stressed and confused? Are your emotions playing roller-coaster with
you? Perhaps it’s time to look into your nutrition.
Starting with the assumption that you are made of
energy, body-mind-emotions-spirit, and that the food you consume is also
energy, it is clear that anything you ingest will impact all levels of
your system. From all food products available in the stores, some are
fuel for your body, and some are stress factors. There are foods your
body needs to digest; others, it needs to overcome.
Knowledge about nutrition has been around since
human civilization. From Ayurveda (ancient Indian medicine system), to
Traditional Chinese Medicine, to aboriginal healing practices, and more,
food has been regarded as a means to heal the body when consumed
appropriately. Today, in the age of super-fast electronic information,
all knowledge is at the tips of your fingers, abundantly. This can be,
at times, confusing. What type of nutrition is best for you? Vegetarian?
Vegan? Macrobiotics? Ayurveda? Chinese tradition? Is red meat good for
you? Is keeping away from red meat wise? What about consuming soy
products, red wine and chocolate? Some studies bring contradictory
reports, and while foods like soy, red wine and chocolate have some
benefits, they also have less desirable qualities.
Your best choice is to listen to your own body and
energy, to decide what is good for you to eat and when. You are an
individual person with individual needs in each moment, and your inner
wisdom is your best bet expertise. Observe how you feel after eating
each foods. You can check for food and food combination sensitivities
either with your naturopath’s technology (Vega test); with your holistic
health facilitator, by muscle testing; and self-testing with your own
Apply your common sense to observe what works for
others. Notice various ethnic groups’ health and longevity, and learn
from their lifestyle, including their nutrition. For instance, the
Japanese are known for their longevity. The Japanese traditional cuisine
is base primarily on vegetables, rice and fish, very little meat, and no
dairy or sweets. The Greeks seemed to be doing pretty well health and
longevity wise before the MacDonald era. Their traditional cuisine
includes lots of raw dairy (not skimmed!), sheep’s yoghourt, olives and
olive oil, wine and great quantities of vegetables. The Greek dairy is
unprocessed; it’s the white, not yellow, cheese: the famous feta.
Also, look for the common denominator in most
nutrition theories, as well as in the cultures known for their
longevity. For instance, think which cultures traditionally consume
extensively cured meats? How are they doing healthwise? How about “meat
and potatoes” – animal protein with abundant starch and no vegetables;
sweets; processed cheese? Pick your own “nutritional heroes” and take
what resonates with you from their diet.
Let’s take a few suggestions that many nutrition
theories agrees upon:
Most of your body is made of water. Pure, clean
water is paramount to your health and aliveness. The recommended way to
drink water is to sip throughout the day half your body weight in
pounds, in ounces of pure water. Drink an 8 ounce glass of water each
hour. Other liquids will not do: each food has its own agenda in your
body; coffee, tea, juice, milk: they all do something for your system.
Pure, clean, natural water cannot be replaced.
Sugar, especially refined sugar, is a stress
factor for your body. Sugar is highly addictive, and it has an impact on
your biology, as well as on your mental and emotional well-being. Many
people are addicted to sugar and unaware of it. Sugar sensitivity
translates in the way your body produces insulin, and ultimately, in
your brain’s chemistry. How sugar sensitivity and addiction affects you,
is being described by Kathleen DesMaisons in her books “Potatoes, Not
Prozac” and “The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery
Program”. See her website
http://www.radiantrecovery.com/ Sugar addiction can be a problem
for those consuming alcohol and even simply grains. Even if you stop
eating sugar, grains and alcohol, you still need to stay away from
hidden sugars, such as concentrated fruit juices and dried fruit.
Artificial sweeteners, besides having the harmful effect that many
chemicals have when ingested, tell your brain you are eating something
sweet, and your body produces insulin. A sugar sensitivity can be a
cause of depression, fatigue, low-self esteem and lack of discipline.
Stopping all sugars,
including alcohol, may be difficult for the first few days, if you are
addicted. The bonus is that when your body is clean, your sugar cravings
subside, and you are likely to feel significantly more energized,
self-confident and joyful.
Alcohol is a stressor to your body. When you are
totally radiant with health, moderate wine consumption can be enjoyed to
your benefit; your body is strong enough to quickly overcome the
alcohol. Until then, stay away from all alcohol. The good news is, if
you like the taste, and not the brain fog of liquor, you can cook with
it! Pour some wine in your dishes: the alcohol will evaporate during the
cooking, and you can still enjoy the taste.
Foods have Mama Nature’s wisdom in them, until we
alter their composition with our chemical and thermal processing. When
you buy and prepare your food, ask yourself whether your meal has been
greatly altered from its nature, or not. Were there chemicals,
pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics added to what is in your plate
now? Were there heating or chemical processes that killed the enzymes
and friendly bacteria needed to a good digestion in your body? While not
all agree on raw versus cooked, all nutrition gurus will tell you to eat
only whole grains and stay away from anything “white” – like white rice,
peeled potatoes, white flour etc. Organic is always your best choice,
including your meat.
A friend of mine, a holistic nutritionist, taught
me to always read the ingredients on the package of foods I buy. “If you
can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!”. My advice is, buy your food fresh or
frozen, and unprocessed. Buy in the farmers’ market, or in the grocery
stores at the periphery aisles. Some harmful ingredients are processed
from natural stuff, like MSG. Stay away from it! MSG (monosodium
glutamate) opens your taste buds so you perceive more intensely all
flavors in your meal. Trust the wisdom of old cultures: you can built
healthy, nutritious foods from scratch, with good old spices and herbs.
Is time an issue? Cook from scratch larger quantities, and freeze some.
The aboriginals have based their living on
experience, observing nature and nature’s rhythms. To check if a food is
good for consumption, they would leave it outside. If no animal would
touch it, neither would they. Warning: don’t try this with your pets:
they are so “humanized”, they often have a sweet tooth and a taste for