By Edward Bauman, M.Ed., c.Ph.D.
Isn't it astounding that most of us are unconscious of how our bodies operate, and what makes for optimal nutrition? Neither our parents, teachers, nor physicians taught us how to identify nutritional needs and satisfy them. It's time we found out for ourselves, by study and experience, what is fit to eat and what is not.Can you remember a fresh, nutritionally rich meal, prepared with love and graciously served? The satisfaction of communing with family, friends, and food is immensely rewarding. Eating has a spiritual function, for it fills us with nature's life force. As we digest and assimilate its contents, the essence of our food becomes a part of us.
This leads us to scrutinize the effects of the PepsiGeneration. None of us in the modern world has escaped the impressions that commercialism has made on our psyche and in our bodies. How quickly convenience foods and instant sensory gratificat ion corrode our nutritional morals! Denatured food breeds weak, insensitive, dependent organisms. A 1974 Wall Street Journal headline surmised, Most people have no taste; it's been lost in the process..
Untilyou are thoroughly sick of self-abuse, you will not make the commitment to be maximally healthy. Nutritional responsibility begins with learning to exercise judgment in matters of diet. For some, it means learning for the first time how to gather , prepare, digest and assimilate food efficiently. Nearly all bad food habits are actually responses to other symptoms, such as depression and fatigue.Moreover, commercial convenience foods merely cover your hunger, without delivering essential nutrients . As hunger becomes craving, need translates into desire, seldom satiated. Dr. Jean Mayer of Harvard University warns, "Enriched junk food is still junk"
This article addresses those people who wish to use sound nutritional principles as a basis for personal healing work. All material ispresented as suggestion, not prescription. Use whatever is appropriate for your needs at this time. I emphasize natur al foods and nutritional teachings that you can apply on your own, without great expense or risk.
Nutrition is the art and science of nourishing yourself optimally, and nutritional responsability is a process. Three interconnecting phases will be discussed:
* Examining the systemiceffects of habitual dietary errors and digestive overload.
* Preparing to change your diet - general guidelines and personal and environmental considerations.
* Adopting the right diet for you - developing a vegetarian basis; suggestions for substituting and combining sensibly.
Dietary Errors & Digestive Overload: Cause, Consequence, and Remedy.
Dietary errors inevitably create adigestive overload which denies the body the nutrients it deserves. Before eating a single bite, consider your habitual eating behavior. Are you shortchanging yourself by carelessness and haste? Do you eat too fast, t oo often or when stressed? Let's face it, we can all pay more attention to our internal rhythm and pace.
The tradition of saying grace before meals is an important and healthypractice. During this brief silence, pressures of the day are released, and gratitude for the gift of food can be expressed. A moment's pause allows blood to drain from your brain a nd to center in the abdomen, thereby stimulating secretions of digestive enzymes in the stomach, small intestine, and salivary glands. Take time for relaxation after a meal as well.
According to Dr. Kurt Donsbach, agreat way to correct dietary errors is to exercise 5 minutes before eating. This stimulates the liver and muscle tissues to release glycogen into the blood. This reserve of fuel is oxidized and converted to gluc ose, a simple sugar, which immediately raises the blood sugar level and allays hunger. After exercise, rest a moment, and then take your meal. You'll be less likely to overeat.