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Nutrition and Herb Counseling

Have you ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” How about, “You are what’s eating you.” The food we eat can have a subtle yet profound impact on our health. It’s also a cost effective way to create a positive effect on our well-being. Sometimes, though, food is not enough to help our bodies achieve a harmonious health level. Herbs are concentrated food and generally safe, though it’s wise to know how they work before taking them. After all, “all natural” does not necessarily mean “all safe”. Poison ivy is all-natural, but I sure wouldn’t want to roll in it! Every program is tailored to your specific needs. Whether food or herbs, we will teach you as we go so that you can make informed choices for your better health.

 

Nutrition Made Simple

Your body is a home you live in for life. Building a body is much like building a house. To construct a house, we need resources like bricks and boards; tools to make those materials fit just right; builders to put it all into place and energy to run everything. The same is true of our bodies. We need resources like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. When we are young our bodies are in the process of building our home. When we become adults and stop growing, the body still needs to make daily repairs and has daily energy needs.

You are what you eat.

The foods we eat determine what kind of house (or body) that we build. Good food makes for healthy bodies and junk food makes a poor body.Minerals are the materials for building our bodies. They are like boards, nails, paint and plaster that are used to make a house. Each body part requires minerals, some parts require more of one kind of mineral than another. Vitamins are the tools we need. They are like the hammers, drills and saws that help us make everything fit just right. 

Now, we need more than just materials and tools to build a house. They’d just lay there unless someone starts using them. Enzymes and co-enzymes are the construction workers and their helpers. They put everything into action. Good sources of enzymes are fresh fruits and vegetables particularly papaya, apples, pears, melons and pineapple. 

Once we have the materials, tools and construction crews, we need energy to run everything. Our body makes energy from three sources; carbohydrates, proteins and fats. There are good fats and bad fats. Simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Protein can come from meat or proper combinations of fruits, vegetables and/or grains.

Fats take longest to breakdown and make us feel full longer, generate body heat, soothe nerves and help make a protective coating for them. The right kind of fat is essential for good health. Good fats come from sources like nuts, seeds, avocados, sea foods and olives. Bad fats come from hydrogenated oils, fatty meats, palm oils, processed cheeses and foods. You can usually (but not always) identify a bad fat by seeing if it is solid at room temperature. The bad fats clog our blood vessels, heart and brain.

Proteins breakdown faster than fats, but still slower than carbohydrates and help stabilize blood sugar. They are made up of smaller parts call amino acids which are vital to our muscles, tendons, nails, hair and bones. Our brain needs these amino acids to send and receive messages.Good sources of protein are lean meats (particularly fish, lamb, buffalo and turkey), beans with rice, grains with nuts or seeds.

Complex carbs come mostly from whole grains and some fresh fruits and vegetables. They break down the fastest and give us quick usable energy. 

Simple carbs come from sugar and refined foods like candy, sodas and cookies. They breakdown extremely fast, causing rapid blood sugar spikes and dips. Refined sugar is Public Enemy #1. A gland in the brain, called the hypothalamus, is constantly monitoring blood sugar levels and sends messages to other body parts to secrete hormones to keep the blood sugar balanced. When we eat sugar, it goes quickly into the blood stream causing a big spike in our blood sugar. This causes the hypothalamus to panic and trigger the pancreas to release too much insulin. Then our blood sugar drops too low causing a condition called hypoglycemia. This condition causes damage to the brain. So, the hypothalamus then calls for the release of emergency stores of a type of sugar called glucagon. This yo-yo effect also causes the central nervous system to malfunction. Your central nervous system is like the internet and telecommunications center for the body. If it malfunctions, no one can send or receive their messages causing serious problems for the entire body. Just over 100 years ago, people consumed less than 30 pounds of sugar per year. Currently, the average American consumes 138 pounds of sugar a year!  Forensic anthropologists have noted that as our sugar consumption has increased, so have complaints of brain issues like ADD/ADHD, senility, memory loss, and so forth.

Want to know just how much all this sugar can affect you? Consider this: It takes 32 glasses of mineral water (that's 2 full gallons)  to repair and replace what 1 twenty-ounce bottle of soda did to your body!

For optimum energy and a well functioning body we need a balanced diet. Assuming no sugar processing issues like Metabolic Syndrome or Diabetes, ideally in the following amounts:

  • Complex carbohydrate foods  (Grains, fresh fruit and vegetables)  - 70 - 75% 
  • Protein containing foods (Lean meat, beans, eggs, etc)  -  10 - 15%
  • Good fat containing foods (Nuts, seeds, olives, etc)   -   10 - 15 %
These ratios change when diabetes or metabolic syndrome is involved. In these cases, the diet MUST be tailored to the individual. A HIGHLY complext process that takes a number of variables into account such as activity level, age, weight, and all the many hormones involved like the thyroid, adrenals and liver, as well as the pancreas. Our staff has invested years in learning how to guide our cliets through this complicated process. (And our school devotes multiple classes toward learning how to do this well.)

Many foods provide us with a balance of nutrients. Salmon, for example, is a good source of protein and good fat. Almonds are high in vitamins A, C and E; the minerals potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and Selenium; and they provide complex carbohydrates, good fats and protein.  

One of the easiest ways to insure you are eating properly is to divide your plate into quarters. Three quarters needs to be fruits and vegetables (fresh, steamed, or frozen are best) and the last quarter can be everything else:  meats, nuts, seeds, egg,  grains, pasta, yogurt, etc.,   If you have blood sugar issues, limit fruits and sweet vegetables like carrots, to one quarter daily. Focus more on leafy or green vegetables like kale, romaine, celery, cucumbers, zucchini and broccoli . Many people with blood sugar issues also find they do best if they start the day with a little protein and continue to get small amounts throughout the day. A few nuts or seeds here and there, a little yogurt (make sure it's an organic kind like Stoneyfield Farms or Brown Cow with no added sugar), or a protein drink are all quick and easy options for getting in a little protein throughout the day.  

 

 

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