Stoic cuisine, what does that mean? It certainly means a lot to a lot of people, but it also means health—namely in accordance with the oldest of traditions for which food was always also medicine. That in turn means that eating the right food keeps you healthy! That is the basic message, while of course, handling your emotions also plays a major part in your health, for the body responds favorably to vibrotherapeutics. See, for example:
But on the simple physical level, it matters what you eat, and how you eat what you eat. Both what you eat and how you eat it are matters of culinary culture. But I will treat them on different pages, simply for reasons of functional design. Most people may be less interested in knowing what culinary culture means in respect to how to eat … and they may come up with quick excuses, such as lacking time for proper eating habits, and so on and so forth.
They may however be more interested what to eat in order to prevent some major illnesses such as gout /arthritis, but even a common cold without resorting to medical 'bullet' medicine.
You may never have heard of this uncanny food: black chicken. I found it here in Cambodia, more than 10 years ago, even before definitely moving here back in 2004. It cures common cold. It may be arguable if the chicken itself has a healing effect on the body, but the spices certainly have. They are a mix of the common spices you get in Chinese pharmacies around the world, and while you can get that as a pack, chicken and spices, it is better to buy the chicken only, and the spices in your trusted Chinese pharmacy. The only thing you need to add for taste is half a bouillon cube, or some salt.
This web page, 65 Doctor Singapore, which also contains photos, claims that black chicken 'provides extra powerful nourishment such as after delivery during the confinement period.'
Gout / Arthritis
Low purine foods
I had to learn it myself, under the pressure of considerable pain, back in 2007, for I had been completely ignorant about this etiology. I am reporting the whole story in one of my recent selfhelp books:
Here, suffices to mention that I finally got rid of the condition, not with doctors and medicine, but through affirmative prayer and the collaboration of my subconscious mind. It took about two months after the peak of the disease was reached, with a paralysis of my left knee (which forced me to stay with that leg up on a chair all day long and become a real patient—the word means somebody who is patient. But still, at that time I didn't know yet how important the choice of food is for controlling your level of uric acid in your blood, thus through a low-purine diet, which means a diet of foods which are overall alkaline in character.
Now, let me first say that the old Chinese adage is true that says, if no prevention is done after a major disease, it will recur in 7 years. That was precisely the case. My gout recurred in 2014, but this time I studied the etiology and immediately traced high purine foods from my diet, such as seafood, canned fish, meat, and deep fried food. I also got a Chinese gout medicine that is entirely plant-based.
But more importantly, I drastically reduced my alcohol intake, especially beer, after finding that one glass of beer, coca or softdrink has a pH value of about 2500. That means to neutralize the acidity of that one glass, you need to drink 32 glasses of water.
Now, what is an alkaline diet? It consists of food that are alkaline in character, rather than acidic. Most fresh fruits are among them, most beans and peas, potatoes, rice, nuts, and some low-fat diary products. And what I also learnt is moderation, one of the typical ethical principle that stoicism fosters.
And I found, to my surprise, that one of my favorite dishes, lentil soup, is really something like a gout killer for it's entirely and safely alkaline. The same is true for onions and garlic, and for cider vinegar, and especially again, fruits like winter melon, Japanese pears, also called 'Fuji Pears' or grapefruit. Let me give a little overview here with recent photos:
Fuji Pears (Japan Import)
Grapefruit (Grown in Cambodia)
Winter Melon (Grown in Cambodia)
Now I will come up here with an uncanny and apparently inconsistent idea. What works for me may not work for you, but I think it's worth to report my experience. I was always strongly allergic, already as a child and even more so, in my youth, while still living in Germany. My first exposure to a culture in Asia, Indonesia, changed that dramatically. I had no more allergies after a few months living in Bali. Then I moved back to Europe and stayed in France, in the Provence, and the allergies were minor compared to before in Germany: they were no more general, as before in Spring, but only when I was eating fresh fruits, and there and then I found a solution. It was to drink chilled white wine with the fruits I was eating.
And now, I am in a situation that is a kind of conundrum for I need to eat fresh fruits but will get strong allergy symptoms in my mouth, on my tongue, and on top of my lips when doing so. So I recurred to white wine the problem is gone. It's a tricky situation perhaps for I am supposed to drink no alcohol as it is known for increased acidity in the blood. But first, this is worse for beer than wine, and second, I keep the wine intake low, and drink just as much as to prevent a fruit allergy.
Now this connects us to have a look at two main gout suppressor fruits, the Japanese Pear, also called Fuji Pear, and the Winter Melon, as well as Grapefruit (else any kind of apples). So I needed to make a value decision. No alcohol policy, or well take in some to prevent fruit allergy? I decided for the latter and you can decide differently, of course, according to your own experience.
Now let us get to some more substantial foods. This bean salad is delicious and very easy to make, as well as the lentil soup with white beans that follows. I will soon update my recipe blog about them.
White Bean Salad
Lentil Soup with White Beans
Last not least I would like to emphasize that garlic is something not minor in cooking and something not minor in healing and self-healing. Garlic is together with onions one of the most important food items we have on the globe, and it's really a blessing! However, compared to onions, garlic is more powerful in that the ethereal oil it contains is more volatile but much stronger than the onion-based ethereal oil.
The Chinese sages have written a self-healing manual thousands of years ago in which they point out all the incredible healing properties of garlic—that manual is hundreds of pages long, so you can imagine that there is almost no disease condition that garlic cannot positively influence.
It is important to obey to these rules when you use garlic. Do not overcook it, and preferably crush the cloves so that the juice can freely enter your dish. With cold dishes, this could be too overwhelming for your taste buds, however, so in that case just slice the cloves.
And after ...
And last not least on this page, so far, let me tell you that fresh herbs are most important for a healthy cuisine. This was known to most native peoples since times of old and also to Chinese culture and many other high cultures around the globe—while this knowledge is as good as unknown today in modern consumer culture.
Fresh Thyme Grown in Cambodia
And as ever so often, my intuitions were confirmed, in this case, by Dr. Maoshing Ni, son of Taoist Master Hua-Ching Ni. Never mind that this interview is more specifically geared toward 'Second Spring,' a rejuvenation program for women after their menopause, as Dr. Mao's advice on healthy food is valid generally.
Also see this short video where he talks about health foods in more general terms. It's about one of his latest books that I just ordered from Amazon USA, his 'Secrets of Longevity Cookbook.'
More is to come, thanks for your interest, and your comments!