any questions.
©Catherine Browne 2010