diet - essential nutrition - natural holistic health

Diet - Eating Habits

l Learn to listen to how your body responds to the food after eating. Burping and gas are signs that the food is too acidic. Some common symptoms of improper digestion include gas, bloating, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, acid reflux, constipation, undigested food in stool, foul-smelling stools, loss of appetite, or the desire to eat mostly sugary or starchy foods. This is your body telling you that these foods don’t belong in your diet, or they may need to be reduced in serving size or frequency.

l Always listen to your body especially after finishing a detox. If you have cravings for unhealthy foods like sugar, carbs, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, or other addictive substances, or even unhealthy lifestyle habits, that means your brain chemistry is disrupted and/or the endocrine system is impaired. Eating healthy and detoxing will reset you biochemistry (and thus your eating preferences) and repair those systems. The true voice of your body will always lead you to what is best and healthy for you. It will never tell you to do something destructive. So listen to your body especially after a detox. Also, if you feel excessively bad in response to a treatment remedy, your body is saying this is counterproductive and it should be discontinued or reduced.

l Eat only if and when you feel hungry rather than three meals a day or at specific times in the day.

l Don't drink water or other beverages with meals because it dilutes the stomach digestive juices (acid), which disturbs and slows down the digestion process. Its best to drink room temperature water at least an hour or longer before or after meals. Adding lemon to the water aids with digestion. Make sure to stay adequately hydrated especially when hot, after physical activity, and when sick or detoxing. Thirst signals can often be mistaken for hunger signals which leads to overeating. Most people do not drink enough water so dehydration is very common. People normally drink water only when they are thirsty, or when their mouth is dry. Thirst and a dry mouth are signs of dehydration. If we drink water only when thirsty, we are perpetually dehydrated. So drink a glass of clean water every couple of hours throughout the day even when not thirsty. 

l Proper food combining is a system of eating foods that combine together efficiently to assist digestion and thus provide us with the nutrients and energy we need. Improper food combining is one of the primary factors that causes gas, bloating, acid reflux, heartburn, upset stomach, weight gain, and even malnutrition from poor digestion.This is because different enzymes are secreted to digest different types of foods (fats, proteins, carbs) in different areas of the body, and their effect is neutralized if foods are not combined properly. The key guideline to follow is to limit or avoid eating starchy carbs with: 1) proteins or with 2) fruits. Instead eat proteins with non-starchy veggies like leafy greens or ocean veggies. Starchy foods/carbs include grains (like rice, bread, noodles, corn), legumes (beans, peas, etc), potatoes and other starchy root vegetables. Proteins include poultry (like chicken), fish, eggs, etc. Fruits (especially melons) are best eaten alone and (as a dessert for example) before a meal instead of after. Learn more about the food types (fats, proteins, and carbs) in Essential Nutrition.

l Eat fresh, whole, local, seasonal foods. 

l Eat until you feel 80% full to avoid overeating. It  takes a few minutes for the brain to get a signal from body that it is full.  

l Chew food fully, slowly, and mindfully - to get more nutrition through gums, easier on digestion later because food mixed with saliva and carb digestive enzymes, and easier to get brain signal that you're full so you eat less. 

l Be thankful for the food before starting to eat (energizes the food and empowers you). 

l Don't put restrictions on yourself. It's the main reason why most diets fail. Instead of restricting foods from your diet, just start adding healthier options. It's easier to add healthier foods into your diet, rather than restrict anything, because that will also slowly reduce your cravings for unhealthy foods. So start slow by changing one item at a time and get accustomed to the healthier alternative before tackling another.

l If you suspect you may be allergic or sensitive/intolerant to a certain food, eliminate it for a period of time and then reintroduce it into your diet to see if it produces any symptoms, conditions, or cravings (called the elimination diet). Food allergy reactions are immediate while food sensitivity reactions are delayed. Usually, when you remove these foods from your diet, pain will be reduced or removed, cravings for sweets will diminish, mood will improve, weight will drop, and overall health will improve.

l Make it a habit to always check the ingredients label of any food or drink product before you buy or consume it. Ignore anything else on the label because it can be inaccurate. For example, the "all natural" label is deceptive because the product can still contain synthetic, processed, or toxic ingredients. 

l Avoid food, especially meat, before bed. It makes it harder to sleep and can disturb your sleep. Meat causes acidity and needs a few hours to be digested.  

l Avoid meat and big meals when ill. The body uses most of its energy (~80%) digesting food (instead of healing). So when ill, a diet high in cleansing alkaline plant foods, small infrequent meals, or fasting/juicing is best for a quick recovery. As Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, wisely stated: "To eat when you are sick is to feed your sickness". 

l Take a walk or be physically active (in moderation for a few minutes) before or after consuming a high carb meal (grains, legumes, starchy foods, sugar, or high fructose fruits) to burn off the sugar. This prevents glucose/insulin spikes and the sugar from being stored as fat (weight gain). Also, eating it with fibrous veggies or nuts reduces the glycemic load. 

l Learn and incorporate the wisdom of native traditional diets: use meats/dairy/cheese as a spice (small portions) or on special occasions (infrequently) and make sure its pastured or free range, raised organically, grass fed, and eat all parts of the animal; use native grains like quinoa, non meaty proteins, fermented foods, indigenous oils which are high in omega3 and low in omega6s, healing spices, and sweet and salty foods from whole foods. Their eating traditions include communal eating, modified fasts (not dieting but eliminating unhealthy foods for a few weeks), eating until 80% full (okinawans commonly say "hara hachi bu"), living and eating slowly (greek cretians commonly say "siga siga"), and the evening meal is the smallest. Good health is not just from the food but also the recipes, traditions, relationships, the way they eat in the day and season, and the way the food is grown and prepared. Traditional diets maximize nutrients while modern diets minimize nutrients. In traditional diets vs. modern diets: foods from fertile soil vs. depleted soils, organ meats eaten vs. muscle meats, animal fats vs. vegetable oils, animals on pasture vs. animals in confinement, raw and/or fermented dairy products vs. pasteurized dairy products, grains and legumes soaked/fermented vs. grains refined, bone broths vs. MSG and artificial flavorings, unrefined sweeteners (like honey, maple syrup) vs. refined sweeteners, fermented veggies vs. canned veggies, fermented beverages vs. modern soft drinks, unrefined salt vs. refined salt, natural vitamins in foods vs. synthetic vitamins added, traditional cooking vs. microwave and irrradiation, traditional seeds/open pollination vs. hybrid seeds and GMO seeds.

Next: Learn about "Lifestyle - Essential Habits"


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 * The information on this website is for educational purposes only and not medical advice.


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