Before enrolling in the Wholistic Nutrition Program at the Wellspring School for Healing Arts, I took an Intro to Wholistic Nutrition class at the school. I knew nutrition was a topic for which I had a deep passion but this class really cemented for me that I wanted to pursue a career in supporting and guiding people in their quest for better health through nutrition. It was while taking this class that I made the final decision to enroll in the Wholistic Nutrition program.
In our first class, we were given realms of handouts with information about health and nutrition. While it was all very informative and interesting, there was one handout which had the most profound impact on my day to day interactions with food. This handout gives everyone a down and dirty primer on ways to increase digestion and get the most out of the foods consumed. Take a look at the Terrific Twelve handout down below.
The Terrific Twelve
1. Eat breakfast or nutrient dense food in the morning when your body can assimilate the most
2. Don’t wait until you are starving to eat. If you wait till you are hungry to eat, your blood sugar
has already dropped and you will be more likely to crave sugar and/or refined carbohydrates.
3. Avoid eating while angry, under stress, or with people you don’t like. Your food will not
digest properly if you are angry or upset. Enjoying your food and being content when you eat
allows your bodies to literally accept the food more effectively into our systems.
4. Eat slowly and thoroughly. Chew your food well! Carbohydrate digestion begins in the
mouth with the enzyme salivary amylase or ptyalin. Challenge yourself to make a habit of
chewing your food until it is all of one consistency.
5. Practice eating mindfully. Sit down, turn off the T.V, put down your book and avoid
6. Toss the microwave! Studies indicate the damage or negative effect that microwaving can
have on our bodies. From a Traditional Chinese Medcine perspective microwaving renders the food energetically dead.
7. Refrain from drinking with your meals. Drinking with meals will dilute the enzymes and acids
necessary for proper food digestion. Drink 20 minutes before or after your meal. However, a cup of warm
tea or glass of wine may actually enhance digestion.
8. Eat a variety, Eat Simply. This is not a contradiction. Eat lots of different varieties of food
over a day or week, but make you meals simple and avoid complex combinations of foods
within the meal itself.
9. Eat until you are satiated, not until you’re full.
10. When possible eat an early dinner, preferably by 7 pm. Your body is less capable of digesting heavy or
complex meals at night.
11. Don’t chill the Spleen. The digestive process needs warmth. Too much raw, cold, frozen
foods or iced drinks will dampen the digestive fire.
12. Give thanks for your food and thank yourself for eating consciously. Prepare food with love
I love these tips and try to incorporate most of them into my everyday diet. I would like to be able to say I follow 100% of these tips, 100% of the time. Unfortunately, I don’t! I still have a microwave! (Although, I use it very rarely.) I cannot give up reading the morning paper when I eat breakfast! And I am not always good at stopping eating before I reach the full point! I have made progress and I always try to keep in mind the 80-20 rule I learned in my Intro to Wholistic Nutrition class. Eat to nourish your body 80% of the time and the other 20% can be for pure enjoyment. I know I am not perfect in my eating habits but I also know the changes I have made have gone a long way in improving my health. What healthy changes have you recently made?
See more of Johathan Willier’s photos on Flickr.