Your level of nutrition can help to support your health over time, or it can help to destroy your health over time. If you live a stress-free lifestyle and you exercise regularly, there is a better chance that you will remain generally healthy. But if you are eating ‘fast-food’ everyday for lunch your body will not have the nutrients it needs to keep functioning properly over time. Good nutrition will ensure that your body is healthy now, and it will help you to stay healthy over time, whereas bad nutrition can cause your health to slowly (and possibly silently) deteriorate over time, regardless of your other activities. Think of it like this:
If you are building a house, you can use many different things to build it: straw, twigs, rope, lumber, nails, bricks, concrete, or steel. No matter what medium you use, you can build a house that will provide you with a place to live. A house made of straw and rope can provide shelter from the wind and the rain, but it will be much more prone to leaks. If a more serious storm occurs, the house of straw will have a much more difficult time dealing with the wind and the rain, and ultimately the home may be destroyed by the storm.
But what if you decide to use stronger materials such as concrete and steel for your house? This is a much better choice long term; and it will be easier for strong materials such as concrete and steel to withstand the wind and the rain. But if you mix these materials incorrectly or you forget a specific ingredient, you may have what appears to be a very strong structure, but one that is inherently weak and may crumble at any moment. The strength and quality of your house is directly related to the quality of the materials that you use to build it.
The same analogy can be applied to your physical body. There are many nutrients that are absolutely necessary for you to build a strong and healthy body. If you do not get adequate amounts of these nutrients, you may look and feel fine on the outside but your body will be much more prone to sickness and injury. If a more serious disease occurs, your body will have a more difficult time dealing with the illness, and ultimately your physical body may be destroyed by the disease. If you decide that you want to work on getting stronger, healthier, or better looking, but you ignore your nutrition, you are building a body that is inherently weak on the inside. This means that in spite of your efforts, your body may still succumb to a serious illness at any time, in spite of how you look or feel on the outside. Your health and quality of life is directly related to the quality of the foods that you use to build your body.
PLEASE NOTE: These recommendations are based on generally accepted healthy guidelines from well-informed healthcare providers. By following these guidelines, you should feel as though you have more energy, you fall sick less often, and you manage stress better. Everyone’s body is different however, and what is appropriate for one person may not be appropriate for another. You must learn to listen to your body! If you find that you are feeling sluggish or tired, you may need to re-evaluate your habits or schedule a consultation with your doctor to discuss your specific situation.
In order to begin reducing stress and inflammation levels in your body and optimizing cell health and function, start with these basic nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle interventions:
Eat breakfast everyday, regardless of the size and quantity.
Eating within the first hour you are awake is one of the best-known ways to boost your metabolism and help your body to stay in a fat-burning mode all day long.
Eat smaller meals throughout the day, rather than 3 large meals. This provides more consistent energy levels throughout the day and prevents mid-day tiredness. Your body can only process around 300-400 calories at one time, so eating more than this amount can cause excess weight gain, and will usually result in a loss of energy throughout the day.
Eat your smallest meal at night, and refrain from eating large meals within 2 hours of going to bed. Eat according to what we call the ‘eating in reverse’ approach where you make breakfast or lunch your largest meal of the day (by ‘largest’, we mean the meal with the most calories, not the physical size of the meal).
Eat only when you are hungry. This is possibly the most important part of nutrition management. One of the biggest problems with nutrition today is that people eat far too much and far too often. Listen to your body, and it will tell you when you are hungry. Listen to how you feel throughout the day, and realize that each day may be different. Your body takes longer to digest certain foods, so you may not feel as hungry on some days as you do on others. Nutritionists also have a well-known saying: “70% of the time you think that you are hungry, you are actually thirsty,” so at the first sign of hunger, drink a tall glass of water and you may find that your cravings will subside rather quickly. Also do not think that your eating pattern must follow what others consider normal. Just because it is “lunch time” does not mean that you must force yourself to eat, even if you are not actually hungry. It is more important that you learn to listen to the urges of your own body. If you learn to follow this one basic understanding, you will begin to see your own individual eating patterns emerge.
Eat an Elimination Diet versus an Addition Diet. Most people struggle with nutrition because they are utilizing an ‘elimination approach’ to foods, where they place their focus on eliminating certain food from their diet. The research clearly shows that this type of an approach is rarely, if ever, successful and usually ends with the person binging on the exact food that they were trying to avoid. People also have the tendency to believe that eating a proper diet must be ‘all or nothing’ approach, and they feel that little changes in nutrition cannot possibly make much of a difference, but nothing could be farther from the truth.
We recommend using an ‘addition approach’ to dieting. Each day choose an additional healthy food that you would like to add into your meal for that day. Also make it a point to eat the new healthy food first, so you are already more full when it comes to the rest of your meal. As you begin to add more new healthy foods to your diet, you will gradually notice a change in how you look and feel, and it will be easier to phase out the majority of foods that are causing you problems.
Eat ‘nutrient-dense’ foods rather than ‘energy-dense’ foods.
• Nutrient-dense refers to foods as close to their natural state as possible. This means fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh herbs and spices, fresh meats, fish, and eggs. These foods have the highest amounts of vitamins, minerals, vitamin-like nutrients, protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
• Energy-dense foods contain added sugar, refined carbohydrates, Monosodium Glutamate (flavour enhancer), added chemicals, added preservatives, and unhealthy fats such as ‘trans-fats.’ This means any food that is not found in a natural state, i.e. packaged, processed, refined, or enriched. The biggest problem in most people’s diet today is excessive intake of these type of foods, which includes an excessive amount of sugar, chemicals, and bad fats.
• In general, vegetables are the best source of nutrients on the planet. This is especially true for leafy green veggies. As nutrition experts begin to learn more about the human body and the lifestyle of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, they are discovering that the most natural and healthy diet for humans should be at least 65% vegetables.
• Other great sources of dense nutrients are organic sprouted grains, nuts, seeds, berries, fruits, lean meats and fish, and eggs.
Season your foods with herbs and spices, fruits, vinegar, and Liquid Aminos (soy sauce alternative). A majority of people use iodized table salt, soy sauce, MSG, or processed seasonings for their food, but these substances may have adverse effects in your health. Instead, try using natural seasonings like: basil, thyme, bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, cayenne, chili, cinnamon, dill, parsley, garlic, and Himalayan rock salt.
Consume foods high in healthy oils and fats. This includes foods such as coconuts, olives, avocadoes, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat and fish. Use unrefined oils from these same sources for cooking. As a rule of thumb, use extra-virgin olive oil for cooking in low and medium heat, and use coconut oil for cooking in high heat and frying.
Eliminate the use of highly refined cooking oils. These include safflower, soybean, corn, and vegetable oils. When heated, these oils produce large amounts of free-radicals which are damaging to your body’s cells. Highly fried foods such as fried chicken and French fries contain large amounts of free radicals and oxidized fats, and these foods should be avoided.
Avoid all foods that are made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and contain trans fats. These oils have serious health consequences, and are one of the most common ingredients in modern processed foods. Some examples include margarine, salad dressing, cookies, muffins, pre-packaged convenience store foods, and fast-foods.
Avoid modern grains whenever possible. Each year more and more research is showing that human beings are not meant to consume large amounts of grain as part of their natural diet. Modern grains such as wheat, corn, and soy are being linked to numerous health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, and cancer. They are also a major cause of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin disorders. Due to modern farming practices, and genetic modification, these modern grains are no longer the same as the wild grains that were consumed by our ancestors. If you are going to eat grains as a part of your diet, choose organic, non-GMO, wild grains such as spelt, millet, quinoa, and wild rice. These primitive grains have numerous beneficial properties, and do not cause the inflammatory reactions that occur when eating modern grains.
Eat organically produced foods whenever possible. If you cannot eat 100% organic and must choose which organic foods to purchase, there is a list of foods called the “dirty dozen.” These foods are the most common genetically modified foods, and/or they have been shown to have the highest amount of herbicides/pesticides use. These foods should always be bought organically if possible: (the sticker will have a 5 digit code with a ‘9’ – i.e. 9XXXX)
Avoid genetically modified produce. There is a growing body of evidence that genetically modified foods are extremely harmful. In our professional opinion it is best if these foods are simply avoided. When looking at produce, the stickers will show you how the food has been produced. If the sticker has 4 digits it is conventionally grown; if the sticker has 5 digits and starts with a 9 the food is organic; if the sticker has 5 digits and starts with a ‘8’ the food is genetically modified.
Listen to your cravings. Cravings are your body’s way of telling you the nutrients that you are lacking. Here are some common cravings and what your body may be really telling you to eat:
Most people are surprised to learn that a vast majority of supplements on the market today are completely worthless. And sadly, many supplements can do more harm to your health than good. Nutritional supplements are typically marketed by companies that have no interest in your long-term health, and most products are only supported by paid testimonials or bad science. If you are eating a completely organic diet and fulfilling all of your daily nutritional requirements, there may be very little need for added supplementation in your diet. However, based on our clinical experience, and the body of research that supports these supplements, everyone will benefit greatly by incorporating a few basic supplements into their diet every day.
We have only found 4 supplements that are safe for people of all ages, and that we recommend taking on a daily basis . Each of these supplements represents an essential nutrient (this means your body cannot make the nutrient, you must eat it). Each supplement is also backed by a body of research showing that people are deficient in these nutrients and it is unlikely that a change in diet can make up for the deficiency. All of these supplements are also backed by a body of research that shows their effectiveness in health maintenance, performance, and prevention. After analyzing the research, it is our strong belief that if you are living a ‘modern lifestyle’, then you cannot be 100% healthy without taking these supplements on a daily basis.
The following page lists the four basic supplements that people of all ages should be taking on a regular basis to remain as healthy as possible. For our specific supplement brand recommendations visit www.EatingMovingThinking.com
• Organic Vitamin and Mineral Supplement – There are numerous beneficial vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and nutrients that come from a plant-based diet. Because of modern farming and food processing methods the amount of nutrients in many of our foods has decreased significantly over the past 50+ years. If you are not eating a diet full of organic fruits and vegetables, it is especially important to supplement with a whole-food, plant-based, organic vitamin and mineral supplement each day to ensure that you get adequate amounts of these beneficial nutrients.
• Probiotics (Beneficial Bacteria) – Probiotics are the natural bacteria that are supposed to live inside of our digestive tract. These bacteria are an integral part of our digestive process and a major component of our immune system. We must have a healthy balance of bacteria within our digestive tract to absorb proper nutrients, to have proper digestion, and to have a strong and properly functioning immune system. Our modern lifestyle surrounds us with chemicals, preservatives, medications, and other products, which are lethal to these bacteria. Because of this, everyone is severely deficient in these beneficial bacteria.
• Omega-3’s (Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids) – Omega-3’s are essential for proper brain and nerve system development in children as well as adults. Omega-3 supplementation is also the most well documented way to reduce chronic inflammation throughout your body. Omega-3 deficiency has also been linked to numerous diseases ranging from skin issues to depression. There are many great natural sources of omega 3’s including nuts, seeds, eggs, lean meats, and fish, and each source contains different types of omega 3’s in different ratios.
However, the research shows that it is nearly impossible to consume the necessary amount of omega-3s by eating a modern diet. In our experience, the best source of high-quality Omega-3’s available comes from high-quality fish oil supplements.
• Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) – Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients to the human body. It has been found to be involved in hundreds of chemical processes within the human body, and is essential to the health of our immune system, skeletal system, and cardiovascular system. The majority of vitamin D is taken into the body as vitamin D2 and must be converted to its active form (D3), in the skin through sun exposure. To get adequate amounts of vitamin D3 production you need 20 minutes per day of mid-day sun exposure directly on your arms and legs. Because of our modern lifestyle, we rarely get enough sun exposure each day to synthesize this amount of vitamin D3, so supplementation is necessary.
PLEASE NOTE: It is important that you always take supplements that are pharmaceutical grade, 3rd party tested, and contain no synthetic chemicals. Also look for supplements that are kept in their purest and most naturally occurring form possible, are 100% organic, and are dairy-free, yeast-free, gluten-free, corn-free, & soy-free.
Drink plenty of water each day. When speaking in terms of good health and good nutrition this is quite possibly the most overlooked good habit that you can have. Drinking adequate amounts of water is essential in helping the body to heal and staying healthy long-term. Water helps to flush toxins from the body, hydrate the cells, decrease stress on the joints, and increase energy levels.
• Most adults should be drinking between 2.0-3.0 Liters of water per day. Be sure to drink more on days that you are exercising or if you are outside for extended periods of time. It is a good habit to have a water bottle with you wherever you go so you always remember to keep drinking.
• If you drink coffee, limit your coffee consumption to 1-2 cups per day, and drink it only in the morning or early afternoon. Coffee is full of healthy and beneficial antioxidants, but too much of it can cause high blood pressure, dehydration, and even in small amounts it has been shown to negatively affect your quality of sleep.
• Drink mainly calorie free drinks such as water and tea. There are many types of herbal teas with beneficial and therapeutic properties as well. For example: Oolong tea is the most well-documented tea for boosting your metabolism, followed by earl gray and green tea. Teas made from mint or flower petals are very soothing; they have been shown to decrease stress levels and have also been shown to help people who have trouble falling asleep.
• Avoid energy-dense soft drinks and drinks with added sugar. Start reading the label on all of your drinks, and if the ingredients list contains: sugar, aspartame, artificial sweetener, artificial color or any ingredients that end in “-ose” don’t drink it. Most of these drinks also contain added chemicals and preservatives, all of which are harmful to the body. Children are especially susceptible to the effects of these sugars and chemicals and many of them have been suspected of causing learning disorders in children.
• Drink alcohol in moderation, and avoid “binging” on alcoholic drinks. Alcoholic drinks such as meade and wine have beneficial nutritional properties, and small amounts have been shown to be good for heart and cardiovascular health. However, alcoholic drinks that contain grain residues such as wheat germ or corn syrup, or have been mixed with sugary fruit juices or sodas should be avoided. This includes many types of beer and virtually all cocktail-type drinks.
Some people who struggle with weight-loss or low energy have benefitted from a technique called “intermittent fasting”. Intermittent fasting is simply a technique where you go for a specific period of time without eating. While this may sound like a crazy idea to some, you actually practice intermittent fasting every night when you go to sleep. During the nighttime hours, most people will go without eating for a period of 8-12 hours. During this fasting period, the body will typically switch from burning primarily sugars as an energy source to burning primarily fats instead. This fasting period helps your body learn to better regulate its insulin and leptin levels, and assists the body in burning excess fat. The idea behind intermittent fasting is to stretch this overnight fasting period even further to allow you body to stay in a fat-burning mode throughout more of the day.
The easiest method for intermittent fasting is simply to skip breakfast each day, and make lunch your first meal of the day. This will keep your body in a fat burning state for much longer throughout the day. If you are doing intermittent fasting it is important that you try to refrain from eating a high-sugar diet, as your body will always try to burn sugar first as an energy source. The more sugar you eat during the day, the less time your body will be able to spend in a fat-burning mode. If you wish to get the most benefit from Intermittent fasting, you should attempt to eat a diet low in processed foods and sugars. There are also exercise strategies that may help with weight loss and insulin/leptin resistance. These can be found in the Right Moving section of this manual. If you are new to intermittent fasting and new to this type of a diet, make sure that you start out slowly. If your diet shifts too abruptly, you may experience sugar withdrawal symptoms such as cloudy thinking, headaches, and depression. If you are interested in learning more about intermittent fasting, talk to you healthcare provider for more information.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Andrew Boswell graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences from Kansas State University, and a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic. He is currently working toward his Masters of Business Administration in Healthcare Management. He has also completed a minor degree in Ministry, and holds various specialty certifications.
His unique combination of education, teaching, and clinical experience makes him uniquely qualified as a doctor and healthcare consultant. He has spent over 10 years studying and educating people about the philosophies, science, and methods related to medicine and alternative therapies and has unique way of bridging the gap between research and real life.
Right Eating, Right Moving, Right Thinking. ™ is copyright 2012-2015 Dr. Andrew Boswell. None of this manual may be reproduced, as a whole or in part, in any form without the express written consent of the author(s). For more information on Right Eating, including references please visit www.EatingMovingThinking.com