In the previous two articles on metabolism, we discussed understanding what the real metabolic problem is and the lifestyle changes that are key to making healing possible. In this article we will discuss food and diet as key mechanisms for restoring the metabolism to health. We will give the key points to consider in creating a diet for healing metabolism, rather than just manipulating it.
We can do better with our food intake. Real food in the raw, live form should be what goes into our mouths. Even more importantly, if we want to restore an altered metabolic state, it is required that we greatly simplify the load on our guts since the gut takes up 80% of the body’s resources at any given time. Making a major switch in metabolism requires a lot of energy to reset everything. For this to occur, that energy has to be made available. The easiest and fastest way to make energy more available in the body is to simplify the burden on the gut. We want to eat much simpler meals of mostly raw fruits and vegetables, with rest for the gut between meals.
Much is said about diet everywhere we turn, but the overwhelming majority of dietary information in the media today is about manipulating metabolism, rather than healing it. What is stated above is what is required to heal it. We need lots and lots of gut rest and metabolic simplicity. Taking may supplements of isolated nutrients may seem like a good idea, but it is not. Eating a so-called, well balanced meal with some of everything supposedly needed may seem perfectly sound, but it is not. The body is not a victim to be manipulated with impunity. Rather it is highly intelligent and capable, but needs adequate rest and space to heal. We need adequate nutrition but what has been sold as adequate nutrition is a frank lie. We need high quality plant food, but simple combinations and simpler, lighter meals.
We can benefit from some supplements. Rather than choosing one bottle of every isolated nutrient we hear about, we would do better to choose a simple combination of high quality nutrition that is fundamentally green. Dr. Christopher’s Jurassic Green is an example, which combines the flash-dried juice of alfalfa, barley grass and kamut grass. This is a very simple but very nutrient dense combination. Health Force Nutritionals makes a similar product called Greener Grasses. The concept is fundamental and easy to grasp: Less is More!
We do want high quality nutrition. Better to spend a few dollars more on a meal of simple organic produce — or better yet, spend time on growing it at home — than to spend less on an elaborate meal of favorites. Many of our superfoods on the market today are very beneficial — but not all at once. Rather, one wise choice taken as part of a far better, simpler and lighter way of living is the way to go. It is far more important that we rest the gut and ease the burden on the body than to trot around looking for supplements to buy to make sure we have enough nutrition. No one heals him/herself with more is more logic. No one rids him/herself of chronic disease with a fear mentality that tries to cram every superfood or nutrient into every meal and requires dozens of supplements.
In my practice, I invariably take people off of breads (including cereal and pasta and all kinds of breads), refined sweeteners, all processed/packaged foods and all dairy of any kind. I always urge them to minimize animal flesh consumption and to eat only whole meat (never processed meat) when they do. I forbid shellfish and chicken expressly, knowing that in my practice most people have mild reactions to even the healthiest form of chicken and shellfish. Therefore these two meats appear to be the biggest liability as far as metabolism is concerned. No one reacts to beef, which is interesting. I always have them consume animal flesh no more than twice per week and always at midday meals with greens, not starches.
Instead, I urge them to eat only 3-5 things at a meal, focus on 75% raw food and 75% of all food to be fruits and vegetables. The other 25% which is not raw should be lightly cooked except the occasional squash or sweet potato (and occasionally potato). The other 25% that is not fruits and vegetables should be nuts, seeds, sprouted legumes or sprouted grains (but not as bread). Many good recipes exist in Traci’s Transformational Kitchen Recipe Collection, which are tasty and easily prepared. However, it is important to maintain simplicity during the healing process, even with Traci’s recipes.
A basic eating plan is as follows:
Breakfast: 3 frozen or fresh fruits blended with a little fresh apple juice and 2-3 chard or kale leaves or a tablespoon of Jurassic Green powder makes a smoothie for summer. Fresh squeezed organic oranges with a tablespoon of Jurassic Green powder added makes a warmer preparation for winter (citrus fruit is very warming). Other fresh juices can be used for winter also. There is a variation of breakfast for someone who is working physically very hard all day. These individuals must learn to use sprouted grains as cereals or pancakes with no other questionable toppings or ingredients than those given in Traci’s books. This will get them through the day without difficulty at all. When not working hard, these individuals should return to the standard above.
Snack: (not advised, but sometimes some people need it) dried fruit followed by raw nuts, or apples or berries followed by raw nut butter.
Lunch: The complex meal. This is the time for a heavier salad (cabbage or carrot based) a steamed vegetable and either sprouted grains (or recipe from Traci’s book) or legumes (normally, legumes are sprouted, but black beans can be prepared as soup without sprouting and without any problem as long as the 25/75% rule is followed for how much is consumed). This is the time to have animal flesh if it must be had.
Snack: Fresh vegetable juice with something green in it (stirred in or juiced).
Evening Meal: Light, simple and early. Finish by 6:30 no matter what (for people who work at night, have only fruit and raw nut butter after this time). Eat no more than 4 things at this meal (example: shredded carrots, avocado and Romaine lettuce with a small serving of sweet potato or steamed asparagus) plus light and simple seasonings. It is vital that the person eat no more than 2/3 of what is required to make them feel satisfied (full) and that the person never eat heavy foods at this time (grains, beans, animal flesh, larger servings of starches).
I also always urge the following: Chew all meals very well and relax while eating. I think it is wise to have someone check stomach health regularly throughout the healing process, including stomach position (stressed out, overly sympathetic people are prone to elevation and contraction of the stomach which irritates the vagus nerve and causes the stomach to function poorly — numerous problems both neurological and digestive result). Regular chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture and massage are recommended to release tension, reset systemic reflexes (which operate like breaker switches in your body) and prevent micro-circulation ischemia to the nerves that feed the vital organs.
Often I get questions asking about when a client can stop the above diet plan. I often wonder about that. Really, this is a plan for having great health throughout life. It is fairly open and reasonable and allows much latitude for personalizing it. It really should be a life plan. In direct answer to the questions, however, I can honestly say that most people will completely heal their metabolism over the course of 12-18 months. After that they can relax somewhat, but they should do so cautiously. They should never return to poisonous processed food, but should maintain a much higher standard throughout life. Following the guidance here will lead to noticeable longevity and a healthy journey from here to there.
In conclusion, this is the plan for healing the metabolism. It works marvelously well. It is vital to maintain a commitment to simplicity. In this article we have discussed what foods not to eat and what foods to eat. We have discussed eating habits and the basics of meal planning. We have laid out a sample of the day for the average person. We have discussed how long a person must stay on the basic plan in order to be fully healed.
In the fourth article in this series, we will discuss herbs that restore metabolism and how and when they are used. We will also discuss who should use them and how to decide what to use for you.