Balancing your Yin and Yang

There are so many diets and books out at the moment, suggesting we eat more vegetables and I’m all for that as I’m a vegetable fiend and couldn’t live without them. Some of these books suggest a vegan regime; others that we should be grain-free or eat lots of protein.

Anyone who has eaten a less than perfect diet is going to feel better on any of these regimes – just cutting out rubbish and adding more fruit and vegetables will have a positive effect – but that doesn’t mean that long-term, these regimes are either balanced or sustainable.

I’m not keen on cutting out any food group – I miss out gluten but I do eat rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet and oats. I don’t eat masses of meat but I enjoy it in small quantities.

Eastern traditions talk about the food energies, Yin and Yang, and diets are meant to be a balance of these two. Yang foods make us more energetic, strong and busy, while Yin foods make us more reflective and thoughtful.  More Yang foods were served to soldiers whereas more Yin foods were served to those needing a more meditative state.

Vegetables and fruit are Yin while protein foods such as meat, eggs, fish and cheese are Yang. Grains fit more centrally being slightly yang. In a busy, aggressive-thinking world, you can see how more vegetables and fruit would create a calmer more relaxed and intuitive population, but too much Yin food means that you can become lacking in energy, unfocussed and dreamy, not necessarily a good way to feel if you have a busy job to do.

Life is always about balance. Sometimes we need to tip that balance in order to redress problems we have created by poor diet but eventually we need to find it again, so I would suggest that some of these grain-free or meat free diets could be the answer to help you get back on track, but don’t assume that just because they have made you feel good, that they are the way forward on a more permanent basis. We are all individuals and need to find the right balance for our bodies. I prefer not to cut out any food group but to major on vegetables and fruit with meat, fish and grains used to create interesting and balanced meals that don’t leave me craving