Friday, November 27, 2015

The Yin and Yang of Food (5)

The Sun and The Moon
have equal shares for the year,
but not for a specific hour. 
we indicated, in ideal situation, 
we would like equal strength of 
Yin and Yang food.

While, indeed,
the world is a balanced outcome of 
the Yin and Yang equilibrium;
the distribution of Yin and Yang elements 
dynamically fluctuates spatially and temporally.

In other words,
given a broad enough space and a long enough time frame;
the net effect 
between both counterbalancing Yin and Yang forces
is indeed zero.
the Yin or Yang status sampled at any given spot and moment
is not balanced.

For example,
The North and The South hemisphere 
get the equal total amount of sunshine every year.
But in July,
a northern city like Beijing will get a lot more sunshine
than a southern city like Sydney.
Yang and Yin may not be equal
given any random spot.


During mid Autumn day,
the number of sunshine hours 
is equal to the number of nightshade hours. 
But at a specific time e.g. 11am-1pm,
one will only see the Sun (Yang)
but not the Moon (Yin) at all.
The Sun and The Moon may not get a fair share of time 
given any random hour.

The above examples tell us that
at a random place during a random time
we may not expect a Yin and Yang balance.

Because of that,
we need to have awareness on where and when we are
to assess which of Yin or Yang element predominates,
so as to shed guidance 
on the proportion of Yin or Yang food that we eat.

The presence of the Sun (abundance of heat/life force),
offers our body an opportunity 
to aggregate energies for Life Force Building

The absence of the Sun (lack of heat/life force)
offers our body an opportunity 
to expulse energies for Interference Elimination.

In the  morning,
when the Sun has only just risen,
the environment is still very lack of heat
due to the night long absence of the Sun.
Our body then is under an extremely Yin condition 
after a night long detox.

While some healers suggest
taking the opportunity to extend the detoxification hours,
via detoxifying foods (Yin foods) 
such as juices, green smoothies and huge amount of water (>1L) 
to heighten the intensity of detoxification;
it's only advisable to do so for a short period of time
to achieve a cleansing effect, 
perhaps to adjust an overly congested system. 

Pro-longed period of Yin food consumption 
in the morning when the body is already very Yin, 
will tilt the bodily system off the balance.
Hence, it's suggested to take 
warm and grains/roots-based breakfast (Yang food)
to counterbalance the Yin body in the morning.

The corresponding notion applies for dinner time.
After long day of sunshine and hard work, 
our body will have overloaded with heat.
To help release the excessive Yang energies, 
it's advisable 
to consume higher proportion of Yin food (e.g. leafy veggies, fruits) and
to drink more water in the evening.
Releasing excessive Yang energies accumulated during the day,
will also help one sleep earlier and better.

For some people who are weak/sick,
healers may not allow Yin food for the end of the day, 
that is because these people 
could not conserve enough heat and energy during the day.
Prescribing a Yin-inclined dinner
may not sustain them through the Yin hours during the night,
causing severe imbalance.
-- Again, this is a context dependent case. 

In conclusion, 
although we will have equal proportions of Yin and Yang foods daily,
because of the oscillating Yin and Yang hours everyday,
we couldn't help but to segregate 
higher proportion Yang food for the morning,
higher proportion Yin food for the evening.

Hope this series so far has benefited readers
in appreciating the basic concepts of Yin and Yang.

To close this series on Yin and Yang of Food,
a gentle reminder for readers:
Be aware of the space and time we are in,
Be mindful about the rhythm of the universe and our body
Be disciplined with the corresponding ratios of Yin and Yang food that we eat.

May the forces be with you!
Kee Yew :D 
#Yin Yang

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Yin and Yang of Food (4)

Veg Pyramid which is based on
Yin and Yang balance
In modern nutritional science,
people talk about balancing their diet
by calculating the amount of
carbohydrates, proteins, fats,
minerals, vitamins, fibres and water intake.

While such calculations are scientifically founded,
it's not comprehensive enough
to offer insight into the mutual interaction
among the nutrients.

In Yin and Yang perspectives,
foods are understood
in term of their roles and functions.

From there, we know what foods
are mutually antagonistic or synergistic
(opposing behavior or supportive behavior)
and therefore categorized into Yin and Yang.

In The Veg School's advance course
"Life Force Management",
we talk about two opposing functions of foods:

1. Life Force Building (a.k.a. tonic)
~ foods that directly enhance the coordination of life,
involving the inward aggregation of energies, in general.
~ We could label these foods being Yang,
in the specific context of life coordination.
~ Generally, root, underground stem and seed parts of plants
offers such a function,
due to their life sustaining roles in the plant.

2. Interference Elimination (a.k.a. detoxifying)
~ foods that defend the sustaining of life from being interfered,
involving the outward expulsion of energies, in general.
~ We could label these foods being Yin,
in the same context of life coordination.
~ General, above-ground stem, leaf, flower and fruit parts of plants
offers such a function,
due to their life long combat against heat, UV, germs and pests.

In normal/ideal situation,
we should take foods with equal strength of
Life Force Building and
Interference Elimination functions.
- because both are equally important to sustaining life.

Therefore, by ancient Chinese wisdom,
we are advised to balance our diet via:

40% whole grains (moderately Yang)
30% vegetables of all 6 plant parts (moderately Yin)
15% fruits (strongly Yin)
10% legumes (strongly Yang)
5%   nuts and seed (strongly Yang)
[see for more details]

Upsetting the ratios above,
may attract health problems like:
## system clogging (e.g. atherosclerosis) 
-- an outcome of over nourishment or lack of detoxification, 
-- overwhelmed by Yang energies
-- commonly seen among people who eats too much meat or oily food; 
   neglecting fruits and veggies in overall diet

## system dis-coordination (e.g. hormonal imbalance) 
-- an outcome of under nourishment or over detoxification, 
-- predominated by Yin energies
-- commonly seen among people who go on dietetic control or 
   overly frequent detoxification;
   consuming too much fruits and leafy veggies; 
   avoiding grains and nuts.

Now, we may start to realize,
knowing the Yin and Yang of food
is different from
practising it in daily life.

Practising Yin and Yang
requires discipline to abide to the ratios,
on top of awareness and mindfulness. 

Next, we discuss about some simple techniques 
to adjust our dietetic pattern
according to the Yin/Yang oscillation throughout a day :)

Happy reading,
Kee Yew
#Yin Yang
{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Yin and Yang of Food (3)

Mindfulness and Awareness
are pre-requisites to
applying Yin and Yang concepts
We now understand that
Yin and Yang labeling
is dynamic and context dependent.

Yin and Yang
are manifested at different degrees
depending on the mix ratio of the Yin and Yang elements within.

In view of those complicated concepts,
for most of us,
accurate Yin and Yang labeling is not an easy task.

Hence, to avoid unfavourable consequences,
due to inaccurate labelling,
it's advisable not to discriminate food being Yin or Yang
-- unless there are awareness and mindfulness that empower us in
assessing the context clearly
seeing through the properties of food in depth.

While we are still struggling to
improve our awareness and mindfulness,
it's recommended that
we first learn to eat a diversified range of food,
without discrimination.

When we eat food without discrimination of Yin/Yang,
given broad range of food,
50% will naturally be Yin and 50% will be Yang.
In the end, the summed up effect of all these foods will be neutral.

For whatever minor imbalances we may have,
via innate homeostasis,
our body will be able to naturally reset the balance,
without the need/worry of deliberate intervention
with Yin or Yang food.

With that,
we greatly reduce the risk of
mislabeling the Yin and Yang of food.

In some sense, we don't necessarily need to be a Yin Yang expert
to adopt a healthy balanced diet :)

Trying to be one
sometimes may cause more harm than good,
when we are lacking of awareness and mindfulness.

Not discriminating Yin and Yang food
is actually the most prudent way to apply Yin and Yang concepts,
because we truly understand what Yin and Yang is.

In the next posts,
we will discuss on the balanced intake
of different food groups,
justified with awareness and mindfulness!!

For awareness,
Kee Yew
#Yin Yang
{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Yin and Yang of Food (2)

Variable Yang feature due to
variable Yin and Yang mix ratio
Another widely misunderstood concept
about Yin and Yang is

Misinformation II
Homogeneous view of Yin and Yang
(Yin entity is purely Yin, Yang entity is purely Yang)

Yin or Yang is a composite outcome
i.e. A Yin or Yang entity is never made purely with Yin or Yang elements.
Within every entity, there is always a mixture of Yin and Yang elements.
Whether an entity is Yin or Yang depends on
which of Yin or Yang groups of elements within the entity, predominates.

For example,
An animal, whether female or male, secretes both female and male hormones.
This animal will be a female
when it secretes more female hormones than male hormones,
It will be a male
when it has more male hormones than female hormones.

A myriad of possible ratios
in between the Yin and Yang elements within any entity
creates a range of Yin and Yang entities
with variable intensity levels of Yin and Yang properties.

For example,
A man with high dosage of male hormones and strong male hormone receptors
will have very dense beard, defined muscle tone, less body fat.
Another man with very low dosage of male hormones or weak male hormone receptors
will generate an outcome of scarce facial hair, weaker muscle tone, more body fat.

Despite the varied dosage of male hormones within a man,
as long as male hormones predominate over female hormones,
he will still manifest the male features.
But the variable level of predominance leads to variable intensity of male features.

By this composite concept of Yin and Yang,
we know that
there are Yang entities that may incline to Yin manifestation,
there are Yin entities that may incline to Yang manifestation.

When it comes into food healing,
it's not always necessary to deploy a Yang food to counterbalance a Yin body constitution.
In some situations, given the necessity,
A Yin food can still be adopted to to balance a Yin body constitution,
if such Yin food has a strong Yang manifestation.

For example,
In general, a leafy herb is a Yin entity.
But, lemongrass which has a very pungent property
(likened to a Yang ginger root)
could be used to warm up our body to achieve a Yang effect temporarily.

Given the indications above,
we also know that
it's not always correct to balance a Yin body with a Yang food,
because there are situations where a Yang food may manifest strong Yin features
which may make the body severely off the balance!

Yin and Yang concept is definitely not a straight forward one.
When it comes to applying it in our daily life,
it's even more complicated.
If misinformed, it can even cause a lot of hazards.

In the next post, we will discuss about
some basic skills to integrate
the concept of Yin and Yang into our life,
with prudence.

Well regards,
Kee Yew

#Yin Yang
{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Yin and Yang of Food (1)

Yin or Yang, it's context dependent
I have always been tempted
to discuss about the Yin and Yang of our diet
on my blog,
but in the past ten years,
I have been delaying it.

Simply, it's a not an easy topic to clarify everything
over a few articles
it's difficult to simplify many 'bulky' concepts on blog series
for the ease of digestion by readers...

But I think I should try and see what happens here.

Should this series of blog posts do not make enough sense,
please do attend The Veg Nutrition Courses in Singapore or in Kuala Lumpur
where Yin and Yang Concept of Food is discussed in great depth :)


What is Yin and Yang?
Most people reckon that
Yin and Yang are
to label things
in accordance to their traits/behaviors/functions
by the philosophy of duality.

In other words,
by Yin and Yang concept,
we categorize entities into 2 exclusive categories
which are of opposite traits/behaviors/functions.

For example,
Animals could be categorized into males and females;
Ions into Cations and Anions
pH into Alkaline and Acidic
Time into Day and Night

Up till this point,
it's very simple to comprehend,
but exactly the over-simplification of
the Yin and Yang concept,
a lot of misinformation comes by...

Misinformation I:
Static view of Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang labeling is dynamic
i.e. one thing can be Yin in one situation, but Yang in another situation,
depending on the context and the perspective we are assessing.
The labeling changes.

For example,
Durian is labeled Yang when we assess it under the context of calorie,
because it produces a lot of heat after consumption.
But, it is labeled Yin when we assess it under the context of texture
because it is soft and moist (and helps to relieve constipation).


A carrot is labelled Yin when we assess it under the context of exposure to the Sun,
because it is hidden under the ground, and never get exposed to sunlight.
But it is labelled Yang when we assess it under the context of mineral content,
because it stocks up a lot minerals which are responsible for life sustaining functions.

So, it's extremely dangerous,
if we call a thing being Yin and
decide to label it a Yin entity forever.

This misinformation causes a lot of troubles
when one decides on what to eat to balance their own body constitution.

If the Yin and Yang is assessed wrongly,
because of adopting an irrelevant context/perspective,
it will make the body condition become worse.

For instance,
a lady thinks she has a Yin body constitution,
because she always feel the lack of energy
(she can't carry heavy things, she always feels cold etc),
and would like to consume more Yang food.

She decides on eating more flowers and leaves because
she was told that flowers and leaves vegetables are Yang entities
after being exposed to the Sun.

Unfortunately, her decision will make her even more weak after consuming
the flowers and leaves vegetables,
because she assessed Yin and Yang by the irrelevant context/perspective.

What she needs to improve her body condition,
is food that will increase her life force,
food that provides the life force nutrients e.g. minerals and good fats.

Under such context, the relevant Yang foods that are high in life force,
would be grains, seeds and roots vegetables!
-- whether they are exposed to the Sun or not, is not relevant in this situation.

Many a time,
people like to debate whether a food should be labeled Yin or Yang
and persist that they are right with their labels.

They will always be right,
given their own perspectives.

But what truly matters,
is whether they adopt the relevant context/perspective when they do the labeling.

Next, we will explore another piece of misinformation of Yin and Yang concept,
and it is going to get messier! -.-

Happy digesting,
Kee Yew

I# Yin Yang
{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Healthy Quickie Breaky (3)

Avocado Alfalfa Sandwich,
filled with life force,
but siimple to prepare 
You will think this is impossible
-- this breakfast will look like a no-brainer,
because it requires no seasoning,
no prior preparation
no cooking
no waiting
... no more excuse :D

-- it's my all time favourite
(it serves well as a quicky lunch at work too!)

Avocado Alfalfa Sandwich

. 1 Fully ripened Avocado*
. 2 handful alfalfa sprouts**
. 4 slices of wholemeal bread

-- scoop flesh out of a half avocado using a tablespoon and generously lay the flesh on the wholemeal bread (without mashing), top with a handful of alfalfa sprouts, and sandwich with another slice of whole meal bread, serve fresh!

* see this post to learn how to choose a perfect avocado

** fresh alfalfa sprouts is available in many supermarkets nowadays. Please make sure it's rinsed a few times before serving raw, even though it looks clean.

Does it taste good without mayo, jam, seasoning etc....??
Absolutely YES! This recipe has been trialed in many of my cooking classes, among my friends and colleagues for a decade.. It's given the seal of proof by many people :P

Hope this series of simple breaky tips will change your view about healthy diet
and renew your confidence in preparing simple healthy breakfast that is most important for the day :)

For simplicity, I didn't elaborate on the nutritional values for the 3 recipes,
but in the past series, I have explained in details why it's important to incorporate substantial


in our diet,
as they are the sources of life force.

In the morning, when we wake up,
the environment is still cold and Yin,
it's important to take breakfast with predominantly Yang properties
(ie high in life force).

A lot people are very enticed to take, in the morning,
fruit juices, fruits, salad
which are substantially Yin.

If the raw breakfast is not properly balanced with Yang  elements,
there may be some long term side effects...

This will lead to another topic
which I will be explaining in the next series of posts
"The Yin and Yang of food"

Many blessings,
Kee Yew

#avocado alfalfa sprout sandwich
{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Healthy Quickie Breaky (2)

Life Force Combo looks elaborate
but it takes only 2min to prepare!
Another simple tip to prove
that a healthy wholesome breakfast
takes only a minute or two to prepare,
is one of my favourites :P

Steamed Life Force Combo 

.1/2 cob Sweet corn (chopped into 2*)
.1/2 cup Sprouted Mung beans**
.200g Sweet potato (cubed to cook easily)
.1-2 pinch Sea salt
.1-2 pinch Curry powder
.1-2 pinch Italian herb mix

-- Steam all the ingredients above in a steamer for 15min
-- Sprinkle salt on sweet potato, curry powder on mung beans, Italian herb mix on sweet corn, and serve hot

* chop sweet corn the night before.
** wash mung bean the night before and soak in 2 cups of warm water to speed up sprouting overnight. Leave it in room temperature overnight, with lid on. They will be lightly sprouted the next morning.

This wholesome breakfast can be prepared within 2 min. Simply put everything in a steamer immediately upon wake up. It will be done, when you finish brushing your teeth and shower *o*

One more quickie breaky tip to come tomorrow.

Tunei in! :D

Bon Apetito!
Kee Yew
#steamed break

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

Friday, November 20, 2015

Healthy Quickie Breaky (1)

Brown Rice Milk which is
filled with life force, done in 2min!
During the course of my sharing sessions
with students at The Veg School,
I often notice that urban people nowadays
have high tendency resorting to
powder-based / packet-drink breakfast,
due to the lack of time or
the misconception of a healthy breaky has to be elaborated and laborious.

A student recently texted me for a reliable brand of brown rice milk,
and my first response was to recommend the brand "Home-made" ^.^

Preparing for a wholesome breakfast can be easy, quick and clean, like the recipe below :P

Home-made brand Brown Rice Milk

.200g Pre-cooked rice*
.800mL Boiling hot water**
.2Tbs Lightly roasted sesame
.50g Molasses Powder (or adjust to taste)

-- blend all ingredients above for 2min until smooth in a blender and serve warm

* Pre-cooked rice can be prepared the night before in a Thermal Cooker, or precooked in a mini rice cooker. Do not remove cooked rice from rice cooker, to avoid contamination. With the lid on, switch off the power after the rice is cooked and let the rice sit in the rice cooker overnight.

** Switch on kettle to boil 1L water immediately upon wake up, it will be done after you finish brushing teeth :B

The healthy brown rice milk above won't take more than 5min to prepare. --Don't count in your teeth brushing time, because you are multi-tasking, no time lost :D

For more healthy easy breakfast tips, tune in tomorrow again, for another 2min healthy breaky *.*

Many blessings,
Kee Yew
#brown rice milk
{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}
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