Guidelines for Optimal Health & Nutrition

, December 2, 2015 in Diet and Nutrition

 

Vital foods provide optimal nutrition and assist in our ability to thrive.

Be mindful when sitting down to eat a meal and give gratitude to the food itself and those who took care to provide the nourishment.

Eat with awareness.

 

Eat Well.

Eat Simply.

 

Eat real food.

Real food is vital. Stay away from processed & factory food.

The highest quality foods come from farmers who rotate crops and use organic bug control & fertilizers.

Increase your intake of organic, locally grown vegetables, organic eggs, organic butter, extra virgin olive oil, raw almonds, pumpkin seeds, freshly ground flax or chia seeds, brown rice, old fashioned steel cut oats, local/seasonal fruits and organic pastured meats.

Limit wild caught ocean fish to 2 times per week.

 

100 years ago the term “organic” did not bring about thoughts of expense or luxury. Organic food was simply food. It is only in our current time that food needs to be labeled as “organic” because much of what is stocked on the grocery store shelves has been corrupted from its natural, organic state.

 

Eat Seasonally

Eat foods that are available and grown locally. Doing so helps to keep us attuned to the Earth, to the cycles of nature and its elements. When possible, it is economical & gratifying to tend to your own garden. There you may bear witness to the miracles of nature and grow your own organic foods.

 

Spring:

cleansing, a time of purification, healing & fertility (Ester/Easter/Estrogen)

  • try to have a meal of some form of wild green to kickstart the change of season & change of physiology
  • young wild plants include: leeks, fiddleheads, asparagus, nettles, dandelion
  • other fresh greens include: spinach, parsley, kale, burdock root, endive
  • use tumeric as a spice
  • if your system is not too acidic eat small amounts of sorrel & rhubarb
  • increase the intake of raw foods with any increased of signs of warmth inside the body
  • if there is a tendency towards deficiency or weakness, avoid raw foods and consume sautéed (high temperature for a short period of time) vegetables
  • teas: dandelion root, nettles, cleavers, burdock root, yellow dock, Renés tea (Essiac), mint tea

Summer: a time of expansion & warmth, growth & activity

  • eat colourful raw foods, cooling, high water content foods
  • juicy peaches, sweet watermelon, cool cucumbers, crisp apples, raw green lettuces, watercress, arugula, celery, wild berries
  • to disperse internal heat eat cayenne pepper, ginger, horseradish & black pepper
  • teas: mint, chrysanthemum, chamomile, lemon balm, elder flowers, linden flowers, rose flowers, sumac berry lemonade

Autumn: Harvest time, a shift in energy, climate & diet from expansion and growth to introspection & contraction.

  • move towards eating more cooked foods & root crops such as: turnips, celery root, carrots, sweet potatoes, garlic, beets, cabbage, sauerkraut walnuts, ginger, black pepper, leeks, miso, eggs, artichokes, squash & pumpkins, whole grains & legumes, more proteins & fats
  • eat fresh cantaloupe & melon away from other foods
  • move towards preparing soups & stews
  • teas: burdock root, dandelion root, yellow dock, Renés tea (Essiac),

Winter: Hibernation time, Stillness, Rest & Replenishment

  • prepare and eat warm hearty soups, whole grains, roasted nuts, small dark beans, seaweeds & steamed winter greens
  • bitter & salty foods such as chicory root, squashes, carrots, beets, potatoes, onions & garlic

 

 

Avoid Processed Foods

Any food that has been denatured from its original state or has had chemicals added to it is considered processed. The food processing industry is not motivated by health, it is motivated by profit. Factory food, no matter what the label claims, is not healthy. Pre-packaged, ready to eat foods containing additives, preservatives, food colouring, aspartame/nutrasweet/Aminosweet need to be avoided.

If you do not know what an ingredient is on a label, your body does not either, do not eat it!

 

Drink Water

Pure, clean water is the only beverage necessary for good health.

We recommend filtered water for optimal benefit.

City tap water no longer delivers a safe alternative. Residue from pharmaceuticals, including chemotherapy, can be found in residential water.

Berkey water filters are reliable and economical.

Reverse osmosis & distilled water are clean but be aware that they are also free of minerals and will acidify the blood.

If you have the option, drink Berkey water and cook with reverse osmosis or distilled water because the minerals will be drawn out of the vegetables or tea leaves. The one drawback from drinking only reverse osmosis or distilled water is that it can exacerbate osteoporosis.

Brita water filters lack the ability to remove as many toxins as the Berkey filters and the Brita water is stored in plastic.

You can purchase bottled water in glass and bottled water in plastic. NEVER drink out of plastic. Even if the bottle is listed as BPA-free (Bisphenol-A-free) there are numerous other plastic chemicals that are potential endocrine disruptors.

To flavour your water, add a twist of lemon or lime or drink herbal tea such as nettle, mint, rooibos, hibiscus, etc…

Drink fruit juice diluted ½ and ½ with water to reduce the excess sugar content of each glass.

All fruit juices have been pasteurized so they are less nutritious than fresh juice. Fresh pressed fruit & vegetable juices are the superior way of getting the concentrated nutrition of fruits and vegetables as the fibre, which uses up digestive enzymes, is removed.

 

FATS

AVOID all processed vegetable oils including canola oil, margarine and shortening. These oils are heat damaged and too high in omega 6 fatty acids.

Choose extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed ghee and grass fed butter to use as everyday kitchen oils.

When cooking at high heats USE ONLY coconut oil and/or grass fed ghee. For those who are following an omnivore traditional diet, chicken, goose or duck fat along with tallow & suet from beef & lamb may also be used. These fats are composed primarily of both saturated & monosaturated fats which maintain their integrity when heated.

Include healthy fats in every meal. They are necessary elements for health. Dietary fats provide a concentrated source of energy and are central to the development of healthy cell membranes and hormones. Fats serve as carriers for vitamin A, D, E and K and are essential for mineral absorption.

Fats for Cooking at HIGH temperatures

  • coconut oil
  • grassfed ghee/clarified butter
  • chicken goose or duck fat
  • tallow/suet from beef or lamb

Fats for cooking at MODERATE temperature OR to eat raw

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sesame oil

Fats to consume RAW (no heat)

  • Flax seed oil (always refrigerate)
  • Fish oil
  • Cod liver oil
  • Krill oil

 

 

AVOID Genetically Modified Foods (GMO’S)

Genetically modified foods have been allowed onto our plates without passing any safety studies, nor regulation. Food containing genetically modified ingredients have no labeling requirements. Foods are being genetically engineered to facilitate industrial harvesting, to allow for planting before the frost-free period, to resist insects, or to resist pesticide sprays but almost never to improve nutrition or nutritional contents. Moreover, companies are seeking to control the licensing of seeds which provides these few companies with more money & power but less freedom for farmers & growers. For millennia, a delicate dance between plants & insects, between plants & soil bacteria, between plants & the position of the sun has been continually evolving with concordance & collaboration. These intricate relationships are rejected when plants are genetically modified.

Research shows concerning effects from GM foods on humans and other animals.

The most common GM foods are corn, soy, canola & cottonseed

 

AVOID these Genetically Modified Products

Corn: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), glucose-fructose, soda pop, fruit drinks, juices sweetened with glucose-fructose, Gatorade, dextrose, corn starch.

Soy: soy flour, soy protein, vegetable protein, protein isolate, non-organic tofu, tamari, tempeh, textured vegetable protein (TVP), protein supplements, “natural” flavours, lecithin.

Canola and Cottonseed Oil

Vegetable oil

Vegetable Shortening

Margarine

Lecithin

Aspartame/Nutrasweet

Food Additives, flavourings and processing agents

 

 

REDUCE Glycemic Index

Over the last century, there has been a tremendous increase in rates of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. These conditions correlate to our intake of the Standard American Diet and processed foods – most notably processed vegetable oils and refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates have a high glycemic index. The Glycemic index refers to the rate at which a food turns to sugar once it has been eaten. Refining food increases its glycemic index.

For example: turning corn into corn syrup, refining wheat into wheat flour, puffing a grain into a ready-to-eat cereal increases the rate at which the carbohydrates in food turn into sugar.

 

AVOID foods with a HIGH Glycemic Index

  • Corn: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), ready to eat breakfast cereals made with corn, fruit “juices” sweetened with corn syrup, soda pop, corn starch, granola bars
  • Wheat: usually listed as “flour” on an ingredient list; avoid wheat/flour, breads, pastas, baked goods, pitas, wraps, crackers, cookies, cakes, bagels, muffins, breaded foods, “multigrain” products, whole wheat, white flour, bran, semolina, couscous, bulgur, durham flour, gluten, MSG, sauces and soups thickened with flour
  • “Whole Grain” processed foods: most “whole grain” products at the grocery store are actually refined wheat with small amount of other grains thrown in. These foods have a high glycemic index and usually contain more than 70% ultrarefined wheat flour
  • Refined grain products: ready to eat breakfast cereals, puffed grains, puffed millet, rice paper wrappers, white rice, rice cakes, instant oatmeal, granola bars, cream of wheat, etc…
  • Sugars: Avoid sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, glucose, fructose, cane juice/sugar, corn syrup, dextrose
  • If you have blood sugar problems or are following the Ketogenic Diet, you must avoid even natural sweeteners like: honey, maple syrup, succanat, brown rice syrup, un-sulfured molasses, agave syrup, fruit juice concentrates, dried fruits
  • Fruit and Fruit Juices: most fruits have high or moderately high glycemic index so do not overdo your consumption of fruit; blueberries and other berries are among the best fruits to include in the diet due to their high levels of antioxidants and relatively low glycemic index, dilute fruit juices with filtered water and limit dried fruit due to their high glycemic index.

 

STABILIZE Glycemic Index by including the following in each meal:

High water content vegetables: eat 3-6 cups daily, include them as a least half of each meal

Healthy fats: extra virgin olive oil/coconut oil, organic butter, raw nuts/seeds, avocado

Healthy proteins: include eggs, ocean fish, meat or legumes in your meals

 

STARCHES with the Best Glycemic Index include:

Low glycemic vegetables:

  • greens: arugula, beet greens, cilantro, dandelion greens, endive, friseé, chives, mâche, parsley, purslane, mesculen, spinach, watercress, sunflower sprouts & other sprouts, mustard greens, chard, kale, collard greens, bok choy, brussel sprouts, nettles, wheat or barley grass
  • other vegetables: asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, fennel, mushrooms, radish, radicchio, snow peas, string beans, summer squash, zucchini
  • sea vegetables: dulse, nori, kelp
  • onion family: leeks, onions, scallions, shallots
  • nightshade vegetables: eggplant, peppers, paprika, tomatoes

Legumes especially those that you have prepared by soaking/sprouting before cooking, versus those from a can

  • black beans, adzuki (red) beans, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, mung beans, split peas

Grains in their “whole” kernal state (not milled into flour) soaked, or sprouted

  • whole quinoa, oat groats, steel cut oats, pot barley, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, amaranth

Breads made from sprouted or sourdough

  • whole kernels of rye/spelt, quinoa, buckwheat, kamut, brown rice

 

GRAINS

Soak Grains before use

Grains contain phytic acid. Phytic acid blocks proper digestion of grains and inhibits the absorption of minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, copper & zinc. Sprout, sour leaven or soak grains overnight before cooking to help neutralize phytic acid.

 

Cook Your foods at low temperatures

Low temperature cooking preserves nutrients in the food. Steam or poach your foods. Use a crock pot or cook your foods in a covered glass dish in a low temperature oven (225F for 12-15 min. per 4oz of food).

 

 

FOOD PREPARATION

Make food preparation a priority

It takes time to prepare nutritious, healthy food. Food preparation is one of the most important tasks in your household. Do not leave a task of such importance up to the whimsy of the food industry. Health cannot be obtained by eating processed, packaged, ready-to-eat foods. Prepare foods with love and awareness.

Include Raw food in your diet

Raw foods have important nutrients and enzymes essential for optimal health. Cooking destroys these nutrients or makes them less bio-available. Some people with lowered vitality may not tolerate raw vegetables and will need to steam them lightly. Grains and legumes should NOT be

eaten raw. Do not overcook meat or egg yolks.

 

AVOID microwave ovens, teflon and plastics

Avoid microwaves: go stove top! Purchase a hot plate for work or use a toaster oven.

Avoid teflon, invest in a high quality cast iron pan and season it well.

Reduce purchases of foods and drinks stored in plastic. Store food in glass containers.

 

Steps to IMPROVE digestion

Take the time to eat.

Do not eat when anxious, upset or rushed.

Do not eat on the run.

Sit down when you eat. Do some deep breathing before meals to relax the body.

Be grateful for your food. Be mindful of what you are eating.

Chew your food well.

Limit beverages with meals – drink 30 minutes before meals or 1 hour after.

Eat 3 balanced meals a day, limit/avoid snacking if possible.

Give your digestive system a rest at least 12 hours nightly and 3 hours between meals.

Include raw foods, fermented foods, and bone broths.

Keep food combinations simple.

For a sensitive gut, eat fruits separately: 45 minutes before meals or 3 hours after.

 

EMR (Electromagnetic Radiation), Electricity & Electropollution

Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) in our environment is a growing concern.

The advent and increased use of cellphones, computer wifi, radios and microwaves has propelled our society into a situation in which we are bombarded by electromagnetic fields that have consequences for our health.

Ionizing Radiation includes x-rays, gamma rays & nuclear radiation

exposing the body to these highly reactive ions at certain levels can dramatically affect the atomic structure

 

Electromagnetic radiation is a controversial issue worldwide.

Various studies globally have identified that extremely

low frequency (ELF), radio frequency (RF) and microwave

radiation (collectively called electrosmog or electromagnetic

radiation – EMR) can negatively affect us over prolonged

periods of time (acute exposures are not commonly seen

except perhaps occupationally).

referenced from:

Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford

Staying Healthy with Nutrition, Elson M. Hass & Buck Levin

Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon & Mary Enig

The Healing Power of Nature information from Jacinta Willems ND

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