The ancient systems of nutritional healing regarded different foods as having different energetic qualities. Just as yin and yang can be observed in a person’s energy, they can also be seen in food. Some foods are considered balancing: they do not have an extreme effect on energy but maintain the center. Other foods have an expanding quality: they expand chi and make us feel lighter. Other foods have a contracting quality: they contract chi, making us feel more grounded. We can understand these qualities better by considering a tree. A tree has a stable center: its trunk. It also has branches that reach upward to heaven and expand their energy out and roots that sink deep into the earth and contract the energy down.
We can use this model and apply it to different foods to understand their energetic qualities. Simple carbohydrates, which quickly release their sugars and thus rapidly lift our energy, are the most expansive foods. Complex carbohydrates also give us energy but are released more slowly. Thus they are expansive but less so. Fats and proteins have a contractive effect. They build our cells and have a grounding effect. Physiologically, fats and proteins slow the release of sugars in the diet and thus help to regulate blood sugar levels. The denser the food, the more contractive it is.”
Yielding Overcomes that Which is Immovable
Water is the softest and
Most yielding substance.
Thus, it can dissolve the hard and immovable.
The soft dissolves the hard, That which yields can overcome That which is immovable.
In this, water has no equal.
But who practices this in life? The sage takes the low spots and Thieves don’t trouble him.
He lives a simple life and
His years are beyond measure.