Today I bring some food concepts for you to think about. For any that resonate with you, you can flesh out the details with Dr. James and our Health Coach, Jane Enger, on how to best adopt them for your own personal health.
I’m admittedly just a patient and student like you. But I get to be privy to and a patient of Dr. James and Jane more than anyone. And I audit all the varying health issues of all our patients. Plus…I have a family of 13 as guinea pigs!
So these are a “laymen’s”, albeit insider’s perspective on for you to contemplate and consider:
Rotate Your Food
Dr. James brought this to my attention years ago. He cited that in past generations, the food you consumed was cyclical. You ate an abundance of food that was in season. In the summer, fruits and vegetables were in abundance. In the winter you ate far more grains and food with a longer shelf life, etc…
Today’s problem? Most of use eat the same food types for EVERY meal. Our body never gets a break. Which is not how things were naturally orchestrated.
Give your body a break from certain food groups for a while; 30 days with no grains, 30 days with no fruit’ 30 days with no meat’ 30 days with no sugar’ 30 days with no coffee (ok, that may be going overboard…)
How should you start cycling some of your food? Jane can help you create a strategy that works for you. Contact Felicia right away to schedule a consultation with Jane, or ask Jane right away using Patient Halo!
This is a habit of our culture, for many, many reasons. But global studies confirm over and over, the devastating effects on our bodies from having to process an overabundance of food. It is not purely an issue of gaining weight. Your guts and intestines are being forced to work overtime in order to deal with the surplus of food, and it never gets a break! Your body is still working to digest food from the previous meal when you start eating again. It over-taxes the system. How long would your clothes washer last if you significantly overloaded it and ran it nonstop for days or weeks?
We in America have gotten used to that “full” feeling and think it’s normal. We eat like lions who may not have access to food again. You let out your belt after a meal, feel that downturn in energy as your body puts full steam ahead to deal with the gut bomb of food, and your body adjusts to dealing with it. And eating less feels bad.
So what do you do? Sorry for the simplicity, but you eat smaller portions. You retrain your belly and brain to not need the feeling of “stuffed”.
Use smaller plates, bowls and glasses. Seriously. It makes a difference.
Digestion starts in your mouth. Every chew you make puts digesting-necessary saliva into your food. Back to animals, at some point we as a culture began wolfing down our food as if someone might steal it and we might not eat again for days.
I tell my kids, “If something tastes good, instead of eating more and more of it, how about chew it well and taste it more! If a movie is really good, do you watch it on fast forward? Or savor it?
Pay attention next time you eat. How many chews do you take? Watch other people. You’ll find many who take 3-5 chews before swallowing. Many who take 10 to 15. Very few who take 40+.
Take a bite of food and put your fork down. Savor the bite. You’ll end up eating less, for one. But two, you are giving your digestive system a break. Packing it full of un-chewed food brings us back to our clothes washer analogy. How would it endure when you’re loading it up with shoes and boots (some with steel toes!) and making it run constantly? Not very well. Our bodies are no different.
Abstain From Harmful Foods
Dr. James would attest to most people having a type of food, food group or ingredient they are averse to. Whether allergic, intolerant or simply more difficult to process, most people in America have a food sensitivity of some sort.
It was through Dr. James guidance I found out I don’t do well with corn. Which massively impacted my late night “health treat” of air-popped pop corn. That was the culprit in my disrupted sleep and morning loose bowels. Which wasn’t “abnormal” to most folks and I could have been given a sleeping pill and stool firming medication. OR…find out what was bothering me and quit eating it and actually be healthy and well! Which I did! And I now eat raw, salted nuts as my replacement.
The point is finding out what foods may be causing your adverse effects. Dr. James has food sensitivity tests that can be ordered and run on you.
Intermittent Fasting – Two Meals Per Day
This continues the thread of giving your body and gut and digestive system a break. Few American’s have any idea what true hunger feels like. Our appetite has large and habitual demands. But actual hunger? I’ll not say too much on this, but ask you to read this article: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/21/intermittent-fasting-calorie-restriction.aspx
As of this writing, I am on day four of
- not eating breakfast,
- eating my two meals, lunch and dinner, within a six hour window,
- not eating three hours before bedtime,
- not eating much of any carbohydrates
Aside from coping with my appetite that loves to be eating pretty much all the time, it feels good to be “empty and light” through the morning. I fully enjoy my coffee and water during that morning time. And in the evenings between dinner and bedtime, I’ll sip a little wine instead of eating.
The hardest time is between lunch and dinner and then around 9-10pm when I’m used to snacking. It’s also very tempting to overeat for the two meals I have.
Otherwise, I intend to continue this path for the foreseeable future. My 18 year old daughter joined me in this and is enjoying it!
Eat Dinner and be done
We all know this is best, but do we really know why? It’s more than just weight gain, the toll on our body goes further. When your body is to be resting, recuperating and regenerating, we’re forcing it to continue being at work. And as many of our systems are shut down, it’s processing with only half the staff present!
A significant benefit to your sleep quality, digestive health and weight loss would be to not overeat at dinner, and more importantly, not eat within three hours of going to bed.
Choose Your Vice
We are an addicted, indulgent society who lives out of balance and seeks “medication” in many forms. Food is arguably number one. Eating perfectly and abstaining like a monk is not sustainable for many people (especially me). You’ll probably succeed best by having some vices. “Cheat days” are common in the world of fitness. One day where you are free to indulge.
Personally, I struggle with making it one day without indulging! But I’ve curtailed my indulgences to less offensive items. These will differ for everyone! Some items that Dr. James and I have on our lists:
- Dark chocolate
- Raw, but salted nuts
- Dried fruit (careful, they pack a lot of sugar)
- Hard cheeses
- Rice crackers
With these, all the aforementioned issues such as overeating and eating late at night still apply.
Your True Life?
Dr. James asks his patients, “What is your vision for true life, and what will help you get there?” None of these issues are rights and wrongs or black and whites. They are merely strategy topics for you to consider, based upon what you ultimately desire. To be truly well, you must give your body, soul and mind the opportunity and ingredients to get and be well.
My favorite statement and overarching strategy from Dr. James is this, “Give your body what it needs and stop giving it what it doesn’t want.” The specific answers are unique to you. It’s why you’re here at True Life.
- Make an appointment with Dr. James or Jane Enger
- Send a question or inquiry through Patient Halo
We are here…for you. Let’s be well.