Gin Sukapaap Dee

About a Healthy Diet in Thailand

Archive for December, 2017

How far down was yin taking me?

Posted by billzant on December 17, 2017

My health has taken a turn for the better, and I consider my circumstances have made me lucky. I wanted to tell you because you move in health circles – mb church

I started my healthy eating 10 years ago, I retired 11 years ago because I was sick of the problems in teaching. But at the same time my health was not good, and my life was limited – going to work, going home and resting, and enjoying teacher holidays. I had stomach and sleeping issues which I put down to stress. When I retired there was no stress, yet the issues mainly reflux and migraines remained. After a bad time I happened to be going to Bangkok, and happened to pass a clinic that turned out to be a natural health clinic. I went in and the doctor said diet. When I examined what he had asked me to do, and the diets that I saw on the internet, I got drawn to mb.

Over the next 5/6 years my health gradually improved, and I felt good – reflux and migraines gone. 7 years was an important time as that is when the body is supposed to have renewed itself – being toxin free.

But at 5/6 years it started to go wrong. I remember speaking to you about hormones and andropause. I had a cold chest in Thailand which was weird. A year ago reflux returned, and last February I had a minor incident concerning my heart. NOT a heart attack. I was swimming as usual, and there was a wind – to amuse you 300C and a cooling sea breeze!! I began to feel weak, I got in the car to go home, didn’t feel so good all the way home.

Here is the fortuitous part. I have no access to the various supposedly-alternative medical practitioners there are in the West. There are two sources of natural healing here – TTM (Thai Tradional medicine – Thai herbs and massage) and TCM (acupuncture and Chinese herbs). I had been to see a Thai herbal doctor who had helped but not significantly. A newly-qualified Trat resident had started a TCM practice – she looked so young I call her Mor Nakrian (Doctor Student). She has treated me off and on for four years so when the reflux started last November I went to her and she made it better quickly. But I had been putting on weight, it was concerning me. Instead of being between 80-85kg I had reached 95kg. Weight and hormones meant a metabolism issue, and so she was treating me for that when the heart thing happened.

In April she asked me to have a blood test which gave me results that said you’re going for a heart attack – high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol just inside the limit. She started treating me for this. I reduced my swimming, but walked and did chi gung. She moaned a lot about wind. I have acclimatised so much that the seasonal changes were doing me in. I became conscious of the affect the aircon was having on me. The heart thing meant my extremities were suffering so I was wearing wooly hats socks and using a blanket with the aircon. Old Thai man style.

After 6 months of acupuncture I was feeling good and asked her why I was still coming. So she sent me for another blood test and the numbers were slightly worse. I felt good but was still a heart attack waiting to happen.

Here is where I am getting to the point – sorry!! She said triglycerides means diet. In suitable arrogant fashion I said that my diet was better than hers!! Her assistant sat down with me and got out a yin-yang chart, and I realised. I know I haven’t followed the yin-yang part of mb, so when she was telling me yin-yang it came home to me. In acupuncture terms all the things that have happened to me have been yin excess.

In my 20s I had my first visit to acupuncture and she told me that my headaches were yang excess. It was about that time I became vegetarian, and have been vegetarian most of my life. I was in Africa 6 years in my 40s, and there didn’t seem sufficient veg to risk it so I ate meat becoming vegetarian again when I left Africa at 48. My first real health issue came three years later, and I now see it as hormones and andropause; I couldn’t sleep. I changed jobs and somehow sleep sorted itself out mostly but I developed the stomach I associated with stress. And then the rest as I described above.

In my life I have been mostly vegetarian eating too much cheese (yang but not healthy). When I started what I described as mb, I was eating a plant-based diet with fish once a week – although I later ate more fish. My diet was unbalanced – too yin – as can be seen from this table:-

I know it is toxic but they made me eat meat, and I feel better for it. It has been two months so I should wait to draw my conclusions. But I feel that my mostly plant-based diet was putting me at risk.

The other night I watched this talk by Michael Greger. He describes statistics that show many weaknesses about a plant-based diet but within the context of plant-based he attempts solutions. He does not discuss yin-yang but meat balances yin-yang even though it is extreme.

The nub of what I am saying is that over the years I have increasingly “yinned” my system. I was lucky to be seeing an acupuncturist who only sees in terms of yin and yang so rather than supporting the healthy practice of a non-processed diet she saw dangers because of my health conditions and the lack of yin-yang balance.

Now my plant-based diet has more fish than is mb, and definitely more than vegan. Now I met you through vegan. I am sure the extremes of my diet don’t appeal to you but at least it is yin-yang. Before it was not and I was developing yin excess syndromes, flus, hormones, digestion, sleep, metabolism, cold chest and weak heart. I should note that the yin excess conditions were disguised by my ageing, and was put down to my getting older. I have ignored age-change approaches and returned to “more swimming”.

I have no idea whether the plant-based approach produces yin excesses in everyone – although logic tells me it would. But I see this as a warning. The toxins in meat seriously worry me but my toxic balance is good so maybe I can cope. It struck me this morning (hence why I am writing this), maybe I am being melodramatic but was my healthy diet killing me?

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