When I read about taoist nutrition, it is, thankfully like a lot of things Taoist: without hard and fast rules. I’m not an expert on diet, nutrition, or Taoist nutrition. It is a vast topic, but these are a few points that may make you want to learn more. There’s a large community of healers here, hopefully some will comment.
The Taoist approach to diet is like the Taoist approach to meditation or conscious movement: tune into the body and see what it needs. Interestingly, the meditation and the diet are related. Each of the major organs has its own taste: spleen-sweet, heart-bitter, kidneys-salty, liver-sour, and lungs-spicy. If you find yourself craving one of these tastes, it could be to stimulate or tone down that element. For instance, bitter coffee may get the heart fire going. But sometimes a bitter dark chocolate may sooth the heart and make it calm.
Taoists also talk about eating with the seasons and eating what is close to you. In America, the average bag of groceries travels 2,000 miles to get to the kitchen table (according to Peter Senge at MIT). If we eat foods that are season and grown near us, we are more in harmony with the cycles of nature.
Lastly, another rule of thumb is to eat foods that grow closer to the sun in the summer time. This can be fruits from trees and vegetables that grow vines in all directions. These are good for the heart. In the winter, the body thrives from foods that closer to the earth. Root vegetables, potatoes, carrots, turnips, and beans can be thrown into a soup or stew. These are good for the kidneys.