Friday, October 26, 2007

Nutrition and Vitality

Your nutrition is intricately linked to your vitality. Vitality in your physical being, your mental being, your emotional being, and your spiritual being is connected to the food you eat. Your ability to maintain radiant health has everything to do with what you are putting in your mouth and how you are being in your life.
I typically like to focus on what works… healthy foods that make us feel great. However, it is also important to know what does not work- those foods that suppress brain function, devastate the immune system, and lead to disease and illness.

Sugar has a scattering effect in the brain and suppresses the function of your immune system. Not to mention the effect on insulin and your pancreas. Refined, processed sugars are one of the worst things we can consume. It can cause mood swings, fatigue, anxiety, and more. It leaches minerals from our tissues and bones. Artificial sweeteners are worse. They cause the same addictive patterns and insulin reaction in your body as sugar, plus your body has to process and detoxify from the chemicals used in the sweetener.
Monosodium glutamate can cause severe headaches, fatigue, disturbed digestion, and a host of other symptoms. Just because the package does not have MSG listed as an ingredient, does not mean it does not contain it in hidden forms. Some examples of hidden forms of MSG are citric acid, natural flavorings, yeast extract, torula yeast, and anything hydrolyzed, autolyzed, or isolated. Sorry, this means that anything that contains isolated soy or whey protein can be a hidden form of MSG. When these fragile proteins are processed to become isolated from the whole food, free glutamic acid is released. Free glutamic acid is what causes the MSG reaction in your body. (More detailed information can be found here. )
Packaged foods
Much of the typical packaged food found in grocery stores contains refined flours, sugars, and dangerous added ingredients. Artificial colorings and flavorings are frequently added to “food” marketed towards children. Refined flours can clog your gut causing fatigue, acne, bloating, weight gain, and more. Artificial colorings and flavorings are part of the cause for autism, ADHD, and other such diagnoses.
Factory farmed meat
Meat from animals which are not free-ranging in the sunlight, eating organic grass contains a host of health destroying qualities. From the added hormones and anti-biotics, to the poor feed quality and toxic environment in which they are raised, factory farmed meat contains little if any usable nutrition. Your liver will be so busy detoxifying from all the toxic waste stored in the fat and muscle tissue of the animal that it won’t have much of a chance to absorb any nutrition that may be available. Organic, free-ranging animals provide Essential Fatty Acids, and are much cleaner than factory farmed animals. Plus they are happy eating grass while they enjoy the sunlight.


Buy Local and Organic
If you want vitality in your health, it is important to know your alternatives to typical grocery store food. One key to vitality is to eat simple foods. If you are eating produce that is locally grown, you are generally avoiding preservatives, added coloring (used in fruit and vegetables for visual appeal), and gassing (used to speed the ripening process). Find a local farm near you. Some local farms also sell meat and dairy without anti-biotics and hormones. If you choose locally grown organic produce, you will boost your vitality even more!
Buy and cook in bulk
Whole grains and beans provide excellent nutrition and are cost-effective, especially if you buy them in bulk (even when buying organic). Cook a big batch at the beginning of the week and scoop out what you need as you go through your week. Add your favorite spices to create a variety of dishes with the same grains or beans as the base ingredients.
Look for simple ingredients
If you eat packaged foods, look for a short ingredient list and simple, easy to understand ingredients. If an ingredient looks long and complicated and you don’t know what it is, put the package back on the shelf. Avoid sugar-free and no-fat foods. They are not healthy and are merely a marketing ploy.
Go at your own pace
Eating healthy may seem overwhelming and complicated at first, but if you implement one new thing at a time, it is much easier. Some people like to try one new vegetable a week and some like to try one new thing each month. Allow yourself to go at your own pace. Eating healthy does not have to be all-or-nothing. If you overeat at a party or eat an unhealthy food, this is not a reason to quit. You can give yourself a second or even a 100th chance to start fresh.

No comments: