Wednesday, July 25, 2007

7 Key Healthy Eating Principles

Energy, vitality and longevity can be achieved at any age, and with the 7 Healing Principles which restore our body health and change our life!. We know that the stress of modern living, the Standard American Diet (SAD) of processed foods and too much sugar, and an over-dependence on drugs and antibiotics can weaken our immunity, pave the road for early aging and cause diseases like cancer because health begins in the digestive system.

Beneficial bacteria (also known as microflora) digest the foods we are eating. A lifestyle that includes stress and poor eating habits kills the beneficial microscopic "good guys" that keep us healthy, setting the stage for disease. Very often the stress and the junk foods cause digestive upset, and resulted with digestive pain, bloating and/or fatigue after eating the heavy meals. Therefore, fermented foods and drinks are required to re-populate our digestive system with the beneficial bacteria needed to digest food, assimilate nutrients, and enhance immunity.

The 7 Healing Principles

1. The Principle of Balance

The Principle of Balance is based on the concept of yin and yang, the opposing energy forces from ancient Chinese and Japanese traditions. Everything in the world has some properties of yin and yang, but in varying proportions.

Yin energy is light, expansive, wet, soft, cold and more vegetal. Yang energy is heavy, contracting, dry, hard, hot and more animal. Body Ecology uses the terms expansion and contraction to explain the yin and yang energy of the food we eat.

Some foods, like sugar and alcohol, are examples of food that is way too expansive for our body. Our blood stream quickly absorbs sugar and produces energy, making us feel temporarily open and relaxed yet these foods are damaging because they are not balanced.

Other foods, like excessive and poor-quality salt and animal products, are more contracting and cause our cells to contract and lose fluids, making us feel tight and constricted.

Our body is always seeking balance. If we eat too much salt, our body becomes too contractive and we will quickly find ourself craving something sweet. Notice this the next time we go to see a movie. While they may not fully understand this concept, the movie theaters are well aware that both soda pop (sweet and expansive) and popcorn (salty and contracting) are ever-popular combinations for concession sales.

Without understanding this principle, we may unknowingly create imbalance in a vicious cycle of cravings.

2. The Principle of Acid and Alkaline

To maintain health, our blood must be slightly alkaline. The foods we eat and the lifestyle choices we make impact our body's ability to maintain that alkaline state.

Foods can be alkaline, acidic or neutral in our body. Our goal would be to have a balance of alkaline and acidic foods so that you can maintain the alkaline state of our blood. If we get out of balance and your blood becomes too acidic, you become more susceptible to illness and disease.

At the same time, lifestyle choices like stress, taking prescription drugs and not getting enough sleep can create acidic blood. Paying attention to a balanced lifestyle is also key to our health and longevity.

3. The Principle of Uniqueness

As humans, we share so many similarities with one another, but our body is unique. Each of us is an experiment of one and for that reason, we may need to modify certain elements of any diet or lifestyle to suit our own individuality.

While restoring balance in our body, any time we try a new way of eating, it's vital to observe our body's reactions and assess whether this new path is bringing us back toward balance.

4. The Principle of Cleansing

Did you know that our body cleanses every day? Through elimination, urine, tears, and sweat, our body rids itself of toxins that would otherwise build up and could lead to sickness and disease. Fevers, colds and skin eruptions are actually a natural part of the cleansing process and shouldn't be suppressed. Cleansing allows our body to restore balance and occurs when imbalance is too great and threatens life.

As we start on certain fiber cleansing diet, we will experience the symptoms of cleansing, and might feel worse than we usually feel. It's our body's way of getting rid of the bad and making room for the good. After all, we cannot heal our current condition without cleansing.

5. The Principle of Food Combining

By combining certain foods when we eat can either help or hinder our digestion. If we combine the wrong foods, our body will actually secrete enzymes that cancel each other out!

This leads to slowed or impaired digestion, causing food to ferment in our stomach or toxins to be released in our intestines. These conditions make our body more attractive to pathogens. This is a highly useful principle to improve our health and weight, and often one of the most misunderstood.

6. The Principle of 80/20

This principle has two concepts that aid our digestion:

- Quantity: Overeating severely weakens our digestive system. Give our stomach room to digest our food by only filling our stomach to 80% of capacity and leaving 20% empty to help our body digest.

- Balance of Nutrients: 80% of every meal should be land and ocean vegetables. The other 20% should be either a protein OR a grain.

7. The Principle of Step-by-Step

Just as it takes time to get out of balance, it also takes time to rebuild our health progressively. We cannot expect instant healing, but making small, consistent changes gives our body the foundation it needs to support optimal, long-term health.

Starting any new lifestyle is about creating new habits. It takes time and effort, which can sometimes feel hard.

The key is to take everything step-by-step. Incorporate one healing principle (or even one element of a healing principle) at a time so that you don't feel overwhelmed. Take care of yourself by going at the pace that feels right to you.



Indigo organic said...

I and my wife have been very health conscious to protect our daughter who started to develop multiple food allergies from 2 years ago. We've been consistently learning about health especially food so this information is another good source for us. Thanks

Spriulina said...

Great info! Lots of content and straight to the point. I love how you started out with keeping your diet in balance. That's the motto I live (and eat) by! It really makes a difference in your energy levels!