This morning as I ‘inserted’ a range of supplements via a home made suppository (125% better absorption) and chugged down my super green food, chia, flaxseed, maca powder, home grown egg, magnesium, psylium smoothie, I though to myself.. ‘uuurgh’. Then I thought, I can feel a blog coming on. (amongst other things).
I used to think I was fairly healthy, however with hindsight and after a mental breakdown I was forced to review my lifestyle. The truth being that I was in fact very sneaky and self deceiving about what was going into my body. (the wrappers, cups and cans on the floor of my car were the biggest clue). What is good health? I began the arduous task of trying to work out what a healthy diet looked like and there’s so much contradictory information out there. To save writing a very long winded blog on my research, I’ll jump straight to my conclusion which is, an optimal diet is different for everyone but certain key things will be common.
The book that impacted me the most was Jordan Rubin’s ‘Patient Heal Thyself’ (the author of ‘The Makers Diet’ which is a biblical eating plan). In his book Jordan speaks about the work of Dr Weston Price who studied primitive peoples and discovered that they did not suffer from anywhere near the amount of diseases such as heart disease, digestive issues and cancer like we currently do and they were in fact, bigger, stronger and healthier before the advent of agriculture… Jordan promotes grass fed meats, wild caught fish, organically grown fruits, veges, legumes and nuts, and LOTS of them. Sugar and carbs, especially unrefined carbs are very destructive to our bodies, creating an acidic cancer causing environment.
So the common key ingredients to a good diet are:
- Natural spring water NOT TAP water. Fluoride is a poison and it dumbs you down. We purchased a heavy metal test kit to test our tap water and the results showed the highest marker for heavy metals from the hot tap and the second highest on the cold tap. We had been buying water but we are fortunate to live near a natural spring so we collect our water there and the test strips show no heavy metals.
- Organic fruit and vegetables (pesticide free so you digest the plant’s natural immune system).
- Grass fed organic meats – not filled with hormones.
- Change the dairy, to goat products. Goats milk is very close in nutrients to mothers milk, it’s very digestible but you need to find a raw supplier or they sanitise the goodness right out of it (Jordan Rubin sells it powdered).
- Make your own yoghurt; each day the yoghurt sits on the store shelf, billions of good bacteria are dying. If you make it fresh you are getting the full amount of good bugs. I make ours on cows milk as the good bacteria eat all the lactose and make it very digestible.
- Include fermented foods in your diet for your gut health.
- Cut out sugar, or minimise it, this means looking at carb intake because carbs turn into sugars in your body. Sugar is BAD you know this.
- Cut down on caffeine. Drink green tea, and herbal teas, coffee (in moderation, and in the morning) is ok but not with milk.
- Which brings me to milk. Milk is not milk. Shop bought homogenised, pasteurised milk is a sanitised white liquid full of antibiotics that may have once been near a cow but now has been altered to the point that it is unrecognisable and bottled for you convenience and poor health. Be very careful about what you replace it with too, like those long life soy or almond milk horror products full of sugar and goodness knows how they’re processed. I just made myself get used to green tea. I have the occasional coffee with milk, and to be honest it’s lost its shine. I guess I keep trying to go back to that old version of me who barely functioned without a coffee in the morning.
- Get a good variety of fresh fruit and veg.
- Include sea vegetables such as kelp (or get a supplement) to get your iodine.
- Eat protein with every meal.
- Don’t buy shop eggs, find a local farm (or get chooks – we have 3 chickens and they’re not much work, in fact we really love their little personalities). Backyard eggs have 6 times the amount of vitamin D in them and a host of other benefits, but the biggest one is that you know they’re from happy healthy chooks.
- Ditch the gluten. It’s bad for you. It’s inflammatory in the body. Most modern grains are bad for you. Stop eating bread, as they say, the whiter the bread the sooner you’re dead. I know you know this. Bread is bad, cakes, pastries, biscuits the whole lot.. this is where I would get sneaky (prior to my breakdown) I really was sneaking a lot of this type of foods during my day, acting like it didn’t count because it was at a work meeting or a clients house. Well it all counts and self deception will catch up with you eventually.
- Eat a small meal at the end of the day.
- Read up on oils, most of them are SUPER bad for you. Some are healthy but unstable and can go rancid, or need storage in the fridge etc, really i think stick to coconut oil for cooking at high temperatures, olive oil for dressings and butter for light frying thats not too hot. Someone also mentioned avocado oil however I haven’t used that.
- Increase the fibre in your diet LOTS of veges. I bought a thermoblend, which is basically like a food processor that also cooks. I find it takes the boredom out of cooking, and you can whizz up healthy meals and make all of your own sauces REALLLLLY fast. I wouldn’t be without it. I now whizz up protein balls, meat balls, fritattas, soups chocked with veges and more, and then I freeze in snack sized portions. The meatballs are 50% meat and %50 range of various vegetables and nuts, homegrown eggs and almond meal or coconut flour. I bake them on a tray its effortless with the thermie.
- Ditch your microwave. Yes I know. I didn’t want to either. Do your homework.. trust me, there’s no point in making all this healthy food and then nuking it and changing the molecules and depleting the nutrients. It’s a contradiction; besides, once it’s gone you wont miss it, but you will need to be more organised. Click here for evidence.
- A word on nuts and seeds – you need to soak them in salt water first, it’s very important. So that nuts, grains, and seeds may survive until proper growing conditions are present they contain nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances that can be removed naturally when there is enough precipitation to sustain a new plant after germination. When it rains the nut, grain or seed gets wet and can then germinate to produce a plant. So we are mimicking nature when we soak our nuts, grains, and seeds in salt water as well as removing toxins and making them a LOT more digestible. see here
- BONE BROTH!! “According to an old South American proverb, “good broth will resurrect the dead.” Touted as the new (old) superfood, the benefits are nothing short of astounding… heals the gut, reduces inflammation, inhibits infection, promotes healthy bones, hair and nails, chocked with vitamins and minerals, and it’s cheap. But make sure you are 1) making it yourself (add raw apple cider vinegar to draw out the minerals) and 2) using an organic hormone free chooky. You don’t want to be leaching the nasties out of unhappy, hormone pumped poultry. See Mercola article here for more and the recipe.
- Last but not least you wont be able to get all the nutrients you need from diet. You will need to supplement with a high quality product. I take Jordan Rubin’s Garden of Life daily multi, the super greens (which I make a smoothie from with other ingredients) and his Primal Defence probiotic. I also take extra B6, zinc, kelp (for iodine) and magnesium and most importantly VITAMIN C. Animals make their own vitamin C and it takes a lot of energy to do this. We humans use that energy on other things and should be able to get it from our food, and once upon a time we did, however now we have two issues, vitamin c is not readily available in our foods plus even if it was, it’s not in the quantities needed to combat oxidative stress in our bodies. We are behind the 8 ball before we even get out of bed in the morning just due to living in this modern age. Dr Walsh has written a book called ‘Nutrient Power’, it outlines how the majority of mental illness is in fact caused by a biochemical imbalance. Behind most mental illness is a major nutrient deficiency, Pyrolle Disorder for example is when a person is severely depleted in Zinc and Vitamin B6, they need huge amounts (compared to the average daily recommended intake) to be balanced. Please see my tab on PD. There’s so much more to say on this but thats another story. If you are suffering from mental illness please find a biochemical doctor and get the tests done to locate deficiencies.
- Personally I rarely eat fruit and subscribe to the low-carb/low-insulin lifestyle which you can read in detail about including the benefits and science behind it here.
PHEW. So you may be thinking sheesh, she’s got it all wrapped up, lucky her. Well I don’t – but I’m on my way. We cannot afford to eat ‘all organic’ yet, I’m still struggling to not eat dairy (especially cheese) I like the occasional coffee, I still eat lollies (once a week). I’m not always organised enough with meals, (buying a freezer has helped) and I DO miss the microwave but I don’t want it back. I don’t like green smoothies. In fact, they make me gag but I drink them anyway. I miss pizza, and I don’t mean gourmet pizza, I mean the crappo frozen McCains ones. I also could hoof down a big mac and thick shake faster than you could say ‘diabetes’ – and enjoy it, but ultimately I choose not to. Someone once said that over the age of 40, your health is a decision you make on a daily basis. You can get away only for so long on the vigour of youth. I’m not saying you have to be perfect, its what you do MOST of the time that counts, however, this means being really honest with ourselves and that is hard! Abraham Lincoln once said, “It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues,” So don’t be with out a vice just choose it carefully!
In conclusion I would say that being healthy is hugely inconvenient (not to mention costly), however, living an unhealthy life is the biggest inconvenience of all … eventually.
N.B. Thanks to Cheryl’s informative comment, I’m pasting this excerpt from My Body and Soul website:
The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15
Fruit and veg on the Clean 15 list require minimal intervention in order to flourish, and in their non-organic form contain the least amount of nasties. These foods are: asparagus, avocado, cabbage, rockmelon, kiwifruit, eggplant, mushroom, grapefruit, onion, mango, peas, watermelon, sweet potato, corn and pineapple.
The Dirty Dozen list, however, is made up of fruit and veg that are often laden with pesticides and other chemicals. These are apples, capsicum, blueberries, celery, grapes, cucumber, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, strawberries and spinach.
Naturopath Holly George says the Dirty Dozen should be at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to converting to organic. “Most of these foods are generally consumed with the skin on, so even peeling them or a good wash may not remove all the residual nasties,” she says.