Nutrition Counseling & Classes

Chinese nutrition acts to maintain your body’s balance, which can be easily disrupted with all the toxins we come into contact with every day. Every person is different. Even people with the same medical condition can have different yin/yang deficiencies. Our one-to-one counseling helps find the root cause of your symptoms and teaches you the proper foods, spices, and even cooking techniques necessary to bring your body back into harmony.

Nutrition & Traditional Chinese Medicine

Nutrition focuses on how the body breaks down and utilizes food to repair and create cells, as well as how our bodies respond to the specific foods we eat. Both Chinese and Western nutrition philosophies share the notion that certain health conditions can be caused and treated by the correct diet.

What separates Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) from Western nutrition is TCM’s focus on our Qi, yin, and yang. When our bodies are in a state of harmony, this Qi, or energy flow, is maximized. The yin of our bodies is our cooling center, while yang is our body’s warming center. A lack of harmony between yin and yang causes undesirable symptom in our bodies. Proper nutrition is one of the ways we harmonize those discomforts and put our bodies back in balance.

Our nutritionists understand the energy of various foods we put in our bodies and help us get to a balanced state to maximize our Qi flow. A person with a yin deficiency may lead to hot symptoms, such as high blood pressure, heat flashes, etc. This person should eat more cooling foods. Similarly in a yang deficiency, which leads to cools symptoms, such as weak energy, pale complexion, etc., a person must eat more warming foods.

Several reasons people should seek a nutritionist:


  • Promote overall health
  • Lose weight in a healthy way that can last long term
  • Increase energy by eating the right foods for your body
  • Prevent diseases by having a balanced diet
  • If a person has a disease, they can learn the proper foods to eat to help prevent their condition from worsening
  • If a person has an eating disorder, they can learn how to maintain a good weight the right way
  • Learn the proper diet for pregnancy
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Control the onset of diabetes

Detox & Weight Loss Programs

Detoxification and purification help our bodies maintain a healthy weight and remove the toxins that we are exposed to every day. Our bodies are built to get rid of these toxins on their own but a detoxification program helps stimulate and accelerate this process. Signs of excessive toxins in the body may include stuffy head or chronic sinusitis, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, gastrointestinal problems, low libido, reduced mental clarity, acne, food cravings, PMS and other hormone issues, and weight gain, among others.

The Detox Purification program (7 day, 10 day, or 21 day) we offer provides a great lifestyle plan for people who feel they have excess toxins in their system. Our office provides guidelines for how to accomplish this detox program through guidance from our staff and a free class teaching you not only the process and benefits of the program, but healthy and easy cooking techniques! The program uses a combination of eating natural, whole foods along with necessary vitamins to purify your body. Our Detox Purification program uses high quality Standard Process (SP) products. Our belief is not just to detoxify but balance your system as well.

This program is designed to be an easy addition to your life. In addition to guidance from our office, you will be given e-mail support that helps you stay on track and remind you of what you are to do on the program that day. This purification process can help rid your body of toxins so that you feel healthier and stronger.

After purification, foods will be slowly introduced back into your diet. Allergic reactions or signs of intolerance show that the body sees certain foods as harmful that you may not have noticed before. Most people who start this program, which only lasts a few weeks, incorporate what they’ve learned about nutrition and their bodies to make significant lifestyle changes for health and balance.

Immune System Foods

There are several vitamins and minerals that strengthen the immune system. These vitamins and minerals help stimulate glutathione, a bodies natural antioxidant. Vitamins C, B, and E are a few vitamins that help with glutathione production. Some foods that contain the three amino acids glutamate, glycine, and cysteine also help production, as well as foods high in vitamin D.

There are many “superfoods” that contain these immune boosting vitamins and minerals. Such foods include almonds, beans, berries, broccoli, tart cherries, dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher) fish, garlic, ginger, kale, yogurt, onions, parsley, quinoa, and walnuts.

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, another immune system booster. Lauric acid is used by the body to make the disease fighting fatty acid monolaurin. Cooking with coconut oil instead of canola oil is an easy way to incorporate this immune stimulating food into your diet.

Certain spices boost the immune system as well, such as tumeric, tarragon, all-spice, marjoram, and rosemary.


  • Add Tumeric to some hot water in the morning with lemon
  • Tarragon is best paired with chicken fish, and eggs
  • All-spice is great to add to curries and meat dishes
  • Marjoram is great for a dry rub on meats
  • Rosemary tastes great with meat and vegetables

Iron Rich Foods

Without iron, your body can’t produce enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the substance in red blood cells that makes it possible for the cells to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. Without sufficient amounts of iron in your diet you may feel weak, tired, and irritable.

Food has two types of iron: heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is found in meat, fish, and poultry. It is the form of iron most readily absorbed by your body. Non-heme iron is found in plant foods as well as meat. You can absorb up to 30% of heme iron found in animal tissue. The darker the meat, the higher the iron content. You can absorb only 2-10% of non-heme iron. For vegetarians we recommend oat and wheat bran products that are high in iron. Furthermore, nuts and seed are good sources of iron. Iron can be obtained from various beans, including lima, kidney, garbanzo, and soy beans. Iron rich plant foods include spinach, broccoli, kale, and collard greens. These plants along with tomatoes, citrus fruits and bell peppers, also contain vitamin C which can help with the absorption of non-heme iron.

Iron Rich Cooking ideas:

  • Cook various meat and seafood dishes. For a hefty serving of iron, make a shepherd’s pie which contains ground meat, potatoes, and vegetables.
  • Make a tomato sauce with bell peppers to add vitamin C to help absorb the iron in spaghetti or fish.
  • Make a hefty salad with iron rich produce, such as spinach or kale. Add and iron rich protein (meat, chicken, fish, or tofu) then top it with garbanzo beans and some seeds for crunch. Use a citrus dressing as well for some added vitamin C.
  • Serve a side of potatoes with certain meals. Make yourself a baked potato. For babies and children, a healthy version of mashed potatoes packs iron as well.
  • Studies have shown that cooking vegetables rather than eating them raw helps increase iron absorption.
  • Foods cooked in a cast iron skillet tend to have increased iron.

Cooking with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Coconut oil has medium chain fatty acids which are easily digested and processed by your liver for energy. These special fatty acids help to boost metabolism and help your body use fat for energy rather than storing it (like long chain fatty acids do).

High heat can destroy many of the beneficial fats found in oils, especially the polyunsaturated fats. Coconut oil’s properties can withstand that heat because it is primarily a saturated fat. Because it is a saturated fat it is less prone to damage or oxidation when heated compared to polyunsaturated fats which produce damaging free radicals in the body when heated to high temperatures.

Cooking with Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is high in polyunsaturated fats. It is beneficial for raising good cholesterol (HDL) and lowering LDL, which is the cholesterol that can circulate and deposit plaque in the arteries. Grapeseed oil is high in vitamin D and has less saturated fat than olive oil. Using grapeseed oil to sauté is beneficial: because of its high smoke point (the point at which an oil begins to break down), the essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Blood Sugar

Conditions such as adult onset diabetes, pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and overweight/obesity are suggested to follow a Mediterranean diet, which is full of monosaturated fats, such as olives, nuts, avocado, and olive oil. This diet is very low in carbohydrates, and high in healthy, clean protein such as wild fish and organic poultry. People with pre-diabetic conditions who followed this diet were shown to have lowered their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This diet lowers the bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides levels in the blood. A similar effect has been shown with coconut oil, as it increases good cholesterol (HDL). Cell walls are made from these high quality fats, and n a proper diet, the cell wall will metabolize insulin better which can regulate blood sugar. The detox-purification program is highly successful at lowering blood sugar levels and reducing sugar cravings. In our office you will learn how to stop triggering insulin by eating the right kids of foods and how to prevent and avoid pre-diabetes.

Foods for Swelling & Bloating

Foods that are high in calcium, vitamin D and Magnesium help deal with the issues of swelling, bloating, and other symptoms associated with Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). To ease these symptoms try to incorporate foods that contain these vitamins and minerals in every meal. Add eggs to your breakfast and replace snacks of chips with almonds, string cheese, or yogurt. Eat berries and leafy-green vegetables as well for a boost of fiber and antioxidants. Avoid salty foods which will only increase bloating and water retention. Try to avoid coffee which is said to increase PMS symptoms. Replace coffee with tea, such as chamomile and dandelion tea, a natural diuretic.

Other Vitamins and Minerals

Calcium: Research shows that when women take a calcium supplement their PMS mood swings and bloating improve after just a few months. A person who is suffering from bloating should eat food high in calcium, such as yogurt, milk, cheese, soy cheese, and should also consume alternate forms of calcium, such as salmon, soybeans, kale, broccoli, collard greens, and bok chou.

Vitamin D: Calcium that is paired with vitamin D is best absorbed by our bodies. Furthermore, studies show that vitamin D paired with calcium help prevent PMS. Foods high in vitamin D include wild salmon, sardines, milk, and eggs.

Magnesium: Women with PMS have lower levels of magnesium that women without PMS symptoms. Studies show that women who took magnesium supplements had fewer mood swings and less water retention. Foods that are high in magnesium include edamame, swiss chard, and various seeds and nuts, such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, peanuts, sesame, and ground flax. Also try starches such as quinoa, sweet potatoes, millet, starchy beans, wheat germ, brown rice, and whole grain bread for adding magnesium to your diet.

Meet Marin L. Kokin, L.Ac.

Marin — acupuncturist, nutritionist, and owner of the Kokin Healing Center — is beloved by her patients. Read about patients that have found success at the Kokin Healing Center in Calabasas.

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