What you put into your system has the power to heal you. And no matter how great or ‘healed’ comfort food (which is usually junk food) can make us feel in the moment, in the long run, these foods don’t settle too well with our digestive system and mostly create an imbalance inside our bodies.
The healing food diet, as the name implies, is a diet that focuses on distinguishing the ‘blueprint’ of your system by recognizing which body type you actually fall under and works by encouraging you to eat the right kinds of healing food for your body type. This is a powerful way to restore your health, eliminate digestive issues and create an all-rounded balance and harmony within your body. It is especially recommended after surgery or a chronic disease.
The healing food diet has been hailed as a weapon to triumph over chronic diseases and is designed to help anyone with conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, digestive disorders, autism, fatigue, depression, hormonal imbalance and also works as to prevent cancer. Its principles lie in the formula of eating equal amounts (or 33% each) of clean protein sources, low glycemic carbohydrates and healthy fats in the form of natural fruits and vegetables.
Adopting this way of eating is guaranteed to have a profound effect on your body. It increases your clarity of vision and energy, eliminates depression, mood swings and energy dips, as well as helps in losing weight. The first step of this healing diet is to bring your blueprint back into balance, which eliminates many of the toxins that are blocking you from clarity of vision and achievement of your health goals.
Three-Body Type Blueprints
Different body types require different types of diet plans and training methods. Before you start a nutrition plan or training program, you should figure out what your body type is. This will help you set your diet and exercise plan to fully meet your needs and will also allow you to set realistic, attainable goals that pave the way to your success.
Sensitive Blueprint = Space + Air
(Vata – Skinny, slim build, fast mind)
Passionate Blueprint = Fire + Water
(Pitta – Normal weight, medium build, balanced temperament)
Stable Blueprint = Water + Earth
(Kapha – Heavier weight, large frame/build, stable, steady mind and movement)
Three Core Principles of a Healing Diet
The Healing Diet is based on three guiding principles:
1) Eliminate foods that cause an imbalance
2) Focus on eating easy-to-digest foods that heal the body
3) Regulate eating times
Foods that Cause Imbalance and Disease
The traditional system of medicine believes that all imbalances in the body stem from digestive problems and an inadequate diet in one form or the other. Patients are therefore often treated with a combination of specific herbs and dietary therapies aimed at healing the digestive tract and any underlying digestive problems. A healthy digestive system translates to physical and mental well-being. When you’re on a healing diet, some foods in particular should be avoided like red meat, creamy cheeses, sugar and processed grains.
Another critical factor that is often overlooked, is the impact of food temperature. Foods and drinks should always be consumed warm and not cold. Our body temperature is averaged at 98.6 degrees, and eating or drinking anything cooler than that can actually slow down or impair digestion, which is counterproductive to a healing diet.
Easy-to-Digest Healing Foods
Easy-to-digest foods makes it easier for our digestive systems to work on digesting excess fats and toxins instead of concentrating on breaking down hard to digest foods. When you’re on a healing diet, 80% of the foods you eat should be fresh, warm and cooked; only about 20% should consist of raw food or salad vegetables because natural foods are also more difficult to digest. Soups are highly recommended given that they’re super easy to digest. Even for weight loss – warm, cooked foods are usually the secret of success. Easy-to-digest healing foods are usually characterized by being soft and low in fat and fiber.
Our Cultural Eating Habits
The idea of incorporating healing foods into your routine is to help support your mind, body and spirit. Given our fast paced and hectic schedules, we often snack frequently or end up skipping meals. These practices prevent our food from being properly digested. Traditional medicine systems confirm that the presence of toxic products in your body created by indigestion are responsible for weight gain, disturbed sleep, low energy, and the beginning of most diseases.
In order for our food to fully digest, it must pass through these three steps of the digestive system:
First, the food we eat is liquefied by the churning action of the stomach.
Second, the food then moves into the small intestine where it’s broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream.
Lastly, what remains goes into the colon, where gasses are absorbed and solid waste is compacted to leave the body.
Each of these 3 phases parallels the activities of the three blueprints: Stable (stomach), Passionate (small intestines) and Sensitive (colon).
Other factors that significantly inhibit digestion are eating late at night and eating cold food; both of which are not suitable for the healing foods diet protocol. The healing diet also says no to snacks, and instead promotes regularly spaced meals.
What to Eat During Your Healing Foods Diet
Preparation: Stir-fried in soup, baked or steamed
+ Leafy greens
+ Squash, summer and winter
+ Leeks + Sweet potatoes
+ Green salad (20% of meal)
+ Green beans
+ Bread made without yeast, baking powder or baking soda
+ Basmati rice
+ Whole wheat
Preparation: stir-fried in soup, baked
+ Turkey—white meat
+ Chicken—white meat
+ Fish—freshwater, like trout
+ Split mung beans
+ Red lentils
+ Green lentils
+ No nut butter; minimal nuts and avoid cashews, peanuts, pistachios
Sweet fruits only; cooked, baked is best for healing, 10% of the meal
+ Ripe bananas
+ Sweet grapes
+ Sweet cherries
Spices With Food
+ Himalayan Rock Salt
Healing foods to be eaten in moderation. Try to eliminate sugar if possible.
+ Honey (for Stables/Kapha)
+ Raw sugar (for Sensitives/Vata)
+ Molasses (for Passionates/Pitta)
+ Brown sugar (for Passionates/Pitta)
Only consume dairy if it doesn’t create an allergy or congestion.
+ Cow’s milk
+ Goat milk
+ Clarified butter (Ghee) instead of butter
+ Cottage cheese
+ Clarified butter (Ghee) is the best healing oil if you can digest it
Foods to Avoid During the Healing Diet Program
+ Includes ham, beef, bacon, pork, lamb
+ No aged cheeses (some cottage cheese is ok)
+ French fries
+ Fried eggs
+ Sautéed foods
+ Yeasted foods like most bread
+ Bakery goods – with sugar, yeast, baking powder, baking soda
+ Soy Sauce
+ Frozen food
+ Ice cream
+ Frozen dairy products
+ Frozen fruits and vegetables
Spicy, Pungent Foods
+ Raw or cooked onion (use leeks)
+ Red/green chilis
+ A bit, use Himalayan rock salt
+ Salads should be only 10-20% of the meal
+ Avoid citrus fruits
+ Oranges, mandarins
+ Dried fruits, but raisins and dates are ok
+ Rice cakes
+ Brussel Sprouts
+ Use healing oils like olive oil, clarified butter (ghee) or sesame oil
+ Black or green tea
+ Chocolate, candy, cakes etc.
The Magic of ‘Kitcheree’
An easy recipe to use while on your healing diet is Kitcheree, this is a perfect form of protein and is super easy on your digestive system. Kitcheree consists of easy-to-digest healing foods like beans or lentils, aged white basmati rice and vegetables.
According to your blueprint:
Sensitives – You may not always necessarily feel hungry and might need more salt and spice in your healing diet. Try chewing a small piece of fresh ginger (a fantastic healing food) with a few drops of lemon juice and salt before your meal. Other healing digestive aids include salted lassi (a yogurt based traditional Indian drink) or cumin.
Passionates – You might need a sweet something to go with your meal like apple sauce or sweet fruit chutney. Other healing digestive aids include sweet lassi (a yogurt based traditional Indian drink), rosewater, fresh ginger/lime/raw sugar appetizer.
Staples – You may have lower hunger levels than others and can try the ginger trick mentioned above under sensitives. Other healing digestive aids for you could be cumin, salted lassi (a yogurt based traditional Indian drink).
Healing Digestive Tea for All Body Types:
Mix equal parts of these three healing foods powders: cumin, coriander and fennel. Add one teaspoon of this mixed powder in one cup of hot water; strain and sip when thirsty.
Healing Diet Do’s and Don’ts
1. What to do About Food Sensitivities
Each person has their own unique digestive system and if you have an allergy or feel heavy or bloated, especially after eating a particular healing food – do not eat it even though it’s on your list. Move the food item to your “what to avoid” list. Research has proved that people who have been on the healing foods diet for a couple of months end up being able to digest more of the food they were allergic to before the diet.
2. Best Times to Eat Healing Foods
Follow a regular schedule and eat your healing food meals every three to six hours. This interval is just right because it allows the previous meal to be digested and doesn’t create an excess feeling of hunger. Try eating your last meal of the day by 6 pm.
Body Type Guidelines:
Sensitive (Vata): eat every 3-4 hours
Passionate (Pitta): eat every 4-5 hours
Stable (Kapha): eat every 5-6 hours
3. Eating Environment for the Healing Diet
Eat your healing foods in peaceful surroundings with no distractions like the TV, emotional talking or any other interruptions. Your digestion process is significantly affected if your mind and emotions are engaged in something other than eating itself. Sit quietly or say a prayer before eating, it really helps your mind to focus.
4. A Few Other Guidelines of the Healing Diet
You should eat until you’re two-thirds filled up, not until you feel “stuffed”. Try to remember that the stomach in actuality is approximately the size of two hands!
Your last meal should be at least two hours before your bedtime; and the last thing you drink should be at least one hour before your bedtime. This is to ensure your food is digested before you sleep, which helps you to sleep much better.
Walking about 100 steps after each meal helps to digest your food and helps with blood sugar issues.
5. Drinking Liquids
Eat when you’re hungry, drink when you’re thirsty – it should be as simple as that. Honor the body’s natural rhythms; too much or too little liquid tends to create an unbalancing effect. According to a healing diet, protocol liquids should not be had right before or after meals. Sipping a hot liquid during meals if you’re thirsty will help digestion.
6. Cooking Healing Foods
Warm cooked food is easier to digest than raw or cold food. Try eating three cooked meals a day. It is essential to honor your body’s rhythm and eat at regular times when your digestive “fire” is hot, not following this schedule tends to create an imbalance in your system and is one of the main causes of gaining weight. Remember, this healing diet does not include chocolates, fast foods, sweets, bakery snacks, excessive fruits, caffeine or alcohol. Any reduction will increase your healthy balance.
7. Cooking Made Easy
If you’re busy and cannot cook twice a day, try to cook once for the whole day ahead. Ideally, each meal should be prepared and consumed fresh, however you can eat leftovers the next day, get creative and throw in some new healing foods on top of your leftovers.
Types of Foods to Avoid by Blueprint
One of the main principles of the healing diet is to avoid foods that are hard to digest and those that disturb all three blueprints; the focus is on easy to digest, balancing foods that heal.
In addition to the general list of foods to avoid above, the chart below lists which types of otherwise healing foods should be avoided specific to your blueprint.
Sensitive Body Type Blueprint
Type of foods to avoid on a healing diet:
Raw, cold, dry, gas-producing, astringent, pungent, overly bitter, stimulants like caffeine and alcohol
They may cause:
Bloating, gas, pain, mood or energy swings
Which may lead to:
Arthritis, chronic pain, arthritis, memory loss, excess anxiety, panic attacks, fear
Passionate Body Type Blueprint
Types of foods to avoid on a healing diet:
Fermented, sour, fried, aged, salty, stimulants like caffeine and alcohol, excessive oils like peanuts, spicy/pungent (example: spicy curry)
They may cause:
Acid indigestion, belching, yellow skin
Which may lead to:
Inflammation, hot flashes, cardio-vascular problems, skin problems, hemorrhoids, indigestion, vision problems, feelings of jealousy, excess anger, frustration, cancer
Stable Body Type Blueprint
Types of foods to avoid on a healing diet:
Raw, cold, heavy, sour, sweet, salty, oily (example: ice cream)
They may cause:
Cold, sluggishness, lack of appetite, congestion
Which may lead to:
Colds, lipomas, asthma, pneumonia, laziness, depression, sluggishness, tumors
Tips For Making Your Healing Diet a Success
If you can’t give up tea, coffee or caffeine here are a few tips short of total abstinence to follow for a more moderate healing diet
+ Drink half a cup
+ Don’t drink your caffeine on an empty stomach, instead have your fix with some food
+ Only drink before noon
If you have to have an occasional alcoholic drink, here are a few options to go for:
+ Drink white wine instead of red wine and hard liquor (red wine is more acidic)
+ Add water to the wine to dilute it
+ Only drink with a meal
+ Drink less
Changing Eating and Food Habits
Try avoiding habits like drinking that cup of black tea first thing in the morning, or the chocolate you may snack on in the middle of your day, or the reward of a drink after a hard day at work. These are addictive habits in general and unfortunately you will not find an inner balance while disturbing your natural rhythms with these stimulants, none of which are considered ‘healing foods/drinks’.
On the other hand, try forming some new habits – less toxic ones. For example, chamomile or mint tea instead of coffee, a small meal mid-afternoon when your energy is lagging instead of caffeine, or a hot cup of pomegranate and water when you get home from work.