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Healing with Whole Foods: Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition (Revised) Paperback – July 31, 1993

4.9 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Used as a reference by students of acupuncture, this is a hefty, truly comprehensive guide to the theory and healing power of Chinese medicine. It's also a primer on nutrition--including facts about green foods, such as spirulina and blue-green algae, and the "regeneration diets" used by cancer patients and arthritics--along with an inspiring cookbook with more than 300 mostly vegetarian, nutrient-packed recipes.

The information on Chinese medicine is useful for helping to diagnose health imbalances, especially nascent illnesses. It's smartly paired with the whole-foods program because the Chinese have attributed various health-balancing properties to foods, so you can tailor your diet to help alleviate symptoms of illness. For example, Chinese medicine dictates that someone with low energy and a pale complexion (a yin deficiency) would benefit from avoiding bitter foods and increasing "sweet" foods such as soy, black sesame seeds, parsnips, rice, and oats. (Note that the Chinese definition of sweet foods is much different from the American one!)

Pitchford says in his dedication that he hopes the reader finds "healing, awareness, and peace" from following his program. The diet is certainly acetic by American standards (no alcohol, caffeine, white flour, fried foods, or sugar, and a minimum of eggs and dairy) but the reasons he gives for avoiding these "negative energy" foods are compelling. From the adrenal damage imparted by coffee to immune dysfunction brought on by excess refined sugar, Pitchford spurs you to rethink every dietary choice and its ultimate influence on your health. Without being alarmist, he adds dietary tips for protecting yourself against the dangers of modern life, including neutralizing damage from water fluoridation (thyroid and immune-system problems may result; fluoride is a carcinogen). There's further reading on food combining, female health, heart disease, pregnancy, fasting, and weight loss. Overall, this is a wonderful book for anyone who's serious about strengthening his or her body from the inside out. --Erica Jorgensen

Review

Healing with Whole Foods contains a wealth of information on health, diet, alternative medicine, natural food presentation, and recipes, researched by an expert in the field. Readers will learn how to apply Chinese medicine and the five-element theory to a contemporary diet; treat illness and nervous disorders through diet; and make the transition to whole vegetable foods. The most detailed source book yet published on preparing food and eating consciously, Healing with Whole Foods includes complete sections on Ayurvedic principles of food-combining; the treatment of disease conditions through meals; transition from animal products to whole vegetable foods; micro-algae; selection of waters and salts; the extremely complex varieties of oils, sugars, and condiments; vitamins and minerals; fasting and purification; food for children, food presentation and proportions; vibrational cooking; the physiology of nourishment; color diagnosis and therapy; consciousness in diet changes; plus descriptions of the nature and uses of various grains, legumes, miso, tempeh, tofu, seaweeds, nuts and seeds, sprouts, and fruits. Also featured are sections on chutneys, relishes, pickles, different milks, rejuvelac, yogurt, salads, and desserts. -- Midwest Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 705 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books; Rev edition (July 31, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556432208
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556432200
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.7 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rocannon MacGregor on May 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
You are going to love this one. It is clear, in depth, detailed, and a joy to read. It covers each food discussed with a comprehensive explanation of its energetic properties according to Oriental Medicine.
This book is what you need to make enlightened decisions about what to eat, when to eat it and what to combine in order to have a balanced and self-healing diet.
What I liked most about this reference work is that Pitchford doesn't seem to have an "axe to grind" or a new age philosophy to spout. He gives you the bottom line about food, how to prepare it, when to avoid it, how to evaluate it, how to use it to heal yourself or your patients. He doesn't ask you to believe, just to experiment and use your intelligence.
When you buy this book you will find yourself referring to it for years to come. Warning: You will probably end up giving it to someone you love, so get an extra copy for yourself.
I also recommend you check out Conscious Eating by Gabriel Cousens. It is a good companion to this one and presents a raw food Ayurvedic approach. Enjoy.
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Format: Paperback
This is quite simply one of the best books ever published on the subject of health and whole foods.

There are no platitudes in this book.

The symptoms of both health and un-health are delineated; the technical workings of the body are explained; the solutions to physical health are presented.

Whole foods in all their forms are described -- what to eat, how to prepare them, recipes, how they work in the body, what they fix.

This book is two inches thick, and probably contains enough information for a degree in nutrition.

It is extremely readable, but don't think you can read it without a good dictionary. The author takes care to define technical terms, but that's no excuse for not clearing up words you don't know as you read.

Published in 1993, the book contains up-to-date nutritional research as well as traditional herbal remedies.

A good index helps you find exactly what information you need for specific conditions.

While the emphasis is obviously on a vegetarian diet, the author treats meat products as therapeutic for particular nutritional problems, and describes how to use meat products in the most ethical manner.

The book even gets into subjects of health such as root canals, parasites and microwave cooking.

Wherever possible, the author compares Oriental and Occidental viewpoints on health and nutrition, leaving the reader with insights that just are not available from references that only consider one or the other.

I hope I've stimulated your interest. Following recommendations in this book will most certainly improve your health.
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Format: Paperback
This is possibly the best instructional book of any I have ever read. Pritchford conveys the tenets of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), modern nutrition, biology and spitituality in this primer for healing arts.
This book teaches the symptoms and causes of illness and makes clear recommendations about foods and herbs that should be used to lessen the impacts of toxicity and bring the sick back to health. I have used it extensively and have bought several copies for others, the latest for someone who is responsible for cooking for adolescents in a halfway house for substance abusers. About 1/4 of the book is recipes. Book is extremely well indexed for relationships between disease and herbs/foods that minimize impact of disease.
I have used this book to learn basic - but very solid - understanding of energetic balances between diet, psyche and spirit. Well footnoted with current research. It is a must have.
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Format: Paperback
This is an extraordinary book. I got the book because I have an interest in nutrition and found the oriental traditions very fascinating. This book actually ended up helping me avoid surgery. I had pain in my upper right abdomen for several months which I tried to ignore. After several weeks of increased pain which was debilitating, I went to my internist. The end result was an ultrasound where I found out I had lots of small gallstones including a very large one. Needless to say, I was scheduled for surgery to remove my gallbladder. Thinking that I had nothing to lose, I decided to follow this book's instructions on dissolving large gallsones before I resorted to surgery. Within several days, the daily pain went away. My stones have disappeared. It has been one year and I feel great.
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Format: Paperback
If everyone in this country follows the suggestions about food and health in this book, I believe, there will be much fewer health problems in America.
As an organic integration of Chinese healing practice and western nutrition, this book provides one of the most systematic and comprehensive discussions of the relationship between food and health. Basically, there are three aspects I find most helpful about this book. First, the large scope it covers: from raw food to cooked food, from herbs to animal product, from water to minerals, from food combination to the art of chewing...the book explores these topics in an unhurried, sensible, and lucid manner. The analysis on each of the major foods near the end of the book is useful for the reader to select meal ingredients that can best help improve his/her health. Second, I like the "middle path" approach the author takes, without going to extremes with either his theory or practice. For instance, the author himself practises vegetarianism, as shown by some parts of the book, but he also acknowleges the effectiveness of meat in treating certain deficiencies. Third, I like its flexibility in tuning into each reader's different individual need and condition. For instance, raw vegetables and fruits may help the person who has "heat" signs, but may be too cooling for the person who feels cold constantly, especially in the colder season. So each person can use this book to fit his/her individual needs.
Because of my interest in food, health, and nutrition, I have read widely in these fields. But more often than not, I encounter books that take a narrow-minded, absolute, almost fanatic approach that makes you wonder what they are really selling.
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