Marco from the internet (never told me where he was located) asks:
“Sifu Phillips, what is the diet, that you recommend for students after 40 years?”
What to eat depends on what choices you have and what you need.
Tai Chi is a form of exercise and not a life style including a diet. Though often people with a healthy life style practice Tai Chi. I am not an expert on the matter. However, I will comment on a few things that I have learned about diet over the course of my life.
It is not a good idea to be dogmatic about diet. One size may not fit all. There are different body types and each needs its own fuel. If you are meant to be a vegetarian, you may get sick if you eat too much meat. If you are meant to be a meat eater, you may not feel strong and vital if you don’t eat enough meat. And some lucky few of us are meant to eat anything so what ever they eat will leave them feeling fine. It is not possible to give really specific advice of this kind So I will give some general advice. First, let me tell you about Professor Cheng’s diet and about my own.
Professor Cheng ate a very particular diet, when left to himself. He had conji for breakfast, with a bit of blackberry brandy in cold weather. For dinner, he just had the conji. Lunch was his big meal, he had a bowl of rice, with a green vegetable, and some nuts. However, he was not dogmatic about his meals: at public banquets, he would eat and drink with zest anything put before him. So this tells me that while he knew what was best for him, he was not a picky eater. When possible, he ate carefully, when not, he enjoyed what was on his plate.
As for myself, I am a meat eater. I eat as many vegetables and salads as I can, because I know it is healthy, but also as much meat as I need. For those who can be vegetarian, I would recommend it. For the rest of us, we just have to be careful not to overdo it on the meats and fats as well as being careful of what meat or cheese, eggs or other fat we choose to eat.
Please keep in mind that food is also medicine, of a most basic kind. So those with high blood pressure or too much cholesterol need specific dietary regimens. To that end, I recommend an organization called “A Taste of Health.” They have a web site (A Taste of Health) and they run a cruise where they serve gourmet vegan meals, with meat selections available from the ship’s standard menu to those of us who want them. On the cruise they have seminars about how to cook, the value of food, the quality of the foods we eat, as well as other subjects. Often Dr. Sherry Rogers, MD is along and her sessions are chock full of valuable information. We have gone on this cruise twice.
Another issue is to cook or eat out. I find that in many cases you can eat better if you cook it yourself, than what you eat can be prepared with fresh and/or organic ingredients, and cooked, in cases where it is necessary, in the fat of your choice. Very few restaurants cook as cleanly as you can at home.
And lastly, it is also important to enjoy what you eat. So mix the flavors at each meal, and the colors of the foods, so that it is tasty as well as visually pleasing. And then dig in. (Writing this got my appetite up, so I am going to get a bite to eat. So till nest week, bye. 😉
In Tai Chi,