I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who was trained in mainstream western medical theories about “health” and disease.  During my undergraduate training, I discovered my passion for wellness and disease prevention while working in a hospital-based Wellness Center as a fitness trainer.  However, my graduate program took me to the big city where I continued to be indoctrinated in disease management.

After working in the healthcare system for a couple years and seeing very little opportunity to help people build health, I began to doubt my beliefs about nutrition and wellness and after many more years in the healthcare system, I realized that I was not wrong—nutrition is important to building health—but doctors don’t practice nutrition, they practice medicine.

This really became clear when facing some complex health issues of my own.  I began to journey back to my roots and rediscovered the power of nutrition to transform our bodies and our lives.

I have thought about this a lot over the years and my current philosophy is quite simple…

  1. I believe that our bodies are perfectly designed to perform all functions necessary to maintain optimal health.
  2. When our bodies are given the proper materials they need to build their varied tissues and systems, they can heal themselves. Conversely, when our bodies are given improper materials for building, they cannot build healthy tissues and systems.
  3. Sometimes the best we have the time and resources to do is optimize the health of our bodies.
  4. One of the most important things we can do to build health is to nourish our bodies.

Nourishment as defined by Webster’s…

nour•ish•ment

/ˈnəriSHmənt/

Noun

1.  The substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition.

2.  Food.

My definition…

The provision of essential nutrients to the body through whole and intact foods in order to build health.

 

The Fundamentals of NOURISHMENT

Nutrient density is critical to nourishment. 

  • Choosing foods based on nutrient content and flavor will benefit your health more than counting calories, carbohydrates or fat.
  • Micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, botanicals, and flavonoids from foods are essential to all metabolic functions.

Organic is better…Sustainable & Organic is best.

  • Organically grown foods usually don’t have toxic pesticides that can disrupt hormones and increase toxicity in the body.
  • Sustainably grown foods are often grown without pesticides but also employ methods that naturally enrich the soil and enhance the nutrient content of the produce.

Use traditional preparation methods often.

  • Soaked, sprouted, soured or fermented foods enhance nutrition.
  • Sprouted grains, soaked nuts, seeds, and beans, soured doughs, or fermented foods or beverages reduce anti-nutrients, increase some nutrients, and improve digestion.

Raw food is nutritious and requires no cooking!  Eat raw when possible and appropriate.

  • Raw foods have higher levels of intact nutrients so your body receives more nutrients per bite!
  • Raw produce can be a source of fiber that assists with regular elimination and detoxification.

Include variety of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.

  • Eating a variety of colored produce provides varied vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids and other compounds necessary for health.
  • Vegetables are a great source of complex carbohydrates and have low glycemic levels.

Sugar is full of empty promises….

  • Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that raises blood glucose levels quickly to high levels which causes the growth hormone, insulin, to spike.
  • Insulin is one of our major hormones and impacts all other hormones.
  • Fluctuating blood sugars impact circadian rhythms and affect sleep, as well as sex hormones.

Hormones can be influenced by foods.

  • Artificial hormones are used to maximize production of many meat and dairy products.
  • These hormone laden foods cause disruption of our body’s hormones.  The prevalence of Estrogen Dominance in women and men is rising.

Manmade foods can’t compare to nature-made foods.

  • Processed foods are manmade foods that include additives, chemicals, sugars, oxidized fats, and even undisclosed ingredients that are not appropriate for human consumption.
  • Nature-made foods are not always convenient but they are worth the effort to obtain essential nutrition.

Enzymes are essential to life. 

  •  They are crucial to all metabolic activity in our bodies for optimal function of cells, organs and systems.
  • Enzymes exist in and on plants to protect and preserve them.
  • Enzymes in foods can act as either anti-nutrients or as activators for essential metabolic processes.

Natural fats are best.

  • Most commercial fats are oxidized and therefore rancid before they are even shipped to the retailer.
  • The best fats are stable fats which include cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin unrefined coconut oil, avocados,  organic butter, ghee, and some varieties of expeller pressed oils.

Taking whole food supplements is the only way that many of us will ensure adequate vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient intake for building health.

  • Due to soil depletion in American soil that has been reported and known for over 75 years, it is very difficult to provide adequate essential nutrients for optimal health.
  • Taking supplements at random is not advisable and supplements should never be substitutes for a well-balanced diet.
  • Making time to prepare healthy meals and maximizing nutrition from food intake can be likened to investing in a “health bank account”.

 

Improving your Nourishment

Take an inventory of what you are doing to invest in your health and wellness.  Ask yourself, “Is this helping me to achieve the results that I desire?”  If the answer is “no”, ask this question… “What do I already know and am not doing that would be a good investment in my health?”  Start doing that until it becomes habit.

If your answer to the first question is “yes”, keep doing what you are doing, but when that is no longer enough to achieve your desired results, consider making a new investment.  If you find yourself at the limits of what you can do on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  One size does not fit all.  Asking a qualified nutrition or fitness professional is always the best place to start.