The food choices made can be pivotal factors that can help avoid or reduce the manifestation of
existing innate/hereditary tendencies into chronic health challenges. Although food may not be a
cure-all, it can be key in minimizing or correcting imbalances resulting in increased wellness. The
Spoke aspires to bring life-changing insights into the connection between foods and their therapeutic
actions. Chinese Dietary Theory (CDT)is an integral part of Chinese Medicine and can be used in
conjunction with acupuncture and associated therapies in TCM treatment protocols and beyond.
The word appropriate is an essential concept underlying CDT. One should not be held hostage by
their food choices but rather be empowered when determining whether or not a food is appropriate
depending on current health conditions and other factors, such as the season, and hereditary
tendencies. CDT can help connect a condition with proper and helpful dietary choices. This is a
common sense approach and is readily observed. For example, quite naturally one reaches for cool
foods such as raw salads or fruits in warmer weather – and feels drawn to more warming foods
like baked foods or warming soups and stews in colder weather. It is also true that eating Warm or
Hot food, including spices, on a hot day can be balancing as it induces sweating which lowers body
temperature. The recipes in The Spoke expand on these tendencies by addressing TCM-defined
pathological states such as the presence of Dampness, Phlegm, Heat, Cold, and Dryness, or the
Deficiency of Qi, Blood, or Fluids. It is through clinical experience in my practice that I began to
"test" CDT and develop and dispense suggestions for food therapy recipes. Patients who participated
and made dietary adjustments benefited from the recommendations. Acupuncture treatments can be
complemented and reinforced when changes to daily fare are implemented.
The Western micronutrition views define the value of foods according to their nutritional
components including fat, calories, fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, etc.
The more macro Eastern perspective values foods according to innate energetics including
temperature, organ resonance, route taken in the body, etc. These two paradigms may seem
contradictory but when combined they form a more whole, enlarged perspective on food and
nourishment, a micro versus a macro view, much like two sides of the same coin. There is value in the
convergence of Western and Eastern food paradigms, for when they are woven together a blueprint
forms that can anchor an individual's healthy state and allow them to flourish.
With respect to the ever-expanding topic of food and nutrition, it is my goal for The Spoke to provide
a glimpse into a deeply rooted and valuable understanding of food and our connection to the natural
world of which we are of course a part. May The Third Spoke add to your knowledge base as you
continue your nutrition studies.