The Final Part 5: Nourish your body
I saved the best for last!
This Final Part 5 of “5 Things You Must Do To Avoid An Early Death” is arguably the most important installment of this series.
Because if your body isn’t getting and absorbing adequate nutrients, there is no way in heaven or on earth that you will stay disease-free and live as long as you should.
While getting proper nourishment should be a no-brainer, unfortunately we have ventured far away from anything that resembles healthy, nutrient-rich food, plus we are severely lacking in sound diet advice from so-called “experts.” As a result, we are paying a very hefty price in terms of our health and longevity.
I divided this blog into three sections, all of which are crucial to proper nourishment of the body: 1- Eat real food; 2- Have sound digestion; and 3- Avoid the 5 most common diet mistakes.
Let’s start with…
Section 1—Eat real food
The statement “Eat real food” should be self-explanatory.
But sadly, the waters have become SO muddied with respect to food that the expression “real food” isn’t as clear as it once was.
What is real food?
Simply put, real food is that which is provided by Nature for human consumption and nourishment.
As such, real foods are ideally close to how they appeared in Nature. They have had little or no processing, they are typically a single food (or portion thereof) and have not been altered in any significant way. They also have few or no additives or preservatives.
Real foods include fresh vegetables and fruits, meats, fish and poultry, nuts, seeds, eggs, butter and dairy. These are the items that you will find in the outer perimeter of most grocery stores.
Your body was designed to be nourished by real foods like these, and the farther you venture away from that which is created by Nature, the less you are nourished and the more likely it is that you will develop health issues. Nutrient deficiencies are an underlying factor behind virtually every sickness and disease, including our two main killers—heart disease and cancer.
Now, if everyone ate nothing but the real foods I mentioned above, this article would end right here, and we all would likely be slender, medication-free and living into our golden years.
But as we know, that’s not the world we live in.
Although eating 100 percent fresh foods is ideal, our reality is that factors such as limited supplies of these foods, higher cost, time constraints and busy schedules (making cooking from scratch challenging), or personal taste preferences will likely result in resorting to some level of processed food.
The important things to remember with processed foods are to choose wisely, strive for as little processing as possible, and buy organic whenever you can to avoid GMOs.
With processed foods, there are four categories based on the extent of processing:
4 categories of processed foods
Category 1- Barely processed
This is where a food is extremely close to how it appeared in Nature, with just some washing, prep work and packaging.
Examples are bagged salad mixes, plastic-wrapped trimmed fresh vegetables, bagged fresh “soup starters” like diced onions, peppers and celery, and packaged fresh herbs.
Category 2- Minimally processed
Category 2 foods don’t look exactly how they did in Nature, but they don’t contain many additives either.
Minimally processed foods include canned vegetables, dried fruits, frozen vegetables and fruits (without sauces), jarred olives and artichokes, dried beans, prepared horseradish, butter, rice and grains, dried spices and herbs, pickles, relish, vinegar, cold-pressed oils, raw nuts, ground coffee, and meats, poultry and fish.
Category 3- Moderately processed
This category includes foods that are far removed from Nature, but still are not inundated with harmful additives. They have very likely been cooked or altered in some way and may contain more than one ingredient.
Examples are dried pasta, breads, yogurt, cheese, pesto, ketchup, mustard, sour cream, applesauce, salad dressings, soups, peanut butter, jam, mayonnaise, traditional oils, tomato sauce or paste, roasted nuts, maple syrup, popcorn, cold cuts and sausage.
Category 4- Highly processed
These are characterized by multiple-ingredient foods, many chemicals, preservatives and artificial ingredients, most are made with GMO ingredients and the vast majority of them are harmful to your health in some way.
Highly processed foods include breakfast cereals, packaged dinners and side dishes, crackers and snack chips, pudding, gelatin, whipped topping, non-dairy coffee creamers (liquid and powdered), soda, candy, commercial ice cream, pastries, cookies, donuts, snack cakes, refrigerator biscuits, frozen pizza, TV dinners, juice drinks, sports drinks, granola bars, toaster pastries, shortening, cake and cookie mixes, jarred frosting, spray cheese, marshmallow fluff, sauce mixes and frozen desserts.
Where do you fall?
When assessing the potential for health harm caused by processed foods, you need to look at the category of processed food and how much you rely on them.
Categories 1 and 2 are fine in most all instances, and even Category 3 may be acceptable since many of the items in that category are condiments which would typically not be used all the time or in large quantities anyway.
It is primarily Category 4 foods that you should avoid at all cost if you want to stay healthy and disease-free. These are the foods that do not nourish you, they provide empty (fat building) calories, and they stress your organs of detox (your liver and kidneys) to filter out all of their harmful ingredients. They will practically guarantee that you become sick and die before your time.
Now let’s shift our focus to…
Section 2—Have sound digestion
Sound digestion is the foundation on which your health is built from head to toe.
When your digestion is impaired (i.e.: diarrhea, acid reflux, constipation, gas, bloating, etc.) it's only a matter of time before your body starts to break down, and more serious illnesses occur.
However, the average person pays little attention to the symptoms of poor digestion! Or worse yet they shrug them off as normal, and cover them up with antacids, acid reducers, gas relievers, laxatives, and anti-diarrheals.
But eventually the health problems become so big that you can't ignore them any longer.
And they'll stem from one of these two things...
The two harmful results of poor digestion
When your foods are not broken down properly to be absorbed into your bloodstream and used by your body for nourishment, one of two things can occur:
1) Undigested food particles that are too big to pass through your gut wall and get into circulation will wreak havoc in your intestinal tract.
2) Food particles that are broken down well enough to pass through the gut wall but are still too big for your body to use for energy will be absorbed into your bloodstream and cause trouble in there.
Here are the consequences of each of those.
When your foods aren't properly digested or broken down enough to be used for nourishment, they move through the intestinal tract and cause a cascade of problems.
The food particles become putrefied (rotted) and feed the harmful bacteria in your gut microbiome, causing them to multiply like rabbits.
As a result of putrefaction, chemicals are formed that are poisonous to your body. They are so toxic that they irritate the lining of your colon and eat away at it, making it porous.
This is called "leaky gut" and when your gut wall is leaky, it allows toxins to seep into your circulation. From there they can target specific organs, causing pain and inflammation and compromising their functioning.
Inflammation can manifest itself as conditions like arthritis, migraines, asthma, thyroid goiter, eczema, psoriasis, low back pain and high blood pressure, to name a few.
Also, the harmful bacteria overgrowth that may be occurring makes your gut wall even more porous and weakens your immune functioning (since 80 percent of your immune system is located in the gut), making you more susceptible to infections, viruses (including COVID and the flu) and diseases of all kinds.
Digestive remnants that are small enough to be absorbed into your bloodstream but are still too big to be used for energy are called "circulating immune complexes" (CICs).
CICs are a leading factor behind fibromyalgia and can impede healing and worsen pain and inflammation.
Plus your immune system can be provoked into overreacting when it encounters these “food chunks”—this is how many food sensitivities and autoimmune conditions are triggered.
It’s time to listen
As you can see, when you get heartburn, gas or constipation, there's a lot more going on than you realize. These should not be thought of as just innocent little symptoms or worse yet, normal consequences of eating.
Your body is telling you that there's something seriously wrong and it’s time to listen.
Efficient digestion is the very foundation of great health, and the best news is, it's easy to attain with just two simple steps.
1- Make your meals easier to digest
When you make your meals inherently easier for your body to tackle, your system can accomplish comfortable, complete digestion like it should.
The key lies in avoiding food combinations (especially proteins and starches) in your meals that require opposing enzymes—acid vs. alkaline—because the presence of both of these catalysts in your stomach together at the same time causes them to weaken or neutralize each other.
Throwing your digestion out the window!
My Great Taste No Pain health system will give you all the meal planning guidance you need, showing you what to pair with all your favorite foods (and what combinations to avoid) to pave the way for thorough digestion. Plus you’ll get a collection of delicious recipes.
Since I first wrote Great Taste No Pain back in 2007, it has helped literally hundreds of thousands of people worldwide to enjoy more efficient digestion.
2- Restore a healthy microbiome balance
The friendly bacteria in your microbiome help to support your gut wall, as well as assisting with digestion and keeping harmful bacteria under control.
The ideal flora balance is having at least 85 percent beneficial bacteria and no more than 15 percent harmful.
The problem is most people are walking around with the complete OPPOSITE of what they should have! This is not only due to poor digestion, but also environmental toxins, medications, stress, refined carbs and sugars, and lack of sleep.
So it's essential to help turn that around and restore a healthier flora balance with a top-quality, full-spectrum probiotic supplement like Super Shield PLUS multi-strain probiotic formula.
Super Shield PLUS contains well-studied, potent strains of 15 friendly bacteria that are robust and ready to repopulate your desperate microbiome! They'll help fend off harmful bacteria, encourage smooth digestion, beef up your immune system, support regular BMs and help strengthen your gut wall.
Now it’s time for the final section…
Section 3—Avoid the 5 most common diet mistakes
Although mistakes in the diet world can run the gamut, here are the five most common and harmful mistakes people make that roll out the red carpet for sickness, disease and early death to come knocking:
1. You think all fats are bad
I had breakfast not long ago with a nurse practitioner who questioned my menu choice—easy-over eggs, avocado and salsa. She opted for a bagel with fat-free cream cheese instead.
Where do I begin?
First, I think a nurse practitioner should know that good fats like eggs and avocado are essential nutrients…that is, if you want a healthy brain and nervous system and want to make hormones, among other things.
But the bigger issue here is that she thought a blob of refined carbs (aka a bagel which turns to sugar upon digestion and causes imbalance in your microbiome) topped with fake cream cheese is actually healthy!
Please remember this—good fats like real butter, eggs, avocado, full-fat dairy, meats, poultry, fish, olive oil and lard are GOOD for you. Fake fats and processed vegetable oils are not.
2. You think sugar-free is a good choice
People are on the right track with thinking sugar is bad—after all, it can cause gut bacteria imbalances and yeast overgrowth, make you pack on the pounds and feeds cancer cells, among other things.
But the common alternatives—artificial sweeteners—are no better. In fact, they can be even worse!
Studies have linked aspartame (aka NutraSweet® and Equal®) to cancer, brain damage and premature delivery in pregnant women, worsening insulin sensitivity, blurred vision, retinal damage and blindness, behavioral disturbances, nerve pain, muscle weakness and memory lapses, to name a few.
Sucralose (Splenda®) has been shown in research to cause leukemia and other blood cancers, weight gain, digestive issues (including IBS, Crohn’s and leaky gut), and it can create carcinogenic compounds when heated (even though it’s recommended for baking!).
And the friendly bacteria found in your intestinal tract become downright TOXIC when exposed to artificial sweeteners!
If you want a calorie-free sweetener, opt for stevia.
3. You think calories are all that matters
There are still a fair number of calorie counters out there, so hear this: What you should be worried about is nutrients—not calories!
Here’s what I mean—a 4oz. grilled tenderloin steak has 303 calories, and a cupcake has 304.
Which do you think is the better choice?
I don’t care that they are basically equal in calories—one will nourish you and the other will cause harm to your gut and widen your backside.
Make nutritious choices and eat until you are comfortably full. You’ll have no need to count calories.
4. You don’t consider what you’re drinking
I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen someone order a salad (or other healthy choice) for a meal and a soda to drink with it.
See anything wrong with that picture?
What you drink is just as important as what you eat, especially if you indulge in the vile poison that is called soda.
And please don’t make the mistake of thinking that diet soda is any better. If necessary, re-read number 2 above.
When it comes to beverages, filtered water is your best option. Unsweetened teas are also good choices.
5. You think you’re home-free because you take a multi-vitamin
Vitamins are designed to supplement a healthy diet—not be a replacement for said diet, or even worse, to undo the effects of an unhealthy diet!
No vitamin formula in the world can provide the level of nutrients that you derive from a nutritious real foods diet.
Where vitamin formulas (like our very own Super Core) are helpful is to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of ALL essential nutrients, since our food supply is less nutritious than it once was, and also many people may have trouble absorbing nutrients from food.
But taking a multi-vitamin is NEVER an excuse for a poor diet.
Now that I’ve pointed out the five biggest diet mistakes, you know what you shouldn’t be doing! But you may be wondering what you should do, so here are a few suggestions:
First of all, if you’ve been a refined carb-o-holic or soda drinker for a while, chances are excellent your microbiome is waving the white flag of defeat. In that case, Super Shield PLUS multi-strain probiotic formula can help turn that around for you.
If you’ve been a low-fat disciple for as long as you can remember, you may be lacking in one of the most important fats of all—Omega-3 essential fatty acids! In addition to incorporating more fatty fish (like wild-caught salmon) into your diet, a fish oil formula like VitalMega-3 can help ensure you have healthy levels of these crucial fats.
And if you need some (sound) advice from someone you can trust, book a FREE 30-minute consultation with me. We can talk about your situation; I’ll answer your questions and help get you on the road to feeling better and living longer!
See what a difference it will make in your health (and life!) when you make sure your body gets the nourishment it needs.
To your health,