East Asian Taoism Taoist Practice & Diet Healthy Eating For The Holidays (& Every Day) Share Flipboard Email Print Taoism Principles Origins By Elizabeth Reninger Taoism Expert M.S., Sociology and Philosophy, University of Wisconsin–Madison B.S., Mathematics and Women's Studies, Northwestern University M.S.O.M., Southwest Acupuncture College–Santa Fe Elizabeth Reninger is a Taoist practitioner of qigong, acupuncture, and tuina massage. She is the author of several books on spirituality, including "Physics, Philosophy & Nondual Spiritual Inquiry." our editorial process Elizabeth Reninger Updated April 26, 2019 Remember: what makes a meal most nourishing, ultimately, is the quality of energy and attention that we bring to it. A pleasant and relaxed atmosphere; an attitude of appreciation and gratitude; sweet connections with friends or family members: these ingredients are equally if not more important to our overall health and happiness, than is the nutritional make-up of the food per se. Having said as much ..... It’s also very true that there are foods which, generally speaking, tend to be much more supportive than others, of physical health and vitality. In support of your cultivating this kind of discernment, I offer the following suggestions -- with the caveat, as always, that each of us has our own unique needs, based upon our unique circumstances; and that the highest form of discernment is born of our intuitive capacities -- being able to know, in the moment, what is right for us. Bon appetit! Say Yes To: Letting your diet consist primarily of -- * fresh, organic vegetables, fruits and whole grains; * healthy oils (go for organic, extra-virgin varieties, whenever possible) -- e.g. coconut, palm, olive, sesame, almond, avocado, flaxseed, walnut, safflower, sunflower; and butter or ghee (notice that there’s a mix here of mono-unsaturated, poly-unsaturated and saturated oils -- all of which can be supportive of important biochemical processes); * healthy sweeteners (again, organic is best) -- e.g. stevia, agave nectar, raw honey, pure maple syrup, date sugar, barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup, sucanat (sugar cane crystals), molasses or xylitol; * supplement with: (1) split-cell chlorella (Sunfood tablets are my personal favorite); (2) fish (sardine, salmon or krill) oil or (for strictly vegan or vegetarian folks) Ovega-3. Krill oil, by the way, can be great for reducing joint pain!; and (3) turmeric; * explore the possibility of adding the deep nutritional support offered by external alchemy formulations such as Mount Capra's Mineral Whey. Do Your Best To Avoid: The following should be eliminated -- mostly or, even better, entirely -- from your diet. * partially-hydrogenated oils (with trans fatty acids) -- chemically altered manmade fats such as vegetable shortening, liquid shortening, or margarine -- appropriately dubbed “the killer oils;” * artificial sweeteners -- e.g. Asparatame, Sucralose, Splenda and Nutrasweet (much better, generally speaking, to indulge in plain ‘ole refined white sugar, than in these highly-toxic artificial sweeteners); * genetically modified (GMO) wheat and corn; For an elaboration on these general dietary suggestions, I invite you to check out the following essays, which address the topic of "Taoism & Diet" from a variety of perspectives. Taoist Practice & Diet - An Index Of Articles Five Simple Lifestyle Recommendations ~ Establishing a daily rhythm consistent with Taoist wisdom. Vital Food Suggestions ~ Diet as a means of “gathering qi” -- as an aspect of cultivating life-force energy. Healthy Skin ~ What to feed, and what not to feed, to your skin.