Your health is your wealth, guard it with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Home  |  Site Map 
Holistic Medical Massage Clinic Logo

Home  arrow  Holistic Healing  arrow  Food and Nutrition  arrow 

Food and Nutrition

Table of Contents



    In this chapter I will briefly discuss what is sometimes called a "natural foods diet." This chapter is not intended as a substitute for nutrition counselling from a Holistic Medicine practitioner. A practitioner such as a very experienced Ayurvedic Medical Doctor or Oriental Medical Doctor would be able to devise a diet that very closely matches your health and nutritional needs. I will simply attempt to provide general guidelines that can help you get started. I will also include a list of resources that can provide more detailed information.

    A growing number of people are benefiting from a natural foods diet. These people along with countless scientists and nutritionists and Holistic Medicine practitioners know that a natural foods diet is a very important part of holistic healing. Such a nutrition plan can help cure acute and chronic illnesses and play an enormous part in preventing future illnesses. I encourage you to become part of the countless millions of others who are gradually incorporating holistic healing fundamentals into their lifestyle to reap immediate and future health benefits.

    In order to prevent or heal health problems and build a foundation for the development of vibrant health, you should consider incorporating some of the ideas in this article. The goal is not to develop a strict or "perfect" diet, but to develop a relaxed and varied, yet healthy diet. It is very important that you not take the holistic healing information on this page any other pages as a way to feel guilty about your past decisions or what you cannot do at the current time. Just make gradual changes as you are ready, relax, and accept whatever you can do at the moment. Stress reduction techniques and Inner Healing Techniquessuch as meditation can help you make changes more easily.

    Some people are under the impression that healing from a serious illness or even preventing future illness possibilities simply involves switching from a Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) to a "natural foods diet." While, it is true that a change to such a diet can be very beneficial, it is often a mistake to get too caught up in nutritional changes (or taking supplements or herbs). Some of the other techniques discussed in the Fundamental of Holistic Healing section are as beneficial as dietetic adjustments and, in some cases, more beneficial.

    The Ideal Natural Foods Diet

    The Ideal Natural Foods Diet is one where you (the reader) uses your own knowledge and intuition to decide what your body needs. I sincerely hope that you do not use the ideas below as rigid rules, but instead, use them as suggested guidelines as you develop your own personal inner feeling as to what food your body needs.

    As your nutrition plan gradually improves, please practice deciding for yourself what food your body needs rather than relying on what I say or what a well-known author says. So, have fun and don't get too rigid using someone's dietary rules. In the long run, this usually provides the best nutrition for your body. Any regular practice that helps you get in touch with your own inner feelings and process can help develop the ability to know what foods your body needs. Practices such as meditation, yoga, tai chi/ qigong, etc. are practices that can be helpful in this regard and may someday be something you would like to experiment with by taking a class.

    Regular, Gradual Improvement without Obsessing

    It is much easier for most people to change their diet over time at a comfortable pace. It is also important to not obsess constantly about improving your diet and to not beat yourself up if you don't have a "perfect" diet. Making dietetic changes too quickly may make you uptight and cause you to feel deprived. On the other hand, making no dietetic changes from a S.A.D. over time can slow you healing progress.

    The following is a list of some of the problems that could occur if a person is too restrictive with their diet:

    • Causes feelings of deprivation and emotional stress which can actaully make some health problems worse.

    • Tends to take focus away from other activities that can be extremely important in the complete healing process such as enjoyment and nurturing activities, fun, stress relief, and inner healing & transformation techniques.

    • Makes it easier to fall into the trap that a temporary reduction of symptoms through a restrictive diet is the equivalent to being on the road to complete healing.

    • May set you up for midnight binges and overeating.

    There are cases where a very strict diet may be indicated. But this is usually where severe reactions cannot be eliminated any other way. Otherwise, please remember that these are lifestyle changes are best done gradually.

    I like to eat a relatively healthy, natural foods diet, but I have fun with it by not being too restrictive. Please do not use any of the ideas below to make yourself feel guilty. The goal should be gradual progress not perfection.

    How to Move to a Natural Foods Diet

    There is an enormous amount of useful information in this article. But please do not be intimidated into thinking that everything has to be changed at once.

    An excellent way to start the process is the perform the following steps:

    1. Locate Natural Foods / Health Foods stores in your area.
    2. Ask at local Natural Foods stores about cooking classes.
    3. If you have difficulty making changes over time, don't worry about it. Try commiting experimenting with one of the Inner Healing & Transformation techniques discussed on this web page. These techniques (especially the body-oriented and inner peace-oriented techniques) can be enormously helpful in reducing cravings and/or addressing eating disorders over time.

Techniques & Resources

    Natural Foods Diet

    What follows is a description of a natural foods diet that you can make progress towards. Please go at your own pace.

      Common Ingredients

    • Vegetables (Cooked and Salads)
    • Whole grains
    • Fish, Fowl, and other meat
    • Legumes (beans)
    • Sea Vegetables
    • Fruits
    • Nuts
    • Seeds
    • Dairy & Eggs (Small amounts or none)
    • Herbal teas and coffee substitutes
    • Juices
    • Herbs, spices, sea salt, tamari, unrefined seasame oil/sesame oil (excellent source for essential fatty acids), virgin olive oil, natural sweeteners (maple syrup, rice syrup, barley malt, stevia, etc.)
    • Spring water for cooking and drinking

    The bulk of the diet consists of a wide variety of foods within the follow main categories:

    • vegetables
    • whole grains
    • fish, fowl, or other meat
    • legumes
    • sea vegetables
    • freshly made juices, herbal teas, and coffee substitutes

    Helpful Tips

    While it can be counterproductive to create "dietary rules," here are some general tips that many people have found helpful.

      Shopping For Foods

      If possible, do most of your food shopping at a natural foods store. In some cities, there are large natural food grocery stores that are not unlike modern supermarkets in that they have an enormous selection of products. There are smaller health food stores that can also provide many of the food products needed for a healthier diet. There are some health food stores that sell little more than food supplements and may not be useful for you in putting together a healthy diet.

      In order to find a natural foods grocery store:

      • Look in the phone book under "Health Food Stores."

      • Company resources for Healthy Foods & Organic Foods web page is a good place to look for links to health food stores, co-ops, and other resources.

      • Ask local holistic healthcare practitioners (e.g., acupuncturists, chiropractors, herbalists).

      • Ask friends who eat a healthy diet.

      • Contact people in nearby cities where there might be a natural foods grocery store that you could visit on ocassion to stock up.

      • Contact a major health food store chain for information on stores in your area.

      If you cannot find any natural food stores in your area, there are a number of other options:

      • Shop at a large local supermarket. Many supermarkets have a small "natural foods" section. In addition, one can purchase whole grains, meats, vegetables, fruits, legumes, etc. Just try to avoid most of the highly processed foods that often make up the bulk of what is sold at some supermarkets.

      • Get fresh vegetables, fruits, and whatever else is possible at local farmers' markets or farmstands. It may take some effort to locate these places, but it can be worth it. Try to get certified organic produce where possible (Buying organic is especially important for soy products, corn, and potatoes).

      • Many staple foods can be ordered through the mail. See the Resources section at the end of this article for mailorder sources of natural foods.

      I do want to stress, however, that just because you shop at a natural food store does not mean that everything there is healthy. Some health food stores sell some products that can actually be quite detrimental to your health (e.g., aspartame (NutraSweet), neotame, acesulfame-k (Sweet-n-Safe, Sunette), sucralose (Splenda) and other toxic artificial sweeteners, MSG, etc.). Reading labels is a good habit to have wherever you shop.


      Try to eat a variety of foods within each main category listed above, especially vegetables. In addition, try to get a wide variety of cooked green, leafy vegetables such as collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, etc.

      An enormous variety of very tastey meals can be made with a little bit of practice and some good cookbooks.

      Balance of Foods

      There are many conflicting opinions on what the best balance of foods are for people. Most people now agree that a diet that is balanced for one person may be intolerable for another. Some people have enormous success with a traditional natural foods diet as presented by authors such as Dr. Dean Ornish or Annamarie Colbin, while others have more success with a different way of balancing one's diet such as that prescribed by Dr. Barry Sears in his book, "Enter The Zone." (Note: I believe that there is too much artificial, junk food allowed in the Zone Diet and that staying on it for *years* may not be healthy, but the ideas about macronutrient balance may be very helpful to many people.)

      What works for you may take a little bit of experimenting. I suggest that you look eat each of the ideas for balancing types of foods and find out what works best for you through experimen- tation. But keep in mind the following two very important points:
      1. Whatever balance of foods you choose, you can still have the majority of your diet made up of natural, healthy foods; and
      2. Your food needs will likely change over time. For example, for several years you may start out eating a small percentage of whole grains and more meat and fat as described by Barry Sears, but over time as your health improves using nutrition and other possible healing techniques (e.g., Tai Chi, Yoga, Herbalism, Acupuncture, Bioenergetics, Meditation, Qigong, etc.), you may find it more beneficial to move towards a natural foods diet as described by Annamarie Colbin. In addition, as your health improves you may find the ability to eat foods that you could not tolerate years earlier because they caused wild insulin swings or because of allergic and intolerance reactions.

        The following examples dietary percentages are meant to give you a general idea of what a balanced diet might look like for one person. These percentages would vary widely depending upon several circumstances.

        20-40% whole grains
        20-30% vegetables
        10-15% legumes
        0-10% sea vegetables
        5-15% fish or other meat
        5-10% fruits (mostly in the warmer months)
        10-15% herbal teas, coffee substitutes, freshly-made juices, Spring water, etc.
        0-10% Organic dairy, ghee & eggs
        5-10% other (spices -- ginger, tumeric, etc., seeds, nuts, cooking oils, etc.)

        Some people have difficulty digesting whole grains. If that is the case, try using soba (buckwheat) noodles (which can be purchased at a Natural Foods store or Japanese grocery store) to see if that helps. For others, eating too much grain causes them to crave large amounts of carbohydrates. In these cases, increase the use of vegetables and meat with the knowledge that you may find it beneficial to begin adding more whole grains to your diet several months or years later as your health and condition allows.

        As an example, many persons with chronic immune system disorders, carbohydrate cravings, excess weight and other conditions feel much better if they start off with a diet that includes fewer carbohydrates and more protein in the form of fish and chicken:

        10-20% meat (mostly a variety of fish + a small to moderate amount of "organic" fowl or red meat)
        20-40% vegetables (including green, leafy vegetables)
        5-15% sea vegetables
        10-15% herbal teas, and coffee substitutes, and other healthy beverages (see below)
        5-15% grains and/or buckwheat (soba) or udon noodles (chewed very well)
        5-10% legumes
        0-10% dairy and eggs
        5-10% other (e.g., fruit if tolerated -- separate from meal)

        Forcing large amounts of whole grains in your system if it cannot handle it is not a good idea. Over a long period of time and as the body heals using a healthy diet and other important techniques, it is preferable to gradually add more whole grains into the diet. You will have to find out what your body needs and tolerates with some experimentation.

        I suggest reading some of the books listed in the resource section by Annamarie Colbin, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Dr. Barry Sears. Please try not to get overly caught up in all of the theories. The important thing is to take the steps necessary to find what works best for you and keep open to future changes as you condition changes.


        • Climate

          In colder climates, it is traditional to eat slightly more root vegetables, meat and heavier grains (e.g., buckwheat, barley), and much less fruit. In warmer climates, it is traditional to eat more lighter grains, more green leafy vegetables, more salads, slightly more fruit, and less meat. However, these subtleties take a back seat to eating whatever balance feels most comfortable during your healing process.

        • Individual

          This is the most important variation. Please try to avoid obsessing about percentages of food categories. Over time, you can work towards the very approximate percentages that feel right for you.

          A holistic health practitioner can give you a diet to suit your needs. In general, start out by gradually moving towards a diet that includes plenty of vegetables, some whole grains, some legumes, some meat, a small, but regular amount of various sea vegetables, regular use of small amounts of natural cooking oils or ground seeds, a limited amount of fruit (although more in the warmer climates is fine), some herb teas or other beverages, and some treats from time to time. Then vary it over time to find out what works best for you.

        • Illness

          Some illnesses make it necessary to vary the percentages of food eaten. For example some people cannot easily tolerate whole grains. In this case, it is important to try to incorporate easily digestible grain products such as soba (buckwheat) noodles or even baby food made from whole grain. If it is still not possible, you may want to consider whether you have a gluten intolerance. (See the Gluten-Free Web Page for more information.) You may also need to take regular supplementation as discussed later.

          Try to do whatever you can to include some food from the main food categories. However, if it is not possible, then don't worry. As your health improves, you may eventually be able to incorporate easily digestible foods from categories that you may not be able to tolerate at this time.


        Try to have your food cooked on a regular stove or in an oven rather than having it "nuked" in a microwave oven. Eat freshly cooked/prepared dishes when possible as there is more energy (chi) in freshly-cooked foods than foods that have been cooked or prepared several days earlier.

        It can be very helpful to take cooking classes or to get help from a friend. Ask at your local natural food stores where you can take cooking classes. It may take a while to become adept at using natural, healthy foods. Please be patient with yourself.

        While eating home-cooked meals can be helpful, the reality is that many people work 40+ hours per week and are too tired to cook everyday after work. If that is the case, it is important to try and avoid adding enormous stress to your life by forcing yourself to cook when you don't have the energy to do it regularly. Try to cook the foods you can and use the following techniques as a way to reduce the effort spent cooking meals:

        • Share cooking/cleaning up tasks with other members of the household either regularly or whenever you can (e.g., once per week).

        • Find restaurants that serve relatively healthy meals without too much junk and eat at those restaurants. (If you have to eat at restaurants often because of no time/energy to cook foods, just try to find healthy food and be happy with that -- don't beat yourself up about it.) "Ethnic" restaurants with food from India, Thiland, Korea, Japan, Africa, etc. often have healthy options (without MSG).

        • Make quick-cooking meals on occasion. Many dishes such as soda noodles, steamed vegetables, salads, fish, etc. do not take too long to cook. Sometimes, I will add natural, pre-made sauces or salad dressings from my local Natural Foods store if I do not have the time or energy or ability to make them myself.

        Another very important point related to cooking is that it can be extremely healing to eat hot meals the majority of the time (except in the heat of the Summer months). Overdoing cold foods can damage one's digestive strength and overall health. Try to warm up your body with hot meals and hot drinks, especially in the cold Winter months.


        Probiotics refer to friendly bacteria which contribute to the health of the intestinal tract. There are a number of traditional foods that promote the health of beneficial bacteria. If possible, a variety of these foods should be ingested on a regular basis. Some of these include:

        • Miso
        • Pickles
        • Sauerkraut
        • Kimchee
        • Yogurt
        • Kefir
        • Beer/Wine

        Many people find that having Miso soup several times per week helps strengthen their health over time. Sauerkraut and other traditionally fermented products can be helpful as well when they are eaten ocassionally. Some people are sensitive to some of these fermented products (although miso is usually tolerated well), so please start with small amounts to see if you have sensitivities.

        More detailed information about Probiotics, especially probiotic supplements, can be found in Appendix A below. For many people it is preferable to get their probiotics from the food sources listed above.

        Essential Fatty Acids

        While avoiding a high saturated fat diet can be beneficial, there are some essential fats that are extremely important for healing and maintaining good health. There are two Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linoleic acid (LNA). The body takes these EFAs and makes other useful substances from them. Some foods contain derivatives of these EFAs and other fatty acids that can also be beneficial.

        Some signs of linoleic acid (LA) deficiency include:

        • eczema
        • loss of hair
        • behavioral problems
        • susceptibility to infections
        • failure of wound healing
        • arthritic conditions
        • heart and circulatory problem
        • growth retardation

        Some signs of alpha-linoleic acid (LNA) deficiency include:

        • weakness
        • motor incoordination
        • tingling in the extremities
        • behavioral changes
        • growth retardation
        • vision impairment
        • behavioral changes

        I strongly encourage regular ingestion of small amounts of foods that contain these EFAs and their derivaties. You do not have to eat large amounts of these foods, simply include them as a regular part of your cooking and food plan.

        Good sources of linoleic acid (LA) include:

        • Sesame seed oil
        • Safflower seed oil
        • Sunflower seed oil
        • Hemp seed oil

        Good sources of alpha-linoleic acid (LNA) include:

        • Flax seed oil and ground flax seeds
        • Hemp seed oil
        • Soybean oil (organic) (small amounts of LNA)

        Some fish such as salmon, mackerel herring, ect. contain LNA derivaties, EPA & DHA, which have numerous positive health benefits. Farmed fish (sometimes found in Natural Food stores) have less EPA & DHA than fresh, wild fish but the wild fish may have more pollutants. Some people find it beneficial to ingest small amounts of these fish on a regular basis.

        Seed oils should be purchased from a Natural Foods store and should be "unrefined" and preferably pressed at low temperatures. (Read the label.) Opaque (non-transparent) bottles are preferable because heat and light can begin to slowly destroy the EFAs. I try to stay away from canola oil unless because it is usually genetically-engineered and treated with chemicals (even when found in health food stores). Soybean oil has only small amounts of LNA, but can be healthy as long as the organic varieties are used (since the non-organic varieties are often genetically-engineered). Seed oils with large amounts of LNAs (e.g., Flax, Hemp) can go bad very quickly, so these can often be found in the refrigerated section of Natural Food stores in opaque bottles. Look for ones that have been pressed recently.

        Because it can be difficult to get essential fatty acids (EFAs) from modern diets (even natural foods diets in some cases), an EFA supplement may be helpful. "Udo's Choice Perfected Oil Blend" is one excellent EFA supplement. Unlike some supplements and oils available in health food stores, care is taken to process the oil with low heat and care is taken to balance the proportion of LNA, LA and other key nutrients for the most beneficial effect. It can be ordered from Flora Health on the U.S. or Canadian web site. Do not supplement with flax seed oil by itself for more than six months because its extremely high LNA content could contribute to an LA fatty acid deficiency.
        In summary, here are some general guidelines to consider:

        • Regular use of moderate amounts of sesame oil in cooking and safflower oil in occasional use for salad dressings, sauces, etc.
        • Regular intake of small amounts of cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring (3-4 times/week).
        • Semi-regular use of flax seed oil/ground flax seeds or hemp seed oil (if you can find it). Freshly ground flax seeds or hemp seeds can be put onto cooked cereals and other dishes. Some Natural Food stores and cooking supply stores carry inexpensive grinders for seeds.
        • Moderate use of extra virgin olive oil.
        • Possible use of EFA supplements.

        Please see "Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill" by Udo Erasmus for more detailed information about Essential Fatty Acids.


        Avoid foods that you are allergic to or have a food intolerance for. If you are allergic to certain healthy foods, you may be able to incorporate them into your diet at a later time when your health improves using holistic healing techniques (e.g., nutrition, yoga/meditation, tai chi, etc.). But for now, it is important to either 1) make the food more digestible to avoid reactions or, 2) if that doesn't work, avoid the food completely.

        A enormous number of people have reported that some symptoms disappeared when they, for an extended period of time, avoided foods that caused problems. Food allergies and intolerances and many times more common than the "medical establishment" likes to admit. Many times, eating foods that cause problems leads very gradually to adverse symptoms, poor health, or simply a run-down feeling. Below are some ideas for identifying and eliminating allergy and intolerance problems.

        • NAET Treatment
          Some people report significant improvement when diagnosed and treated by a Nambudripad-trained (NAET) healthcare practitioner.

          To find out more about this innovative treatment that helps many people, please see the recent article published in Issue 6 of "Alternative Medicine Digest." You can read the article online at:

          Practitioners (partial list):

          The official NAET page is now online and can be found at:

          and the official NAET list of practitioners can be found at:

        • Low-Dose Immunotherapy
          The innovative techniques developed by Dr. Doris J. Rapp for diagnosing and treating health problems caused by hidden allergic or intolerance reactions may prove helpful to many people. Information about her books and her treatment techniques can be found in the speeches she gave before the Allergy and Environmental Health Association of Canada on May 31, 1996 reprinted in the proceedings on the following web page:

          The second speech given by Dr. Doris J. Rapp ("Practical Ways to Resolve Environmental and Allergy Problems Caused by Housing, School Environment and Diet" presents some excellent advice on simple, preliminary steps that can be taken to find hidden allergies or intolerances.

          In addition, Dr. Rapp has written a new book with extensive resources for identifying and dealing with allergic, intolerance and toxicity reactions in children.

        • Yoga
          Some people find that by moving gradually towards a natural foods diet (including significantly cutting down on or cutting out dairy foods), and practicing yoga regularly for six months or more that their allergies naturally become much less severe and nonexistent in some cases. The benefits of regular yoga practice and a natural foods diet go far beyond simply a reduction of allergy symptoms.

        • Rotation Diet
          Switch to a Rotation Diet until your body is able to tolerate a larger variety of foods. In order to continue to eat a healthy varied diet, it is extremely helpful for some people to "rotate" the foods they eat so that the immune system does not react to those foods continuously. This technique, the Rotation Diet, has been enormously helpful for many people with extreme food allergies.

          A rotation diet is a natural foods diet with the added technique of rotating each food that you eat so that you only eat it every 4 to 7 days. You will have to keep a food diary and/or keep track of your planned foods on 3x5 cards so that you do not repeat the same food. If you eat brown rice on Monday, simply put the "brown rice" 3x5 card in the next week's selection of possible food options and remove it from this week's.

        Even if you do not think you have food allergies, I highly recommend printing out and reading the article on the Nambudripad treatment and the speeches by Dr. Rapp referenced on web pages above. In this way, you may be able to help many others in the future.

        Finally, if you are able to find and eliminate an allergy, that is wonderful, but I would still strongly suggest experimenting with other holistic healing techniques (e.g., yoga, inner healing & transformation, etc.).

        Drinking/Cooking Water

        It is very helpful to avoid drinking chlorinated water on a regular basis. It can be difficult to build a healthy environment of beneficial bacteria in the colon while drinking chlorinated water. In addition, by drinking chlorinated water it is very likely that one is also ingesting significant levels of Trihalomethanes (TCMs), chemical compounds that are suspected of increasing cancer rates and may adversely effect other bodily systems.

        It is also very helpful to avoid drinking water medicated with fluoride compounds. Water with fluoride compounds added often has a much higher lead content. In addtion, the fluoride builds up in the tissues, organs, and bones, causes slow damage to the bones, inhibits key enzymes, contributes to arthritic-like symptoms, has recently been shown to be neurotoxic (and lower children's IQ), and possibly increases one's chances of getting cancer. In 1997, EPA scientists and risk assessment specialists voted unanimously to oppose mandatory fluoridation in California because of the major health risks. Recent research proves that fluoride in drinking water, cooking water, and premade beverages does not prevent tooth decay (only topical applications of fluoride does this to a extremely small extent). Like other slow poisons (e.g., aspartame, neotame), fluoride is avoided by people who are serious about healing or preventing illness. (Note: There are other sources for high levels of fluoride. Junk foods and infant foods with deboned chicken and non-organic fruit juices such as grape juice can contain dangerously high levels of fluoride and should be avoided.) Please see the following web page for information and links to independent and authoritative information on the subject:

        Here is a list of suggested water sources in order of my preference.

        1. "Spring Water" from glass bottles. As long as the water bottle says, "Spring Water," it must, by U.S. law, come from a real spring and cannot be filtered tap water. Water should be regularly tested by the bottler. Call the bottler for more information. This is ideal because you avoid the toxic substances (chlorine, fluoride compounds, THM's, etc.) and get the natural minerals in the water.

        2. Same as "1" above, but water is stored in heavy 5-gallon jugs.

        3. Spring water stored in 1-gallon jugs. Try to avoid the flimsy jugs as the plastic can leech into the water.

        4. Water filtered with a solid carbon filter. (If water supply is *not* artificially fluoridated, this option should come before "4" above.)

          A carbon block or granulated water filter will not remove fluoride compounds from the water no matter what the manufacturer literature might say.

        5. Boiled tap water.

    Check the labels of the products you purchase at the natural foods store. Many vendors now use filtered water when making their product. Buying food and liquids from vendors who filter their water will help you avoid chlorine compounds. However, there may be fluoride compounds in the water if the manufacturer did not use a reverse osmosis filter.

    It is impossible to avoid chlorinated and fluoridated water completely if you enjoy going out to restaurants ocassionally or going over to friend's houses, so I suggest just doing the best you can. Preferably that means using spring water as the bulk of your cooking and drinking water.


    It is important to get plenty of fluids. The amount will vary from person to person, but most people should get at least 6 cups of beverage per day. You can have quite a bit of variety in this category, including:

    • Herbal Teas
      Unless you are taking a specific herbal tea for medicinal reasons, you can experiment quite a bit with different herbal teas. Try to avoid regular drinking tea that contains herbs with significant amounts of caffeine (e.g., guarana, kola, nut, black tea). You can get a variety of herbal tea beverages at a natural foods grocery store or from mailorder sources. (See Resources section below).

      I like to drink dandelion root tea with a little bit of licorice root. Some people like to drink bancha twig tea after meals.

    • Coffee Substitutes
      There are quite a few coffee substitutes that you can buy from your local natural foods store. I prefer Inca (Distributed by Adamba Imports Int'l, Brooklyn, NY 11237) which contains Roasted Barley, Rye, Chicory, and Beet Roots, but there are a number of other good brands.

    • Spring Water
      Plain spring water is an excellant, healthy beverage. See discussion above regarding water.

    • Milk Substitutes
      Soy milk and rice milk are sold in natural foods stores and are excellant milk substitutes. Soy milk can be particularly difficulty to digest for some people, so rice milk may prove a better substitute.

    • Juices
      If you can make your own fresh juices, that will be much better than store-bought juices.


      • Purchasing a juicer: If you are looking for a juicer, consider purchasing a Champion brand juicer. Even though they are more expensive than some heavily advertised cheaper models, they are very easy to use, do a wonderful job making the juice, and they are very easy to clean. Vitamix also makes an excellent juicer, but some people dislike the juice consistency that is produced, so taste-test juice before purchasing if possible.

      • Try to avoid mixing vegetables and fruits in the same juice on a regular basis. Many people feel better over the long-term when eat fruits separately from meals and other food groups.

      • Try to focus mostly on vegetable juice mixtures and to go easy on the fruit juice ingestion.

      • Develop a habit from the beginning of diluting all juices with 50% juice and 50% spring water. It will be difficult to get used to it at first, but after a while undiluted juice will seem much too strong.

      • If you buy juice from a grocery store, look for juice that is:

        • juice and nothing but juice
        • unfiltered
        • organic
        • uses filtered water

        I like to drink apple cider from time to time. Look for apple cider without and sweateners or preservatives.

    • Amasake
      Amasake is a beverage make from rice, sweet rice, koji or other starter, and sometimes other flavorings such as almonds. The starter breaks down the polysaccharides (complex sugars) in the rice into disaccharides (two linked simple sugar molecules). This makes amasake much sweeter than rice, but not extremely sweet like sugared beverages.

      In the far east, amasake drinks are sometimes sold as hot drinks in the Winter. In the U.S., they are sold as cold beverages (but can be heated) in natural food stores.

      I sometimes make my own amasake, but sometimes purchase it from the natural food store (although it is much more expensive this way). The amasake at natural food stores with almonds, pecans, etc. can be difficult on the digestive system, so it is better to purchase primarily the plain variety.

    • Vegetable Broths
      Vegetable broths are an excellant way to get extra vitamins and minerals in a balanced, easily assimilable form. They are also can help warm and heal the digestive system. I often drink a cup of hot vegetable broth before lunch.

      It is better to make your own vegetable broth. But you can purchase it at a natural food store. Be very careful when purchasing vegetable broths, however, as many of them contain significant amounts of *hidden* MSG in the form of "hydrolyzed vegetable proteins" (HVP) or "autolyzed yeast."

      One store-bought broth that I like is:

        All Natural Vegetable Broth
        Gayelord Hauser Products
        P.O. Box 09398
        Milwaukee, WI 53209

    • Alcoholic Beverages
      If you decide to drink alcoholic beverages, please do so in small to moderate amounts.

      Since beer and wine ingredients do not have to be labelled, manufacturers dump in a variety of unhealthy chemicals as preservatives, flavor enhancers, etc.. Natural food stores often sell alcoholic beverages without lots of chemicals. Certain American beers like Coors and Anchor Steam have no additives. Many German and Austrian beers are also toxin-free. Try to find wine at natural food stores that do not have additives and are grown with organic grapes (since grapes are sprayed so heavily when they are not organic). Stores like Whole Foods Market usually carry natural beers and wines. In addition, the Organic Traveler's Guide to the Wine Country may prove useful for finding organic wines from California.

    Foods to Phase Out or Cut Back

    Below are some tips on what foods often need to be reduced or, in some cases, eliminated completely from the diet. Please focus primarily on the positive aspects, i.e., the other sections of this article which discusses the healthier foods options. This section is included as a reference in case you need information on foods to cut back.

    Before we get to the list, I would like to point out that it is important not to restrict yourself too severely. If you do, it might slow your healing progress considerably. If you have been eating these foods for some time, it is fine in most cases to eat some of them a little while longer while you search for suitable, healthy replacements. In addition, it it very important not to worry about eating unhealthy foods on occasion as the worrying is not doing you any good. Simply be gentle with yourself and try to make gradual progress towards a healthier food plan.

    • Dangerous and Unhealthy Sweeteners
      The following sweetener should be eliminated immediately from the diet as it does considerable, albeit gradual, damage to the body:

      • aspartame / neotame (NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful)

      Check the labels very carefully for the word "aspartame" or "neotame" as it is often difficult to see in the ingredients list. Aspartame may also be found in over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, and supplements. Unless you are looking for serious health problems down the line, I cannot to strongly suggest avoiding it. Please see the Aspartame Toxicity Information Center:

      • acesulfame-k (Sunette, Sweet One, Sweet-n-Safe)
      • sucralose (Splenda)

      The following sweetener should be eliminated fairly soon after beginning a move towards a natural foods diet and finding suitable sweetener replacements (see below):

      • saccharine
      • cyclamates
      • refined white sugar
      • fructose sweeteners (refined)
      • corn syrup
      • dextrose
      • raw sugar (often just white sugar with coloring)
      • brown sugar (usually just white sugar mixed with molasses or sprayed with coloring)
      • sugar alcohols (sorbitol, mannitol, etc.)

      All of these sweeteners are not good for your health, can prevent or delay healing from a chronic disease when used regularly, and may cause serious health problems years after use begins. Despite what you may have read in books or heard concentrated fructose sweeteners have been shown to cause more health problems from long-term use than refined sugar.

      There are still a large number of much healthier sweeteners that can be used by the general population and some of them can be used safely by diabetics. Some of these sweeteners include:


      Below are listed many ideas to help deal with and heal digestive difficulties. Please do not try everything listed at once. It is best to simply pick one or two ideas to use at a time.

        To promote better digestion at a meal:

      • Chew very well. This is very important if your digestion is weak.

      • Limit very cold foods especially during meals. Hot, cooked meals are usually easier to digest and will help build a stronger digestion over time. It is very important, especially during the colder months, to eat warming meals.

      • Eat meal in a calm, unhurried manner. However, that doesn't mean you can't talk and tell jokes during the meal.

      • It's okay to drink some liquids during the meal, but try to get plenty of liquids between meals so that there is less of a desire to drink too much and cause indigestion.

      • Bland or undercooked foods can make digestion more difficult.

      • Eat fruit and fruit juices separately from other foods (as snacks or separate meals).

        In difficult cases of poor digestion at meals:

      • Over a period of time, see if you can notice a food item, a type of food (e.g., fatty foods), or a combination of foods that are giving you trouble (e.g., fruits and grains, meat and legumes). Make changes to eliminate food or combination that gives you trouble.

      • Fifteen minutes before meal take a small amount of "stomach bitters" herbs in a little bit of water to promote HCl production. You can purchase stomach bitters from a natural foods store or by mail.

      • Test to see if digestive enzymes help your digestion. You can get enzymes from a natural foods store or by mailorder. Enteric-coated capsules are better if you can find them. If they don't help you significanly, do not use them.

      • In severe cases of poor digestion there may be insuffient stomach acids being produced (i.e., HCL). In this case, you may need short term use of betine hydrochloride and/or pepsin until the condition improves. You can get such products from your local Naturopath or call Standard Process Labs (SPL) (800) 848-5061 to locate the nearest practitioner who can prescribe SPL's "natural" supplements that contain betine hydrochoride. As you use the long-term digestion strengthening techniques below, you will want to taper off the use of this useful short-term technique.

      • Food and Cooking


          Some people have difficulty digesting whole grains. Here are some ideas that may help.

          • Udon and soda noodles tend to be much easier to digest than whole grains.

          • Some natural food stores sell partially processed brown/white rice which is easier to digest than brown rice.

          • Some people purchase natural "baby food" at natural food store in the case of very poor digestion. Also, cereals like Rice 'n Shine are easily digested.

          • Barley should be soaked overnight. All grains should be cooked thoroughly. Please see cookbooks in Resource section for more information.

          • If you still cannot tolerate any of the above-mentioned ideas for easily-digestible grains, it is okay to eat white rice. Over time, please try to mix in a small, but increasing percentage of whole grains. Over the period of a year or two while using other healing techniques, you may be able to work your way up to 50% whole grains/50% white rice. If you cannot eat whole grains, it would be a good idea to consider taking some supplements as suggested below.


          Mung beans are fairly easy to digest as far as legumes go. Other beans should be soaked overnight in spring water. Pour off water. Cook in pot for at least 1.5 hours (except lentils can be cooked quicker). Add a rinsed strip of Kombu sea vegetable to pot before cooking. Boil rapidly for 20 minutes, spooning off foam that comes to the surface. Simmer. Add 1/2 tbs. of sea salt for every cup of beans 20 minutes before end of cooking time and boil rapily until done. In addition, adding 1/2 tbs. of cumin powder and/or ginger powder to the cooking water helps some people. If all else fails, try Beano available at local natural foods store.

          Tempeh, made from soy beans, is a easily digestible source of protein. But don't rely totally on soy products for protein. Try to eat a variety of legumes that you can tolerate.


          You may need to cook your vegetables longer so that they are easier to digest. Some greens, such as kale, can be a little tougher to digest. Soups and vegetable broths can be extremely good for you and easy to digest. Eating more vegetables and less grains and beans is sometimes helpful for digestion.


          If I eat fish, I usually cook it with lemon (or lime) juice or juice from the grated ginger root. Eating a touch of finely grated ginger root with the meat can help reduce the toxicity. All meat should be cooked thoroughly.


          If you decide to eat dairy foods, which I don't recommend, you should purchase "Lactaid" from your local health food store to help with lactose digestion.

      If you are having post-meal digestive problems:

      • The most important thing is NOT to beat yourself up about it. Realize that it will get better over time. Don't worry if you ate poorly and it led to indigestion--it happens to everyone from time to time. Use one or more of the techniques below as nurturing tools.

      • Drink and herbal tea formulated for digestion after the meal. The Maharishi Ayur-Ved company makes some very good teas (800-255-8332, ext. 147 for catalog). Check at a natural food store for an herbal tea to treat indigestion after a meal.

        If you can't find such a pre-made tea, use peppermint tea bags and add a few drops of ginger juice squeezed from grated ginger. Alternatively, you can use one or two drops of peppermint oil in any hot tea.

      • Add a tiny amount of Ume' Concentrate (1/3 - 1/2 the size of a pea) to the tea mentioned above for indigestion. It is good for removing countering toxic stomach acids created when digestive probelms exist. A natural foods store should be able to order it from Mitoku Compay, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan. Eden Foods (Clinton, Michigan) puts out a products called Ume' Plum Balls made from Ume' Concentrate and Japanese Wild Mountain Yam.

      • I have found that a large hot water bottle, filled with hot water and placed on the abdomen helps with indigestion after the meal, before bed, or in the morning. Place a piece of cloth of towel between the hot water bottle and the abdomen. It should feel moderaly hot, but should not burn. Move the bottle around as needed.

        You can get such a bottle from your local pharmacy. (It has the shape of an enema bag.)

      • I would avoid that antacids and other digestive aide pharmaceuticals if possible since they counteract the stomach acids making you feel better in the short run but causing many problems in the long run due to poorly digested foods. It is much better to try the other ideas first.

        For long-term improvement of digestion:

      • Eat hot meals when possible. This will help you gradually build digestive energy. Habitually eating cold meals (especially during the cold months) will reduce your digestive energy. If you cannot eat hot foods at every meal, that is okay. Just do the best you can without putting too much pressure on yourself.

      • As part of your yoga practice, twisting exercises help improve the digestion. Ask your yoga teacher to show you variations of Jathara Parivartanasana and Marichyasana or see the book "Light on Yoga" by BKS Iyengar for more details.

      • Regularly perform the Fire Wash (Abdominal Lifts) and the Horse Mudra exercises described in the book, "The Herbs of Life" by Lesley Tierra (The Crossing Freedom Press, c1992, ISBN 0-89594-499-5).
        Most people will start with many times less than the author's recommended number of repetitions. These breathing exercises are very helpful for long-term digestion improvement.

      • You may need to perform a detoxification of the GI Tract, Liver, or Gallbladder to help strengthen your digestive capabilities. Liver and Gallbladder cleanses are especially useful if you have trouble digesting foods that are high in fats. See the following web page for more information on detoxification techniques:

      • Regularly perform a moderate amount of abdominal strengthing exercises. Do not over-exert yourself, though.

      • Regular use of an herbal formulas to strengthen the digestion on a long-term basis.

        It is important to keep in mind that there are many other herbal formulas that will help build digestive strength. It is best to get a customized formula from a professional Herbalist. Please look into finding the best herbal formula for you, it will pay off in the long run.

        One example of a general herbal formula that may be helpful is:

        Stomach Chi
        Oriental Herb Company
        (303) 674-2466

      • The use of a *high quality* probiotic supplement to help build a healthy population of beneficial bacteria in the intestines. If can be important to build and keep a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in the intestine.

        See the discussion of probiotics in Appendix A for more information.


      There are three ways to obtain nutrients:

      1. Nutrients Through Diet

        The goal is to work towards being able to obtain most or all of our nutrients through a healthy, natural foods diet. The reality is that many people, for a variety of reasons, need to take some forms of supplements to help themselves heal or simply to meet their nutrient needs.

      2. Nutrients Through Concentrated Food Souces

        Many very helpful supplements come in the form of concentrated food sources of nutrients. For many people these supplements are very helpful because they have less of a tendency to throw a person's body chemistry out of balance.

      3. Nutrients Through Individual Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

        There are many people who are unable to get adequate nutrients for healing from food sources or concentrated food supplements. If that is the case for you, then use vitamin and mineral products to supplements what you cannot get from your food and concentrated food supplements. Persons with a chronic illness or a significant amount of stress should consider using individual supplements.

      It is impossible to give detailed recommendations in this documents as to their supplementation needs. A holistic healthcare practitioner or professional nutritionist (not a dietician) can help you with specific recommendations.

      Below is listed a few general ideas and resources for supplements. Please do not haphazardly begin taking all of the supplements listed below. Simply choose one or two that you believe are helpful, or even better would be to consult a professional.

      Concentrated Food Supplements

      Here is a subset of the many possible concentrated food supplements that you could try. As with all lists, don't try to do everything at once. In addition, start with tiny amounts of each supplement you choose in order to test for allergic reactions.

      • Green Radiance (yeast-free)

        This is a mixture of concentrated food suppiments that contains a balanced source of vitamins and minerals. It can be very helpful if you are very weak and have difficulty obtaining nutrients from your food. It contains juice powders of wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa *leaf*, oat grass, spirulina, chlorells, Dunaliella salina (microalgae), dulse, licorice root, siberian ginseng, suma, astragalus, echinacea, soy lecithin, wheat sprout powder (gluten-free), acerola berry juice, beet juice powder, spinach, royal jelly, bee pollen, vitamin E, probiotic bacteria (probably not viable though), flaxseed meal, apple pectin and fiber, fructooligosaccharides, milk thistle, ginkgo biloba, green tea, grape pip extract, bilberry extract. Start with small amounts if you decide to take this supplement to test for allergic reactions.

        You can order the product from:

        Allergy Research Group/Nutricology
        P.O. Box 489
        400 Preda Street
        San Leandro, CA 94577
        (510) 639-4572
        (800) 545-9960 (info)
        (800) 782-4274 (orders)

      • Herbal Nutrition

        Herbal Nutrition from Arise & Shine is a blend of 13 herbs, enzymes, and fiber. It contains almost all vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, enzymes, and amino acids that most people need. It helps balance the pH of the blood as well as helping the heal the heart, lymphatic system, and endocrine glands. It contains Alfalfa, Kelp, Rosehips, Dandelion, Shavegrass, Knitback Boraginaceae, Yellow Dock, Chickweed, Irish Moss, Hawthorn Berry, Suma, Sheep Sorrell, Enzymes, and Cellulase Concentrate.

        You can order this product from Arise & Shine (800-688-2444 or 916-926-8867).

      • Bernard Jensen's Whole Food Blend

        This is a different type of comprehensive food supplement. This formula contains many vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, as well as chlorophyll, immunoglobulins and nuclectides for the immune system, and beneficial bacteria. The formula is made from powders of Sesame Seeds, Chlorella, Colostrum, Acidophilus, Oat Straw, and Echinacea. It is recommended that bee pollen be taken with this formula if you are not allergic to it.

        You can purchase or order this formula from your local natural food store or directly from Bernard Jensen International (619) 749-2727. Ask for the Whole Life Blend.

      • Plant Power From Preventive Health Care

        A nutritive food and herbal concentrate containing Spriulina, Chlorella, Sprouted Barlet Grass, Alfalfa, Wheat Sprout Concentrate, Blue-Green Algae, Siberian/American/ Chinese Ginseng, Ashwagandha, Fo Ti, Don Quai, Suma, Astragalus, Licorice, Gingko Biloba, Gota Kola, Pau da Arco, Soy Lecithin, Raw Enzyme Powder, Green Papaya Powder, Acerola Cherry Powder, Rose Hips, Indian Goosberries, Schizandra, Hawthorn, Milk Thistle Seed Powder, Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, Carob Powder, Apple Fiber, Rice Bran, Slippery Elm, Jerusalem Artichoke Powder, Flax Meal, Fennel Seed, Ginger Root, Fenugreek Seed, Red Dulse, Norwegian Kelp, Sodium Alginate.

        You can order it from Preventive Health Care (408) 457- 8555.

      • Mineral Supplements From Sea Vegetables

        It is important to get plenty of minerals during the healing process. A healthy person with a strong digestion can get adequate minerals from a natural foods diet with the addition of sea vegetables.

        The mineral supplements suggested here are derived from sea vegetables. The minerals are in organic form (chelated), allowing them to combine with the body's enzymes and draw inorganic minerals out of the joints and body tissues.

        You can order such minerals in capsule or liquid form from Arise & Shine (800-688-2444 or 916-926-8867) or Enzymes International (715/543-8401). The liquid for is preferable.

      • Chyavanprash

        Chyavanprash is a food and herbal supplement used to treat all forms of weakness, gout, immune disorders, digestive weakness, and other illnesses. It is made with large amounts of alma (Indian Gooseberries) with are very high in easily assimilable, heat resistant (bound in tannins) Vitamin C. Crude brown sugar and molasses are added to the alma. Finally a powder of anywhere between 34 to 50 herbs are added to this mixture. Chyavanprash is usually fried with a small amount of butter.

        If you decide to try this supplement, please test for bad reactions because of the small amount of butter used. Also, because dairy products are used, please do not take this supplement in large quanities.

        You can purchase or order the Planetary Herbal Formula from you local natural foods store or call Planetary Herbal Formulas 800-606-6226 for the nearest distributor. Ask for Formula #27: Chyavanprash

      • Green Essence

        This supplement is another useful whole foods supplement that provides a wide variety of vitamin and minerals. It is good for persons who wants to get extra nutrients from green vegetables (which are very important) as well as B Vitamins and minerals. The supplement contains young barley leaves, maltodextrin, carrots, pearl barley, wheat germ, brown rice, alfalfa (from leaves only), aloe, garlic, shitake mushroom, lecithin, spinach, broccoli, celery, green pepper, and kelp.

        You can order this product from your local natural foods store or find a distributor by contacting the manufacturer, Green Foods Corp., 620 Maple, Ave., Torrance, CA 90503, (310) 618-0678, (800) 777-4430.

      • Essential Fatty Acid Supplement

        Because it can be difficult to get essential fatty acids (EFAs) from modern diets (even natural foods diets in some cases), an EFA supplement may be helpful. "Udo's Choice Perfected Oil Blend" is one excellent EFA supplement. Unlike some supplements and oils available in health food stores, care is taken to process the oil with low heat and care is taken to balance the proportion of LNA, LA and other key nutrients for the most beneficial effect. It can be ordered from Flora Health on the U.S. or Canadian web site. Do not supplement with flax seed oil by itself for more than six months because its extremely high LNA content could contribute to an LA fatty acid deficiency.

      • Alfalfa Leaf Tablets

        Alfalfa tablets (made from alfalfa leaves) are one of the most nutritous foods available. It contains vitamins A, B1, B6, C, D, E, K, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, minerals and trace minerals, and is 25% protein by weight. Along with kelp, and algin (from seaweed) it is often used for detoxification from environmental pollution. You can take alfalfa leaf tablets with meals.

        Alfalfa leaf can be taken in the form of tablets (from Bernard Jensen Internation 619/749-2727 or local natural foods store) or in the form of a tea (which is slightly less preferable, but often easier to digest).

        Please note that this is not the same as eating alfalfa sprouts or alfalfa seeds. Alfalfa seeds and alfalfa sprouts contain a small amount of the amino acid L-Canavanine which can cause the symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) to worsen in some cases. If you have SLE, it is very important that you check to be sure that none of your concentrated food supplements contain alfalfa seeds or sprouts. As with all herbs and supplements, start with tiny amounts before increasing to full dosage to check if you are sensative to the product.

      • Green Drinks

        There are many other green drinks that are available as supplements. It is okay to use these supplements in small amounts. If you have the condition, hyperkalemia (too much potassium in the blood) or a chronic kidney condition, avoid large intakes of green drinks. Popular green drinks include the following:

        • Barley Green
        • Wheatgrass
        • Liquid Chlorophyll

      • Vegetable Broths

        Vegetable broths are an excellant way to get extra vitamins and minerals in a balanced, easily assimilable form. I often drink a cup of hot vegetable broth before lunch.
        You can make your own vegetable broth or buy it at your local natural foods store. The store-bought vegetables broths contain a small amount of yeast, so if you are avoiding yeast, you will have to make your own vegetable broths. Be very careful when purchasing vegetable broths, however, as many of them contain products that have MSG or hidden MSG (hydrolyzed proteins, autolyzed yeasts).

        One store-bought broth that I like is:

        All Natural Vegetable Broth
        Gayelord Hauser Products
        P.O. Box 09398
        Milwaukee, WI 53209

      • Kelp

        Kelp is a general term for several species of sea vegetables. It is often sold as a supplement because it is a very concentrated source of minerals and trace minerals. Kelp is good for the nervous system, arthritic conditions, detoxification, strengthening the endocrine glands, soothing mucous membranes, reducing water retention, and healing the immune system to name just a few of the beneficial effects.

        Kelp can be purchased as a separate supplement or part of a supplement or condiment in almost any natural foods store.

      • Supplements High in Vitamin C Complex

        There are several whole food supplements which are high in Vitamin C Complex.

        • Alma (Indian Gooseberries) have one of the highest sources of Vitamin C Complex of any plant.
        • Schizandra is a herb which is very high in Vitamin C Complex.
        • Rose Hips is a very popular herb for Vitamin C supplementation. Beware of Vitamin C supplements that say on the package "in a Rose Hip base" as there is probably very little Rose Hips and therfore Vitamin C *Complex* in the supplement.
        • Acerola Cherry is one of the more common Vitamin C Complex supplements found in natural food stores.
        • Hawthorn Berry is a popular herbs used for heart conditions in the West and to remove congestion from overeating or poor digestion in Chinese Medicine. It is a good source of Vitamin C Complex.

      • Miscellaneous Herbs

        The following herbs provide an large amount of vitamins and minerals are are especially high in iron.

        • Dandelion Root
        • Yellow Dock
        • Nettles

        Dandelion root tea can be taken regularly. Nettles can be taken in an herbal supplement or eaten cooked in season (Springtime). Yellow dock is usually taken as part of an herbal formula.

      Individual Supplements

      Individual supplements can be very helpful if you cannot get your nutrients needed for healing from food or concentrated food sources. In addition, for severe deficiencies or acute symptoms, short-term use of individual supplements can be very helpful.

      Here are some ideas for individual supplements. I will only be discussing a few of the most commonly needed supplements.

      As with all lists, don't try to do everything at once. In addition, start with tiny amounts of each supplement you choose in order to test for negative reactions.

      • Vitamin C Complex

        Many people find it helpful to supplement with Vitamin C. For example, some persons with chronic immune systems disorders and many people who have had mercury poisoning from dental amalgam fillings have found Vitamin C very helpful. If you feel that you need additional supplementation of Vitamin C, I suggest you look into taking a Vitamin C _Complex_ supplement. If you are currently taking steroids, your need for Vitamin C may be higher, in which case a Vitamin C Complex supplement may be very helpful.

        Vitamin C Complex contains the following:

        • Ascorbic Acid
        • Bioflavanoids
        • Tyrosinase

        Ascorbic acid, by itself, can be helpful in certain acute conditions. But for regular use, it is preferable to try to get your extra Vitamin C through concentrated food sources or a Vitamin C Complex supplement. You should be able to pick up a quality Vitamin C Complex supplement at a natural food store. Here is a mailorder resource:

        Enzymes International Vitamin C Complex
        Contains a blend of Ascorbic Acid, Bioflavanoids, Rose Hips, and Amylase.

      • Vitamin B

        B vitamins are important for maintaining the health of the nervous system, the skin, and the tone of the muscles including GI tract muscles. By eating a varied natural foods diet, most healthy people can get enough B vitamins. However, many people do find that a general B-Complex supplement is helpful to them over the long run.

        Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) is one of the more important B vitamins for persons with chronic immune system-related disorders. The need for B vitamins, especially B-6 may increase if you are taking antidepressants, estrogen, steroids, antibiotics, or other medication. If you are suffering from digestive problems or bowel problems, depression or anxiety, your need for B vitamins is probably higher. In this case it can be helpful to supplement with Vitamin B-Complex.

      • Minerals

        A proper amount and proportion of minerals are needed for the formation of healthy blood, bone, and bodily tissues. It can be very difficult for a healthy person to obtain an adequate supply of minerals and trace minerals (which are minerals needed only in minute quantities). Therefore, it is usually recommended that a healthy person eat a small proportion of sea vegetables along with a varied natural foods diet.

        In many cases, supplementation of individual minerals can be very helpful. A few of the many individual supplements that have proven very helpful include:

        • Calcium
        • Magnesium
        • Zinc

        Avoid taking mineral supplementation as part of antacids such as Tums. Such medicine use can weaken digestion significantly over time.


        There are no prerequisites for dietary changes although in most cases it is preferable to:

        1. Discuss changes with your chosen holistic health practitioner.
        2. Make changes gradually.

        Actions To Be Taken

        1. Review the discussion and techniques listed in this chapter and decide what change, if any, you would like to make.

        2. Discuss these ideas with your holistic health practitioner.

        3. Begin to locate all of the grocery stores and farm stands in your area that sell healthy (preferably organic) foods.

        4. Purchase one or two of the general books listed in the resource section and one or two of the cookbooks.

        5. Gradually make changes to move towards a natural foods diet.

        6. Take a cooking class if necessary. Talk with natural food store owners, holistic health practitioners, and other practitioners for leads on where to learn natural foods cooking.

        Questions & Answers

          Food Cravings

          I am having difficulty cutting out certain food because I have a craving for them. Do you have any ideas?

          First of all, three important points to keep in mind:

          • Be certain that you aren't trying to change your current diet too quickly. Just make some comfortable changes. Get used to those changes for at least a couple of months. Then you see if you're ready to or have a desire to make additional changes.

          • Remember to give yourself a healthy dose of self-love and self-acceptance wherever you are at in your diet. This will be the most important technique in making slow permanent dietary changes.

          • If you have a eating disorder such as regular binging, purging, bulemia, anorexia, or heavy eating for emotional reasons, you should definately get help from a professional or a group/organizations that is experienced in working with persons who have eating disorder issues. It is very important to avoid trying to work through these issues by yourself, as that usually leads to alot of frustration. Please see the Resources section for helpful organizations.

          Here are a couple of ideas that might help you. I've had the most success with idea "2." Ideas "1." and "2." may be a good way to approach cutting out caffeine when you are ready to make that change.

          1. Slowly phase out consumption of the food.

          2. Replace the food with a healthy alternative found at your local natural foods store that has a similar taste and texture.

            For example, I had a very strong craving for ice cream. I started by replacing it with Rice Dream (made with cultured rice) which had a similar taste and texture but was much healthier. Even though I knew that it was good for me to totally forgo very cold foods to improve my weak digestion, it was more important that I not too radically change my diet. Such a radical change may have led me to secret, midnight ice cream binges. Eventually, I moved to Amasake drinks which are creamy and usually slightly chilled drinks.

          3. Cold turkey. This is sometimes used successfully by persons with certain eating disorders. It can, however, lead to the person becoming extremely "uptight" if there were any emotional issues behind the craving that were not resolved. This technique is not recommended for use in changing a moderate to heavy caffeine habit.

          4. A combination of "1." and "2."

          Meat/Red Meat Needs

          I feel that I need meat, including some red meat. I don't feel well eating a diet based on whole grains, legumes, and vegetables. Your suggestions seem to be counterproductive for me. Any comments?

          This is where the "Regular, Gradual Improvement without Obsessing" section becomes important. Please don't force yourself to eat a diet that makes you feel bad. Over several years times you may be able to change your diet gradually with positive results as your health slowly improves.

          In your particular case you should consider the following points:

          • Try to eat alot of cooked vegetables, especially greens such as collard greens, beet greens, spinach, etc. Some salads are okay if your digestion can tolerate them.

          • Try to eat some of your meat in the form of fish (deep-water, ocean fish are preferable) and some red meat when you feel you need it. It is preferable to buy and especially prepare you meat as described in this chapter.

          • If possible, try to include some form of easily digestable grain products (e.g., whole grains, whole grain noodles -- udon, soba, etc.) in your diet on ocassion.

          • Try to get some sea vegetables in your diet and/or a food concentrate mineral supplement as described above. You may need to get more B Vitamins in the form of a food concentrate or supplements.

          • You can cut back slightly on the legumes, especially at meals where you eat meat.

          • Finally, take your time and change your diet as your health improves and you feel comfortable with the change. That way, you can spend less time worrying about your diet and more time enjoying life.

          Food Allergy Determination

          How do I determine if I'm allergic to a particular food?

          Your health care practitioner (e.g., holistic doctor, allergist, environmental illness doctor) can schedule an appointment for you to have allergy tests. These tests can determine if you have an allergy to a particular food, they cannot show whether or not you have an intolerance-like reaction to that food.

          It is important to note that following a Natural Foods Diet similar to what is described above will often eliminate most, if not all allergic food reactions. I feel that most people should try the Natural Foods Diet for a few weeks to see if some of the allergic reactions disappear. If that doesn't help then experiment with eliminating the foods that are common causes of allergic reactions such as listed in the section above. Finally, as a last resort, you can try the Elimination Diet as described below.

          You can use the Elimination Diet to determine if you have any negative reactions to a particular food. It is preferable to work with a healthcare practitioner when performing the Elimination Diet. The Elimination Diet is performed as follows:

          • For one week eat only from the following list of foods in order to eliminate all food allergy symptoms:

            • Starches (cooked)
              Brown rice, taro root, puffed rice (e.g, rice cakes), sweet potatoes, winter squash, tapioca.

            • Green, Yellow, Orange Vegetables (cooked)
              beets and beet greens, celery, chard, summer squash, artichokes, string beans, asparagus, spinach, lettuce

            • Non-citrus Fruits (cooked)
              peaches, plums, prunes, cranberries, apricots, papaya, cherries

            • Condiments
              sea salt (tiny amounts)

            • Beverages
              spring water

            After one week, your negative food reactions are likely to have ended.

          • Add only one food item at a time to your diet by eating it at all three meals for a day in moderately large quanities. If you have a negative reaction to the new food, you will know to avoid that food.

          • If you have a negative reaction, you have to wait at least four days on the Elimination Diet before adding a new food.


          What about eating a Macrobiotic diet? Is that healthy?

          I think that a macrobiotic diet can be very helpful for many people. I suggest keeping the following points in mind if you are planning to try a macrobiotic diet:

          • The diet should not be too strict.

          • Try not to overdo the salty products such as miso, pickles, etc.

          • You may need to cook your foods more thoroughly that is sometimes done by macrobiotic cooks in order to make them more digestable.

          • Make sure most of your meals are palatable.

          • Don't be afraid to use herbs and spices with your cooking.

          • Keep in mind that you may have to adjust the diet if it isn't meeting your needs.

          Chinese and Ayurvedic Nutrition

          What about food plans based on Ayurvedic theory or Chinese Medicine theory?

          I heartily recommend using Ayurvedic or Chinese Medicine principals to help improve health. Food adjustments are used as medicine in both of these well-respected systems of health. It is easier to get a specific diagnosis and customized nutrition recommendation from a practitioner than to self-prescribe. But there are some useful books that can help you understand the principals of Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine dietary therapy and make some of the adjustments yourself.



          Probiotics refer to friendly bacteria which contribute to the health of the intestinal tract.

          • Positive Health Affects

            A selection of the positive health affects of probiotics can be summarized with the following excerpts from "Probiotics" by Leon Chaitow and Natasha Trenev:

            • They manufacture B-vitamins, such as biotin, niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid.

            • They act as anti-carcinogenic (anti-cancer) factors, with powerful anti-tumour potentials.

            • They act as 'watchdogs' by keeping an eye on, and effectively controlling, the spread of undesirable microorganisms (by altering the acidity of the region they inhabit and/or producing specific antibiotic substances, as well as by depriving rival unfriendly bacteria of their nutrients). The antibiotics some of the friendly bacteria produce are effective against many harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi. Not the least of the potentially harmful yeasts controlled by some lactobacilli is "Candida albicans," now implicated in many health problems in people who are malnourished or whose immune systems are depleted.

            • They effectively help to control high cholesterol levels, thereby affording us protection from the cardiovascular damage which excessive levels of this nevertheless important substance can create.

            • They sometimes act to relieve the symptoms of anxiety.

            • They play a role in protecting against the negative effects of radiation and toxic pollutants, enhancing immune function.

            • They help considerably to enhance bowel function. Where bowel bacteria are absent, the function of peristalsis is impaired, and the amount of time it take for food to pass completely through the system is much increased.

            • 60 percent of the circulating female hormones such as estrogen are excreted into the GI tract in the bile. The hormones are then, in normal conditions, acted upon--a process known as deconjugation--by bacterial enzymes such as sulphatase catalyse before most of it (some is excreted in the faeces) is re-absorbed into the bloodstream. From there, it is sent back to the liver for reactivation into a biologically active form. [The author goes on to discuss how problems with the beneficial bacterial population in the intestines cause by antibiotics (for example) can lead to much lower levels of hormones being recirculated into the bloodstream. This can be a major problem for women.]

          • Causes of Loss of Probiotics

            Probiotics can be negatively affected by the following:

            • Unhealthy diet, especially a diet that leads to regular indigestion.

            • Poor digestion of food from various causes and/or poor elimination of wastes.

            • Antibiotics can kill a significant percentage of beneficial bacteria in the intestines. The amount killed is largely dependant upon whether they are narrow-spectrum or wide- sprectrum antibiotics and how long they are used for. If you are forced to use antibiotics, use narrow-spectrum antibiotics for as short a time as possible and subsequently take probiotic supplements.

            • Chlorinated water used on a regular basis can kill beneficial bacteria in the intestines.

            • Stress, especially on-going stress negatively affects beneficial bacteria.

            • Other pharmaceuticals such as steroids and NSAIDS (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) can have a negative affect on the beneficial bacteria in the intestines.

            • Radiation (i.e., x-rays)

          • Negative Health Affects From Loss of Probiotics

            • Lack of reciculation of female hormones such as estrogen.

            • Overgrowth of detrimental, disease-causing bacteria and yeasts such as Clostridium dificile, Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Yersinia enterocolitica, etc.

            • Production of endotoxins in the GI Tract contributing to lupus erythematosus, psoriasis and other skin conditions, and pancreatitis (to mention just a few).

            • Allows partially digested proteins to enter the bloodstream contributing to eczema, nervous system disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and a variety of immune system disorders.

            • GI tract problems such as leaky bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, IBS, etc. are contributed to by loss of probiotics and appearance of detrimental bacteria.

            • Specific strains of detrimental bacteria may cause health problems. For example, E. coli may lead to problems with insulin and blood sugar function. Yersinia enterocolitica produces substances which cause the over-production of thyroid hormone. This detrimental bacteria can also contribute to autoimmune diseases.

          • Choosing a *High Quality* Probiotics Supplement

            It is extremely important to choose carefully when selecting a probiotics supplement. Most of the supplements of the market run anywhere from worthless to slightly useful. Spending the extra time looking for the right product and spending a little extra money purchasing the right product will pay off in the long run. You may be fooling yourself if you rely on the "conscientiousness" of your favorite natural food store or manufacturer to choose a good probiotic products for you.

            Below are a few things to look for or to avoid in a probiotics supplement:

            • Number of Organisms

              Product should say on the label a guarantee of the number of viable organisms in the product. It should be at least 1 billion organisms per gram for a therapeutic dosage. The label should ideally give a guarantee of the number of viable organisms at the expiration date since it will be less than the manufacture date.

              Manufacturers should have an *independant* lab analyze their product for potency on a regular basis. They should be able to send you a copy of the lab results upon request.

            • Type of Organisms

              • Single-strain products are strongly prefered because in multiple-strain products, one strain can begin to dominate during storage leaving little viable L. acidophilus or B. bifidum. It is better to take two or three single-strain products than one multi-strain product (which may have little viable organisms in it at consumption time). For example, strains of L. acidophilus and L. bulgaricus should not be put together as the L. bulgaricus would take over. Some double-strain products with both L. acidophilus and B. bifidum such as those made by Natren (see below) are okay to use.

              • The most important types of bacteria to take *therapeutically* are:

                • L. acidophillus
                • B. bifidum
                • L. bulgaricus
                • S. thermophilus

                L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus are very useful for encouraging the growth of B. bifidum in the intestines.

                I believe that there are a few others that would be very helpful such as some of the strains found in products like miso, but you won't find such strains in products on the market (at least I don't think so).

              • The *strain* of the type of bacteria is extremely important. The strain must be able to:

                • survive the stomach digestive acids and the bile acids.
                • attach itself to the intestinal wall.
                • accepted by the immune system.
                • produce substances such as natural antibiotics that help destroy significant numbers of pathenogenic organisms.

                INT 9, DDS-1, and NAS strains of L. acidophilus are all good strains to use.

                The Malyoth strain of B. Bifidum is an example of good strain.

                The LB-51 strain of L. bulgaricus is an example of good strain.

                Many labels do not list the strains of the bacteria. You may have to check with the manufacturer.

            • Type of Processing

              It is very important that the product *not* have been processed using centrifuging. Centrifuging has the following detrimental effects on a probiotics product:

              • Damages colonies

                The g-forces produced by centrifuging damages the acidophilus colonies causing growth after implantation to be poor. A healthy acidophilus colony may have 20 organisms which tends to have a much greater ability to implant and grow. Centrifuging breaks these colonies in much smaller bits. This raises the *apparent* number of viable organisms, but the implantation and growth of these organisms in the human body will be reduced tremendously.

              • Damages Cell

                Centrifuging damages the cell walls of the bacteria reducing its viability.

              • Supernatant Lost

                The Supernatant is the growth medium of the probiotics culture. During the culturing process, the bacteria secretes or synthesizes chemicals which are very powerful for inhibiting pathenogenic bacteria and fungus (e.g., lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and antibiotic-like substances -- acidophilin, for example). The Supernatant also protects the probiotic bacteria from stomach acids and provides food for the bacteria to help them flourish once they reach their destination in the intestines. Centrifuging removes the Supernatant from the bacteria.

              If the product does not say on the label that it is uncentrifuged, you need to get a guarantee from the manufacturer that this is the case. Since most companies do not manufacture their own probiotic supplements (they just put their label on the bottle), you may have to do a little detective work to track down the manufacturer.

              Some products that are not centrifuged are ultra-filtrated. Ultra-filtration does not damage the product as much as centrifuging, but it does remove the Supernatant from the bacteria.

              Finally, some manufacturers add chemicals and/or hormones to stimulate the growth of the bacteria. Since they are processing agents, they do not have to be listed on the label. Please check with the manufacturer to be certain that they do not add these chemicals to their product.

            • Base of Product

              A milk base is an ideal base for the organisms in a probiotics supplement. Since this is such a small part of the diet, I believe it is okay to use a milk base *if* you do not have a negative reaction from the product. If a milk base is used it is preferable that the product contain the DDS-1 strain of L. acidophilus which produces plenty of lactose to help digestion of the dairy.

              It is preferable to find a quality product that has a dairy-free base. It is also preferable that a non-dairy base be one that provides an adequate diet for the acidophilus so that they remain viable. A rice base is one example.

            • Form

              Ideally the product should be in powdered form. If you use powdered form, it is crucial that you keep the jar sealed and in the refrigerator when not in use and that you only touch the powder with a *clean* spoon so as not to damage the product.

              The second best choice is encapsulated powder. The number of viable organisms go down quicker when encapsulated, especially if the encapsulation process is not done correctly.

              Avoid liquid products.

            • Packaging

              The product should be packaged in glass to avoid condensation inside the container. Amber (dark) colored glass should be used to keep the light from destroying the product. Avoid plastic containers if possible.

            • Storage

              The product should always be refrigerated. *Some* products are viable without refrigeration for a short period of time (e.g., a few weeks), but it is a good idea to refrigerate once purchased.

              Check with the retailer you purchase from to be certain that they are carefully refrigerating the probiotics product and not turning off or turning down their cooler at night.

          • Using a *High Quality* Probiotics Supplement

            • Dosage

              Therapeutic Dosage

              Therapeutic dosage should be taken when starting your healing program, after a cleanse or enema/colonic or after a chemical exposure. You can stay on therapeutic dosage for up to ten days unless directed overwise by your healthcare professional. Then gradually work your way down to maintenance dosage (see below).

              You may find that the therapeutic dosage of probiotics suggested below is expensive if you use a quality product. Please bear in mind that the therapeutic dosage is temporary and that it is still much cheaper than most prescriptions.

                L. acidophilus -- 5 to 10 grams (2.5 to 5 level teaspoonsful) of powder *total* per day. These should be divided evenly and taken half way between meals.

                B. bifidum -- 5 to 10 grams (2.5 to 5 level teaspoonsful) of powder *total* per day. These should be divided evenly and taken half way between meals.

                L. bulgaricus (if taken) -- 3 to 6 grams (1.5 to 3 teaspoonsful) taken with each meal (3 times daily).

              Maintenance Dosage

              You can stay on the maintenance dosage indefinately, but I recommend gradually working away from regular use of probiotic supplements and replacing it with the use of fermented foods and other foods naturally building the health of the bacteria in your intestines. Of course, you should only do this when you have healed enough to slowly add small, regular amount of fermented foods to your diet (e.g., miso).

                L. acidophilus -- 1 gram (0.5 level teaspoonsful) of powder *total* per day. These should be divided evenly and taken half way between meals.

                B. bifidum -- 4 grams (2 level teaspoonsful) of powder *total* per day. These should be divided evenly and taken half way between meals.

                L. bulgaricus (if taken) -- 1 gram (0.5 teaspoonsful) taken with each meal (3 times daily).

              The ratio of B. bifidum to L. acidophilus should be approximately 4:1 if you follow the Natural Foods Diet described in the "Food and Nutrition" chapter. If you eat more meat, take a higher proportion of L. acidophilus.

            • Method of Administration

              The probiotics supplements should be taken with spring water *only* (except in the case of L. bulgaricus which is taken with or after meals as described above). Do not take with juice or broth as this can stimulate more stomach acids to be released leading to fewer bacteria surviving in the stomach.

            • What To Expect

              During the first few days of supplementation, and possibly through the entire ten days of therapeutic dosing, you may experience cleansing symtpoms. (See "Detoxification" chapter for more detail on cleansing symtoms.) This is due to the dying off of yeast overgrowth (especially if you are taking products to combat yeast -- garlic, caprylic acid, Pau d'Arco, etc.) and dying off of detrimental bacteria. Symptoms such as gas, bloating, IBS, diarrhea are not uncommon. Be certain to consume warming, healthy foods and beverages when possible.

          • Other Ways to Get and Increase Probiotics

            As you heal your condition, it is desirable to eventually add fermented products to the diet (when they do not cause adverse reactions) and gradually reduce and eliminate the regular use of probiotic supplement products. If you are not sensitive to eating fermented foods, it is a good idea to eat a little bit regularly. Light miso soup/broth once per day is a good way to start.

            Eating fermented foods is the normal way human beings can get and increase their beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. Some of the more common fermented foods include:

            • Miso

              Miso is a fermented product made from soybeans, various grains, koji (a starter), and sea salt. The koji is added to the mixture to break down the beans and grains into easily digestible amino acids, fatty acids, and simple sugars.

              The strains of bacteria found in miso are ideal for persons eating a vegetarian or near-vegetarian diet. In addition, miso is believed to help neutralize environmental pollution, alkalinize the blood and block the effects of carcinogens.

              It is important that you keep the following points in mind when purchasing miso:

              • Purchase from you local natural foods store and *not* an oriental grocery store. The products at oriental grocery stores are usually not naturally-aged and often worthless.

              • The miso product must state on the label that it is *unpasturized*. Otherwise, it will lack the beneficial bacteria.

              • The miso should be naturally-aged.

              • It is preferable that only organically-grown ingredients be used in the miso.

              • The light miso (white or yellow) are high in simple sugars and have twice the niacin and ten times the bacteria as the dark, saltier miso (e.g., red miso). The dark miso are higher in protein and contain more fatty acids which have been shown to be anti-carcinogenic agents. I suggest using the lighter miso until you get used to it and then only use the dark, saltier miso in small amounts during the cold Winter months.

              There are numerous cookbooks on the market that discuss how to cook with miso. "How to Cook With Miso" by Aveline Kushi (Japan Publications, 1978) is another book that may help.

              Here are a few tips in addition to what you may find in the cookbooks:

              • Use only a *small* amount of miso. Always err of the side of using too little as it is somewhat salty.

              • Put the miso in the dish (i.e., soup) near the very end of cooking and be certain that the water is not boiling in the *slightest* way immediately before putting the miso in and after putting the miso in. Boiling water will destroy the beneficial bacteria.

              • Try starting by drinking some broth made in the morning with a small amount of miso added at the end of cooking. Having a small amount of miso in soup or broth once per day is plenty.

              If you cannot find unpasturized, organic miso at your local natural foods store, you can mail-order miso from:

              South River Miso
              The Elwell Family
              South River Farm
              Conway, MA 01341
              (413) 369-4057

            • Pickles/Sauerkraut

              Pickles (pickled cucumbers) and sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) are common forms of fermented foods. In some stores, you may find other pickled vegetables. Please try to purchase these products at a natural foods store and check the labels for sugar, additives or other unhealthy ingrediants--otherwise they may be worthless as a probiotics supplements. The products that say "low-salt" are preferable. Please do not eat *large* amount of these products.

            • Yogurt/Kefir

              Yogurt is a fermented dairy product made traditionally from milk (unpasturized, unhomogenized) and a starter which contains the bacteria S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus. If you do decide to eat small amount of yogurt, please bear the following in mind:

              • Avoid products that have been pasturized.
              • Avoid products with fruit in them.
              • Some comercial brands do not even contain beneficial bacteria.
              • Purchase yogurt only at a natural food store.
              • It is better, by far, to make your own yogurt. Do not use L. acidophilus as a starter or any other bacteria meant for supplementation. Use a culture-mix, preferably with a ratio of seven parts S. thermophilus to one part L. bulgaricus.

              Kefir is a very healthy fermented dairy product traditionally made from goat, sheep, or cows milk (unpasturized, unhomogenized) and a culture containing the bacteria, Saccaromyces kefir, Torula kefir, Lactobacillus brevis, Streptococcus lactic and others. The yeasts in the culture lead to a slight alcohol content (approximately 3 percent).

              It was brought to the U.S. from the Soviet Union in the 1960s by Natasha Trenev (co-author of the Probiotics book). Some states such as California do not allow cultured dairy products to contain yeasts, but other states such as New York will allow traditionally-made kefir.

            There are substances which have a much more indirect method of increasing the number of friendly bacteria in the intestines including:

            • Inulin

              Inulin is a fiber-like substance found in vegetables such as dandelion and Jerusalem artichokes which is food for bifidobacteria. Some authors recommend eating Jerusalem artichokes when taking probiotic supplements to increase the bifidobacteria in the intestines. Unfortunately, some people find that they have gas when eating Jerusalme artichokes. If that is the case with you, I would try something else.

            • Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)

              Fructooligosaccharides are a fiber-like substance which feeds the bifidobacteria in the intestines. FOS can be useful for persons who are on a Candida Reduction Program as it is 1/2 as sweet as sugar and is much healthier than artificial sweetners.

          • Resources

            Please note that you may experience more cleansing symptoms when using a high quality probiotic supplement. This is due to the fact that the beneficial bacteria and the supernatant are killing off pathenogenic bacteria and fungus. When that happens, xenobiotics (organic toxins) are release which can cause these reactions. For most people these reactions should subside after a week.

            • Natren, Inc.
              10935 Camarillo Street
              North Hollywood, CA 91602
              (800) 992-3323 or (800) 992-9393

              Nutri (Imports & Exports) Ltd.
              Buxton Road, New Mills
              Stockport, Cheshire
              SK12 3JU

              Natren products are not centrifuged or ultra-filtrated. The probiotic organisms are therefore still bound with the supernatant medium which strengthen the product's ability to 1) survive stomach acids, and 2) inhibit disease-causing bacteria. The products have no yeasts, MSG, additives, fillers, or any other unnatural products added.

              The company is owned by Natasha Trenev, coauthor of the "Probiotics" book. A lot of care was put into the strain selection for their product line. I strongly recommend Natren probiotics products.

              Products include:

              • Bio-Nate acidophilus (NAS Strain)
              • Bifido-Nate B. bifidum (Malyoth Strain)
              • Digesta-Lac (LB-51 strain of L. Bulgaricus)
              • Megadophilus
              • Bifido Factor/Life Start Two
              • Life Start
              • D.F.A. Vegetarian Formula

            • BioCare Limited UK
              54 Northfield Road
              Kings Norton
              Birmingham, B30 1JH
              United Kingdom
              021 433-3727 (country code from U.S. is 44)

              Products include:

              • Vegidophilus (INT-9 L. acidophilus and B. bifidum)
              • INT-9 L. acidophilus (with fructooligosaccharides)
              • B. bifidum
              • B. infantis (for infants)
              • L. bulgaricus

              An excellant line of products which I highly recommend. These products are made by practitioners and it is obvious that they have taken great pains to use the best strains and best processing techniques available. They have a vegan product for those of you who are vegetarian. They sell mail order to the U.S.

            • Other Products

              Some other probiotics products on the market have one or more of the following characteristics:

              • Centrifuged which artificially raises the level of "viable" organisms but damages the product.

              • Mixture of several competing strains which often leads to the destruction of acidophilus strain even in free-dried products.

              • Added fillers and additives which do not appear on the label.

              • Poor strain selection. This is crucial for bacteria adhesion.

              • Improper storage.

          • Books

            by Leon Chaitow, N.D., D.O. and Natasha Trenev
            Thorsons Publishing Group, Northamptonshire England, c1990
            ISBN 0-7225-1919-2
            An excellant book. Leon Chaitow is the editor of the "International Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine" and Natasha Trenev has over 25 years of experience studying probiotics. Jeremija Lj. Rasic, Ph.D., a researcher in the field of probiotics contributes expertise to the book.
            (Click HERE To Order through Amazon.Com)

          Twelve Steps to Healthy Eating

          If you want to print this page out separately, please click here.

          Twelve Steps to Heathy Eating

          1. Eat lots of cooked vegetables including green leafy vegetables.

          2. Eat mostly cooked and warm foods where possible (with ocassional salads). Use foods prepared within 24 hours when possible.

          3. Eat meals on a regular schedule where possible.

          4. Eat fruit on ocassion only and separate from meals when possible. Slightly more fruit in the warmer months and very little in the colder months.

          5. Gradually cut back on dairy or cut it out entirely. Try to limit dairy (eventually) to ocassional yogurt or kefir from a natural food store. (Unhomgenized milk is preferable when used.)

          6. Eat miso soup several times per week and include the ocassional use of other traditionally fermented dishes.

          7. Gradually eliminate foods with additives, preservatives, caffeinated products, coloring, MSG/hydrolyzed proteins, artificial sweeteners (aspartame, neotame, acesulfame-k, sucralose, etc.), and chemical names in the ingredient list that you are not sure of. Shopping regularly at a natural foods store will make it much easier to find such products. The ocassional "treat" can be replaced with healthier "treats" from a natural food store.

          8. Determine with some experimentation what balance of vegetables and sea vegeteables, whole grains, fish/fowl, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, juices, herbal teas/coffee substitutes/spring water, and treats/snacks works best for you. You may decide to regularly take a concentrated food supplement or individual supplements (e.g., magnesium, calcium, B Vitamins) until your health and nutrition plan improves. Use health food store natural supplements without additives sweeteners, fillers, etc.

          9. Shop for foods at a natural food store and wherever possible, purchase organic foods. If you need to, purchase staple foods via mailorder outlets.

          10. Purchase natural foods cookbooks such as those recommended in Food and Nutrition article to help you with cooking techniques and recipes. Locate ethnic and other restaurants with healthy foods so you can give yourself a break from time to time.

          11. Food cravings can be handled best by using holistic healing tools such as taking classes in yoga, meditation, moderate exercise and using a Twelve Stop Program (e.g., Overeater's Anonymous) for addictions. Getting small, regular amounts of protein at meals (e.g., legumes, fish, tofu, etc.) can help reduce sugar and other cravings.

          12. When cooking and eating (including eating at restaurants) try to have a spirit of love and joy in your heart and serenity in your mind. Of course, this isn't always possible, so just do the best you can.


          • Books

            • Mailorder Food Sources

              • Gold Mine Natural Food
                3419 Hancock St.
                San Diego, CA 92110
                (800) 475-3663

              • Maine Coast Sea Vegetables
                RR 1, Box 78
                Franklin, Maine 04634
                (207) 565-2907

              • Mercantile Food Company
                Carpenter Rd.
                P.O. Box SS
                Philmont, NY 12565
                (518) 672-0190

              • Mountain Ark Trading
                P.O. Box 3170
                Fayetteville, Arkansas 72702
                (800) 643-8909

              • The Nature's Goodness
                20800 Route 19N
                Towncenter Plaza
                Cranberry Township, PA 16066
                (412) 772-2251

              • Paradise Farm Organics, Inc.
                1000 Wild Iris Ln.
                Moscow, Idaho 83843
                (800) 758-2418
                (208) 882-6590

            • Diagnose and Treat Food Allergies Resources

            • Resources For Persons With Eating Disorders

              • Overeaters Anonymous, Inc.
                383 Van Ness Avenue
                Suite 1601
                Torrance, California 90501
                Mail Address: P.O. Box 92870
                Los Angeles, CA 90009
                Office # (213) 936-4206
                Meeting Information # (213) 936-6252
                12-Step support group for persons with any eating disorders.

              • Alcoholics Anonymous
                P.O. Box 459, Grand Central Station
                New York, NY 10163
                (212) 870-3400
                Provides referrals to all 12-step groups including Overeaters Anonymous

            • Herb Companies for Teas and Selected Medicinal Products

              • Oriental Herb Company
                P.O. Box 3141
                Evergreen, CO 80439
                (303) 674-2466

              • Maharishi Ayur-Ved Teas/Products
                MAPI, Inc.
                P.O. Box 49667
                Colorado Spring, CO 80949-9667
                (800) 255-8332, ext 147

              • The Yogi Tea Company
                2545 Prairie Road
                Eugene, Oregon 79402
                (800) 225-3623

              • Planetary Herbal Products
                P.O. Box 7145
                Santa Cruz, CA 95061
                (408) 464-2003

            • Priobiotics Supplements Companies

              • Natren, Inc.
                10935 Camarillo Street
                North Hollywood, CA 91602
                (800) 992-3323 or (800) 992-9393

              • Nutri (Imports & Exports) Ltd.
                Buxton Road, New Mills
                Stockport, Cheshire, United Kingdom
                SK12 3JU

              • Wakunaga of America, Co., Ltd.
                23501 Madero
                Mission Viejo, CA 92691
                (714) 855-2776
                (800) 421-2998

       Site Map  |  Driving Directions  |  Site Map 

      Unique Gift Ideas
      Unique Gift ideas for any occasion. Birthday gifts, baby gifts, corporate gifts ...

      Web Marketing by

      Copyright (c) 2005 All Rights Reserved.