Conscious Nutrition Guidelines
1. when possible, eat foods sourced locally
whenever possible buy fresh, organic, and local. Do the best you can and source your food from farmer’s markets and organic food markets whenever possible. No matter where you shop, look for the freshest seasonal produce you can find. If you can grow something yourself, suc has tomatoes and lettuces in a planter, herbs in a window box, or sprouts on the kitchen counter. Try to avoid using boxed or packaged foods, even if made from whole foods, and when you do buy packaged foods look for glass packaging instead of aluminium or plastic. While good sources make all the difference, it’s important not to get anxious or fanatical about the pursuit of them, for stress defeats the purpose. By enjoying diversity in your diet, rotating your foods according to season you can easily enjoy a diet that is safe and good for you.
2. Face “Vegetable Forward”
In busy lives filled with work, travel, caring for others, and meeting responsibities, it becomes all too easy to forget to include fresh vegetables at meals. Protein foods and carbohydrates are quicker and easier to source. But it’s important to shift vegetables from supporting act to central player.
After six weeks of eating simple foods, the taste buds begin to crave the foods that best support health. The body knows what it wants. While all the food groups are essential, including proteins, fats and carbohydrates, from a point of view that integrates the physical and the subtle, vegetables are the foods that truly unlock harmonic healing. We need vegetables and fruits with our meal for multiple reasons: The mineral salts that they contain help us to digest proteins, which is why we include vegetables with a protein. The minreal salts in the vegetable or fruit act as a digestive fruit, supporting the breakind down of food while hydrating our bodies, too. Of, course the bounty of protective antioxidants, vitamins, and other phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables also work harmoniously to support the function of the body and serve to combat damage that free radicals from toxins can unleash. The fiber in plant foods help to sweep waste materials bound with bile out of the colon, including the excess cholesterol, used hormones, and chemicals and metals. The fiber also acts as a prebiotic that fuels the activity of the beneficial probiotics in the gut, which are so important in resisting parasites and vountering inflammation. These probiotics- which are particularly enhanced by eating vegetables- also transform lignans, compounds in plants into a plant hormone that protects women from the potential damage of excess estrogen. When vegetables are included in significant amounts, we find that the need for supplements and digestive enzymes diminishes- supported with what it needs, the body can be its own pharmacy and do the work for us.
3. Eat with the Seasons
THe fairly subtle nature of seasonal change gets easily overlooked in a globalized world, where foods are shipped across borders year-round, arriving at times that nature would normally not deliver them. Conscious nutrition involves noticing the seasonal changes in our local food sources – noting what’s affordably in abundance in the produce section – or better, what’s brimming on the farm stand – and then using them in our everyday eating to attend to the shifting needs of our bodies. Cooling foods such as cucumber and zucchini are more helpful in the longer days of the summer, and as the heat diminishes, cold weather and longer nights take over, making warming and grounding foods appropriate, such as sweet potato, rutabaga, beets, carrots, squashes as well as beans. Spring vegetables likes radishes, asparagus, and artichokes have both bitter and astringent (drying) tastes, which are wonderful for cleansing, along with bitter dandelion greens and chicory, which cleanses the liver and wakes up the digestion at a moment when all nature is bursting into renewal. Summer vegetables and fruits like tomatos, peaches, and apricots support the rebuilding of our digestive process in warmer times through their watery nature. Our intuition and our senses can often guide us right – making cucumbers appealing when we feel overheated or denser, oilier foods soothing when we’re undergrounded. Nature teaches us that we are individuals who live with fluctuation and change and for this reason diet, like life, is not one-size-fits-all.
4. Combine Foods in Simple Ways
Avoiding improper combinations that place undue burden on digestion is a key to health. One causes of poor digestion can be the way we combine foods in a meal. While proteins require digestive juices of mineral-filled vegetables to difest, starchy carbohydrates like grains require pancreatic enzymes, which can act to neutralize the digestive process needed for protein. Eating proteins and hard starches such as wheat at the same time, therefore, adds unnecessary challenge to the digestion. Fruits meanwhile, digest well with proteins or grains, which is why a bowl of oatmeal and berries can be a delicious and nurturing breakfast, although some very quick-to-digest fruits like melon are best eaten alone. In general, we want to include all tastes in our diet, which we can encourage thorugh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices by avoiding getting into a rut of overly repetitive and exclusive diets. Eat simply with uncomplicated food combinations for easier digestion.
5. Use Proper Methods of Preparation
Slower, low-heat methods help to ensure the healing constituents of foods are retained; they also preserve flavors. Combining appealing colors in a dish, enhancing with fresh herbs or colorful spices is digested more easily. Other preparations of foods, such as sprouting seeds can bring us the nourishment of the growing forces, and naturally fermenting vegetables can provide the probiotics needed for good bacteria.
6. Honor the act of Eating
THe attitude and habits that surround eating are very important. Under stress, we lose the ability to absorb the nutrition and energy we could. When we eat in accordance our bodie’s needs like eating our biggest serving of protein early in the day when the digestive fire is highest help us to do this. And at hight when we sleep, we rest the digestion so the liver can repair. In this way we honor our body’s extraordinary efforts. Relaxing and not worrying so much about our diets, enjoying food rather than fighting it, is one of the most critical yet unacknowledged aspects of nutritional health.
THE LIVER’S CLOCK:
From 3:00 pm until 3:00 am the liver accumulates glycogen as a result of carbohydrate metabolism. After 3:00 am until 3:00pm, it releases stored glycogen into the blood for use as energy. The bile-secretion rhythm is the reverse. Its maximum activity is at 3:00pm and minimum at 3:00am. In this process, the liver and gallbladder work in a synchronized mechanical and spiritual way according to the laws of nature. This rhythm connects the physical and spiritual worlds. Since the maximum release of bile needed for fat digestion occurs at 3:00pm if the main meal is taken after 6:00pm, fat digestion is hindered. It is better to have the higher-fat meals early in the day.
Health is not always an exact science in which action A always leads to result B. We are all individuals with our different constitutions, physical, emotional, and mental tendencies. Health is a dynamic state, it is a process. The process of health looks a little different for each person.
By removing foods that have congesting or aggravating effects and filling the diet with foods that support the functions of the liver. The primary causes of malnutrition are wrong food combinations, foods that are low in minerals and high in chemicals and hormones, processed, overrefined foods laden with preservatives, food colorings and additives. These foods impede the digestive organ’s ability to assimilate nutrients and energy. A primary goal for me is to purchase fresh, good-quality food that whenever possible is organic or biodynamic. Locally raised farm-stand foods grown without chemicals, even if not officially certified or organic are good choices, too (some nonchemicak growers do not have certification).
The approach is to take it one step at a time, moving gradually in order to stimulate the body’s self-healing mechanisms and to support the vital force. I realized, when I maintain a day-to-day lifestyle of good diet, I maintain the conditions for the body to engage in a deeper state of physical, emotional and mental balance.
radiant vitality, renewed energy and ongoing resiliency to the challenges of our daily life.
At the mental and emotional level, cleansing the liver for six weeks with this program can have many effects. THinking processes can become more clear, and negative emotins and aggravated temper, anxiety, and depression can begin to dissipate. When the liver is less inflamed, our mental and emotional state is less constricted with adversity and anger. Though there are never any guarantees, when liver function and digestion improve, reproductive- health issues like disruptive PMS, irregular periods, hot flashes in menopaus, issues with the ovaries and uterus, and in some cases difficulties conceiving can begin the process of resolving themselves.
This way of eating helps to cleanse and revitalize the organs by removing foods that have congesting and aggravating effects and filling the diet with foods that support the functions of the organs.
- The liver has the ability to metabolize proteins, carbohydrates and fats. When the liver is not processing fats, symptoms such as nausea, headaches, insomnia, abdominal distention or bloat and acid reflux can exist. When we eliminate cooked oils and nuts and use unheated extra-virgin olive oil to help it “flush”, the liver gets a rest and can start to process fats again.
- when the liver is congested, it almost always struggles to process carbohydrates, leading to weight gain and blood-sugar issues. By eliminating hard-to-process sugars and carbohydrates such as baked good, whole grains and white potatoes in order to rest and repair the liver until it begins to process better.
- Good-quality proteins balanced with vegetable and fruit are very good for the liver. I avoid heating oils while ensuring that I get enough fats to nourish the body and to promote a healthy nervous system. When oil is heated, the molecules change from round to jagged, which can be an irritant to the liver, can interfere with digestion and can cause inflammation in the body. By using unheated, extra-virgin olive oil we get the benefits of its wonderful liver and nervous system support.
THE THREE S’S
The overall philosophy if the diet is captured by the three S’s: simplicity, support, and seasonal eating.
Simplicity: Whole foods prepared simply and combined properly can help the body to cleanse and heal. THe body want to be well and when food is prepared and combined in simple ways, it will nourish the body accordingly.
Support: Nature provides us foods with liver – and gallbladder-cleansing effects and with soothing and healing properties for the digestive system. Many of these foods are the same one’s that support the lymph system.
Seasonal eating: whenever possible, seasonal vegetables and ripe fruits in season are encouraged at every opprtunity.
Foods to eliminate:
- All fried foods, whether homemade, restaurant prepared or packaged, including chips. The obvious foods are French fries and fried chicken as well as fried appetizers and entrées.
- Using natural fats such as raw, unheated, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil or high-quality flaxseed oil used after cooking or on salads. One of the easiest ways to relieve liver stress is to focus on good fats and limit the heating of oils, which may have been aggravating and irritating to the liver. We also acoid the rancid and inflammatory effects of industrial seed oils. Oils can be hard to avoid when dining out, but there is usually a best choice that you can make on a menu that focuses on simply prepared vegetables and lean protein that is grilled, roasted, or in a stew.
- All sugar and corn syrup, and all processed foods with preservatives and additives. The body has a hard time knowing what to do with these ingredients. Sugars overburden our pancreas and feed the candida that can be present. We were designed to digest food in as close it its natural state as possible and without man-made chemicals.
- All dairy products: Dairy, in its pasteurized and hormone-filled form in the West, has become an inflammation-causing food and is difficult for the body to break down, especially when mixed with other foods. Excess dairy bogs down the digestion, and our inability to digest can create mucus and phlegm when dairy is combined with other proteins.
- baked goods from conventional bakeries, cookies, pastries, crackers, pretzels. Baked goods are high in starchy carbohydrates and many are filled with sugar, which we want to avoid while cleansing and thereafter reserve for special occasions.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts are not bad; they are a great source of protein and fat but only if your body can digest them. However, nuts, including coconuts, are very concentrated sources of protein and fats. Ground falxseeds support the liver, digestive system and bowels. Chia seeds are allowed because of their gelatinous nature and ability to hydrate us.
- Alcoholic beverages: it is not what you do once in a while but what you do on most days that makes a difference in regaining health.
- Heavy metals sink to the bottom of the ocean and the bottom-feeding fish will often be more contaminated by these metals. Avoiding these types of proteins is recommended.
FOOD TO ENJOY
- Lentils and legumes: LEntils of both European and Indian dal varieties and beans, including white beans, black beans, red beans, and kidney beans, are another protein source and especially good for vegans and vegetarians. Do not mix beans, as each been digests differently and it is best to leep things simple so as not to stress the digestive system. One type of bean or legume with plenty of vegetables works. Avoid processed soy products. If you can find a good Japanese restaurant that makes home-made, custardy tofu, then it is a treat to have occasionally. Try to use dry organic lentils and legumes, not canned.
- All vegetables, cooked or raw, including sweet potatoes, squashes and beets. I include plenty of vegetables whenever I can. Use abundant servings of cooked and raw leafy greens frequently. Vegetables can be grilled, roasted, steamed, slow-cooked in soups or stews or combined in salads. Olive oil can be used to season, along with herbs. lemon, and sea salt after cooking. Fremented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi as well as fermented soybeans in the form of miso paste, can be used.
VEGETABLES BY THE SEASON:
SPRING: Look for artichokes, asparagus, bitter greens like dandelion and escarole, scallions and radishes
SUMMER: Look for zucchini, tomato, green leafy vegetables, celery, cucumber, peppers, baby bok choy, baby beets and their leaves
FALL: Look for root vegetables of all kinds, including yams, beets, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, carrots, kohlrabi, celeriac, broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts
WINTER: look for winter squashes like pumpkin, acorn, spaghetti, buttercup, kabocha, butternut
- All fruits, raw, baked, or poached, ideally in season and ripe. Melons can be eaten alone as a meal. Do not eat fruit that is not ripe because it is difficult to digest. Nature wants us to eat ripe fruit to get all its nutritional benefits from the sun.
Proper fruit combinations are important for digestion. Oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, and lemins are natural acid fruits and go nicely with other acid fruits such as pineapple and cranberries. Slightly acid fruits, such as apples, pears, plums, peaches, and apricots, can combine with acid fruits as well. Melons are berries should always be eaten alone.
ACID FRUITS: oranges, lemons, grapefruits, limes, cranberries, pineapple
SUB-ACID FRUITS: apples, pears, plums, peaches, grapes, apricots, berries
SWEET OR DRIED FRUITS: Dates, figs, raisins, prunes, bananas
- acid fruits can combine with subacid fruits
- subacid frutis can combine with sweet fruits
- do not combine acid fruits with sweet fruits
- eat melons alone on an empty stomach
- when fruits are not acailable ripe and in season, such as during the winter month, dried fruits can be incorporated
– oil: we want to ensure we consume enough supportive fats; therefore we enjoy all fats that naturally occur in foods.
- salt and seaweed: the body needs salt to balance sugar in the blood; it controls the function of the adrenal glands and then controls the sugar balance in the body. I recommend using natural sea salt instead of common table salt because it is similar to the salt in our cells and lymphatic system.
CLEARING FOOD OF COntaminants: the CLorox Food Bath
This technique was introduced by Hazel Parcells to clear food of contaminants and interferences in the home kitchen. You can use it any time you are buying conventional produce or are unsure of the origin of the food, for example if you suspect it has been raised with chemicals.
- leafy vegetables: 5-10 minutes
- root and fibrous vegetables: 10-15 minutes
- thin-skinned fruits like berries: 5 minutes
- medium-skinned fruits like peaches and apricots: 10 minutes
- thick-skinned fruits like apples: 10-15 minutes
- citrus fruits: 15 minutes
After the soaking, transfer the foods to an equal amount of clean water and soak them for a few minutes. Let the food drain well before placing them in refrigerator.
- Proper Food Combining:
- do not combine different sources of protein in one meal
- oatmeal digests better with cream
- eat grains with vegetables
- eat vegetables and fruits separately. They serve different purposes. Fruits are for cleansing and are good for a start in the morning or quick energy at midday or as evening snack. Vegetables are for building and supporting the digestive force. When making blended drinks, choose fruits or blended vegetables. but do not mix the two. The exceptions are apples which digest with vegetables and lettuce which digests with fruits.
2. Use low and Slow Cooking Methods
THough we are told to cook at high heat and high speed in our busy lives, I prefer low-heat, slow cooking. This not only helps to avoid overheating any fats but also protects the proteins. Proteins must be changed into amino acids before they can be assimilated. There are twenty-two amino acids that are essential to our health and eight amino acids that are indispensable to life. Two of these amino acids regulate body functions but are destroyed by high temperaturs: tryptophan, which is a critical factor in our antibodies for our immune system, and lysine, which stimulates the metabolic rate. Both of these indispensable amino acids are destroyed in high-heat cooking. A slow-cooking methodology, using lower temperature is core to our approach.
3. Eat in Rhythm
It is preferable to get in rhythm of eating at regular times and allowing two to three hours after meals for digestion to occur. By chewing you mix the food with saliva and the enzymes it contains