While the quest for the optimal diet has been an ongoing debate for centuries until this day, the overriding evidence still shows that there is no optimal way of eating for everyone. I’ve seen with my own eyes in my Naturopathic practice the extent to which people's responses to different foods and food plans are so varied. In particular, my clinical practice has shown me how varied responses are from person to person when using any particular nutritional framework that is touted for promoting healing. Perhaps the clearest example of this is looking at the way in which many chronic health conditions improve from plant-based diets while for others, diets that include animal products seem to be critical for activating healing in the body. Interestingly enough, the efficacy of both of these seemingly contradictory nutritional ideologies for healing chronic health issues is substantially supported by research.
The Sea of Contradictory Nutritional Information
In order to rectify the many nutritional contradictions that we find out there, let’s look at why there seems to be so much disagreement about which is the “correct” way to eat. Afterward, I’ll talk about a different approach to nutrition that utilizes nutrition according to it's ability to activate the body's innate healing power and how we can learn to distinguish varying nutritional needs from person to person.
There are a number of different reasons behind the ongoing debate about the optimal way to eat. Firstly, as our understanding of nutritional biochemistry advances, different experts can interpret and prioritize certain findings over others, leading to varying dietary recommendations. In addition, the media's influence, with its penchant for sensationalism, can amplify specific dietary trends, often oversimplifying complex concepts and contributing to confusion among the general public. Cultural and social factors also play a significant role through genetic influence over nutritional requirements as well as the dietary habits that are deeply intertwined with many traditions, cultures, and identities.
In addition to the factors mentioned above, it’s also important to recognize how economic interests from various sectors of the food industry can further muddy the waters, potentially skewing information to favor particular products or dietary ideologies. The confluence of these factors results in a diverse range of opinions, making it challenging for individuals to navigate the sea of dietary advice and determine what truly constitutes the optimal diet for their unique circumstances.
Research was done in major universities and hospitals on twins eating the same foods which showed a high occurrence of varied responses to identical foods including large variations in insulin and fat levels after eating (1). Other interesting research studies show that both genetic differences as well as varying ethnicities affect food tolerances and nutritional requirements (2). This research makes it clear that while there are some basic nutritional principles that most people agree on like eating lots of veggies and fiber and cutting back on things like sugar and processed foods, a new way of understanding how to personalize nutrition for optimizing one’s health is needed.
The Times They Are A Changin
When examining how to begin to integrate healing principles of different ideologies in a way that can be applied to the individual, we must examine the dynamic interplay between external factors and our understanding of human health. While nutritional wisdom from different traditions have provided valuable guidance, it's essential to acknowledge that the modern landscape presents novel challenges and influences that have led to shifts in how to apply wisdom from different nutrition camps to an individualized nutritional approach that works for the current conditions that we are living in. Factors such as changes in food production, regular exposure to various chemicals, processing methods, environmental stressors, and advancements in genetic engineering have introduced complexities that demand a reevaluation of traditional nutritional paradigms. Our bodies now contend with synthetic additives, pesticides, and highly processed foods that were absent in earlier dietary contexts. Furthermore, genetic engineering has introduced modified versions of crops, altering their nutrient profiles and potentially affecting our bodies' responses to them.
The pressures of modern life, including chronic stress, sedentary lifestyles, and disrupted sleep patterns, contribute to changes in our metabolic dynamics and nutritional requirements which also demand consideration when moving towards a new paradigm that accounts for individual nutrition needs. These external stressors can impact how our bodies metabolize nutrients and respond to various dietary components, making it crucial to adapt our nutritional strategies accordingly. As our understanding of epigenetics deepens, we recognize that even our genes' expression can be influenced by our environment, potentially altering how we respond to specific nutrients.
Steps Toward Finding Your Optimal Nutrition
In light of the myriad of factors that play into each individuals unique health circumstances, it becomes evident that our ideas about nutritional need to evolve to address the modern context. By acknowledging the impact of external factors on our nutritional requirements, we can begin to understand a new approach to finding the optimal way to eat for each individual that promotes health and healing. From here we can be ready to take the necessary steps to identifying the optimal way of eating for our individual needs at any given time in our life.
Here are some points to consider when moving toward a new understanding of nutrition for optimal health:
Witnessing the transformation of physical and emotional health that comes from a new dynamic way of approaching health and nutrition is truly astounding. It's surprising to see how often people who initially say they are allready eating healthy, change their approach to health and nutrition after learning simple principles and tools for self healing that were not evident in their initial understanding of "healthy eating". What's even more wonderful to see is the increased sense of well-being and empowerment that I see come from not only the nutritional changes but also the inner work that this new approach sparks in people. When one understands this comprehensive system of healing, the contradicting nutritional ideas that previously created confusion resolve and pave the way for an integrated paradigm of health that can be applied to each individual. The result of this shift becomes an existence of increasing levels of health that's about thriving instead of just surviving.
Click here to learn about my upcoming 5 week Mind Body Upgrade course where I will be teaching my basic system for mind body healing that empowers people with the tools needed to activate the self healing mechanism of the body and determine the nutrition that will be most optimal for each individual at any given phase of life.
Self-Regulation: The Missing Link In Healing and Habit Change
In our journey to heal physical and mental health issues, we often focus on external factors such as medications, therapies, and lifestyle changes. While these elements are undoubtedly important, there is one crucial piece that is often overlooked: self-regulation.
Learning tools for emotional regulation can be a game changer, providing us with the missing link to true healing and sustainable habit change. In this blog, we will explore how developing emotional awareness and practicing advanced self-regulation skills can pave the way for profound transformation in our overall well-being.
Self-regulation refers to the ability of our nervous system to manage and modulate its response to the emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that are triggered by the different people and situations around us. Basic self-regulation skills are often learned during childhood as part of natural development and socialization. These fundamental abilities, such as taking turns, managing frustration, and calming down after a tantrum, help children adapt to their surroundings and navigate everyday challenges. While these skills lay the groundwork for emotional regulation, advanced self-regulation represents a higher level of emotional maturity and empowerment. Advanced self-regulation goes beyond merely managing emotions in a way that enables a person to function in society; rather it involves a profound understanding of our inner world and a willingness to confront and transform deeply ingrained and self-defeating emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
Learning to self-regulate beyond the basics skills that most people develop during their early years is crucial for the more advanced states of emotional maturity that lead not only to physical healing but also to accelerated spiritual growth and deeper intimacy in relationships. This is because once one develops these more advanced self-regulation tools, they become empowered to navigate life’s challenges in a way that enables them to learn and grow from experiences that are triggering instead of feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and reactive. This means that one who possesses tools to self-regulate in more advanced ways will be in a sense, “upgrading” their emotional operating system. With practice, this new way of functioning emotionally becomes one’s new “regular” way of functioning where the difficult emotions that arise within that once caused increased stress to the system now become the catalyst for releasing blocks to change and making the choices that are most aligned with one's higher self.
Once you are ready to start consciously cultivating deeper abilities to self-regulate, it's recommended to start developing more awareness of your emotional state in day to day moments. Here are some ways to start expanding your current level of emotional awareness:
Once you’re regularly making more time for bringing your emotions into awareness, you’ll be ready to start learning the advanced skills that are involved in higher levels of self-regulation. Practicing "Breath Awareness" and "Pause and Reflect" techniques are two basic skills that one can begin to learn when they are ready to lay the groundwork for developing more advanced skills.
The breath is an anchor that connects our body and mind. When you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to focus on your breath. Slowly inhale through your nose, allowing your belly to rise, and exhale through your mouth, releasing tension. This simple practice can help regulate your emotions and bring a sense of calm.
Pause and Reflect:
Before reacting impulsively to a situation or an emotional trigger, create a pause. Take a moment to reflect on your emotions and consider the consequences of your actions. By introducing this space for reflection, you can respond consciously rather than reactively.
Self-regulation is the missing link in our journey to healing physical and mental health issues and creating lasting habit change. By developing emotional awareness and practicing self-regulation techniques, we gain the power to transform our lives from within. While the type of results from this work vary from person to person, I have seen the profound effects of this emotional healing work on mental health symptoms like anxiety and depression as well as numerous physical health symptoms ranging from psoriasis to irritable bowel syndrome.
It’s important to remember that more advanced self-regulation skills usually require time and effort to develop so embrace your journey of exploring the depths of your emotions with warmth and understanding. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you navigate this path towards mind-body healing and personal growth. While my experience has shown that progress is mainly the result of a strong enough desire to change along with the commitment to practicing skills daily, I've also seen that learning from a trained guide in either a group or one-on-one format can greatly accelerate progress.
Remember, the possibilities for healing emotionally and physically are much greater than most people think when we are aware that real lasting change begins within. With self-regulation as your ally, you can unlock the tremendous potential within you to lead a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.
For more information on group courses or one-on-one coaching go to https://www.innerwellsprings.com/
Is change possible?
The reality is that we human beings are wired to resist change.
Even when one is seemingly suffering mentally, emotionally or physically because of a “bad habit”, changing a behavior can still feel impossible.
While there are several physiological bases for why changing behavior can feel insurmountable, with the right approach and techniques it actually is very possible to retrain ourselves to embrace and even seek out change. In fact, there are some really powerful ways to rewire the survival based systems that we are built with that can predispose us to resist change.
Let me share with you a few of the most powerful ways that have catalyzed big shifts for me and my clients which I have come to use and teach regularly:
1. Accepting Negative Emotions
Underneath most unwanted habits is or at some point was a negative emotion. Furthermore, our instinct to avoid pain applies to avoiding negative emotions just as much as it applies to physical pain. While our instinct to avoid physical pain helps us for survival reasons, this avoidance of negative emotions actually winds up creating blocks that halt us from developing and maturing emotionally. In working with people who have struggled with the same self-sabotaging habit for much of their lives, I’ve found that after teaching people to use their nervous system to shift from rejecting negative emotions to accepting suppressed emotional energy it becomes significantly easier, sometimes in a matter of moments, to access one’s power to change some of their most deeply ingrained habits.
2. Recognizing Unconscious Limiting Beliefs
It frequently shocks me how many limiting beliefs are blocking people’s ability to change. From not being good enough, to not being worthy, to feeling unloved, to not believing change is possible. The list of limiting beliefs is endless and most of the entourage of people's limiting beliefs lay under the surface of their conscious mind feeding dysfunctional emotional and physical habits without them being aware of it. I’ve seen time and time again when I teach people how to bring to consciousness and release these limiting beliefs the profound shifts that follow which allow them to be filled with a new power and motivation to change their deeply ingrained habits.
3. Releasing Trauma
Outside of the very clearly traumatic types of events that some people pass through such as abusive relationships and shock trauma (like a natural disaster or experiencing the death of a loved one) there are so many other types of subtle ways that people in seemingly “normal” homes and situations unknowingly get left with traces of trauma energy in their system that they are unaware of. The effects of both overt obvious trauma along with the more subtle types of developmental trauma that most people have to some degree, live inside people as energy blocks that unconsciously affect their behavior and ability to change habits for years and decades. The growing body of research shows that using somatic techniques to release this stuck trauma energy from the system activates healing for these individuals in so many ways. In my own clinic I’ve seen amazing results where people with stuck trauma energy who felt powerless to change went to feeling empowered and ready to change habits in a matter of weeks or months after learning and implementing these techniques.
When will I be ready to change?
On one hand, if one keeps waiting to feel fully ready to change, one could spend most or all of their life stuck in an unhealthy way of being or acting that severely limits their potential. On the other hand my main indicator for knowing if someone is "ready to change" is that “One has to want to change more than they want to stay the same in order to succeed”. This can actually be a big relief for many people because this means that waiting until your are fully on board with making a change is not actually necessary or even good. In fact, accepting that there may continue to be a small part of you that just wants to stay the same can actually help you in finding the courage to take the first steps towards more deeply accepting yourself. From deep self-acceptance comes true self-love, which is different than the self-love that many people are chasing after and never find. Once one learns how to access the place of real self love within them the blocks to change begin to clear and one's power to create new and long lasting habits returns.
For info on my next Group Coaching course for Habit Change starting June 11, 2023 click here
Blocked emotions effect one's health in so many more ways than they realize.
To prevent emotional dis-ease from affecting your health it’s so important to learn techniques for emotional detox.
I see people all the time who have suppressed emotions as one of the major causes of the physical illnesses that they are dealing with.
I’m talking about some of the most common chronic health conditions like adrenal fatigue, allergies, hypothyroidism, eating disorders, and even cancer.
Believe it or not, I've seen significant physical healing activated for these physical health conditions after one learns and implements emotional healing techniques,.
and what's more is that once a person is ready for this, I've seen quick results happen for people who have been struggling with ailments for years.
So if your ready to start your journey of emotional detox, join me on my upcoming Food Freedom Mindset Course and/or my Dead Sea Detox Retreat to start learning these powerful emotional detox healing techniques.
Did you know how crucial it is to your overall health to keep your body’s elimination system open and flowing?
When your elimination system is open and flowing the healing power in your body keeps you with vibrant energy, good immunity, and feeling fully alive.
Believe it or not, the health of your body’s elimination system is what allows you to heal from sickness and “dis-ease” symptoms.
In addition to your entire digestive tract including your colon, the lymphatic channels, the kidneys, the thyroid, and the skin are also integral parts of this elimination system.
Some of the many factors that compromise the functioning of your elimination system daily are:
Hard to digest foods
Free radicals in food (heated oils for example)
Excessive stress hormones
Excessive exposure to environmental toxins (pollution, phone radiation, chemicals, etc)
The good news is that eating cleansing foods in a focused way for short periods of time once or twice a year - otherwise known as doing a detox - enables your elimination systems to heal and restore their optimal power to keep you healthy.
If your life feels too busy to incorporate even a short nutritional detox or if you allready deal with dysfunctional eating habits, going on a detox retreat is one of the best ways to do a short nutritional cleanse guided by a trained detox specialist in the most healthy and emotionally balanced way.
In addition, doing a nutritional detox in a conducive setting away from your every day routine offers great potential for deep emotional and spiritual transformation.
So what are you waiting for….join me on my upcoming Dead Sea Detox Retreat happening on May 16, 17 and 18