Every one of us has the same list of nutritional requirements (vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, enzymes and hormones), yet the right amounts for each individual are determined by our unique lifestyle, environment, metabolic type and blood type.
Simply stated, I believe the best way to get optimal nutrition is to eat primarily whole, unprocessed, organic food. However, this is easier said than done–for many reasons which will be addressed here.
So the purpose of this briefing is to simply offer my best tips on how to maximize your time and dollars to get the best whole food nutrition that is unique to you and your health condition.
See our Simple 6-Step Process for Optimum Nutrition.
Illness or disease can result from both excesses and deficiencies of the required nutrients. One of the most important factors I’ve learned about nutrition in my research as a Certified Nutrition Consultant is the importance of the synergistic effect of all nutrient components in food. The body in its infinite intelligence knows how to adjust imbalances if we give it whole foods rather than isolated nutrients in supplement form, especially the synthetic ones.
Along with intake of food, there are many other key factors related to nutrition, including the simple science of food combining, water intake, electrical nutrition, acid vs. alkaline benefits, removal of toxic waste, absorption of nutrients from the sun, digestive and eliminative health, and many others.
In addition, even though I maintain this whole-food philosophy, I have come to realize over time that high-quality, whole-food supplements are often necessary to complement our diets, especially when we don’t have access to high quality, fresh food. I also find that the situations in people’s lives make it challenging to consistently eat healthy meals. So I will be recommending some of my favorite whole-food nutritional supplements to fill in the gaps as we do our best to eat well.
Simple 6-Step Process for Optimum Nutrition
1. Drink Enough Pure Water. Water is involved in every chemical and biological process in the body. To a large degree, your body’s hydration level determines how well it can digest and assimilate nutrients from the food you eat and any supplements you take. If your body is even slightly dehydrated, it simply will not function well–no matter how well you eat. Thus, drinking at least 1/2 oz. per pound of body weight of pure alkaline water is the foundation for your optimum nutrition.
2. Choose Quality Food. Start by going through your cupboards and giving away all processed food. Shop at your local farmers-type markets, the Lifestyles Wellness Market and the Pantry for fresh foods (preferably organic and locally grown) as often as possible. In grocery stores, shop the perimeter mainly for organic fresh (or frozen) foods and avoid all processed, packaged, fried, canned and fast food. Bottom line is if it’s not food, don’t eat it! Read the labels. I recommend eating primarily a whole-food, fruit and plant-based diet, especially an abundance of raw vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, along with whole grains, sprouted grains and legumes.
3. Prepare Simple Meals. Let’s face it, if meals are not quick and easy, they’re not going to happen more often than not. Invest in a few natural health cookbooks and try one new simple recipe a week until you have at least 10 quick meals to fall back on when you’re stressed or just don’t feel like cooking. Look for recipes here at Yah’some Living in the recipe section we have great recipes that can make your life healthier and take no longer than 20 minutes. The easiest way I know to get in 9-11 servings of fruits and vegetables is by blending and drinking smoothies. I can’t say enough about smoothies, especially with a high power blender.
4. Digest Your Food Well. No matter how well you eat, if your food doesn’t digest properly, your body will not assimilate the nutrients and utilize the energy it needs. When the digestive and eliminative systems work well, energy levels are high and the immune system is strong. The key is to work from the top down, first ensuring good digestion, then good absorption, and finally good elimination. If your digestion or eliminations is poor, begin by hydrating your body. The second step is to slow down and chew your food thoroughly.
5. Cleanse Your Colon. Did you know that 2-3 bowel movements a day is considered healthy? Many people feel lucky to have 2-3 a week! The most common sign of a toxic colon is chronic constipation or irritable bowel. The most effective ways to cleanse your colon naturally is by drinking alkaline water and fresh fruit and vegetable juices, eating a diet high in fiber and nutrients, and taking herbal colon cleansing products periodically. Taking extra flax seed fiber, probiotics (kefir is easy to make look at the kefir grains post here at Yah’some Living), or magnesium can also be helpful.
6. Take Key Supplements as Needed. Even with the best food and a “balanced” diet, I have found that our food may still not provide all the nutrients we need. Unfortunately, the bulk of our food supply is processed and grown in nutritionally depleted soil. So unless you are growing your own food in rich soil, I believe a few key broad-based, whole-food supplements are advisable, especially during times when we are under more stress or strain. Northern Edge Milled Flax Seed and Wheat Germ are two of my favorites. Together they are a SUPER food, rich in omega 3, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids, sterols, flavonoids, carotenoids and proteins.
Remember if you are struggling with your health, your eating habits or other lifestyle factors, it is helpful (even necessary at times) to work with a health care professional or Certified Nutrition Consultant. Ultimately it can save you time and money, as well as physical and emotional discomfort.