TOPAZ Issue 9 / 2004
Likes And Dislikes
North American Template Homestead
Balanced nutritional habits
In the Quest of the Man
The Honour between Men
Understandings about the xx and xy gender
Success: An end result or a way of life?
Gender and Singing - a Musical Exploration

Balanced nutritional habits - the result of many decisions

by Claudia Schubert, Germany

Many people feel a desire to change their nutritional habits on a long-term basis, either to reduce weight, to alleviate certain symptoms of disease or simply for better well being throughout. One aspect of the Well Being Science’s work in Germany is testing for tolerance to different foods. Whilst this testing is a very individual thing with no general rules for eating well, we want to present some general insights that have arisen out of our researches and studies.

Reviewing eating habits
What and how we eat is ingrained in us by habit. The how is very important for we can eat quickly whilst standing or settled at a nicely laid table. We appreciate that eating in a settled way allows for better digestion. Eating in haste without slowing down or within a hectic environment can result in all kinds of side effects, and it is advisable to review some of the less fortunate habits we may have taken on in how we eat and work to change them. If you discover things you want to change, make a decision about them, plan when, where and with whom you want to eat, and begin to establish new habits over time.

Do you drink enough water?
Water is an essential item in the care of our bodies. When it is short it is visible in the appearance of dry skin and in the mucous membranes and lips. Our inner organs, especially those that deal with detoxification and waste products, the liver, intestines and kidneys, need a lot of water to function properly. It is often said that two litres a day is a good guideline to follow. So a person may drink three cups of tea, two cups of coffee, two glasses of lemonade, and a bottle of beer in the evening, and will think that is suitable. There is now evidence, however, that to metabolise beverages that contain caffeine, sugar or alcohol requires more water than are consumed within these drinks. Therefore drinks containing a lot of caffeine, as an example, can end up dehydrating the body!
Scientific researches are now suggesting that for one cup of tea you need about double the amount of water for your liver to detoxify it and send it safely to your kidneys. Semi-luxury foods like tea, coffee, beer, wine and brandy can dehydrate us, and sweet drinks and foods, such as lemonade, sweetened juices, dried fruits or ice-cream can make the body cry out for more water, because they are too concentrated.

To get used to a healthy water drinking routine, place a number of glasses filled with water on your table in front of you and drink them all within a certain amount of time. The water can be warm, possibly with a refreshing dash of lemon juice, and preferably without bubbles. Your body will be very happy about this new habit, because water is a natural cleansing solution that flushes through all our parts, acts like a buffer and even strengthens our nerves. How about trying it out?

Grains, yeast …
It is generally recognised these days that white flour does not have a high nutrition value. Less well known is the fact that most grains, like wheat, rye, oats and barley, contain the protein gluten, and people’s tolerance to this varies. Where there is a high intolerance, this can lead to coeliac or abdominal disease, causing diarrhoea and symptoms of vitamin deficiency, until the gluten intolerance gets discovered. This extreme reaction is rare and more often there is a mild form of allergy, which does not show up in obvious symptoms such as rashes, but in a general sense of lethargy and heaviness of body and dullness of mind.
Another aspect of eating bread, pastry and drinking beer or fermented drinks is the growth of yeast. The consumption of many products containing yeast and sugar can alter the balance of the intestinal flora to the advantage of yeast, of which candida albicans is the most well known. Added to this, if antibiotics have been taken, then the balance is thrown off completely, which often shows up in bloating and itching, and in alternation between diarrhoea and constipation, and related infections of the skin and nails.

Cow milk, fats and meat
There are a growing number of people whose systems react intolerantly to cow’s milk and its products. They may, as an example, feel that cheese lies heavily in the stomach, in which case it is a good idea to use sheep or goats’ cheese.

Butter is not easily digested, and most margarine brands container chemically treated fats, which are a strain for the body.

Eating meat is a personal decision. Certainly our digestive system can handle it, but the type of meat and the amount we can eat varies from individual to individual. Our test results show that most people tolerate pork better than beef, that lamb and wild game are even better, but best of all is poultry and fish. On average we eat far too little fish, with its precious fatty acids. People whose nerves are under strain and who suffer from fatigue or whose skin is bad, would do well to eat fish at least twice a week. Alternatively a good fish oil capsules can be taken.

Fruits and vegetables
Fresh or deep frozen fruits and vegetables are an important source of vitamins and are generally well tolerated - apart from citrus fruits, strawberries and melons. People who have inflammatory diseases should be careful with eating anything from the nightshade family, which includes peppers, chilli, eggplants and regrettably potatoes and tomatoes.

Discovering one’s tolerances
It takes time to discover which foods one cannot tolerate, which often turn out to be that favourite food you are almost addicted to or something that you eat a great deal. If you are suspicious of a particular food, simply try to cut it out for a period of four weeks. Give your body a holiday from it and observe how you are doing. If possible, perhaps finds a replacement for that particular food, and see if you feel any real improvement without it. If not sure and you decide to eat it again, try it once, then observe for two days what effect it has. If there are no problems, try it again, and take time to listen to your body as to how much and how often you can eat this food without it decreasing your well being.

To change habits requires awareness, good reasoning and clear goals. Maybe you have found here some encouragement to try.

Reference literature:
• F. Batmanghelidij, Your body's many cries for water, 1992, 1995, Global Health Solutions, Inc., Falls Church, ISBN 0-9629942-3-5
• James Braly, Dr. Braly's Food Allergy & Nutrition Revolution, 1992, Keats Publishing, Inc., Connecticut, USA, Chapter: The Allergy Epidemic
• Healing - it’s inside the value and purposes of life and living that the healing lives. Article in Topaz nummer 7

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