Eating For Better Health
- 01 | Introduction
Since the beginning of time, the human body has evolved around a food source that has always been supplied by nature, in the form of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and animals.
Technically a fruit is any real food, which contains seeds. This would include such foods as cucumbers, green/red sweet peppers, tomatoes, avocadoes, squash, etc. These are foods that man’s entire anatomical and physiological make up is designed best to handle. For example, fruits are 90% efficient to a human body, meaning, if there are 100 calories in a banana, it only takes 10 of the calories to digest and process that food. The other 90 calories are for usable, life maintaining energy. The primary reason we eat food is for glucose—our main energy supply. Fruits are high in sugar.
Nuts contain fat, but are primarily protein, although a vegetable source protein. It is easier for the body to digest and assimilate this type of protein compared to animal source proteins.
Vegetables are also a positive energy food, but not quite as efficient as fruit. It takes roughly 90% of the calories from the vegetable to digest and process it, leaving only 10% of the calories for usable energy. All other foods are negative energy foods for they take more energy to digest and process than they give in return. This is not to say we cannot utilize some of the nutrients in them. We do, but at a price.
If we were really healthy and had optimal digestion, lived in a stress-free environment, and consumed foods of superior quality, all of our nutritional needs would easily be met. Since all of the above are not true in today’s society, it is wise to add whole food supplements.
As far as protein is concerned most Americans consume an excessive amount. You may have heard of a number of people who have lost weight and lowered cholesterol by going on a high protein and fat diet. In most cases this diet change was an improvement over their previous diet (usually one high in processed junk foods). We are not overweight and unhealthy as a nation because of a protein deficiency. We are overweight and unhealthy because of a real food deficiency!!
- 02 | What is Real Food
Your body was designed to operate on a specific fuel. This fuel will only add to the health and life of the body. It will not take away from its efficient operation or “clog up” the works. This fuel is called “real food”. The principles for determining if a substance is real food are:
- If it is something edible grown by nature (of the plant kingdom)
- If it is a “clean” protein. Clean is defined as an animal raised in its natural environment and fed its natural diet devoid of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and various chemicals and dyes
- If it can be eaten without processing in any way
- If a meal of just that one substance can be eaten and is satisfying (i.e., not offensive to the taste buds). The taste buds are our primary defensive mechanism to keep toxins out of the body via the digestive tract. We naturally have a “sweet tooth.” This is nature’s way of attracting us to our natural diet, fruits and vegetables, and to keep us from consuming toxins or toxic foods.
Real foods come to us from nature as “complete packages” meaning they have everything in them necessary for the body to process and assimilate that food for use in the body.
- 03 | Processed Foods /Junk Foods
What are processed or “junk” foods and why are they so harmful to us?
A junk food is defined as a substance that does not meet one or all of the qualifications of a real food, meaning it would not be conducive to health and life, but would be disease producing; this is because:
i. Junk foods are missing some of the ingredients needed by the body to make efficient use of the food. The body will then try to complete the package by pulling from its reserves and its own tissue.
ii. Junk foods contain within them—toxins—which ‘clog up the works’ making the body less efficient. The natural response of the body is to neutralize and remove the toxin. This takes a tremendous amount of energy and nutrients to complete this process. (Energy and nutrients that weren’t supplied by the junk food)
Other names are more descriptive of what refined or junk foods really are:
- processed foods
- partial foods
- fragmented foods
- incomplete foods
- refined foods
- fortified foods
A refined food is just what the above names indicate: part of the whole, not a complete food that nature has produced. Remember that nature’s foods—real foods—come as complete packages containing all that is needed for the body to process and assimilate the nutrients in that food for life and health. Once man begins to do anything to that food, it begins to lose part of its nutrient quality, and becomes only part of the whole. Obviously the more that is done to the food, the less complete it becomes.
Lets take a look at the amount of nutrition that is removed from a grain of wheat.
Percentage of nutrition loss in processing of wheat
- Protein – 25%
- Fiber – 95%
- Calcium, Ca – 56%
- Iron, Fe – 84%
- Phosphorus, P – 69%
- Zinc, Zn – 76%
- Copper, Cu – 62%
- Manganese, Mn – 82%
- Selenium, Se – 52%
- Thiamin (vit B-1) – 73%
- Riboflavin (vit B-2) – 81%
- Niacin (vit B-3) – 80%
- Pantothenic acid (vit B-5) – 56%
- Vitamin B-6 – 87%
- Folate – 59%
- Vitamin E – 95%
Some more commonly eaten refined foods are:
Table sugar (brown or white) and anything containing such
- soft drinks
White refined flour and products made from such
- breakfast cereals
- 04 | Eating Guidelines
- Fruit juice (freshly made)
- Fruit – apples, oranges, grapefruit, bananas, grapes, melons, etc. Choose a variety of fruits, cut up and put in a bowl. Always try to eat at least 1 piece of fruit for breakfast
- Smoothies (see instruction)
- Cold cereals – Soy milk is preferred. If you use cow’s milk, choose low fat and organic .
- Eat a cereal
high in fiber. Look for ingredients that say whole grains,
for example, whole wheat as compared to just saying wheat,
corn or oats.
Raw cereal blend recipe:
¼ - ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp. raw wheat germ
pinch of flax seeds
raw organic honey, fructose or stevia for taste (optional)
You can also add berries, bananas, or dried fruits to this mix.
- Hot cereals – SLOW cooking oatmeal – not
instant and NO microwave use
* Try to eat a salad before the rest of your meal.
Sandwiches – whole grain breads with lettuce (not iceberg), tomato, pickles, sprouts, cucumbers etc. Make sure you use veggies on your sandwich – turkey, chicken, or tuna are your better choices of protein.
Salads – A large salad with a mixture of veggies (broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower, etc.) and a whole grain roll. Try to choose a dressing that uses olive oil. No partially hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup. Watch for sugars in dressings.
You may choose ONE of the following (when you have a small salad or protein with some vegetables:
- Baked Potato
- Baked Yam or Sweet Potato
- Brown Rice or Wild Rice
- Avocado (avocado sandwich acceptable)
- Raw Nuts and Seeds (1-4 ounces)
Dinner is the best time to have a protein meal. Have a piece of fish, chicken, or turkey.
Add some veggies, raw is always best.
Salads or lightly steamed vegetables are a great choice.
Whole wheat pastas – angel hair is a popular choice.
NOTE: It is not necessary to have a protein meal every night. Should you elect not to, ONE of the following choices will go well with the salad and the optional steamed vegetables:
- Baked Potato
- Baked Yam or Sweet Potato
- Brown or Wild Rice (not instant or white rice)
- Whole Grain Bread (1 or 2 slices or rolls)
- 05 | Special Instructions
As needed, snack between meals. Your snack choices include:
- Fresh fruit /dehydrated fruit
- Vegetable sticks
- Raw nuts or seeds (one handful per snack)
- Whole grain crackers
Blend the following ingredients in a blender:
- 4-6 oz. water
- Fruit choices – peaches, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, kiwi, pineapple, grapes, etc. Any fruit you personally like is fine. You can freeze your fruit before blending which gives your smoothies a thicker consistency.
- Protein – You can add a scoop of protein powder. Add enough protein to equal 12-20 grams.
- Fatty Acids – Add some nuts or flax seeds
This makes a good breakfast drink or snack.
The vegetables that are very nutritious and should be included on a regular basis are:
- zucchini squash
- green peas
- sweet potatoes
- other squash
- leaf lettuces (avoid head/iceberg)
- green beans
- cabbage (red best)
- red/green sweet peppers
- sprouts (alfalfa, bean, etc.)
The nuts and seeds that we can eat and which should be included in the diet are:
- sunflower seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- sesame seeds
- squash seeds
All nuts and seeds are to be eaten only raw and unsalted.
While our ideal situation would be to pick and immediately eat a regional, seasonal diet, this is not always practical and not always possible. Due to modern transport it is often possible (with varying degrees) to get fruits and vegetables year round. However, fruit is generally more difficult to come by through the winter months.
If this is our ideal food, how can we survive without it, or at least without an ample supply year round? If through the months when fruits and vegetables are in ample supply and of good quality we eat predominantly these, then through the winter months we will not do ourselves any harm eating what is available—frozen foods, more grains, seeds and nuts.
WATER - Drink filtered water. I recommended reverse osmosis filtered water. Drink a minimum of 64 oz per day and up to 120 oz per day depending on your daily activities.
JUICE – Every day have at least ½ - 1 glass (4-8 ounces) of fresh fruit or vegetable juice 1-2 times per day. This is best taken between meals or in lieu of a meal.
(If you do not own a juice extractor, ignore this recommendation until such a time you do own one.)
FASTING – There are many benefits to fasting. I recommend you find a regular time period that works with your routine. Example, 1 day/week or 2 weeks, even one day/month. That day you would, only drink filtered water, juice until supper.
OPTIONAL –Once a week you may splurge and have a meal of whatever you want; just be aware of the consequences. (It would be best to juice your next two meals after a splurge meal)
- 06 | Additional Guidelines
BASIC RULES FOR EATING
Care should be taken to eat a good variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure a well-rounded input of nutrients.
Strive to consume at least 70% of your total food intake in the fresh and raw form – fruits and vegetables. It is the raw, enzymatically active foods that allow for healing and health. The more the food is processed, the less value it retains for health.
Eat raw foods with every meal. The enzymes found in these foods will facilitate the digestion and processing of the cooked foods associated with that meal.
Do not overeat. Eat until satisfied, not hurting. Overall, the less one eats, the healthier. Chew food slowly and thoroughly. It should be liquid in the mouth before swallowing. This allows the body to sense the nutrient content of the food being consumed and will accordingly shut down the appetite when enough food is consumed, thus avoiding the tendency to overeat.
Eat only when hungry, not because it’s meal time or the food is there. Hunger is noticed in the mouth and throat, not in the stomach. Let the body determine when it needs nutrition. One of the greatest hindrances to maintaining health is overworking the digestive system, which hinders proper assimilation of food and stifles the body’s cleansing activity.
Our internal body chemistry functions in an alkaline environment. Our blood must maintain a pH of 7.4. If it drops below that to 7.2 we die. The cells of the body in health are alkaline. In disease the cell pH is below 7.0. The more acid the cells become, the sicker we are and feel. The cells won’t die until their pH get to about 3.5.
Our bodies produce acid as a by-product of normal metabolism. Since our bodies do not manufacture alkaline, we must supply the alkaline from an outside source to keep us from becoming acid and dying. Food is the means of replenishing the alkaline to the body.
Foods are two types, acid or alkaline. This refers to the ash value of a food. Meaning that after it is digested and processed what the residue left over is. Is it acid, or is it alkaline? If there is an acid residue (inorganic acids), the body must neutralize this acid to keep the blood from getting acid. The acid is neutralized with alkaline. Ideally there is adequate alkaline in the diet to do this. However, if there is not, the body must extract alkaline from its cells to neutralize the acid. This, of course, causes cells to become acid, and thus diseased.
Because our bodies are an alkaline entity, in order to maintain health, the majority of our diet must consist of alkaline ash foods. We can remain in health by consuming a diet that is 80% alkaline and 20% acid.The more alkaline, the better. If we become too alkaline by eating a majority of alkaline foods, we will lose our appetite and automatically want to fast, during which time the normal acid metabolic by-products will return the body’s pH back to normal.
It is interesting to note that some foods which qualify as a real food have an acid ash reaction. This is probably nature’s way of keeping a balance so that the real food consumer does not become too alkaline. Also note that the acid content of these acid ash real foods is very low and they still contain valuable nutrients which can be utilized by the body.
The following is a chart of the acid and alkaline foods:
The breakdown of foods into acid ash and alkaline ash categories would generally be as follows:
ACID ASH ALKALINE ASH
raw nuts (except almonds)
raw seeds (sesame, pumpkin, squash, sunflower)
some raw fruits and vegetables (cranberries, blueberries, plums, prunes, squash)
dairy products (cheese, eggs, milk)
sugar and refined grains
white meats (fish, fowl)
red meats (beef, pork, mutton)
herbs, spices, condiments, spicy foods (garlic, hot peppers, onions, horseradish, etc.)
coffee and tea
lightly steamed fruits and vegetables
Note: In the acid ash column, foods are listed in order of least acid to most acid; in the alkaline ash column, foods are listed in order from most alkaline to least alkaline.
The average American diet consists of: 20% alkaline foods and 80% acid foods.
The diet should consist of at least: 80% ALKALINE FOODS AND 20% ACID FOODS.
It is not unusual for the average American to go 7 to 14 days without eating ANY alkaline foods.
ORGANICALLY GROWN FOOD
Where possible consume organically grown fruits, vegetables and grains. Generally these contain more nutrients and have less (if any) chemical fertilizers and pesticides. In some cases the organic version is difficult to find and/or expensive. In either case, consume the produce that can be found at your local grocery store; this is still better than no raw fruits and vegetables at all. It is also best to eat fruits and vegetables that are in season and that are native to your area.
Two factors that reduce the quality of raw fruits and vegetables are the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in commercially grown produce.
While these are certainly harmful to the produce, nature has a mechanism to help cut down the negative effects of these chemicals, thus retaining adequate nutrient value.
The number one defense of fruits and vegetables against chemicals is the skin. It will keep the majority if not all of the sprayed-on pesticides out of the food. This illustrates the importance of properly and thoroughly washing fruits and vegetables before consumption.
Still, some sprays may be concentrated enough to penetrate through the skin and into the “meat” of the fruit or vegetable. Also, chemical fertilizers are absorbed into the food via the roots. Either way, there is a potential threat to the quality of the food and the poisoning of the consumer.
Again nature has a defense—cell walls. The individual cell walls within fruits and vegetables are made of cellulose. Cellulose is a highly complex starch that humans are incapable of digesting. This cellulose cell membrane has the capability of selecting what it will allow in and let out. The scientific term for this is: “selective permeability”. As a result of this function, and in keeping with one of the basic laws of nature—survival, the cell walls will elect not to allow toxins into the cells. Rather the cell walls simply hold onto the foreign chemicals, trapping them within themselves. When the food is eaten, the cellulose cell wall containing these toxic chemicals is not digested and is passed out of the body as waste.
Should the chemicals be concentrated enough to override the cell wall and penetrate into the cell itself, they will destroy both nutrient content and glucose levels of the food. As a result, the fruit or vegetable will not taste sweet. It should therefore not be eaten as it has no nutrient value and is toxic to the body. (see Relative Sweetness)
The food must, in its natural state, be pleasing to all five senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, taste. This is especially true of the sense of taste, as this is our primary defensive mechanism to keep toxins out of the body entering through the mouth.
In other words, if a food cannot be consumed without first disguising its flavor, or in its natural state it doesn’t taste good, it is not to be eaten.
Fruits, vegetables and nuts meet these criteria.
The relative sweetness of a real food is the ultimate test of its nutritional quality.
If growing conditions of the food were good, the glucose content of the food will be high, and the food will be both sweet tasting and high in nutritional value. There is a direct relationship between glucose content and vitamin/mineral content of a real food.
A food cannot form a high glucose content without a proportionately high level of the other food constituents—vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.
If growing conditions are poor, the resultant food will be of poor nutritional value and the glucose level will be low, thus the food will not taste sweet.
If the nutritional value of the food has been decreased or destroyed via chemical fertilizers, pesticides, chemical ripening agents, storage, injected dyes, etc., the glucose content will proportionately be destroyed and the food will lose its sweet taste.
If the nutritional value of the food has been decreased or destroyed via processing and/or preparation of the food (cooking, freezing, fermenting, spicing, etc.), the glucose content will likewise be diminished and the food will not be sweet tasting.
NOTE: Green beans will never be as sweet tasting as an orange. However, there will be sweet tasting green beans and green beans that are not so sweet, illustrating the term 'relative sweetness'.
TIMES NOT TO EAT
There are certain times it would be best not to eat, eat little, or just drink fresh juice.
Such situations would include:
- If you are not hungry
- When in pain, running a fever or otherwise acutely ill
- Immediately before or after physical exertion
- When under emotional stress
Eating heavy or normal meals at these times will hinder the activity the body is attempting to perform in that the digestion of food requires a great deal of energy which the body (and mind in some cases) would rather have to carry out these high energy requiring functions. Also, there will be less efficient digestion of food if consumed during the above occasions because the body has much energy tied up on the crisis activity.
NO-NO’S TO AVOID
The following substances are, to various degrees, harmful to the body, take away from health, and ideally are to be avoided. Work towards eliminating them from your diet as time goes by or at least reduce the frequency at which they are consumed if they are a regular part of the current dietary intake. Also, it is best not to give them all up at once. This can make this new way of eating overwhelming and cause one to revert back to the SAD (Standard American Diet).
- Rhubarb: contains naturally occurring toxins (thus the need to sweeten it for consumption)
- Popcorn: can be hard to digest, avoid if causes gastric distress; also should be air popped without salt
- Caffeine: is a stimulant; so avoid coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, herb teas which contain caffeine
- Decaffeinated and artificially sweetened drinks: they contain various harmful chemicals and oils (Nutri-sweet, aspartame, Splenda)
- Canned foods (home made or commercially produced): they are void of enzymes
- Nicotine, tobacco
- Drugs and medications – where medically possible
- Processed, refined, overheated, fast and junk foods
- Microwave foods: destroys most of the enzymes (over 90%)
- Fried foods, foods containing processed fats – especially if fat content is over 30% of total calorie content
- Avoid cooking with oils of any kind
- Ice cream, and all dairy (except butter for flavoring)
- Foods with additives – preservatives, coloring, emulsifiers, etc.
- Refined sugar, white flour and foods containing them.