6. Ultra Cooling Plan
Purpose: Resolving Heat
Plan 5 was all about Yin Deficiency. In short that means “a lack of coolness”. Yin is the cooling agent of the body, so a lack of it results in some heat symptoms. But to contrast the concept of Heat in Chinese medicine is a little different: it implies the actual presence of too much heat in the body. This manifests in various ways. The simplest symptom is that of feeling hot in cool weather (especially when others are cool) or being very hot in warm weather.
Other connected symptoms may be high blood pressure, headaches/ migraine, and acid reflux. Less obvious signs may be bleeding gums, bad breath, bad body odour, and a rapid pulse. Many foods can aggravate Heat. Perhaps it would be no surprise to know that alcohol (especially red wine or spirits) coffee and chilli are heating. Something that makes one sweat or feel hot right away will heat the body. So the number one tactic is to avoid those obviously heating foods.
This is similar advice to “Yin deficiency” but take it more seriously: keep well away from these foods for up to 6 weeks to make good changes Then some cooking methods tend to heat. Those would be roasting, frying, grilling. So reduce those methods in favour of the “cooler” sautéing or steaming. Raw foods may help, in moderation and in season.
Now on to what foods to emphasise which are actively cooling: Vegetables: Tomato, cucumber, bamboo sprouts, soy sprouts, mung sprouts, dandelion, Chinese cabbage, aubergine, lettuce, spinach, Grain: (fast growing grains are “cooler”) Barley, amaranth, wheat, spelt. Other things: Soy sauce, seaweed Fruit: Most fruits, especially those grown in hotter conditions. Citrus (orange, lime, lemon) apple, pineapple, kiwi, watermelon Soy products: Soy milk, tofu Dairy products: Lessen or avoid: Cheese, milk, but include: yogurt Meat/ poultry: Avoid for 6 weeks Fish/ seafood: squid, octopus Nuts/ seeds: Lessen or avoid generally. Some seeds might be okay: poppy. Beverages: Cool drinks, water, green tea P.S. there is often also the presence of “Yin deficiency” in this pattern, but even so, follow generally this dietary advice until you feel some benefit after a month or so. However the lifestyle choices, as outlined for yin deficiency would still be of benefit: resting more and taking it easy.
To this I would also add the idea of actively avoiding heat (e.g. sunbathing or saunas) and seeking cool environments (rest in the heat of the day/ have a siesta (if possible!))