Diet & Nutrition

It is difficult to change one’s diet overnight in an attempt to regain one’s health, and in fact, it is probably not wise to make such a sudden shift. For what does it gain us if misery from a lack of serotonin is replaced by the misery of an unpalatable diet!

The goal of healing through diet and nutrition is to increase the nutritional content and benefit per bite of food while lowering unhealthy fats and toxic chemicals. By doing so, a person’s food cravings will diminish, weight loss will naturally follow, and the amount of expensive nutritional supplements needed for optimal healing will lower. Thus, you get a great figure, satisfaction from meals, and save money all at the same time! What more can one ask for?

There are certain “superfoods” that taste good and are nicely filling. Tibetan Goji Berries and organic almonds are both good examples. Snacking on these highly nutritious foods can be a very helpful step towards improving your diet. Goji berries are high in vitamin C, beta carotene and antioxidants. Organic Almonds are high in protein, antioxidants, healthy fats, and important minerals for energy and heart health.

In the majority of the alternative health texts that I have studied, the oft repeated warning against wheat and dairy consumption should be seriously considered. Pratically all the patients that I have, have tested positive with muscle testing to wheat and dairy allergies. They often have mold, dust, and pollen allergies as well. Why dump extra energy in managing your overwhelmed immune system when you can simply reduce or eliminate the foods that are driving your immune system crazy? Because wheat and dairy allergies are quite common, most health food stores and organic grocery stores have wheat-free or gluten free products. Try them out and see if you would be able to adjust your taste buds slightly as you give your immune system a greatly needed rest.

Then there is the question of alcohol and cigarettes. I believe that just as feelings are numbed by alcohol, so is the gastrointestinal (G.I.) tract. After all, some have called the G.I. tract the “second brain,” because every receptor in the brain can also be found in the G.I. tract. Now, while you are spending hundreds of dollars on nutritional supplements and organic vegetables, would you like to sedate the very organ responsible for delivering these expensive, health promoting nutrients to the rest of your body? Not only does alcohol lower the ability of the G.I. tract to function, it will also cost you in the amount of time it would take to heal. So instead of getting off your medications in 6 months, it will now take more than 18 months. And who would want to be driving back and forth to see the psychiatrist, no matter how nice, for 18 months when the treatment could have ended a year ago?

Of course, alcohol and cigarettes are addicting. Like prescription medications, they have withdrawal signs and symptoms associated with dosage reduction. For those who are truly addicted to alcohol and cigarettes, orthomolecular interventions can ameliorate withdrawal signs and symptoms just as it does with other medications. Dosages will naturally lower as the whole person starts to heal and the necessary neurotransmitters responsible for the biochemical basis of peace and joy are replenished.

Does diet and nutrition matter when one is already on 18 different supplements? I would say, “Yes.” There are so many creative ways that foods can rob you of necessary nutrients nowadays that I have given up trying to supply everything through nutritional supplements and ignoring the patient’s diet. That may sound rather funny coming from a doctor. But considering that a doctor has been conditioned to give the “right pill” for over eight years, wouldn’t it be a natural next step to assume that giving the “right supplements” should be quite adequate for the job? Add to this the doctor’s poor state of knowledge about nutrition, with practically no training in nutritional medicine, and having survived on cafeteria food and snack machines during those same years. It’s a bigger shock for doctors to learn about nutrition sometimes than it is for the average patient.

To learn about sound nutrition, a doctor has to study and read up on the matter on their own time (yes, that means at 12 midnight or later.) It’s not going to be taught at the APA convention or the next “Update on Psychiatric Disorders” conference. No. Those meetings are all about prescription medications–on how to ADD prescription medications and not WITHDRAW prescription medications. So doctors sometimes have to learn the hard way that eating wisely is still important even when 18 different supplements are being used to help the patient heal.

When can I start cheating on my diet? That is always the unspoken question after a period of disciplined, ascetic, healthful dieting. One does get so tired of healthy foods after a while. The eyes get drawn to the chocolates, the ice creams, the pies and cakes that had long been set aside for the sake of recovery. The answer to this question is that you can cheat at any time, but the best time to cheat is when you are robustly healthy. Your G.I. tract should be all knitted together without a leak in sight. Your stomach should be churning out those helpful digestive enzymes. Your immune system hums as it courses arrogantly with deadly strength throughout your body. Go ahead then and take that delicious bite of cake. You can handle it!

And oh, while you’re at it, don’t forget your digestive enzymes, and oh, did your remember to take your probiotic today? . . . .