Your Constitution and Food

Estimated read time... 2 minutes

Now that we know a little bit about your Yin/Yang Constitution, and some about the energetics of food, let’s start to put the two together!
A person who has the tendency to be very Yin is vegetarian bordering on vegan*, eats a lot of raw veggies, loves fruit juices and smoothies, drinks lots of ice coffee and water, and limits their milk and egg consumption.  What can we do to bring this person into greater balance?
By eating so many Yin foods (veggies, fruits, smoothies, iced anything even coffee) they’ve managed to make their body more Yin and squash their digestive abilities!  Getting more high quality sources of protein is a must.  The person in question should think about eating rice (brown or white), that’s been soaked for about 12 hours prior to cooking, lentils or other beans and legumes, and vegetables cooked with spices such as ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, etc. – a garam masala/curry powder would do the trick!  Adding some whole milk yogurt would be great for the additional protein too.  Ideally, this person would find a way to learn about Indian cooking, as Indian vegetarians have managed to be healthy for a very long time without the problems us Westerners have! 
For the smoothies, if this person must under any and all circumstances have smoothies for breakfast: try yogurt or coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cooked fruit such as cherries, strawberries, peaches and other berries (IN-season only.)  Adding vegetables that are neutral in energy would be beneficial to “warm up” the smoothie (ie carrot, beet and even cooked butternut squash or sweet potatoes.) 
For everyone:
Try adjusting the diet to seasonal changes.  This easily assures a natural state of balance that isn’t forced with spices.  The caveat to this is that the fruit smoothie in the middle of January in NY is not beneficial to the body – do strawberries grow in NY in December?  So then what do we do?  We change our diet so that we eat something that’s more warming during these cold months.
Breakfast ideas for everyone for this time of year:
Eggs and whole sprouted grain bread with vegetables such as spinach or broccoli sautéed in onion or garlic.  This is a beneficial breakfast to most everyone as it is mostly Neutral (eggs, broccoli) with a little Yin (wheat, greens) and a little Yang (onion, garlic.)  If you are gluten intolerant or celiac, try having the eggs and spinach as a rice or quinoa pilaf, or potatoes.  You can have a little bit of meat with this too (like a breakfast sausage link, or couple of strips of bacon if you have higher protein needs than just the eggs.) 
* Long-term vegans/raw foodists tend to have very poor digestion. This is because vegetables/fruits require very little digestive enzymes to break down, so the body slowly reduces the digestive enzyme output – therefore digestive ability!  When this happens, the person tends to catch colds very easily, has trouble getting better after being sick, and feels physically cold, sluggish, tired, and weak.  It makes sense – by consuming so many Yin foods, the body becomes Yin and what is Yin?  Cold, wet, and slow.
What have you been eating on a regular basis that could be throwing off your constitutional balance by making you more Yang when you are Yang, or more Yin when you are Yin?