When I felt something wrong was that morning. I noticed the inside of cheek in my right side swelling when I was washing my face. It was a little bit painful to get touched from outside. A few hours later while I was doing Tai Chi, the sole of my right foot got cramped suddenly. Something was going wrong in my body, I thought.
Next day, my right cheek had still a swelling inside and the back of my right thigh got cramped. Two days later, the swelling in my cheek wasn’t going down and my right neck stiffened badly and it caused terrible headache, especially to my right side. Three days later, I was almost groggy with my poor physical condition, when Midori, a friend of mine, said that “Symptoms in your right side are caused by overeating of “yang” food, right?”
That’s it! I forgot about it! The theory of Yin and Yang for food! I pulled out this book “Karada-no-shizen-chiyu-ryoku-wo-hikidasu-shokuji-to-teate” when I got home. The title means diet and treatments with health-promoting benefits. The writer is Kazue Ohmori, the expert of macrobiotics and nutritionist in Japan. She’s classified most of the foods from yin to yang, and thinks all food we eat make our body both healthier and weaker.
According to the book, people should eat balanced middle food not to eat too much both of yin and yang food. Our bodies’ healthy balance is like a seesaw. The end of the one side is yin and another end is yang on the seesaw. If you ate only yin food, you would go down to the yin side. It means you might get sick. Interestingly, if you had a physical disorder on the left side of your body, you might have eaten too much yin food; while you had a problem on the right, you might have had too much yang food. In my case, all disorders were on the right side of my body this time. That is, I must have eaten too much yang food.
What are yin foods and yang foods, then? According to the writer, yin foods are potassium-rich: tropical fruits, spices, summer vegetables, fat and processed food; on the contrary, yang foods are sodium-rich: salty things, meats, poultries, and fish. You see that most of yin foods are green things in hot countries. So, cake and coffee are also yin food because sugar is made from sugarcanes and coffee is seeds of coffee beans which also grow in hot areas. In the meantime, yang foods are animal products and salt.
Now, all of my symptoms were on the right side of my body. It seemed I had eaten animal proteins too much. The book suggests stopping or avoiding having yang food for a while and some remedies for egesting extra proteins. I made shitake mushroom soup as soon as I found the recipe in the book and had it once. Oh! I couldn’t believe it. A few hours later having the soup, the swellings in my cheek and right soul started going down and my headache had gone.
I’ve become a “mimic” vegetarian and tried having “middle” food since then because I still have problems on my both knees and a pollen allergy. According to the book, allergies are triggered by eating both extreme yin and yang food too muc: Having sweet rolls with coffee in the morning, hamburgers with coke for lunch, steak for dinner, ice cream and cake for dessert and ramen for late-evening snack…I wrote “mimic” vegetarian above because it’s difficult to avoid animal food if you eat out here in Japan. Japanese basic seasoning is made from dried bonitoes (fish), and if you ordered green salad in the restaurant, you’d find bacon chips sprinkled atop.
That’s why I’m now trying to be a vegetarian at least home. Look at the photo! I made these! Rice (I should eat brown rice), miso soup with tofu and Japanese radish, fried tofu with sweet miso dip, boiled dried tofu and wheat gluten, fried various of mushrooms with shiso mint leaves, boiled hijiki seaweed with carrots and fried tofu, vinegared wakame seaweed, and boiled field mustard with sesame dressing. They look healthy, don’t they? But it’s really hard for me to be a “real” vegetarian. I had a big bowl of loco moco – white rice topped with a hamburger patty and a fried egg with gravy sauce － for lunch yesterday…Hmm…That was delicious…