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Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition
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Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  3,127 ratings  ·  154 reviews
Used as a reference by students of acupuncture, this is a hefty, truly comprehensive guide to the theory and healing power of Chinese medicine. It's also a primer on nutrition--including facts about green foods, such as spirulina and blue-green algae, and the regeneration diets used by cancer patients and arthritics--along with an inspiring cookbook with more than 300 most ...more
Paperback, Third Edition, 784 pages
Published November 5th 2002 by North Atlantic Books (first published 1993)
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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 ·  3,127 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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Lisa Kekaula
Mar 08, 2009 is currently reading it
I will never be finished with this book. It is a manual for understanding your personal relationship to food and your body. I go to it often
Heather P
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-the-middle-of
This was one of my textbooks in grad school and I thoroughly enjoy it. It is full of information that is sure to change your eating habits for the better. It lists different conditions and ways to eat to heal your body. It has a great section on calcium, magnesium, and brown rice that I think is invaluable. If you are concerned about what you eat and how to live healthier then you need to check out this book.
Sep 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people in pain willing to make a big change
As a friend put it, "he's a real radical." And yes, Paul Pitchford is very extreme in his assessments and directives. No sweets, no dairy or meat, except for the super-debilitated. It can be hard to figure out where you fit into all the information, but, after 2 years of poring over this tome, I find myself mentally referring to it with frequency, as well as looking to it often for recipes and advice. Also, importantly, it is no substitute for (competent) professional guidance, except maybe in v ...more
May 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"Convenient" would be the word I'd use to describe this book. And that's really what it is: any time I need to refer to something on nutrition, I look it up in this book.

The Internet is extremely easy to use for research purposes. Many times I'll use Healing with Whole Foods as a "jumping pad," by reading through what Pitchford said about the topic, then using the terminology I pick up from the book to do further research online.

An example would be hypoglycemia. I'll read notes from this book
Teren  Hanz
Dec 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What an insight into Asian food! Anyone who believes in good diet, psyche and spirit this book is for them. It outlines the warning signs of illnesses and makes clear recommendations about foods and herbs that can be used in order not to worsen the illness. I haven't practiced any of the recipes, generally eat right anyway, but a couple of people who have read the book and practiced have actually recovered from their ailment, and some even from very severe conditions. I can, of course believe, o ...more
Corrina Sysyn
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is almost a daily read for me. Highly recommend to anyone looking to improve their diet to combat an illness or to improve the quality of their life in general. This might be the best guide to whole foods I've ever owned...and I have quite a few. This one ain't collecting dust on my bookshelf. WE ARE WHAT WE EAT! ...more
Jun 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Essentially a vegan adjustment of traditional Chinese medicine, this is a fucking tome (and I haven't read all of it). Nonetheless, it has the scent of total authority. More of a life-long reference than anything else, it is pretty great if you are interested in significantly changing your diet and balancing your constitution. Recipes, self-diagnostic stuff, theory, history, etc. Immense.

Oct 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my life. It explains how eating the right foods can heal what ails you, and it explains it in a way that makes total sense. I first read this book in 1995, and i conti ue to use it as a reference to this day.
reading is my hustle
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book drops some serious knowlege on its reader. It reads like a textbook and has so much information that I had to take copious amounts of notes. No health platitudes just straight information. Excellent.
Rolan Gregg
Sep 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
a huge and complete book. run, don't walk, to get this one. everyone needs a copy even if you eat Froot Loops. ...more
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The most useful book I've owned - I don't go a day without referencing it. ...more
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking, favorites
dont sleep on this. call it my bible.
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014_books
Paul Pitchford, the author of this book, studied Chinese medicine for a long time, so he spends a lot on ink writing about Yin-Yang theory. The interesting part in this section was about qi (chi), which is called prana in India and ki in Japan.

This book also suggests dietary treatment of several diseases in Part IV, so you can use it as reference.

The final chapter of this book was the most fascinating for me. It introduces "Sattva," which means "the path of equilibrium and essence." In Sattvic l
Feb 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
an epic overview of east meets west nutrition from a chinese medicine perspective [no ayerveda here]. i'm not sure i'll finish this 700+ page reference, but it has been easier to use it as such since reading some of the deeper diagnostic discussions early on in the book. because i temper my hippie eating food habits [currently being dubbed the 'priviledged peasant' diet] with lots of butter and bacon, i'm not sure i can be a proponent of this book with full integrity. but if you walk the middle ...more
Jun 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
always reading this book. just a great resource on nutrition, definitely for those interested in chinese/asian nutrition theory and health. for most asians, especially in ayurvedic thought, the gut is the source of all the bodies ailments and this book speaks to that. he talks about foods that most people don't eat, sea vegetables, dark greens, grains like millet and amaranth. it has helped me to learn and incoporate a lot of foods i wasn't raised with into my eating. ...more
Jan 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenalyn by: My Acupuncturist
Asian healing can be at best confusing. However in what little research I have done they are spot on about many things, especially the links between personality and constitution. I reference this book almost once a day. Especially when trying to figure out how to pair food. Should I drink water with this meal? Should I serve this hot or cold for the best nutiritional intake?
Sarah Bacon
May 16, 2007 marked it as to-read
Shelves: uncategorized
This is THE authoritative tome on whole foods coupled with Traditional Chinese Medicine.

It is information-dense reference material, while still being highly readable. Yes it is on my nightstand.
Jul 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: food-health
I wish he would update it. This came out 5 years ago. A lot has been found out since then. I'm amazed this book is still in one piece. The bible of health, I'm always referencing this book. ...more
Feb 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
this book is unbelievable any quiestion you have can be answered and change your life empower you to realize that you can heal any ailment you just gotta learn how and take action
Oct 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is the ultimate reference in nutrition, diet, and health. This will give you the knowledge you need to diagnose and treat your many deficiencies and excesses with a whole food diet.
Katie Fitzgerald
Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books of all time. Very informative and great to reference when changing diet or looking to alternative ways to stay healthy.
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: alternative health practitioners, chinese medicine, nutritionists, kinesiologists
An absolute wealth of information, experience and understanding, Healing With Whole Foods is offered as a reference volume for practitioners in a variety of fields dealing with both energetic and physical patterns of health in their clients. I personally came across the volume in support of my studies in holistic kinesiology and Chinese medicine, and found it particularly useful for the combinations of symptoms presenting outside the understanding of traditional western medicine.

One of the disco
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Paul Pitchfords book is a very dense resource. Don't be intimidated by its size. It would take the better part of a life time to master what's in here. What I love about this book is that it is NOT about a diet style or fad. Instead, this book simply (and in great detail) explains how foods react in our bodies, what nutrients are in certain foods and how certain constitutions do better or worse with certain foods. In this book you learn about foods and how they work in the body, then you make yo ...more
Dec 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: onlythebest
I haven't read this one cover to cover but it's great reference book. It's centered around eastern medicine and creating balance with what your eat. I'm working on my yin at the moment. ...more
Susanne Walker
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There's a time and place for western medicine. But not before you first educate yourself on what is possible and begin to take responsibility for your own healing.
Inspired 2 Craft
Jun 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: natural, heal, health
If you ever wanted to learn about being healthy in a way that refers to what you eat, well this is the book, Healing with Whole Foods! It's huge but in a good way. The information you want to know, even if one is studying to become a nutritionist or dietician, maybe just a method of healthy eating and living support, well this book can help provide that resource and guidance. It has plenty of what I can see, concise resources on all types of whole foods. Nothing is in the form of a processed or ...more
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
This is probably not a health resource for the average person. It was recommended to me by my acupuncturist as I continue to deal with health problems that defy diagnosis.

This was most useful to me as a tool to create a short list of the next foods for me to try to introduce. Since most of the things I'm able to eat without problems fall into certain categories within Chinese medicine, it makes sense to try to widen to other foods within the same categories.

This book is probably most useful to
Apr 21, 2021 rated it liked it
The first chapter of the book was promising. There were some interesting information about nutrition, whole food diet and health statistics. But after it, the book goes into topics of traditional Chinese medicine which is pseudoscience. The concepts of yin-yang, heat-cold foods, interior and exterior immunity don't have support in contemporary medicine. Hence in the book, you will find no references to scientific, peer-reviewed papers published after 1990. I read about 20% of the book and stoppe ...more
Charis Branson
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great resource and fascinating read!
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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