SITTING FRONT STEPS

An Absurd Amount of Passion

I read that line today in a travel site blog. It struck a chord with me. I feel that way about my work at Boyd Wellness. I have an absurd amount of passion for my patients and their healing journey.

It’s an honor to be able to work at something that feels more like a calling or a passion than a job. Having spent many years at “jobs” I can say without reservation that this is immeasurably better.

My love of my work has ignited many passions within me. I’ve learned yoga and meditation along the way and fallen in love with a great many seemingly unrelated hobbies that have benefitted my life and work tremendously. I can’t say enough about cultivating passions for the betterment of your being. I’m not sure where I’d be today without having taken a chance on a mother/daughter pair of goats a few years ago. I had no real farming skills or knowledge at the time – just a passion for animals from childhood.

Every decision I have made from the pursuit of passion has been an enriching one. I encourage you on your journey to vibrant health to spend some time thinking about what you are passionate about. If nothing comes to mind yet, don’t worry it will. Meantime may I recommend goats?

I heart PASSION.

MIMI KISS SITTING YOGA PUCKER

Water, Water Everywhere (disclaimer: except in CA, New Mexico and most other parts of the world)

Reading the New York times recently I was struck by an article about the extreme drought in California and how that is impacting agriculture. One consequence is that farmers are switching to dairy herds from crops since cows allegedly consume less water per day – that is less than it takes to grow a circle of corn. I’m amazed that crops are so water intensive and dismayed that many others may follow this practice as animal herds are more energy intensive and polluting than crops. So while this solution makes sense in the near term it may be complicating our ability to truly solve our climate related problems. What’s a suburbanite to do as our once abundant access to potable water seems to be disappearing and leaving us in the same lurch as many developing nations around the world?

I deal with stressful news by taking action. Can I make it rain in California tomorrow? No. But I can start conserving water in my home to mitigate the burden my family is contributing to the global water crisis. This reminds me a bit of my grandmother encouraging me to eat everything on my plate because “there are starving children in Africa”. As an adult I finally see the link between my plate and someone else’s starvation. No I can’t package my leftovers for Africa, but my practices and awareness will affect others and the incremental reach of that can have enormous consequences in the world. Besides, when the water in the world is slowly becoming un-potable and inaccessible can I really enjoy my lush green lawn in good conscience?

Here a few quick tips on water conservation strategies for your home to get you thinking in the right direction:

1. Change your mindset. Most municipalities charge only a small fee for water delivery to the home. If you are among those lucky few consider what it’s like to live in an area like Santa Fe, New Mexico, where water is scarce and fees are high. This may be the future for all of us in the U.S. if global climate predictions are accurate. Start conserving now. Imagine that with every trip to the toilet you are flushing dollar bills down the drain or sprinkling your lawn with coins. If that were the case you’d be more likely to reign in your water use, right?

2. Keep a pitcher next to the sink. Next time the glasses come to the sink for washing with leftover water in them pour the surplus into the pitcher. If you’re anything like my family you will have a full pitcher in no time. Your air-purifying houseplants will be thrilled with that water and the kids will love keeping track of how much water you are saving. We’ve used clear pitchers in the past and dry erase markers to track the daily level. It’s an oddly satisfying ritual for a kindergartener.

3. Resuse plastic single serving water bottles in your toilet tanks. Single serving water bottles are expensive and bad for the environment while providing water that is often more contaminated than your tap water. Did you know there have been over 300 contaminants identified in bottled water that aren’t even regulated yet? Better to repurpose those empty bottles by filling them from your surplus pitcher, capping them and submerging them in your toilet tank where they will take up space and reduce the amount of water that your toilet uses per flush. No more flushing dollars!

4. If it’s yellow let it mellow…I don’t know which poet laureate came up with this rhyme, but it’s a great one. Save an abundance of water by obeying this simple bathroom rule: If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.  Again, young kids love this one. I think because it feels like they are getting away with breaking a rule and they get to rhyme while they do it. A true win-win for the grammar- school set or adult males. I have seen cute signs to hang in your bathroom as a reminder to visitors or if that makes you a bit uncomfortable consider excluding the guest bathroom from this practice.

5. Water conserving filter. According to a recent NY Times article, levels of pharmaceuticals in our drinking water are so high that they are even detectable in the brains of fish. The best bet for your optimal health is to filter your water at home. But be aware that many high end filters wind up wasting a large amount of water in the process.  I recommend a greener solution; PUr20.com is a company that provides an economical under the sink home filter that provides crystal clear, super-hydrating water without wasting water in the process like some technologies do. Once it’s installed you can buy reusable containers for your water on-the-go and opt out of the bottled water issue completely.

6. Japanese tub. A friend of mine lived abroad for his senior year of high school in an exchange program. His lovely, affluent Japanese family filled the bathtub once each day. And I do mean, ONCE! On his first day staying with them they filled the tub and motioned for him to take the first bath. Having been prepped on this custom of sharing the tub water, he was aware that it was a huge honor to be offered the first bath and therefore couldn’t refuse. He spent a very uncomfortable bath time wondering what the appropriate amount of time should be not wanting to raise questions about his cleanliness should it be too short, nor be a rude guest and hog all the hot water. He settled on 8 minutes (don’t ask me how he divined that number!) and learned from his cultural exchange program that a water shortage many years ago forced this practice which was later permanently adopted even when water was more plentiful because bathing had come to be seen as wasteful of a precious resource. Waste not, want not. Now having said that I am willing to share my bath water, but only if I get to go first.

7. Tinkling in the shower. Years ago I read an interview with the actress Cameron Diaz who, as a budding environmentalist, wanted to bring attention to the wasteful practice of using gallons of water to flush a minute amount of urine. She said she waits to pee in the shower so she makes double use of her water. My husband, a long time fan of Ms. Diaz (and not strictly for her environmental efforts), was only too thrilled to honor her good example. Here’s another helpful hint: Best not to pee in the shared tub. My take on this is that I use a large, purple bucket in my stall shower to collect the excess shower water. Since water is insanely heavy I don’t wait for the bucket to fill. I feed the plants in my bedroom with this surplus and sometimes even use it to flush my nearby toilet. This keep me feeling satisfied that I’m going the extra mile without having to tinkle in my shower. I just cleaned it for gosh sakes. I’m not encouraging my kids and houseguests to pee in there either. Even I have some hard limits!

8. Rain barrels. Adjacent to my house is a giant blue rain barrel perched upon a stand being fed by my diverted gutter. It’s astonishing how quickly a summer downpour can fill the drum to overflow capacity. It makes your roof into a water factory. With a hose attached I can easily keep my flowers nourished guilt-free all summer long. Bonus; Nowadays rain barrels come in all sorts of great colors and cool designs that blend right in to the house. I’d toss mine for a sexy new model that blends, but then that’s not the green thing to do, is it?

I was going to do a list of ten, but I find those lists tiresome. I’m trying something new here. Eight. My top Eight. Off to water the garden by collecting my water buckets left scattered throughout the garden beds (see, that tip would’ve been number 9!)

Happy tinkling in the woods (tip number 10 for the little lads in your life. It keeps the deer at bay!)

Detox Dilemmas – the skinny on cleansing

It’s the beginning of the calendar year. The perfect time for a cleanse. I’m ready to start over fresh and I think it would go a long way if my body were ready too. After all I probably drank more wine than water at the last supper around Christmas and maybe even broke some glutinous bread along with it. I’m starting to feel as toxic as the Grinch. Juicing, fasting, dry brushing, supplements…where to start?
What if I pick one and I can’t see it through? What if I can’t give up my vices…even for just a week? These kinds of thoughts used to keep me from trying anything at all. Afraid I was wasting my money on juices (who knew lemon juice was so costly?) and pills because I had the self-control of a flea and couldn’t trust myself to knock off the evening cookies or wine. What good would a cleanse do if I was secretly sabotaging it with morsels of malicious treats I wondered? So, I continued my gluttony in the name of all things moderate. After all my family history is pretty strong. Didn’t great-grandma Frank live into her 90’s? Maybe I have her genes and I don’t need to stop my errant ways, I pontificated. But then I remembered that when great-grandma grew up cancer was rare. By the time her grandchildren were born only one of every 5 people would get cancer in their lifetime. For my children it’s already one out of every 2. Something has radically changed in just a few short generations. Relying solely on genetics to save me from my daily dose of modern day toxins isn’t so smart. Maybe, I decided, I need to be cleansing just like everybody else.
I asked my colleagues and mentors at national conferences; What’s the best way to detoxify and cleanse? Quickly I became overwhelmed with conflicting information and passionate beliefs. “Don’t eat anything toxic or expose yourself to anything polluted” was one gem. Really? huh. Hadn’t thought of that! So no breathing or eating corn, wheat or soy at a conventional restaurant ever again? I’d already given up deodorant. This was just unrealistic. “Fast for 7 days” was a pretty popular suggestion not without it’s historical merits. There’s a lot of science supporting the similar idea of caloric restriction to increase longevity, but would that be enough to give me a cellular 180 degrees after the (ahem) moderate imbibing I’d done over the holidays? If I was honest with myself then by “holidays” I meant starting with Halloween and by “modest” I meant something more akin to stripper clothing than business casual. I thought I’d need more. Plus saying “no” to things wasn’t exactly a forte of mine. If it was I wouldn’t need to detox in the first place. No, I figured I needed something with a wee bit more punch than saying “no thank you” to everything for a week.
Juicing sounded fun if a trifle inconvenient and pricey. And the plastic bottles are so colorful in the bleak days of winter. I was fairly gung-ho having read quite a bit about raw food diets and the benefits of getting all those live enzymes on board to clean up all the gunk lying around my innards. Then I met not just a few people who told me they bought the whole package only to succumb to the travails of picking up all those plastic bottles and keeping them refrigerated and at the ready when all their friends were digging into plates of fragrant food. For the few who did complete the cleanse they reported battling serious hunger pangs and -what’s the polite term for this? – “rapid gut transit” after drinking the first few as well as headaches resulting from the high potassium and sugar content of the juices. Hmpf. Not wanting to add to my misery and suspecting that 5 days of hustling around town to drink my weight in beets and spinach might not work it’s magic, I kept researching.
I found an article claiming that one can regrow their intestinal lining (where all the microbes work their digestive magic) in only 3 weeks. In 3 short weeks of eating only organic, non-toxic foods I could essentially replace my gunky, frazzled intestinal lining with a sparkly pink brand new one. That would be something. All I had to do was strictly avoid wheat, meat,dairy, soy, corn, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and grains. Wait! What? Like everyone else I’ve ever told this to, I said, “What the hell is left to eat?” Vegetables my friend. Tons and tons of vegetables. Some raw, some cooked. Dirt candy galore. Imagine what your freshly birthed intestines would look like if they were bathed in only the best stuff? I’m a bit of a sadist so this kind of challenge to eat purely really appeals to my “little house on the prairie” mentality – get the crock out and let’s ferment some cabbage I say! Alas I was able to convince very few other people to live the same way – like a capuchin monk – soaking and fermenting my beans and grains. But for those who did -Eureka! It worked like magic. Long-standing illnesses disappeared, skin issues cleared up and the dreaded brain fog evaporated. But there had to be a more practical way to meet people the way they live and help them achieve those healing goals. Didn’t there?
Queue the twinkly lights and saintly music. A trusted colleague leaned over during a conference and whispered magical words to me. “Since I started this Biotics 10-day cleanse I’ve been pooping like a bear after hibernation.” To any health junkie worth their beets tales of life changing poops have mythical qualities. We know that any intervention that yields regular, 3 x day, robust bowel- movements is doing something desirable to your colon and your cells. Sign me up, I thought.
My 10-day bio-detox kit with whey protein arrived shortly thereafter by the delivery gods. After perusing the enclosed booklet and CD I mixed my first shake and swallowed my first of three fistfuls of pills for the day. It took me two tries to get all the pills down. There were twelve – zoinks! By the end of the program I was swallowing the whole pack in one gulp with pride. The kit instructs you to eat three “clean” meals a day (recipes and specifics included) and drink two shakes whilst taking the aforementioned pill packs. By day 2 my cravings had vanished. Wine? What wine? I had zero interest in my evening goblet of red. Sweets? “No thanks” I found myself saying. “I’m already sweet enough”. I was amazed. By day 4 the whites looked whiter and the brights brighter. A person could get hooked on feeling this good. By day 10 I was sad to see it coming to an end. What would happen to my sparkly new feelings when left to my own devices again? Would I systematically slip back to my less vigilant ways?
Surprisingly, not really. The truth is the effect of the cleanse stayed with me for weeks after it ended. It brought me to a new higher plateau of both dietary and lifestyle practices. The axiom that you change the way you think when you change the way you eat was profoundly true for me. Cleansing in this way gave me enough bandwidth and energy to motivate me to make other changes which in turn led to yet more positive changes. Over time I did forget that sparkly feeling enough to make some dietary missteps. But here’s the thing…being so clean changed my tolerance for feeling “food dirty”. Even the smallest departure from my new and improved diet left me feeling waxy and bloated and well…dirty. And not in the fun way! I wound up not getting very far afield from my good practices because I had a new “cell memory”. My body had reset at a better place.
Now I look forward to using the 10-day kit with each season as a gift to myself. While others “treat” themselves to carbs and sugar and fried foods, I know the real treat is feeling this connected and happy with my body. No amount of cookies or wine can do that (believe me I’ve tried!) and I didn’t have to give up food or what little sanity I have left to get there. Oops! Excuse me…my kit arrived for my new year cleanse and I’m jones-ing for that clean buzz! Email me at Jennifer@boydwellness.com if you want to get going too! 61S3WkJXdfL._SL1280_

Global Warming and Ebola are weirding me out

A patient recently asked me if I have an Ebola cure. I said, “sure but I’d have to eradicate world hunger first to do it.” He was serious. I was not. And although I love that I have earned enough respect from my patients to be considered a credible source for a hidden Ebola cure, I am as dismayed as they are that I have my limits too.
It got me thinking about all my limits. The hard stops where the wheels screech to a halt and you are jack-knifed into the dark corners of your world. Where is my cure for rising global temperatures and sea levels? Is recycling kitchen water into a cute pitcher from the Martha Stewart Collection going to make enough of a difference? Where is my remedy for the electromagnetic frequency pollution that is killing my backyard beehive and sickening kids the world over? I bought a fancy SAR-rated cell phone case and toluene-free nail polish and organic underoos, but it doesn’t seem to be making a dent. Somehow the news is getting worse and the problems multiplying. At this rate I’d need to make a dent the size of Colorado to have an impact on theses problems. I’m starting to think it doesn’t matter what I do. Gulp.
Then I saw a quote from Mother Theresa that really hit home for me. I can’t look it up right now because I’ve turned my wifi router off for the night to create a sleep haven for my children. I guess I can wait until the timer clicks the service back on at 7:30am to search it up, but then I’ll be busy milling my own gluten-free bread and milking the goats. (I’m only kidding. The goats won’t be ready for milking until next summer!) Apparently, in response to a query about how to affect world peace, Mother Theresa said:
“Go home and love your children”
Wow! Nothing about underoos at all! So simple it’s almost dismissible. Surely something so obvious and easy can’t create a ripple greater than the totality of my organic tampons and high MPG car? And then it struck me: It’s the perfect remedy for creating change because it’s free, has no parts, or masses of people, or special skills. There are no barriers to performing this radical act of cataclysmic change. But when I read this quote I had already yelled at my son earlier that day so I waited until the next morning to change the world. I figured it was a safe bet that it would still need saving then too.
You’re probably thinking, as I first did, “I already do that!” But ask yourself, do you really? Because if you had everything would change. Nothing could stay the same. And isn’t that what we need right now, radical, healing change? Love on that level is contagious (not like Ebola. More like an infectious laugh). It cannot be contained. It spills out to all of your interactions. It seeps out of your pores like the freeze-dried garlic you took by the bottle-full last flu season. Loving someone with a capital “L” changes you. It churns up the brackish bottom of your soul and gets the system flowing again. It stirs your chakras and curls your toes. And being loved like that is like breast-feeding on your mom’s lap curling her hair in your tiny fist with pupils like moons and a heartbeat like a cat’s purr. There’s no more complete feeling in the Universe. Not even winning at Yahtzee!
If typing in the dark, shielding from EMF, eating gluten-free and driving a Prius isn’t getting us completely out of harm’s way, then what do we have to loose by trying something suggested by every guru from Martin Luther King, to Ghandi, to Buddha? If I can finally remember to bring my reusable grocery bags into the supermarket then I think I can also learn to Love, with a capital “L”, at least at home.
Someone should probably warn my kids though. This could be startling.

“All we need is love. Love is all we need.”

Got Pus? Milk Does!

Milk it does a body good:

Let’s get things rolling with a reality check about the source of dairy in the U.S. – spoiler alert: It’s not typically from a farm with a red barn where the cow is milked by hand by a bonneted lass.

I have three main concerns about commercially farmed cow’s milk. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Cow’s milk is meant for a calf in the weaning period. When the calf is grown it has the common sense to stop drinking cow’s milk. The ratio of calcium to magnesium to phosphorous is not suited for human health and can lead to calcium leaching from the bones to combat the imbalance (osteoporosis). No other mammal in the animal kingdom drinks another mammals milk for leisurely pleasure…and certainly not after the weaning period. So if you’re a full grown adult drinking the milk of a cow…expect other mammals to look at you askew.

Here’s an interesting quote from the PETA website:

“Besides humans (and companion animals who are fed by humans), no species drinks milk beyond infancy or drinks the milk of another species. Cow’s milk is suited to the nutritional needs of calves, who have four stomachs and gain hundreds of pounds in a matter of months, sometimes weighing more than 1,000 pounds before they are 2 years old.(28)”

Also…

“Cow’s milk is the number one cause of food allergies among infants and children, according to the American Gastroenterological Association.(29) Most people begin to produce less lactase, the enzyme that helps with the digestion of milk, when they are as young as 2 years old.” 

 

2. Inhumanity. If you’re not aware of what happens on a commercial dairy farm to produce that gallon of skim milk on your table, you should be. According to published data by the USDA, U.S. cows are now producing nearly twice as much milk as they did in the 1970’s. You might wonder how? Bovine growth hormone? Cruel over-milking procedures? Then again, maybe you might prefer not knowing…more velvetta on your mac- and- cheese?

The stress on these lactating mothers to produce ever greater amounts of milk is considerable. Their babies are removed from them at preciously young ages and the mothers are confined in tight, filthy spaces for hours on end as they are hooked up to machines for milking and injected with growth hormone to stimulate flow and antibiotics to fight the resulting udder infections.

What of the energetic health effect of consuming the product of a suffering animal (this assumes that you can imagine that the lactating cow is suffering. Any mom’s who’ve breastfed can fill in the gap here for the novice about the joys of lactating.). Have you ever watched an animal suffer or die? If you have, was your first thought, mmmmmm….can’t wait to eat the meat or drink it’s milk? Unlikely. It’s naturally repulsive. And for a reason. Do you need to see a double-blind, placebo controlled study to know that the end product of a suffering mammal has negative health consequences for the consumer?

 

Here’s some great data about the dairy process from PETA.org:

“After their calves are taken from them, mother cows are hooked up, several times a day, to milking machines. Using genetic manipulation, powerful hormones, and intensive milking, factory farmers force cows to produce about 10 times as much milk as they would naturally. Animals are often dosed with bovine growth hormone (BGH), which contributes to a painful inflammation of the udder known as “mastitis.”

 

” An industry study reports that by the time they are killed, nearly 40 percent of dairy cows are lame because of the intensive confinement, the filth, and the strain of being almost constantly pregnant and giving milk. Dairy cows’ bodies are turned into soup, companion animal food, or low-grade hamburger meat because their bodies are too “spent” to be used for anything else.” 

 

 

 

 

3. Commercial cow’s milk is pasteurized and homogenized. At first blush this sounds good. pasteurization as a process has probably saved untold amounts of lives from filthy and contaminated processes, but at what cost? And have we outgrown that need? Consider the following from RealMilk.com: 

 

Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Calves fed pasteurized milk do poorly and many die before maturity. Raw milk sours naturally but pasteurized milk turns putrid; processors must remove slime and pus from pasteurized milk by a process of centrifugal clarification. Inspection of dairy herds for disease is not required for pasteurized milk. Pasteurization was instituted in the 1920s to combat TB, infant diarrhea, undulant fever and other diseases caused by poor animal nutrition and dirty production methods. But times have changed and modern stainless steel tanks, milking machines, refrigerated trucks and inspection methods make pasteurization absolutely unnecessary for public protection. And pasteurization does not always kill the bacteria for Johne’s disease suspected of causing Crohn’s disease in humans with which most confinement cows are infected. Much commercial milk is now ultra-pasteurized to get rid of heat-resistant bacteria and give it a longer shelf life. Ultra-pasteurization is a violent process that takes milk from a chilled temperature to above the boiling point in less than two seconds. 

 

 

 

 There’s a wealth of data to suggest that commercial cow’s milk does not, in fact, support good bone health. It may do just the opposite. So how is it that we came to believe that cow’s milk is a miracle food? It has everything to do with the government subsidizing dairy farmers and needing to park the abundant, cheap, cow’s milk. Their solution? The public school lunch program. Long a dumping ground for poor quality meats and other subsidized commodities, the government has been using the federally funded school lunch program to solve their problems. Since most rational people would assume that anything we offer to kids in the school must be inherently good for them, consumers made the leap that cheap cow’s milk (not to mentioned flavoured and sugared cow’s milk), must be good for everyone. Not so. 

 

In short, I submit that the only acceptable form of animal milk (or milk products) is organic, raw milk from exclusively pasture-fed, (and therefore free-ranging) animals. In general, after considerable research and consideration I find that I cannot personally support the practice of commercial milk consumption. I encourage you to do your own research and establish your own opinion on the matter.

 

Off to my hazelnut milk smoothie! 

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Diet Fads Miss the Point

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A google search on the topic of diet will reveal a lengthy list of mostly fad diets: Cabbage soup diet anyone? Over the past ten years of practicing medicine as a PA I have reviewed quite an array of “healing” (as opposed to weight loss)  diets from blood type to vegan to mediterranean and on. What strikes me is the volume of permutations there are on the subject of eating. When did it all get so complex? Perhaps the more appropriate question is, why is it so complex?

For as long as there has been recorded history there has been debate about the optimal human diet. That’s really amazing when you consider the vast array of other important topics that don’t surface nearly as much. You don’t see a lot of dialogue about the preeminence of housing styles or optimal clothing, for example. No, there is clearly an historical obsession with how to feed a human.

I think there are two reasons for this. First, food can be hard to come by. Okay, maybe not for much of the fast food nation that is the US, but in general, and increasingly throughout the emerging markets world, food as a commodity, is scarce. Secondly, the link between food choice and health is well established despite the willful ignorance of western medicine to the contrary. You don’t need to be a scholar of physiology to come to the rapid conclusion that some edibles are better for your constitution than others. Think of the information dense experience of a lactose -intolerant person eating an ice cream sundae. Or the few unlucky times you’ve had the displeasure of consuming spoiled food. It’s quite obvious. Not all edibles are created equally when it comes to digestion, assimilation and utilization.

So if you have a choice of what to eat,  what substance will provide you with the most nutrient dense calories for the least amount of resources?

Assuming you have a competent digestive system, the answer is simple. Eat an abundance of organically-, or bio-dynamically-grown vegetables and fruits and, in comparatively smaller amounts, complex, un-processed grains, healthy oils and nuts/seeds (don’t want to invite those nasty free-radicals to supper!) and rare animal products if, and only if, you can answer “yes” to the following questions about their procurement:

1. Were these animals fed their optimal diet throughout their entire lifecycle? (grass and hay for cows, for example, and zero corn)

2. Were these animals treated with dignity their whole lives? Did they get to roam freely on open pasture, not slab or barn? Did they have sufficient space? Or were they crammed beak-to-tail in their own filth? Were they given free access to their breastfeeding mom through the weaning period?

3. Were they humanely slaughtered at the peak of their health? Or were they shipped to a facility hours away and aware of the horrific fate awaiting them? Were they killed immediately and accurately? Is there any possibility they were ill and on antibiotics in the preceding months before their slaughter?

If you can’t answer all of these questions with confidence about your animal products, then you are running a great risk in consuming them. To say nothing of the untold damage these nefarious practices do to the animals and our environment.

You’ll notice that there is no mention of added sugar, or breads in the optimal diet. There’s very little upside to the consumption of these food categories. If you must have them, combine them with another vice, like alcohol and get it over with by having a glass of bio-dynamic wine!

For my part, the ideal diet is a conscious diet. “Eating is a necessity, eating intelligently is an art” (Anonymous). There is a world of healing to be had in a carefully considered diet. Just being grateful for your food can have profound healing implications. So, the zen practices of contemplating the compatibility between your food and your physiology can be very life affirming in and of itself.

If you’re looking to set course for a path to healing through food (and I think you should!) then I would look at Dr.Hay’s diet of food combining as a lens to view a macrobiotic/ mediterranean diet (ok I made that diet up, but if you look at each of them and layer their elements in a Venn diagram you are left with a healing, happy diet).

Lastly, how do you know if you have a competent digestive system and, therefore, free reign with food choices and practices? Here’s a hint: It’s increasingly unlikely that you do. Digestion is adversely impacted by every modern day convenience you can think of from microwaves to pesticides, to cell phones to eating on the go…

Here’s a quick quiz. If you can say “that never applies to me” to the following statements you have a rock solid digestive capacity:

I get diarrhea sometimes (loose, poorly formed or soft stool)

I get constipated sometimes (a bowel movement less frequently than once per day or stool that is difficult to pass)

I experience bloating more than once a month

I belch after eating

I have smelly gas frequently

My breath is sour or foul

I get frequent colds or infections

 

If you find that you agree with more than one of those statements than perhaps it’s time we met in person and discussed a plan to improve your digestion through diet and toxin avoidance. Nothing could be more fundamental to our health than the foods we choose to eat given our digestive capacity.

Find out if you’re eating an optimal diet for you!