There is a near-consensus among health authorities that whole, unrefined foods represent a fundamental truth in support of individual health and well-being. The whole foods movement is a common sense approach that is quietly extending through all economies and social classes to overcome the madness resulting from highly processed, refined, genetically modified, and synthetic (non-) foods that have turned modern societies into centers of degenerative disease. At the end of the day, wholesome foods are destined to be a biologic remedy that, in concert with organic farming and plant medicine, has the capacity to heal the Earth and her peoples.
The quality whole foods approach works at the foundations of healing, that is, it acts as a foundation for all healing systems. Newer developments in science are beginning to value foundational medicine as well; these approaches are sometimes referred to as “systems biology, integrative medicine, and functional medicine.” From the perspective of the Healing-with-Whole-Foods paradigm, it is not just food alone, but also other priorities that nurture us deeply and eternally. Awareness practices primarily represent this function. Meditation, prayer and other ways of quieting and focusing the mind and fortifying the spirit are in fact a priority in healing, providing clear guidance regarding which food and other lifestyle choices are most effective.
Another fundamental healing support is appropriate activity. For example, mindful exercises including yoga, qi gong and tai ji bring with them the meditative aspect into various exercise patterns and postures. Indeed, in this tech-centric age, helping stressful persons to set down their digital devices momentarily and simply stroll in nature, breathe fresh air and get sunlight can create measurable health benefits.
When awareness and exercise practices that heal, strengthen and integrate the mind and body are combined with nutrition, we have the first 3 branches of Traditional Chinese medicine. These branches were not only revered by the master healers in a number of ancient Asian traditions but were also, due to their obvious efficacy, found in the root teachings of several Western cultures.
Resolving acute health challenges is important but our main focus is to assist our clients to overcome lifelong imbalances and point the direction to a path of enduring renewal and joy.
Our goal is to provide the most uplifting and on-going healing experiences to those in great need. And we see that people of wealthy societies sometimes suffer more–with their debilitating heart and mental disorders (deferring to the heart-mind link of Asian medicine), cancer, arthritis, diabetes, addictions, and other such conditions based primarily on excess–than those in the impoverished areas of the world. Fortunately, many of those in the technologically advanced nations who’ve tried conventional medicine and failed, do respond when following the whole foods integrative, foundational protocol.
The whole food process we teach tends to be “plant based.” That means that the great majority of the diet comes from a wide spectrum of quality plant foods including whole grains, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sea veggies and fresh water algae. In the most reliable studies, a diet of 90% or more whole vegetal foods yields far less risk of common degenerative diseases of the types mentioned earlier.
When the food groups listed above are quality items–organic, and ideally biodynamically produced in support of a sustainable permaculture–then therapeutic results increase. A dearth of reports indicate that genetically modified foods are inherently dangerous. Likewise the herbicides, pesticides, and chemical toxins in conventionally grown foods are an insult to our personal and planetary health. Thus we endeavor to promote not only unrefined whole foods but also freshly prepared local organic foods of high quality that provide the best opportunities for vibrant healing experiences.
The purposes of this website are open and limitless. At this point, it mainly showcases the events that represent the teachings of Paul Pitchford, author of the landmark text Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition.
The Asian traditions serve as healing guideposts by themselves. In addition we use them as filters to help determine which aspects of nutritional science make the most sense. For instance, when science announces new study, we often check with ancient traditions to see if the new information is supported by traditional medicine. Normally we present science that has been “proven” many times, over many years. This is because nutritional and health “science” changes regularly, often reversing itself repeatedly until deeper perspectives and connections are seen.
Ultimately this website may become a portal for unique and truly useful information referred to throughout this article on the elements of foundational healing, namely, the unity of awareness, activity, and whole foods. On the metaphysical level, we will remain committed to supporting meditation and related practices that brighten the spirit, which in turn, becomes our best guidance toward peace and wisdom.
Paul Pitchford studied and apprenticed with masters of pre-Revolutionary* Traditional Chinese medicine, nutrition, and Tai Ji and Chan (Zen) meditation. His landmark book, Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition (North Atlantic Books, soon to be available in 7 languages, including Chinese), forms the foundation of his unique dietary teachings, which unify Eastern and Western therapies.
His work has become a primary impetus behind the most fundamental, clinically effective and innovative dietary movement today, widely known as “whole foods nutrition.” He sees a universal shift to whole foods nutrition as essential for overcoming ecologic ravages to the Earth as well as quelling pervasive disease and degeneration among her peoples.
Paul has been teaching nutrition in the context of foundational healing for several decades. This approach prioritizes three basic integrative steps in a person’s pathway to enduring health: a) awareness practices, b) mindful movement including yoga, Tai Ji and Qi Gong, and c) nutrition based on regional, unrefined (whole) foods. He receives invitations to teach worldwide and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.
*Teachings developed prior to the Chinese Cultural Revolution incorporate an abundance of ancient methods and traditional values.
Courtesy of Healing With Whole Foods.
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