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Nourishing Suggestions

by Jeff Cordeiro

Evolution of ManIf you're American, most of what you are about to read will be the opposite of what you've heard all your life. Please, keep in mind that the nutritional suggestions we've heard for the past fifty years led to two-thirds of the country being overweight and vitamin D deficient, one-third being obese, and children with adult onset diabetes. There's an old saying that "if you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got".

So, first get close to nature. It takes about 5000 years for human genes to adjust to new food sources and climates. While the human body is very adaptive and quickly accommodates everyday environmental changes, true evolutionary changes take much longer. Therefore, the foods your body likely requires are those of your ancestors. 

Some divide humans into genotypes, others into nutritional types and I call them ancestral types. In any case, the concept is the same: Healthy foods for one may not be healthy for another. Dr. DíAdamo (Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type, The GenoType Diet) uses blood types as an example. Not all blood can be given to all people in a transfusion. Similarly, he states that there are lectins in foods that one person will react to negatively that others will not. 

Once youíve determined the right foods for your type, get them from local sources (so they will still have most of their nutritional value), that are organic (or they may not contain the proper nutrients even if they are picked fresh and they may contain chemicals that are toxic to the body) and only eat foods when they are in-season (as your ancestors did). Use this little reminder: LOIS (Local, Organic, In Season).

Get fat in the summer and skinny in the winter. As recently as a few hundred years ago, we fattened up when food was abundant knowing that, in the colder months, food would be scarce and we would need to live off our own fat. Vitamin D (which is a steroid hormone) is produced by our bodies when we are exposed to the mid-day sun in the spring and summer. UVB rays convert cholesterol to Vitamin D and what we donít use is stored in our fat. 

During fall and winter, our best source of Vitamin D is locked in our fat. If we donít burn fat in the winter, our bodies become Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D controls about 10% of the genes in our bodies and Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to almost every disease known to man. Unless your ancestors are from areas as far from the equator as Sweden, Vitamin D should not come from diet. So, by next March, you should be your skinniest and already ready for swimsuit season.

To get metabolism up, eat every two to three hours. Use this reminder: ELMO (Eat Less More Often).

Breakfast should be the biggest, fattiest (healthy fats, of course) meal of the day. To get your metabolism started, have breakfast first thing in the morning. Until you break the fast, your body holds on to every calorie. You also need fat to burn fat. So get all the healthy fats you can into your breakfast (eggs, salmon, olive oil, flax seed, etc.) and the greater the variety of Omega 3 oils, the better. 

Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dinner like a pauper. Snack between meals and donít eat 3 hours prior to bed (however, if you strength train, DO have a small high-protein no-carb snack just prior to bed).

One hundred thousand years ago, when we caught and killed an animal, we ate it; when we found a piece of fruit on a tree, we ate it; when we were thirsty, we went to the stream for a drink. We did not catch the animal, swing by the orchard for fruit and carry them all to the river for a meal. 

Our bodies are designed to identify foods we eat and provide a proper digestive environment; the right amount of saliva for pre-digestion, and the right amount of stomach acid (not too much or too little) for complete digestion. 

So, when eating a meal, start with the easiest food to digest and end with the hardest to digest. This will help your digestion (gradually adding more stomach acid as the foods get tougher to digest). Beginning every meal with Greek yogurt provides your stomach with good bacteria and an easy to digest protein.

Also donít drink, at least, 15 minutes prior to a meal, during a meal or an hour after a meal. Doing so only dilutes the digestive juices and prevents proper digestion. Yes, that includes water. DO drink a glass of water about 30 minutes prior to every snack or meal to aid digestion.

Tap water should be filtered (reverse osmosis is best) to try and remove as much of the chlorine and fluorine as possible. Water from plastic bottles should be avoided; most contain BPA (an estrogen mimicking chemical). Arrowhead advertises that their bottles are BPA-free.

Have one or two 8-ounce glass of filtered water immediately upon waking. This will help flush the toxins filtered by your body during the night and get your metabolism started. Have, at least, 6-8 eight ounce glasses of water (preferably one for every 20 lbs of weight) daily and more when exercising, when drinking coffee or alcohol, or when it's hot outside. 

Weigh yourself before and after working out. If you lose weight during workouts, you aren't drinking enough water. One pound lost is 16 ounces of water. Dehydration causes a drop in blood volume, causing the heart to work harder and can cause cramping, dizziness and fainting. Remember to ALWAYS pre-hydrate for workouts.

Whole foods are always your best source of nutrients but, being most commercial foods are sorely lacking in nutrients, supplements are almost a must. When supplementing, take them 20-30 minutes prior to meals. This allows time for the water to be absorbed by the body, while leaving the supplements in the stomach to interact with the foods that will follow.

There is an exception to the rule on supplements. Amino acids should be taken alone and on an empty stomach. Just prior to workouts or late at night, just before bed is ideal. Amino acids like L-Citrulline, L-Arginine, L-Ornithine and L-Glutamine will help post-workout recovery.

Bookend your workouts with protein. To get the greatest benefit from your workouts, have a quality low-glycemic carbohydrate (for energy) and a quality protein about an hour prior to working out and a high-glycemic carbohydrate (if your blood sugar is normal) and a quality protein, again, about an hour after working out. This will provide your muscles with the building blocks they need to recover and repair.

Dairy products are great sources of protein and nutrients if they come from animals like free-range chickens and grass-fed cows. Dairy products are only bad when man intervenes. Cows donít naturally eat grain (let alone genetically modified grain) and are not supposed to be shot with hormones and antibiotics. Furthermore, milk and eggs are not supposed to be sterilized and then fortified. 

The French consume lots of butter, cream and cheese but have no related health issues (their dairy products are fresh). Raw milk can legally only come from cows that graze, get exercise and sunshine and are not shot with anything. Goat cheese is also healthy for similar reasons.

Red meat is good too (if it is a good food for your type) provided the animals are natural. Remember, everything both good and bad is stored in fat (vitamins are right along side antibiotics, heavy metals and other toxins). So, itís not the fat thatís the problem; itís whatís stored in the fat. Unlike most cows, sheep still graze. So, if you donít want to pay top-dollar for grass-fed beef but still want healthy red meat, try lamb.

Incorporating these counterintuitive things into your daily diet will help you live longer and improve the quality of your life.

To Health and Happiness.

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Good books on nutrition for health:

Eat Right for Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo (),
Dr. Perricone's Weight Loss Diet (click here) and 
Staying Healthy with Nutrition
by Dr. Elson M. Haas, MD (click here).

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