Frequently Asked Questions
You might be wondering …
Can I really do this?
Yes, you can! You’ve made it this far, so what’s holding you back?
Fear of change? We get it, you’re worried about how you’re going to pull this off while keeping the rest of your life on track. Setting realistic goals is your first step to making changes. This is not an all-or-nothing diet. What might be a realistic expectation for you at first? Small steps are often the most powerful, so get real about what actually feels doable.
How about choosing just 1 to 3 recipes for the week? Pick a few that sound the most delicious to you and try them out. If you don’t like (or can’t find) certain ingredients,change them up with foods from the food chart.
If this style of cooking and planning is new to you, give yourself lots of time and try not to get discouraged. Keep making an effort, and you’ll naturally become more present and mindful of what you’re putting on the table and into your body.
Will I have to stay on the Yin Yang Diet forever?
No, these plans are designed for short-term use, to balance and heal your current symptoms. Most people stay on the plan for 2 to 4 weeks. We suggest you check in after two weeks on the diet and redo the quiz to track your progress.
If your symptoms persist, continue for another two weeks. Some people stay on the plan for up to three months.
If new symptoms flare up, take the website quiz again to help you determine which Yin Yang Diet is best for you now.
For maximum benefit, we strongly suggest working with an acupuncturist or traditional Chinese medicine practitioner as you do the Yin Yang Diet.
What if I can’t find some of the ingredients at my store?
You can always substitute with similar foods from the food chart. You’ll also find lots of alternatives suggested in the recipes. If you’re determined to use a food you can’t find locally, try shopping online (hello, Amazon).
Do I really have to give up coffee?
Yes, we encourage you to do your best to eliminate coffee, or at the very least substitute it with something like Dandy Blend coffee. If a coffee detox — or even just the thought of it — hits you hard, that’s a good sign you need to take a break from it.
What’s so important about giving coffee a rest? You’ll no longer be covering up your low energy with a stimulant. Now, you’ll be able to bring your depleted energy back up naturally with foods, rather than a caffeine fix. As a transition, try green tea. It contains caffeine, but it’s less taxing on your system and has added antioxidants.
I’m vegetarian, vegan, celiac, dairy-free, egg-sensitive, etc. Can I still use the recipes?
Yes, use the food chart as your ultimate guide and modify the recipes to fit your needs. Get creative by using your own recipes and subbing in food-chart ingredients where you can. The more you use the recipes, the better you’ll get at improvising healing meals based on the food formula. As long as you’re using the food-chart ingredients, you’ll be healing your symptoms.
Can I do this diet while I’m pregnant?
Yes, but we have two main suggestions.
First, make sure you’re consuming enough calories. Do not eliminate nuts, seeds, and fats, as these foods will help meet the caloric levels you need to grow a new life.
And second, avoid the daily green drinks (spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass), as greens can have a detox effect, and you don’t want toxins flooding into your bloodstream while you’re pregnant.
The great news is that eliminating processed foods and all sources of gluten and dairy will radically benefit your gut and overall health, and the health of your growing baby.Please consult your family physician and an acupuncturist or traditional Chinese medicine practitioner to help guide you through your dietary changes.
Can I do the Yin Yang Diet while I’m breastfeeding?
Yes, food is one of the safest forms of medicine and a great way to influence the health of both you and your baby.
Our main suggestion is that you maintain an adequate caloric intake. This is as essential when you’re breastfeeding as it was during pregnancy. Healthy fats are also essential to a baby’s brain development, so make sure you keep foods in your diet that contain good fats.
Please also consult your family physician and an acupuncturist or traditional Chinese medicine practitioner to help guide you through your dietary changes.
Can my child eat these meals with me?
Absolutely! Kids are surrounded by processed foods, so they’ll benefit hugely from these truly nourishing alternatives. (Many of our recipes are kid tested!)
Remember, though, this is YOUR diet, not theirs. Be respectful of their routine and keep serving them their regular foods alongside the Yin Yang recipes. For example, when we’re following one of the diet plans, the whole family eats one of the dinner recipes together, but we still serve our kids their regular breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
If you do make changes to your child’s diet, make sure their caloric needs are still being met. They’re growing like weeds, and they need the energy.
Find ways to nurture a love for healthy foods while your kids are young. Involve them in shopping and meal prep when you have time. They’ll learn valuable life skills and feel a sense of ownership over what’s on their plate. Get them hooked on whole foods now, and they’ll thank you in the end — with their glowing good health!
When and how fast should I start the diet?
The key is to set yourself up for success. We find it’s best not to start on a major holiday, birthday, vacation, or around any other celebration that’s likely to tempt you to “cheat.”
Diving in with both feet is great, but you can also take a slow approach, confident that changing even 20 percent of your meals will help reduce symptoms.
However, to be rewarded with the deepest health transformation, you’ll need to take on 100 percent of the program.
I’m spending a lot of time cooking, is this normal?
Yes, when you first change your diet, you’ll spend more time prepping and cooking. The Yin Yang Diet is based on traditional Chinese herbal medicine, which uses food as the remedy. Remind yourself that you’re not just cooking, you’re replacing all those bottles of pills with personalized therapeutic food formulas.
Your results will be worth the extra time. Have faith in yourself as you work these new kitchen practices into your routine. Change takes courage and self-love. We know you can do it!
What is the gut-brain connection and why does it matter?
Your gut and brain are intimate partners, rather like Yin and Yang. They are constantly sending physical and chemical signals to each other in what’s called the gut-brain axis. Your brain and gut have a constant and direct effect on each other — and the rest of your body, too.
Until recently, conditions in the brain, like depression and anxiety, were thought to trigger conditions in the gut like IBS, Crohn’s, pain, and bloating. But current thinking says it may be the other way around: trouble in the gut disrupts the brain, triggering mood changes.
This intimate gut-brain connection is why healing your gut can go such a long way toward clearing up “brain issues” like brain fog and anxiety. In fact, the gut is now called the second brain or enteric nervous system (ENS), the first brain being the central nervous system (CNS).
When you’re not feeding your body foods that nourish, or you’re eating in a stressed and hurried state, your gut sends harmful messages to the brain and can cause inflammation throughout the body.
But by eating specific foods that rebalance your current symptoms, your gut begins to heal, which in turn heals your brain. Incorporating some of our lifestyle suggestions, such as exercise and meditation, will further heal your brain, which in turn circles back to heal your gut.
The Yin Yang Diet helps your gut and brain support each other and brings you back into whole-body-and-mind harmony.
Throughout all of our meal plans you’ll find the tools you need to rebuild a balanced system from brain to gut to toes.