Yin and Yang is a Chinese philosophical concept represented by two distinct poles, two primary forces of creation, opposite and complementary, that create and manage all phenomena.
Yin integrates the night, the new moon, the winter, the shadow, the cold, stillness and slowness and is represented by the black colour. Yang is the day, the full moon, the summer, the heat, the movement, the speed and is represented by the white colour. Despite the assignment of these main colors, each colour has a smaller circle with the opposite pole colour, which means that both exist in an integrated way, not existing without each other.
Yin and Yang Food
Macrobiotics studies the influence of these two poles on food, as a living energy that, depending on their nature and the way they are cooked, represent Yin or Yang, influencing our emotional, physical and mental state.
According to macrobiotics, Yang foods potentiate an active and dynamic attitude, with aggressiveness and impatience at its extreme, while Yin foods create a calmer and more thoughtful attitude, with dependence and inertia at its extreme.
Our body was created to find homeostasis, balance, so an excessively Yang element will attract its opposite extreme. That’s why after eating meat we have an appetite for sweets and after eating very salty things we want to drink water (Yang extremes – Yin extremes).
In postpartum the mother has low chi (vital energy) due to the physical exertion of pregnancy and childbirth. We take care of chi with nutritious, easy-to-digest food. The new mother’s mood can round between euphoria (Yang) and depression (Yin), between wanting to do many things (Yang) and not getting off the couch (Yin). We taking care of the mother to rescue her calm and relaxed energy (Yin) but avoiding the extreme of this energy that can contribute to the feeling of loss of courage and confidence.
In this very unique phase, the mother needs hot and nutritious vegetable broths, that is exactly how to cook to activate chi and the food between Yang and Yin energies. The mother needs balance, calm but at the same time confidence. Any excess, with a Yang food (meat and processed foods) or Yin (soft drinks and sugar) can compromise her recovery, breastfeeding and the peace of the baby and family.
We know that the woman is the nerve center of the family, and when she is well and balanced, the baby feels it and the family tends to follow and be surrounding by that energy.