Wellness: Health Depends Not Only on Eating Well, But Also Digesting Well


Bob Ligon practices Traditional Chinese Medicine in Akron, Ohio and does counseling and life coaching by phone.



Editor’s Note: On this blog we talk a lot about what foods to eat and how to prepare them, not so much about how food is transformed by our body into the blood and the energy which fuels our lives.  Some time ago Bob Ligon, a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine talked to our Monday night dinner group about how to improve our digestion.  It was such an interesting talk that I asked him to put it in a form which I could post. And here it is. Bob practices in Akron, Ohio, but is available for counseling by phone: 330-696-3385. The outline of his talk and his full bio appear after the jump…

Everyone would like to enjoy vibrant health and vitality – to have boundless energy, clear mind, and a strong and resilient body. The essential challenge that we all face in achieving health and vitality is transforming the external environment into our own internal environment. This involves the digestion and transformation of food and fluids into blood, tissues and organs. The strength of digestion determines the degree of vitality that we enjoy. With strong digestion, food and fluids can be transformed into strong blood. Strong blood nourishes and vitalizes the cells and internal organs and in turn strengthens and vitalizes the mind and spirit.

How can digestion be improved to achieve that degree of health and vitality? Digestion encompasses many different facets: internal organs must be functioning efficiently, foods and beverages must be selected and prepared for maximum bioavailability, plus the technique and conditions of eating and drinking have a significant impact on digestion.

Improving Digestion

Digestion is the transformation of the outside environment to the inside environment

Consists of three phases: Preparation, Assimilation, Elimination

Like a train – has to keep moving…can’t eliminate, can’t take on new


Regular meals, regular lifestyle habits

Food selection –Whole foods fresh vital looking foods, avoid extreme and/or congesting foods (heavy fat – dairy, nuts, deep fried, sugar, white flour, salt),

Cooked Food dominates

Simple meals – avoid enzyme confusion, emphasize Earth energy, stomach/spleen friendly foods. Stomach turns all food to soup (soup/stew texture). Spleen likes sweet, but complex sweet – whole grains (millet), squash, sweet potatoes.

Peaceful mind and environment

Chewing –  don’t over eat, don’t eat late at night


Chewing well

Fermented Vegetables. – pickles, sauerkraut

Miso Soup

Digestive. Enzymes – Absorb Aid, probiotics

Minerals in beverages for uptake – dash sea salt, Emergen-C

Food Combining – or one pot meal

Ginger Compress

Morning Tea to alkalize


Walking after eating


Abdominal massage

Elimination friendly textures – soft moist grains, soups, mucilaginous sea vegetables– wakame especially, baked squash and sweet potatoes.

Ginger compress


Bob Ligon worked at the Vega Study Center and George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation from 1989-1993 and was the editor of Macrobiotics Today from 1992-2000 and is a lecturer and counselor at the annual French Meadows Macrobiotic Summer Camp. He studied acupuncture and herbology, graduating from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego in 1998. He integrates his knowledge of macrobiotics and Chinese Medicine in his diet, lifestyle counseling, and life coaching. Currently, Bob practices Traditional Chinese Medicine in Akron, Ohio and does counseling and life coaching by phone. He can be reached at 330-696-3385 for telephone appointments.

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