On the Go Eating: More Trouble Than It’s Worth

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by Maggie Lyon

I’ve just finished my first weekend workshop for the Nutritional Therapy Association program. I am exhausted from taking in information, body work, learning functional evaluation points and so on. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The major point of this article is digestion. We all know how digestion works for the most part. Eat and poop! Ta da! We did it! Well, with the ever-complicated diet of the standard American, it’s really not that simple.

by Maggie Lyon

 

I’VE JUST FINISHED MY FIRST WEEKEND WORKSHOP for the Nutritional Therapy Association program. I am exhausted from taking in information, body work, learning functional evaluation points and so on. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Amidst the intense and amazing nature of our collective education, we students learned so much about ourselves. So much. It was (unfortunately) no surprise to find I was deficient is several vitamins, minerals and that my digestion is working improperly. Adding to the list are my seemingly hopeless adrenal glands. My poor, poor adrenal glands.

I have no one to blame but me, but it’s not about blame; it’s about the recognition to make healthy progress. I know the problems are there and now I must fix them. For me, this is like turning a great and powerful machine around.

We all know how digestion works for the most part. Eat and poop! Ta da! We did it! Well, with the ever-complicated diet of the standard American, it’s really not that simple.

This isn’t going to happen with a few supplements and added nutritious foods. No. Really, if that were the case, we would all be fine. Exactly what makes us steer from that healthy course is perhaps the greatest anomaly all. We have to understand that taking something out of our world is just as important as putting something in, that our energy is effected by everything, and willpower is sometimes ruled by factors we’ve never even thought of.

The major point of this article is digestion. We all know how digestion works for the most part. Eat and poop! Ta da! We did it! Well, with the ever-complicated diet of the standard American, this has really turned into:

Eat a sandwich with:

  • bleached flour bread,
  • hormone and nitrate saturated deli meats,
  • some processed cheese with hydrogenated oils (which isn’t even considered cheese by the FDA, it’s called cheese food because it’s made with at least 51% “optional cheese ingredients”, aka mystery cheese)
  • lettuce grown with heavy pesticides
  • and a bag of chips fried in either rancid or temperature abused oils.

Don’t forget about dining circumstances. Is this person gobbling a meal whilst driving back to a stressful workplace?

Even if this person needed food, they would not be able digest it properly. Our friendly western-diet man is on the run, and our bodies, despite what your Blackberry might make you feel, are still equipped to serve the needs of our ancestors.

Our bodies have a hard time discerning between running from a predator, hunting for food or leisurely driving a car while eating a sandwich. In each scenario, the body will switch into fight or flight mode which in turn shuts off your digestive system. Period.

Relax. Digest. That’s the idea. One thing at a time.

We need to be eating in a very calm environment. Without this relaxation and time for our body to digest, we create more stress for ourselves, which often leads to stress-influenced eating.

Parasympathetic (relaxed) dining is difficult with the schedule I’ve created for myself, and for most people I know. Now I want to sit down and quietly eat my two to three main meals in peace, but realistically, this may only happen once a day, if that. But I’m trying. And I encourage you to give it a shot as well. You really do feel better.

As my instructor says: “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” She’s right. We can’t do what’s best all of the time. We know this. What we do, consume, and produce isn’t always the best, but it is at least good in part.

In my experience, people trying to shift to a healthier lifestyle rarely just pick up to move onto the farm. But when that doesn’t happen or when we find ourselves unable implement fast enough, we become discouraged. I urge everyone to be conscious of what they do, especially of what they eat. But don’t get your undies in a bundle when it doesn’t work out.

Relax. Digest. That’s the idea. One thing at a time.

by & filed under Appetizers, Food.