Healthy Eating

 

Eat Well And Live Well

Are you interested in eating well? If you are looking for a most effective and proven method to improve the state of your health, you’ve come to the right page. Now more than ever, many people are dealing with health problems, ranging from and especially high stress. Now more than ever, it is important to eat really well if you want to live your life to its fullest.

I was a practicing naturopath for over 30 years. I saw many people in my clinic who tried to ease symptoms by turning to drugs and surgery. These are just temporary Band-Aid solutions that do more harm long term than much good. Others tried a quick diet from some book, no Google in the 80s, only libraries and geeky nerds like me who frequented them. Hollywood stars influenced others in trashy magazines, radio or on TV.

These quick-fix solutions only relieve symptoms temporarily, but disallow you to focus on the actual causes of chronic illness, poor diet and stressful lifestyle. A study from 2019 found that a poor diet is responsible for more deaths globally than tobacco, high blood pressure, or any other health risk. A 2014 study found that work-related, personal and family-related stressful life events contribute to the development and/or course of many chronic diseases. When you combine both poor diet and long-term low grade stress, the long-term outcome (as far as your health is concerned) becomes increasingly bleak.


Social Trends? NAH. Be Your Own Influencer…

Experience has taught me that many people haven’t quite figured out yet by making significant changes & improvements to their diet and lifestyle, they could significantly improve their health and wellbeing. More recently, I’ve seen the crazy influence of social media and eating habits, I got my insight into this in 1998 when Google started.

Watchout For Fakes

Before Google, there was no such thing as social media “influencing”, it seems to be a huge thing today, but sometimes these influencers get called out for making hilarious suggestions like weight loss tea, flat tummy shakes and even “appetite-suppressing lollipops”. Funny and tragic all rolled into one. Social influence has been associated with promoting false advertising, toxic diet culture, and eating disorders.  Research from 2004 has shown that the media contributes to the development and maintenance of eating disorders. The study concludes with “Future research should focus on ways to counter-act the effects of the media, in order to improve body satisfaction and self-esteem for girls and women in western culture.”

Why settle for the fake? There‘s enough fake already.

There is so much fake now, that being real is becoming offensive.

Time to make your own trend. Once you learn the “secrets” of eating and living well, you’ll be influencing others with no Instagram or Facebook, because people will pick up on your increasing energy and vitality. I can’t tell you how many times I saw this trend in my clinic, and it was exciting to hear a patient say: “My partner is walking with me every day, and he has cut out his snacking at night”. It’s all about empowering people, and once they get results and become excited, there’s no stopping and it just gets better. Stop looking at how the “influencers” eat and become your own influencer. Soon, friends and family will follow you.


Hard-Line Diets Fail To Work For Long

Rather, it is about eating a wide variety of meals in a balanced way that makes you feel great, have more energy, enhance your attitude, and help you in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. You’ll learn on this page that some foods, especially addictive foods like take-aways, sodas, alcohol, and refined carbs, are the foods you’ll most likely want to avoid, but not necessarily hard-line avoid forever.

Some healthcare professionals who deal with diet/nutrition can eventually graduate to become diet police. It may also be a relative or well-meaning friend, who enforces a strict food code, a kind of traffic light kind of system. They give you a list of “forbidden” foods, and foods that get the green light.

Highly Specific “Yes” and “No” Diets Often Fail

I’ve never believed that a healthy diet includes conforming for very long periods of time to a highly specific set of diet rules, sometimes for years, or forever restricting a person of the food items they love eating. It’s just unnecessary, and like policing, this hard-line approach often fails in the end, and is likely a reason many patients cannot return for that important first follow-up visit. The hard-line was too hard to swallow, and the patient found it difficult to cope with such a drastic change. Many people are just too embarrassed to talk about it, so they avoid coming back.

How’s Your Daily Eating Habits?

The common-sense approach is always the best. I knew most patients I’ve worked with would eventually drift back into similar patterns of living and eating, just like they did before they saw me, but with their eyes a bit wider open.

Everyone likes to believe when they eat and live better that it will be forever, they think they’ll gain amazing health. The sad fact is that many just slowly go back to where they were. It comes down to one thing: discipline.  Daily regularity, like making your bed. You make your bed every day, don’t you? I heard someone say that discipline doesn’t last, nor does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.

Even if you are going down the hard-line diet path right now, even if you have had a chronic health problem for some time, you should be able to stop being so “hard-line” with your diet as your health improves. You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.

Once your health improves, and your symptoms improve (they should), you’ll find that you should be able to enjoy some of those foods you stopped temporarily for your gut to become well, perhaps even alcohol in moderation, yes, cow’s milk, perhaps even gluten. But it can take anywhere from 6 months up to two years for your gut bacteria to improve to where you’ll be able to tolerate a wide range of foods. Be patient and understand, it takes time and commitment. But it’s WORTH IT big time! So worth it.


Eric’s 6 Basic Eating Principles

I’m certain most dieticians, nutritionists and naturopaths have their own set of principles and “laws” for diet and nutrition. Here are some of my most important basic principles I recommended to patients who came to our clinic. Yes, I agree, there could be ten or twenty more similar principles, and you’ve probably got your own (please let me know in the comment section below) but the following are some of THE most important ones to take on board and to adopt initially. They can make all the difference to you. Forget complicated stuff, get the basics right first.


1. Develop Healthy Yet Balanced Eating Habits

It really isn’t as confusing or as restrictive as you imagine. I’d like you to eat a wide variety of fresh foods, including fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbs and fats (meats, grains, legumes, beans, oils and fats, nuts and seeds). This is important because these fresh foods make different nutritional contributions to your health. This will ensure you don’t fall victim to any nutritional deficiencies, like so many patients do who have consulted me. Work out which foods suit your gut the best, and which one’s make you feel bad.

You’ll find that you’ll be doing this evaluation and dietary change regularly over a period of months to years as your gut (gut bacteria, the microbiota) improves. Eventually, you’ll settle on the foods that make you look and feel at your best. It happened to me, and I’ve helped many others achieve this aim. And it can happen to you, if you …. make it happen.

Watch out for the food pushers and the food police

Be wary of the diet police, the people who are against certain food ingredients, for example foods containing gluten, grains, oxalates, salicylates, lectins, or more. I’ve always believed that diet is like a religion.

We have our followers, fanatics and zealots. We have our food pushers too. I’ve met more than a few. Some even lay down strict laws, belong to online food sects and cults, complete with their own set of “commandments”. Whereas others have a tendency to be a lot more open-minded with eating, and accept that we are all different. Diets and eating health food have become a bit radicalised online for the past several years, have you noticed? We don’t really do “crusades” that much these days, but I’ve seen plenty of people vilified online for their diet and nutrition viewpoint.

For example, eating grains is today seen almost as bad for your health. Gluten is terrible for our health today, and just lately the past few years we erroneously are informed about the nightshade of family of vegetables which apparently now contain toxic lectins that ruin our digestion and health. Yet countless generations of people in the Mediterranean have consumed lectin-containing foods for centuries with no ill effect. One claim is that the nightshade family (tomatoes, eggplants, potato, peppers) cause inflammation, worsening arthritis. But a recent review of the research there was little evidence for this.

I would always encourage patients in my clinic to think for themselves, and to be careful and suspicious when coming across any culinary law enforcement officer and their nutritional sermons.

Eat the foods that suit your gut the best, not what some protein priest or green guru preaches to you.


2. Get The Bulk Of Your Calories From Healthy Foods

The bulk of your calorie intake should come from fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, foods which are high in complex carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. I’m not averse to dairy products, but prefer the non-homogenised and non-pasteurised quality aged cheeses and natural yoghurt, as well as pure butter. If you eat meat, choose lean meat, free-range eggs and poultry, and fish.

If you are vegan, you’ll be loading up on vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and maybe soy. There are plenty of ways to eat healthy, but the Mediterranean way of eating ensures you get plenty of healthy calories from your diet.

The Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle

The concepts of healthy eating, like the Mediterranean diet, certainly aren’t carb free, keto or high-protein. The concepts are rich in common-sense, however. It is my belief that the Mediterranean diet is a much healthier way of eating because it has a focus on a high intake of vegetables, fruits and nuts, legumes, fish and seafood, and cereals; low intake of red meat and meat products and dairy products; high ratio of monounsaturated to saturated lipids; and moderate intake of wine. A study involving over 23,000 people found that people with closer adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet had lower overall mortality than those who didn’t. Yet their diet included pasta, bread and wine, and no diet cop in sight.


3. Don’t Focus On Weight Loss Programmes

Some diets, like the high protein diet, limit particular food categories on purpose, such as carbohydrates (breads and pasta), to encourage behavioural changes that are healthier. However, Be aware that enforced restrictions of some diets can lead to the development of unhealthy connections with food, as well as putting you at risk for nutritional deficiencies, unless they supervise you long term.

And what about cost? Studies have found that a healthy diet doesn’t have to break the bank, contrary to the widespread, but mistaken belief that doing so always means paying a lot more for your foods. Studies have found that most of the time, weight-loss diet programmes that cost the most money were diets that limited many food categories and required the use of premium items like organic vegetables, protein supplements, low-carbohydrate substitutes, and high-protein bread.

Two Out Of Three Overweight Now

Gaining an understanding of the costs that are associated with weight loss programmes is important, particularly when countless people are facing financial difficulties and reduced access to fresh foods because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and war in the Ukraine. Two out of every three individuals in Australia are overweight of obese, which is a crazy 67 percent of the adult population. From 1999 to 2017, US obesity prevalence increased from 30.5% to 41.9%. During the same time in the United States, the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%

It should come as no surprise that as interest in weight loss programs continues to increase, we give very little coverage to the costs that are connected with these programmes. The financial feasibility of keeping to these weight-loss programmes or regimes may be impossible for some, particularly the low-income earners. There is a tendency for many to believe that a healthy diet cost an excessive amount of money, which is actually not the case. In fact, eating well can even be cheap, especially if you avoid all that costly processed and junk food.


4. Never Eat Too Much Nor Too Little

It makes no difference whether you choose the keto or carb-free route; the key to successful weight loss, and maintaining a healthy weight, is always cutting down on calorie consumption. If you lower the amount of calories you take in each day, you will see a reduction in body fat. End of story, no arguments.

Always strive to maintain a balance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure. The point here is to avoid eating more food than your body can utilise, or you’ll gain weight! The “secret” is to become an active person. In fact, the more active you are, and the less you use your TV’s remote control, the more you can eat and still maintain this balance. Please be aware, however, that studies have shown that relying on exercise to lose weight is not a realistic option long term. You need to eat the right way and move your body.


5. Choose Drinks Wisely

Be mindful of the beverage trap. Don’t just settle for endless cups of coffee, tea or especially soda daily. Steer clear from the soda drink vending machine, they are no good for your health. Studies have found clear associations of soft drink intake with increased body weight.

A comprehensive and systematic review found a clear correlation between the consumption of carbonated soft drinks (soda drinks, sugar-sweetened beverages), as a key contributor to the epidemic of overweight and obesity, because of the high added sugar content, the low satiety, and the poor compensation for total energy.

Soda Drinks Make You Sick And Fat

Soft drink intake also was associated with lower intakes of calcium, and other nutrients and in increased risk of several diseases. On Tik Tok you can view a “healthy Coke alternative recipe”. This latest social food and beverage buzz promotes an alternative to Coca-Cola, encouraging people to mix large amounts of balsamic vinegar and non-alcoholic seltzers. The American Dental Association does not endorse it. Someone created a drink even more acidic than Coke, and promoted a short video about it viewed over 6.5 million times, a drink that has the potential to cause a lot more dental erosion than Coca-Cola itself. Hardly a “healthy alternative”, more Joke than Coke.

Once you drink fresh water regularly, you’ll end up drinking more. Add a little lemon or lime juice if you want some more zing.

Take note when you go to the bathroom to urinate, you don’t want to produce strong smelling dark coloured urine. This will commonly occur on rising in the morning, but shouldn’t during the day. Keep well hydrated. You’ll have a lot less kidney and blood pressure problems as you age. And the more water you drink, the less junk you’ll drink. It’s a fact.


6. Learn How To Chew And Eat Foods Well

Take your time when you eat,be sure to chew your foods very well before eating. Research has found that chewing until “no lumps remain” increases the number of calories the body burns during digestion, about 10 extra calories for a 300 calorie meal in fact. Eating fast barely burns calories. Chewing food more thoroughly also increases blood flow to the stomach and gut. By taking a little extra time for chewing, someone could theoretically burn about 2,000 extra calories each month, the study authors write.

Avoid A Screen When You Eat

Eating away from any screen is advisable, especially your mobile phone. I’m BIG on this and believe that the downsides of tech and eating your regular meals are significant. Studies have shown that the use of smartphones during meals increases the number of calories ingested. Besides, chewing always leads to better pooping.

I know this to be a fact, remember a big part of my job was to discuss digestive and bowel habits. I’d want to know all about those habits most wouldn’t ever want to discuss with anybody else. When you hear enough stories, you get to understand the connection between one end of the body and the other, because your gut is one long tube. The next time you go out to a restaurant, watch people eating while swiping their cellphone. Now watch how they chew.


Eric’s Healthy Eating Nutritional Plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The 13 Basics

Following the following 13 basic steps doesn’t mean that you have to give up your favourite foods. Balance your diet by consuming foods rich in nutrients and fibre. There is nothing wrong with occasional crappy food in your diet. Just be sure to limit how frequently you eat these crappy foods, and try to eat small portions of this stuff. If your diet is rich in crap foods and drinks, expect to look and feel like crap too,it’s what I’d tell patients. Sorry, it’s true.

By eating and drinking the best foods you can afford, you’ll be ensuring you’re giving your body all the nutrition it needs to thrive. The picture you see above is our garden, a quarter acre in which we grow many fruits and vegetables. You can see berries, avocados, apples, many vegetables and even see our beehives in this image. I take my family’s health serious enough that I’ve grown much of the food we consume for over 20 years, and it will be a part of this website I intend to build over time, the home cultivation of fruits and vegetables.

The following 13 points build upon each other, and have been the mainstay of nutritional recommendations from our clinic for many years before my retirement. The advice has helped thousands of people recover their health, and it can help you recover as well.

  1. Remove the obvious junk from your diet.
  2. Start with a cleanse.
  3. Plan what you eat
  4. Eat more fruits and vegetables for health
  5. Reduce gluten, some may wish to go wheat and gluten-free.
  6. Reduce potentially allergic foods. Follow a low-allergy diet until your gut is right.
  7. Limit all sugars, fructose and highly sweetened foods. Eat the right carbs.
  8. Grow good gut bacteria colonies. Eat cultured and fermented foods.
  9. Eat healthy oils and fats.
  10. Choose your protein sources wisely
  11. Reduce coffee & tea and drink more water
  12. Adopting a healthy diet even on a tight budget
  13. Take a few basic daily dietary supplements

1. Remove The Junk From Your Diet – First  

Research has shown that almost one-third of the diet in many Western developed nations comprises carbonated drinks, potato chips, muesli bars, deep-fried foods like fish and chips, canned foods and processed foods. Even with the rising number of people joining the low-carb craze, a study of almost 5,000 adults revealed that soda drinks and sweets, which contain “empty calories” because of their low nutritional value, were at the top of the list of most calories consumed. Studies showed that these empty calories accounted for almost 40 percent of all the calories eaten by 2 to 18-year-old children and adolescents in the United States.

So Many People  Love Junk Food. Is It Any Wonder Many Are Sick?

Nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables accounted for only 10 percent of the total calories consumed. In England, fruit and vegetables are still lacking in many diets. Many British, like the American population, exist on a diet containing plenty of fried and deep-fried foods, washed down with plenty of alcohol. England leads the EU when it comes to junk food, and it’s the 16 to 24-year-old age group that consumes junk food at least six times a month on average.

There are many enlightened people who consume very little of these foods, but for most, the sad reality is still junk food several times a week, no vegetables, canned fruit and plenty of deep-fried foods. Imagine how healthy the digestive will be on such a diet. No wonder many people end up with chronic degenerative diseases prematurely.

I realize a lack of information about how to prepare and cook healthy meals is contributing to a growing dependence on fast food and ready-made meals, particularly among the younger generation. It’s easy to see why, though; many lead hectic lifestyles, so convenience plays a significant role in determining which meals we choose to consume.

Experts have stressed for many years that a significant portion of Western diets are severely lacking essential vitamins and minerals and recommended that people focus on the kind (quality) of food they eat, not necessarily on eating smaller portions. When you eat good food, including good fats, you won’t need to worry about your appetite. You’ll feel full from all that fibre, the stuff that is lacking in take-away foods.

Do you eat take-away once or twice a week? Let’s cut out that bad habit, you will save money and build a better health over the years. You know what you shouldn’t be eating regularly, so let’s control this bad habit now at the beginning of our dietary make-over. Look at the less obvious junk in your diet, the hydrogenated fats.

Summary

If you want to get your gut in great shape, there is little point in building healthy gut bacteria on a poor nutritional foundation. Just say NO to fried and deep-fried foods especially, say NO also to foods loaded with sugar, salt, and fat. These are the classic take-away foods, like fries. Make the switch to healthy oils and fats. Don’t fear salt, it’s not the terrorist in the room, unless you insist on refined salt from your local supermarket. The refined sugars are the bad guys, and you may need to first look at your sugar addiction if it’s a problem. In a narrative review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the authors say that sugar could lead to alcohol and other addictive substances. They also say that, like cocaine and opium, sugar is refined from plants to make pure white crystals, which “significantly add to its addictive properties.”


2. Start With A Detox Cleanse

Most people today will benefit from a cleanse, an internal gut cleanse. Those who eat a basic diet with plenty of processed foods, who drink alcohol daily, eat refined carbs daily like bread, biscuits, chocolate or confectionery (lollies, sweets or candy), drink coffee or tea daily, eat takeout regularly, as well as canned or processed foods may benefit from a detox program at least annually.

I’ve found that many patients we saw in our clinic over the years slowly developed poor digestive system health. Their bodies need to adapt slowly as their diet improves, which positively affects their health and metabolism. Changes occur in their insulin levels and bowel flora.

The body’s pH shifts into the more alkaline and toxins become liberated. Their liver and gallbladder may not be used to the cleanse and weight-loss may well occur with the average person attempting to detox and clean up their diet. Did you know that your body fat contains different toxins?

Studies have revealed that metabolic and environmental toxins become stored in body fat and become released into the bloodstream as your weight drops. Toxins can cause headaches, fatigue, insomnia and other symptoms as you detox. What some people may not be aware of is that scientists link one third of cancer cases to diet. Could this be because of these toxins in our foods, or could it be because of deficiencies of vital nutrients like vitamins and minerals in junk and crap foods? Probably both.

Studies have shown that up to 95 percent of cancer is avoidable through lifestyle and diet.

Summary

If you have been eating bad foods for some time, it is best to start your new healthy diet and lifestyle approach with a detox cleanse. it is a simple approach to cleaning up your digestive tract, and ridding yourself of the likely populations of unwanted bacteria and yeasts from your digestive tract. It can make the world of difference.

Detox Articles Of Interest

3. Plan What You Eat

Just like anything in your life, if you want success, it is not by chance. It is about careful planning. The first thing you must do is to make a menu, and if you look at the recipes page, you will get some good ideas as to what to eat. I make up recipe cards which I laminate and use in my kitchen. After you have made the recipe a dozen times, you can discard with the instructions.

I’ve found that some people have difficulty implementing healthy dietary suggestions, unless they sit down once a week, not when you’re stressed but relaxed, and plan the shopping trip. How about planning the choices of meals for the week ahead? It saves on time and money.

If you and your partner are both working, a good rule is to prepare your meals ahead of time, or at least partial preparation. For example, make your lunch for the next day before you go to bed. I make my lunch each morning after I’ve had my shower and have my breakfast.

Also, determine what you will eat for dinner before you leave the house in the morning. This will allow you to go to the store if necessary, or take the food items out of the freezer. I strongly advise this planning to eat strategy.

How many times have you come home, looked at the refrigerator, freezer or pantry and thought to yourself, “What are we going to have for dinner tonight?” I’ll also like to guess that on some occasions you said to your partner: “Don’t worry, I’ll just go down the road and order us a take-away.” That is so “yesterday”, from what I’ve been recently told, all you do now is text Uber Eats to get quick food. Amazing, and an unnecessary expense.

Those who don’t do planning will more easily slip back into old, more comfortable, and less healthy eating habits. They grab whatever is close at hand – a glass of wine, a piece of bread, you get the message. Be prepared and you will save yourself a lot of hassle, money – and a lot of weight problems down the track which you’ll likely want to shift. Planning, it all starts today.

Tip – You only need seven to ten different healthy and tasty recipes

Did you know that most families rotate between seven to ten recipes for most of their lives? All you need to do is find at least up to a dozen recipes that you like. You may not believe this, but that is all that most families use. You might have to try many recipes to find one that you and your family enjoy. It is important to pick those dishes which are enjoyed by the majority.

You’ll never please every member of your household, however! It is vitally important to have variety. It is pretty pointless just having two or three different dishes to choose from. You will soon get into a rut and drop into those bad habits again. Variety is the key. Here is a link to the Recipe page.


Healthy Shopping List

At today’s supermarkets, customers have access to practically thousands of different grocery options, a far cry from when I was a kid in the 60s. The decisions you make and the stuff that finds its way into your grocery cart will have a significant impact on the form and shape your body takes. When you go grocery shopping, it’s important to have a plan and to be organised since there are so many tempting foods and drinks available. What is it? Always shop with a shopping list, and stick with it! This will help you save time, and will also make it easier for you to adhere to a meal plan and resist the need to make impulsive purchases. That’s why you never, ever go to the supermarket when you are hungry.

I’ll give you a sneak peek at what’s on my shopping list so you can get an idea of what I plan to buy. It’s full of options for nutritious foods, which is exactly what I used to advise our patients to eat in order to maintain great health, including a healthy waistline.

  1. Fresh Foods – Carrots, tomatoes, garlic, red onions, brown onions, spring onions, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, capsicums, cucumber.
  2. Cold Foods – Fresh fish, aged cheese, tofu, tempeh, Greek natural yogurt, pure butter, lard, free-range chicken, lamb chops.
  3. Pantry Foods – Chickpeas, lentils, beans, rolled oats, oat milk, canned tomato, canned sardines & anchovies, green olives, green tea.
  4. Herbs/spices – Garlic, ginger, Mediterranean herbs, pepper, Celtic sea salt, cardamon, many spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, cumin, turmeric, etc.

Summary

It’s all in the preparation, like anything in life. The better you plan, and the more time you take out to plan, the better life will be for you. Get organised with your kitchen, your pantry and refrigerator. Write ahead of time the foods you need to buy and organise a “big shop” at least once per week. You’ll probably need one or two smaller shopping trips as well, but when you plan wisely, you’ll be spending a lot less money in the long run. Failing to plan what you eat only leads to planning to fail in the kitchen.


4. Eat Healthy Vegetables and Fruits

preparing vegetablesWe have all heard it before – eat five serves of fruit and vegetables every day. But who realistically does? I have not met many people who spend hours in the kitchen preparing and eating vegetables several times daily. All the research into preventative medicine points out that nearly everyone would benefit from eating as many vegetables as possible. But it all depends on your requirements and desire to consume vegetables, besides your unique biochemical individuality. It is always worth remembering that you are a unique individual; your body knows what suits it best, and will tell you what is an optimal type and amount of vegetables are suitable for you. Are you listening to your body yet, or a guru?

Indigenous People Don’t Need “Diets”

No book, diet guru or nutrition website can ultimately tell you what best suits your needs. It took me a couple of years to figure out that certain vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, green beans, carrots and more) and certain proteins (especially fresh eggs and fish) best suited my personal needs. I simply feel better in myself on this diet. What foods make YOU feel good? Beer and pizza might seem nice temporarily, but what will your body look and more important – feel like, when you are old like me, on such a diet?

Try to avoid foods which don’t “feel right”, become more intuitive, your body will always tell you if you only listen to it. I’m no follower of “specific diets” like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, the Blood-Type Diet, the No-Lectin Diet, etc. I’ve worked with countless diets for many years in my clinic, and it is my belief these specialised diets work for most simply because they become more nutritionally aware and cut out the junk and the crap.

Most Claim A “New” Diet Cured Them

When people start to eat better, they also adopt healthier lifestyles, drink less alcohol, have an increased awareness of stress and relaxation, and more walking. And then they claim the diet was a “miracle cure”. Do people from the Amazon rainforest go on diets? Do the Aboriginal people from Australia need to join an Golds Gym? They walk, and don’t need fancy footwear to do so either. Indigenous people have no need for a digital detox either, and probably think we are from another planet with our soda drinks and plastic throwaway gadgets.

An Inuit simply can’t consume kale smoothies like a vegan diet. Not only would they feel sick, they’d develop metabolic imbalances and eventually degenerative process and emotional imbalances. Genetics have determined that the optimal Inuit diet is very high in fat and protein. The Kalahari bushman will eat over twenty times the fibre than a guy living in New York. His tribe brought him up to live and eat like this. He has no need for a coffee and doughnut for breakfast.

According to Herman Pontzer, associate professor of evolutionary anthropology and global health, hunter-gatherers and people in other subsistence economies around the world have so many lessons to teach us about what to eat, how to move and how to avoid disease.

So, while we all need vegetables to stay healthy, the type and amount should be determined by what nutritional requirements you have, which are based on your unique individual biochemistry. Some can eat a lot more animal fat, others can’t. A British doctor I knew worked in Africa with indigenous people, mentioned he never saw a case of digestive cancer in over twenty years, nor any high blood pressure or diabetes. A stark difference from his UK practice, when his rooms were full of such cases.

It’s all about diet and lifestyle folks, and I hope I can persuade you with this web page to look at eating a fresh and whole foods diet, minimally processed. Your life may depend on it.

Intuitive Eating

Remember to let your body report back to you how accurate your appetite/taste buds are at gauging what is right for you. And it will, when you stay tuned to your bowels, keeping an eye on stool texture and frequency. Do you feel sensations in your digestive system after a meal? Did that meal you had an hour ago make you feel different or bad in any way? Did you have several rather loose bowel motions in the morning, after all that food, dessert and alcohol last night?

I call it “intuitive eating” and it works for me and many people I’ve worked with in the clinic spanning many years. Once you are eating the right types and amounts of fruits, vegetables, proteins, fats and other foods, your body and mind will respond favourably, and many common health issues will  begin to resolve.

The Vita-Mix  A blender is one of the easiest ways to fulfil your vegetable intake is through regularly consuming fresh vegetable juice. The Vita-Mix is one of my favourite kitchen appliances and will turn your vegetables into liquid in seconds. And, all the fibre remains intact. I don’t recommend juicers anymore which just express the juice – and then you throw the fibre away and drink the juice, and spend the next half an hour cleaning the appliance.

Many people who purchased blenders or a vegetable juicer are enthusiastic at the start, but the appliances end up under the kitchen bench after a few months of use. Some of these gadgets end up too much hassle to clean, whereas the Vita-Mix takes seconds to clean and is certainly not some plastic toy like similar devices I’ve seen.

If you want to get into detox cleansing, the Vita-Mix will come in handy, and regular vegetable juicing will help you reach your goal of 1/3 raw food in your diet. Did you know that when you heat foods, that you end up destroying many of the valuable trace elements and micro-nutrients? Just by cooking and processing fresh foods you alter the chemical composition of these life-giving nutrients.

Is it any wonder many people living in the West end up with malnutrition? Elderly residents can face malnutrition, which highlights the concern for our older citizens who, along with our youngest, are more prone to malnutrition.


Health Tip – Select and purchase only the freshest of vegetables 

Do you grow any of your own vegetables? I try to grow all my salad vegetables all year round, and plenty of other crops when the season is right. If you cannot get organic vegetables, don’t freak, you can rinse non-organic vegetables in a sink full of water with a 1/4 of a cup of apple-cider vinegar. Soak non-organic vegetables in this vinegar solution for several minutes if you can.

When storing fresh produce, be sure and squeeze as much air as you can out of the bag that holds the vegetables and then seal it. Keep your vegetable crisper clean and give it a good rinse and dry at least once, if not twice per week. Keep an eye out for rotting vegetables or mould. A few drops of pure vanilla extract will have your vegetable crisper trays in your refrigerator smelling sweet.

Fruits and vegetables release ethylene gas while ripening after harvesting or picking. This ethylene gas speeds up ripening, ageing, and, unfortunately, also the rotting process. Removing as much air as possible out of the bag can help de-accelerate this process. Hold the plastic bag and squeeze out the air. This might double or even triple the normal storage life of your vegetables.

Remember this also – the content of fragile nutrients declines rapidly after harvesting, especially folate. Consume leafy greens like spinach, as soon as you can. Root crops hang on to their nutrients longer. The more flimsy and fragile the produce (lettuce, spinach, etc) the quicker the nutrient loss, and the sooner you’ll need to eat them.

Eat Fresh & Minimally Processed Foods 

With food processing becoming more common at the end of the last century, it became quite possible for a person to interfere with natural foods in such a way as apparently to improve human nutrition. However, it has become quite clear for many years now that many of the effects of food processing can be detrimental to the very nutritional quality of food, and more recently, that this has considerable long-term consequences for health.

The whole idea of food-processing is to reduce the rate of deterioration, thus giving these foods a longer shelf life. This makes it easier to warehouse and distribute, and through the use of colours, preservatives and flavourings to make foods more appealing. Many of these chemical substances added to common supermarket foods by the food manufacturers can be harmful to susceptible individuals. I hope that by an increasing public awareness, we will bring pressure on the food industry to produce foods which are much less contaminated by such artificial additives, many of which are even derived from industries such as petrochemical and unnecessary.

Natural and Organic Nutrition

Natural and organic nutrition and healthy diet is what naturopathy is all about. Naturopaths are the specialists in healthy eating and nutrition, and we talk about adopting healthy diet and lifestyle habits. I reckon these are the things we do best. We can advise on the optimal ways to prevent poor health by focusing on some of the biggest causes which attribute to the common diseases of Western civilisation like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

By default, most naturopaths (who I know) are this way inclined. It’s one of the key reasons they studied and qualified in diet, nutrition, a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention. I also have the pleasure of knowing a few naturopaths who enjoy a glass of red wine. Many of today’s health gurus view drinking alcohol as a bad habit, but when red wine is drunk on a regular and common sense basis, it has been shown to have as much positive effect on your health as the “perfect” diet that includes no alcohol. The diet that is proven through research to confer substantial benefits to health, that includes the mild-to-moderate intake of red wine, is called the Mediterranean Diet. There is no binge or party-drinking with this diet, however.

The Mediterranean Diet. one of my favourite ways of ensuring I have a healthy intake that is both natural and organic foods. There is a  big emphasis on fresh and healthy foods, minimal sugar and small amounts of alcohol, (red wine), not so much gluten or refined wheat products and hardly any processed or take-away foods, if any. Naturally, along the Mediterranean lines, I encourage regular exercise and stress management and plenty of sleep. I also encourage social participation in community and family, important lifestyle aspects of a healthy life.

A little know fact is that malnutrition (nutritional deficiencies) which often comes about from eating a diet high in processed (supermarket) foods, is one of the major causes of people overeating and gaining weight or becoming obese. If you’re consistently feeling hungry, it is probably because you are not getting sufficient amounts of the nutrients your body needs to thrive.


Eating In Front Of A Screen, ANY Screen

It’s sad, but gone are those days when the family would sit around the table and talk about the day’s events. More than half of all families today sit in front of the television as they eat their evening meal. The TV room has become today’s dining room. A study has found that television has replaced the dining room table in many families of the 21st century, and the flat screen has become the hub of the family life. Good bye to communication unfortunately, but the family meal is important, according to Stanford Children’s Health.

Other research has found that eating lunch in front of a computer makes you eat more food because of a fuzzy memory, because your mind is engaged elsewhere. It’s a bit like texting a friend while you are driving. Your mind is somewhere else.

Summary

A big part of any healthy diet comprises fruits and vegetables, preferably fresh and even better if organically grown. Not everybody will have access (or enough money) to buy the best fresh organic foods. In that case, supermarket purchased fruits and vegetables are still superior to eating junk foods, so never feel bad. As long as you look at improvement, attempting to do better. It’s all about making minor changes over a long period. We all have to start somewhere, and because you’ve read this page down this far tells me you are interested in improving what you eat. And I’m happy about that, because I know it’s going to happen to you, just be patient and work at it slowly but surely. Within a year (or two) you’ll be a pro.


5. Reduce Gluten, Refined Carbohydrates and Wheat Products

For many who are new to a healthier way of eating, this may well be the toughest part of your nutritional make-over. Sometimes when I used to suggest for some patients to “temporarily stop eating wheat bread and gluten flour-based products” they would find it a very difficult achievement. I believe that most people have never tried to stop eating wheat based products long enough to experience the difference it can make in their lives.

The comparison between eating a diet rich in wheat flour, pasta, breads, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pancakes and biscuits compared to a diet in which a person consumes primarily lean meats like fish, eggs, etc., and in addition eats plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds, legumes, etc., is phenomenal.

In my experience, there is an epidemic of hidden intolerance to not only wheat products, but to a host of other potentially allergenic foods. And these foods mostly seem to be the protein foods – dairy products, wheat, eggs, corn, etc. Many people today cannot tolerate gluten, and I believe it is a combination of increasing stress people live under, poor eating habits, alcohol, caffeine, regular drugs like antibiotics and other factors which are making the average person allergic to gluten and wheat products as well as potentially a host of other foods, like bananas, dairy foods, and plenty more.

I’m not certainly telling you to avoid wheat and gluten “for the rest of your life”, although the adverse effects of wheat on some individuals should not be ignored, five major recent scientific reviews addressing the impact of cereal consumption on health and disease concluded that the consumption of whole grains, of which globally most widely consumed is wheat, exerts positive effects on health. (Björck et al., 2011Fardet, 2010Hauner et al., 2012Jonnalagadda et al., 2011).

I’d rather see a slice of wholemeal bread in a person’s hand than a can of soda, and in my experience many people who couldn’t tolerate gluten products in fact could after they repaired their damaged gut. I’ve seen it many times, too many to remember. When your gut is in top shape, you’d be surprised what it can tolerate.

Gluten allergies seem to get more frequent as each year goes by. We see more people each year who have a gluten issue, or at least claim to have one. But so is stress, so is lack of sleep, so is global unrest, all on the rise. There are many proteins in wheat and grains like oats, barley and rye, but gluten is the primary protein found in wheat. There are frequently no obvious symptoms and patients may complain of “nondigestive specific” complaints.

The “safe” grains appear to be buckwheat, millet, quinoa and amaranth.

Health Tip – Going Gluten-Free

Seems like everybody is going gluten-free bandwagon, have you noticed. But is it a trend or is gluten really the issue here?  In the first instance, first make sure you really are gluten intolerant if you ever decide on permanently avoid gluten. You may not be, and have an underlying issue with your gut that prevents you consuming wheat and gluten containing foods without any issues, like so many can.

The big problem with going gluten free is that unfortunately, most people don’t feel better immediately after eliminating gluten from their diets as it may take a few months or more for the inflammation to subside, and up to one year to two years for the lining of the small intestine to heal. On rare occasion, a person may experience significant improvement within weeks of eliminating gluten from their diet.

But in most cases, people may feel considerably worse upon initially starting a gluten free diet, and this is my common experience in the clinic with patients. So, please be patient, healing the body from the inside out does take time.

Celiacs Beware

Be careful of product labels, some can be misleading. Some companies list their products as “gluten free”, without understanding the scientific basis of the problem, and may inadvertently incorporate gluten in their food, unless you are dealing with a highly reputable company. If you consume an item frequently and are not sure, just contact the company and ask them if there are any additives or food components which may have been manufactured into their food product containing gluten or gliadin, the allergenic protein itself.

I had a patient tell me that she was told by a large international company (that sell GF products) that their products contain no gluten, but they are “packed in facilities where other foods are packed that do contain gluten”. While this may not be that serious for somebody with gluten intolerance, but for somebody with celiac disease it could be devastating.

Gluten Free Articles Of Interest

6. Reduce Potentially Allergenic Foods

An unidentified food allergy or food intolerance can aggravate an existing digestive problem and be the cause of needless aggravations. They are often opportunistic problems which present besides the gluten issue such as bad bacteria or candida yeasts being present in your bowel. You have one problem and before you know it you start to develop more, it always seems to be the way. I’ve often found that the person’s digestive system became unwell through antibiotics, stress or other set of causes, the person became increasingly susceptible to a bacterial or yeast gut imbalance. And then the food problems started.

I’ve also noticed that many with SIBO, irritable bowel syndrome or Candida issues develop food cravings. In fact, food cravings can often serve as a gauge. Craving dairy products or breads, for example, can be an indication that you are sensitive to that food, especially if you crave it but then feel worse after eating it, probably too much and too often would be my guess.

People often crave the very foods which cause their problems in the first instance. It does take about 6 to 9 months of eliminating wheat and gluten products completely from one’s diet before the real mental and emotional benefits are experienced however.

The mental and emotional improvements initially are an improvement in wellbeing and self-esteem. A 2017 study has found that gut issues along with gut inflammation have been linked to causing several mental illnesses including anxiety and depression, which are prevalent in society today.

Long-term however, the person who significantly improves their digestive system senses a very deep-seated mental and emotional improvement and I have seen people undergo major changes in their outlook in life with depression disappearing, insomnia lifting and the person feeling a lot more in control rather than feeling controlled about their life’s situation. It takes time, I’ve seen it happen and when it does it can be breathtaking. It’s the best part of my work.

When you eat food that you’re quite sensitive to, it can also potentially cause a series of negative biochemical imbalances and reactions in your body, especially in your digestive tract, immune and nervous systems, as described earlier. However, immune and adrenal gland problems which often underpin allergies can also alter your serotonin (the “feel good” hormone) levels, which can have a marked negative impact on your mood, and can cause you to crave simple sugars and carbohydrates for relief. Is it any wonder that chocolate, bread, wine, candy and other sweet carbohydrate foods are the supermarket’s biggest selling items?

In most instances, I have found that when you remove the potentially allergenic foods (like gluten, cow’s milk, peanuts, sugar, etc.) from your diet, your cravings for sweets will diminish, your moods improve, your weight reduces to the “normal” zone, and your overall health will noticeably improve for the better. Down the track you can challenge yourself with the foods you stopped – one by one, to see which food you were most affected (and addicted) to.

Therefore, as part of your first step, try to reduce or to avoid any allergy-forming foods. But please, also the foods you know you love to eat, because you’ve likely developed digestive issues around that food addiction. I can recall a hundred cases or more. It could involve eggs, nuts, corn, dairy products, gluten and more.

This is especially the case if you have problems with your immune system. These foods are not “bad”, but will challenge your immunity, they are all potentially highly allergenic and will frequently keep your immune system in overdrive by continually triggering the inflammatory response.

Food Allergy and Food Intolerance Articles Of Interest

7. Limit Sugars, Fructose and Refined Carbohydrates

There is a lot of evidence that supports the argument that consuming an excessive amount of sugar, any form of sugar, but fructose in particular, is one of the main factors contributing not only to obesity, as well as a significant number, if not the majority, of persistent and life threatening diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.

A 2017 study revealed that the intake of high fructose corn syrup sweetened soft drinks, fruit drinks and apple juice is associated with prevalent coronary heart disease, in U.S. adults, ages 45–59 yr old.

According to research conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, pre-diabetes affects more than one third of adults aged 20 and older in the country. For many people this is the result of a crappy and poor diet. Western medicine defines type 2 diabetes as having poorly controlled blood sugar. But what is really happening is a result of poorly regulated insulin and leptin signalling.

Your pancreas will continue to generate insulin even if you have type 2 diabetes; however, your body will be unable to effectively identify and utilise the insulin that it produces, which becomes a huge problem in the end. This more advanced level of insulin resistance is often brought on by a diet that is heavy in sugar and foods that release sugar into the bloodstream quickly, like refined flours and simple carbs. Our bodies were not built to process such a high level of fructose, a lot more than what is normally present in moderate quantities of fruits and berries. Several studies have shown that fructose is one of the most problematic and disease causing types of sugar.

Stop Eating Ice Cream

Ice cream tastes great, but it’s crap when it comes to your gut. You don’t want to know what happens when you eat an entire pint of this junk, some websites try to justify and say “it increases serotonin, the feel good hormone”. I’m a believer that eating colds foods in summer is bad for your gut, especially high sugary and fat ice cold foods. But the reason I stopped eating ice cream was my gut would hurt or feel not so good after consuming ice cream. How does your stomach feel after you have had ice cream? Any cramping, bloating, farting or loose bowel motions the next day? Remember intuitive eating?

Therefore, if you want to prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes as well as the majority of other chronic illnesses, I highly recommend that you reduce your intake of sugar from all sources significantly and keep your daily consumption of total fructose to probably less than 25 grams (one ounce). If you do this, you’ll be able to protect your body from the bad effects that sugar may have on the body. It has been discovered that eating too much sugar can damage your liver, increasing triglyceride levels.

Your Liver Doesn’t Like Sugar, Especially Fructose

Here’s a picture of my dad. I loved my dad, he sadly passed away when he was only 71 years old. He was obese and suffered a great deal with high blood pressure. Dad’s favourite food? Ice cream, he loved ice cream. Note his large tummy, and also his fatty liver.

Since the liver is the only organ that has the ability to transport fructose, eating excessive sugary foods can lead to poor health. This damage is comparable to what alcohol does to your body, but in this situation, the condition is known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. (NAFLD). This condition is linked with obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Because it disables the mechanism in your body that regulates appetite, fructose tricks your metabolism into thinking you need to consume more food. It does this by inhibiting insulin’s ability to activate ghrelin, often known as “the hunger hormone,” which in turn prevents leptin, also known as “the satiety hormone,” from being stimulated, resulting in a dysfunctional metabolic state.
An excessive amount of sugar may cause a variety of health issues, including weight gain, abdominal obesity, a drop in HDL levels and an increase in LDL levels, increased blood sugar levels, increased triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure. The term for this condition is pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome. It’s what lead to the death of my father, please don’t let it happen to you. Not alcohol, but ice cream.

Uric Acid Levels Increase

The presence of high amounts of uric acid is a risk factor for both heart disease and renal disease. Your levels of uric acid may now be used as a marker for fructose toxicity since it has been shown that there is a link between the amount of fructose you consume and the amount of uric acid your body produces. What you do need to be aware of is the possibility that a low-carb diet may temporarily raise uric acid levels, I’ve seen it happen and it can confuse people.

In addition, I strongly suggest that you steer clear of any and all artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, at all costs. A study conducted in 2021 states: “Aspartame consumption can cause mood disorders, mental stress, and depression. Maternal absorption of aspartame during pregnancy correlates with autism in children. Long-term aspartame use influences the cerebral and cerebellar cortex: it can cause neuro-degeneration (brain degeneration), change the functions of neuronal cells, interrupt earning and memory.”

According to research, they can reduce insulin sensitivity to a higher degree than sugar does, and they may even upset the microflora in your digestive tract, which increases the risk of both obesity and diabetes. Unfortunately, there are around 6,000 different food items on the market that include artificial sweeteners. Because of this, you should eat nothing without first checking the label to see whether it has any artificial sweeteners in it. When used in moderation, natural sweeteners such as stevia are normally safe to use.


8. Eat Cultured and Fermented Foods

Kefir | Yogurt | Kombucha | Kimchi | Sauerkraut |

Have you tried to eat foods on a regular basis which have been cultured, other than yogurt? There are many different foods from many cultures which are preserved in these methods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha tea, miso and many more. You can read more about the benefits of cultured and fermented foods on this link.

Fermented foods are foods produced or preserved by the action of microorganisms. They can come about either by fermenting sugar with yeast and produce alcohol, or by another fermentation process involving the use of bacteria such as lactobacillus, which includes the making of foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut.

Since the by-products of digesting meat and dairy products actively inhibit the growth of beneficial lactobacillus bacteria in your digestive system, and since these congestive foods are responsible to a degree for the accumulated, impacted debris in the lower intestine and colon, fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi should especially be eaten with meat and often are.

Be aware of budget fermented products

They ferment many pickled or soured foods as part of the pickling or souring process, but be aware that many are simply processed very quickly and cheaply with brine, white sugar, white vinegar, or another cheap acid such as citric acid. When you buy vinegar, for example, my advice is to spend a bit more and buy a glass bottle of vinegar which you may find on the bottom shelf (if you buy in the supermarket with a good selection), or ask the person at the counter of the health shop for a good organic fermented vinegar.  It pays to be choosy where you buy and what you buy, and you always seem to get what you pay for. It is good to see many supermarkets now offering larger ranges of soured and fermented foods such as pickled olives, goats cheeses, miso, and many gourmet pickled and soured vegetables in the delicatessen section. This is good news for health-conscious consumers looking to increase their digestive, cardiovascular and immune health, since these traditionally lactofermented foods belong to some of the best foods you can eat to build good health.

A Big Difference Between Healthy Fermented Foods Versus Commercially Processed

 Fermentation is an inconsistent process, and more of an art than a science. Commercial food processors developed techniques to help standardise more consistent yields. They produce many cultured foods today on a large commercial scale, just like cheese. if you get the chance, try a boutique home-made cheese and you will be surprised at the incredible flavour. Commercially prepared cheeses just don’t come anywhere near the flavour!

Technically, anything that is “pasteurisation” with a salt stock is fermented, but that’s where the similarity ends, as each type of fermented food has specific, unique requirements and production methods.

Refrigeration, high-heat pasteurisation and vinegar’s acidic pH all slow or halt the fermentation and enzymatic processes. “If you leave a jar of pickles that is still fermenting at room temperature on the kitchen counter, they will continue to ferment and produce  carbon dioxide (CO2), possibly blowing off the lid or exploding the jar,” explains Richard pasteurised from Pickle Packers International, which is why, of course, all “shelf-stable” pickles are pasteurised.

It’s probably not surprising that our culture has traded many of the benefits of these healthy foods for the convenience of mass-produced pickles and other cultured foods. Some olives, such as most canned black olives, for instance, are not generally fermented, but are simply treated with lye to remove the bitterness, packed in salt and canned. Olive producers can now hold olives in salt-free brine by using an acidic solution of lactic acid, acetic acid, sodium benzoate and potassium pasteurised long way off from the old time natural lactic-acid fermenting method of salt alone..

To read more about soaking olives in lye or brine read this page.

They simply pack some pickles in salt, vinegar and then pasteurise it. Many yogurts are so laden with sugar that they are little more than puddings. Unfortunately, these modern techniques effectively kill off all the lactic acid-producing bacteria and short-circuit their important and traditional contribution to intestinal and overall health.

The Incredible Health Benefits of Lacto-Fermented Foods

As fermented foods expert Sally Fallon asks in Nourishing Traditions, with the proliferation of all these new mysterious viruses, intestinal parasites and chronic health problems, despite ubiquitous sanitation, “Could it be that by abandoning the ancient practice of pasteurisation, and insisting on a diet in which everything has been micro-organisms have compromised the health of our intestinal flora and made ourselves vulnerable to legions of pathogenic microorganisms?” Like those cheap crappy jars of dill and gherkin pickles your supermarket sells at a loss, are we undermining our health and even economic well-being by our insistence on “more, faster and cheaper?”

You can still find some healthy traditional varieties. The stronger flavoured, traditional Greek olives you are most likely to find on olive bars are not lye-treated and are still alive with active cultures. So are “overnights,” the locally-crocked fresh pickling olives made in local delis every few days, as well as the pickles, sauerkraut and other fermented foods you make yourself at home. Generally, the more tangy and stronger the flavour (not counting any added flavourings or other hot pepper flavourings), the more likely that the food will still have active and beneficial lactobacteria.

So how can you be sure if you are getting the benefits of these active, fermentation cultures? For one thing, you can make your own. Olives, sauerkraut, miso, crème fraîche. There are plenty of great recipes I discovered online when I did a quick Google search the other evening.

In addition to being good for our overall health, reducing carbohydrates and cholesterol, strengthening digestion and immune systems, and even proactively helping us fight off and prevent disease, these fermented and cultured foods are a lot simpler, easier to prepare and enjoy than you might think!

Fermented Foods Are Great For Your Health

Some people seem to think that the term “fermented” sounds vaguely distasteful, but many others however enjoy these foods every day, which are results of this ancient preparation and preservation techniques – produced through the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins by micro-organisms such as bacteria, yeasts and moulds.

Recent research has found fermented foods to be extremely beneficial to your overall health, so much so that some of these functional foods are now even considered to be probiotics, which can help your health in the following ways:

Health Benefits of Probiotics

  • Increasing your overall health by optimising your nutritional status
  • Promoting the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria
  • Aiding digestion and supporting immune function
  • Increase in B vitamins (even Vitamin B12), omega-3 fatty acids
  • Increase in digestive enzymes, lactase and lactic acid
  • Increase in other immune chemicals that fight off harmful bacteria and even cancer cells.

9. Eat Healthy Oils and Fats

The type of fat is important, not how much you eat. A few facts most are unaware of with regards to fats is that each cell membrane in your body (and there are literally millions and millions of these cells) is compose of fats. The second important and often overlooked fact is that your brain is in fact composed of about 60 percent fat.

Up to the 60s, everyone was frying or cooking in lard or tallow, these were totally natural and unprocessed fats. Yes they were saturated, but our brains are made of fat and we need it to be viable. There isn’t actually a link between heart disease and a low cholesterol diet. I’ve noticed that this has come out, very quietly and sneakily, only in the past ten to fifteen years or so.

The kind of fats you consume strongly influence not only your level of brain function, but your entire health. In a book entitled The Palaeolithic Prescription, nutritional expert anthropologist Melvin Konner Ph.D. mentions that “the human brain probably would not have developed as it did without access to high levels of the type of fat found in fish and wild game.”

Just two generations of high omega-6 and low omega-3 fats can lead to profound changes in brain size and function. Download your complimentary Cooking with Fats and Oils chart here, it contains my recommendations for the best and worst oils and fats in your diet, you’ll see this list below. Personally, I’m a fan of extra virgin olive oil, as well as avocado oil and macadamia oil. I also like to cook with butter, ghee, but also use Japanese sesame oil in many dishes. I use nut oils like avocado and walnut oil in salads, unheated.

High-Fat Cultures Have The Lowest Risk Of Heart Disease

Don’t eat saturated fat, you’ll die of heart disease! It’s what we have been continually told by scientists for decades, in fact until only recently. It is a lie that animal fats “cause heart disease”, and is a myth which has perpetuated since the 1950’s. I still remember many years ago that I recommended my patients to try coconut oil and cream in their diet, but was promptly told by a medical doctor at the health centre I worked in to “not be so foolish as to recommend any food high in saturated fats to any patients with heart disease”.  I soon left that practice, they replaced me with a Dietician who recommended white bread, jello, and even sugar-free soda drinks as part of a healthy diet.

Many cultures around the world have existed for many generations on a diet rich in saturated animal fats.  Here are just a few of the world’s many indigenous cultures which eat a diet rich in saturated animal fats.The interesting thing about these indigenous cultures is that they carry literally NO body fat, have great muscle tone and in addition have exceptional cardiovascular fitness. But – they eat plenty of fat. Indigenous in their native countries (before the white man came) did not consume plenty of alcohol, eat lots of refined carbs like ice cream and white bread, and there wasn’t a McDonalds to be seen. These are the people who eat what runs around the land or lives in water  (animal, fish protein etc. protein), grows out of the land (leafy greens) or grows in the soil (root crops).

margarineAvoid Trans Fats – The Bad Fats

Trans fatty acids (TFAs) are the bad guys of processed foods, they are made to prolong the shelf life of processed foods. These fats form when vegetable oil is made to harden with a process called hydrogenation, and can raise bad cholesterol (LDL), and  lower good cholesterol (HDL) levels, the opposite of what you need in order to maintain good heart health. The consumption of food containing trans-fat, as opposed to saturated fats, has unequivocally been shown to increase the risk of heart disease by raising levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), and lowering levels of HDL (good cholesterol). In 2006, a comprehensive review of a large number of TFA related studies indicated a strong association between consumption of TFAs and heart disease , concluding “On a per-calorie basis, trans fats appear to increase the risk of coronary artery disease  more than any other micronutrient.”

Fast food supplier McDonald’s announced in New Zealand in 2006 that it made changes to its cooking oil, resulting in a blend that is virtually trans fat free.  These fatty acids can cause major clogging of your arteries, as well as potentially causing type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. Now that you know this, and that processed foods are a rich source of TFAs, try and avoid as much processed foods as you can. Your gut will love it, and your bowel microflora will improve, leading to improved health and wellbeing. Why eat all that processed rubbish when there are plenty of fresh and healthy foods to choose from!

Common Foods That Contain Trans Fats

  • Fried Foods. Foods like french fries, fish or mozzarella sticks, can all include trans fat. The presence of trans fat in these foods is determined by the kind of oil in which they were fried. I believe you shouldn’t indulge in them excessively, if at all. If you choose to eat these foods, be sure to eat them every now and then, not regularly.
  • Margarine. Although margarine is often promoted as a “healthier alternative” to butter, certain types of margarine can contain as much as two grammes of trans fat in each tablespoon. Stick with real butter, a safer and healthier option. There is no link between consuming butter and an increased risk of heart disease or stroke, a study says. It found that butter might slightly prevent Type 2 diabetes. It is another hit to the message, sounded out since the 1950s, that fat makes us fat and leads to early death.
  • Dairy-Free Coffee Creamer. Read labels carefully, some dairy-free creamers can contain oils that include trans fats are used in the production of several non-dairy coffee creamers. Be careful to check the list of ingredients in order to determine the kind of oil that is included in the product, it may well contain TFAs.
  • Dairy Products and Meat. Meat and dairy products both naturally include trans fat in their composition. However, the jury is still out on the when it comes to this source of TFAs, some argue these are bad fats, whereas others believe that animal fats are fine. Personally, I think it is a good idea to limit the consumption of any fatty meats (except fatty fish), and by consuming leaner cuts of meat and dairy products. Select meats with a lower fat content.

Here is a list of the different fats and oils, their uses and Eric’s personal rating.

Buy only fats and oils that are certified as organic. Buy only cold-pressed oils. Do not buy oils in clear glass or plastic bottles (light destroys oils through oxidation). All fats and oils, including fish oils, should taste and smell “fresh”. If they do not, dispose of them. Rancid fats and oils are extremely toxic and may severely interfere with normal fatty acid metabolism. Store oils and fats in cool, dark and relatively dry conditions.

Eric’s Oils and Fats Rating

The more stars the better

  • Almond Oil –  Salad dressings, sauces, sautéing, body care. Short life span. Refrigerate. **
  • Black Current Seed Oil – Nutritional supplement. Not used for cooking or dressings. Refrigerate.
  • Borage Oil – Specialised nutritional supplement. Not used for cooking or dressings. Not recommended.
  • Butter (salted) –  Baking and spread. Salted butter is much harder to digest than unsalted. Refrigerate.
  • Butter (unsalted) –  Baking and spread. Goes rancid quicker than salted butter. Refrigerate. **
  • Canola Oil –  Baking, sautéing, sauces, salad dressings. Not recommended unless certified as organic.
  • Coconut Oil –  Baking, frying, body care. Tasteless. Does not need refrigeration but keep cool. ***
  • Corn Oil –  Baking, salad dressings. Often pesticide contaminated. Highly processed. Not recommended.
  • Cottonseed Oil –  In prepared and processed foods. Chemically contaminated. Potentially toxic.
  • Evening Primrose Oil – Nutritional supplement. Not used for cooking or dressings. Refrigerate.
  • Fish Oils –  Nutritional supplement. Not used for cooking or dressings. Refrigerate. ****
  • Flax-seed Oil – Nutritional supplement. Can be used for salad dressings. Get cold-pressed. Refrigerate. ***
  • Ghee (clarified butter) –  Baking and frying. Does not need refrigeration but keep cool. ***
  • Hemp Oil –  Nutritional supplement. Not used for cooking or dressings. Only use certified organic. **
  • Macadamia Nut Oil – For stir frying, salads, baking. Buy organic. One of nicest tasting oils and healthy too. ****
  • Margarine – Harmful synthetic crap; false health claims. Not rec. unless you want to develop heart disease.
  • Olive Oil –  Extra Virgin my favourite oil. dressings, marinades, sauces, baking, sauteing. No refrigeration, keep cool. ******
  • Palm Kernel Oil –  Baking and frying. Does not need refrigeration but keep cool.
  • Peanut Oil – Baking, frying, sauces, marinades. Contaminated. Not recommended unless certified organic.*
  • Safflower Oil –  Baking, sauteing, dressings, sauces. Not refrigeration but keep cool. Buy “high oleic” variety.
  • Sesame Oil –  Baking, sauteing, salad dressings, sauces. Does not need refrigeration but keep cool. ***
  • Sunflower Oil – Dressings and sauces. Not refrigeration but keep cool. Buy “high oleic” organic variety.
  • Walnut Oil – Fantastic for dressing. Keep refrigerated & buy organic. Spanish or Italian are best. ***
  • Wheat Germ Oil –  Nutritional supplement. Not used for cooking or dressings. Refrigerate. ***

    Oils and Fats Articles Of Interest

  • Bad Fats

10. Choose Protein Sources Wisely

When we think of protein we generally think of meat, right? Wrong way of thinking. Most of us think of a beef steak or a piece of chicken as soon as we are asked to described what protein is. I know that most people are protein-focused when it comes to their main meal, because when I ask most patients what they eat the reply usually is “oh, I like chicken” (or red meat, fish, eggs, etc. But, I have found that this protein focus is usually based around their evening meal. Click here to read more about Protein here.

Most people would eat their main protein (usually some type of meat) with their evening meal. But before we go more into eating protein and the best protein choices, let’s take a look at what proteins actually are, and the roles they perform in your body and why they are so crucial to your overall health and well-being. Proteins are nutrients that are essential to the building, maintenance and repair of your body tissues such as your skin, internal organs and muscles. They break down to become amino acids which themselves are the major components of many tissues of your body, including all your muscles and even your blood cells which make up your immune system and hormones. Proteins are absolutely vital in maintaining excellent health and should feature highly in your diet.

Establish Your Own Individual Protein Needs

You need to establish what protein suits you best, I really do not believe that a one-size-fits-all approach is good when it comes to determining your individual protein requirements. Sure you can get these “metabolic typology” and “blood type diet” books, but in the end it comes down to what suits you best, the more I see patients the more I have come to realise that there is no book or guru who can tell you with perfect accuracy what protein is best for you, it is only by trial and error and lots of experimentation that you will come to determine your own exact needs.

Start by eating protein every lunch time and dinner (a meat, legumes, etc) and rotate these proteins paying careful attention to your energy and sleep patterns. With a bit of practice you will become quite adept at listening to your body. Keeping a food diary is a great help and will you understand the relationship between health and well-being and your diet, especially the protein content.

  • Complete proteins – All animal protein is what is referred to as complete, and therefore meals containing milk products, eggs, meat or fish provide first class protein.
  • Incomplete (plant) protein foods – Need to be combined to provide the same quality protein as animal protein.
  • Beans with grains – tofu and rice, lentils and rice, corn and beans, buckwheat and tempeh, muesli and soy milk, kidney beans and barley. Beans and seeds: lunch meats beans, tofu and sesame seeds, Grains and nuts: nut butters on bread, rice and cashews, rice and peanut sauce.
  • Read labels for protein content – If you are eating packaged foods, the number of grams of protein per serving is listed on the package. For whole foods, 3 ounces of most meats will provide about 20 to 25 grams of protein. A 4-ounce (100 gram) hamburger, which is processed, has about 20 grams of protein while 2 slices of whole wheat bread have about five grams per slice. One egg has about six grams of protein and a cup of milk (not typically recommended) has about 8 grams of protein.

Protein Articles Of Interest


11. Reduce Soda & Caffeine Drinks, More Water

“You must drink eight glasses of water a day” you will have heard. Really?, I don’t believe in this “thou shalt ” stuff, it’s baloney. While it is true that healthy diet, nutrition and exercise are key to good health, what is often overlooked (apart from juicing) is drinking for health. Because water tastes bland, it is often the least favoured beverage, unless it is very hot and then nothing quite quenches the thirst like ice cold water, and plenty of it. Incredible,  but your body is mostly water and there are so many different biological functions which are dependent on water that it necessarily follows that water will certainly boost your health and well being.

Don’t Like Water? Then Improve The Flavour!

Some patients have told me they don’t like water due to its “lack of taste”. If you don’t like the taste of water, there are many options to add different flavours to the water. Try a little lemon or lime juice, it works like magic. I’m ok with cordials and syrups, providing only very small amounts are used and the sugars in these products are sugars like stevia, xylitol, etc., and not refined white sugar.

It is possible for your fresh and clean water to have great taste and for the drink to be healthy too. Also, when you choose not to drink water, try to find a natural drink that has vitamins, minerals, and has no artificial, refined cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Soda Drinks are Best Avoided

Why on earth do people drink so much of that fizzy stuff? It is full of artificial colours, flavourings and preservatives, not to mention sugar – real or artificial. Did you know that commercial beverages that people consume (i.e. cola beverages and other soft drinks) are loaded with sugars? Studies have consistently shown that heavy consumers of soft drinks lose substantial amounts of calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals into the urine. A good way to wreck your health is to drink soda drinks every day, you will either end up obese or with a chronic illness like heart disease, diabetes or cancer. You will also contribute to making a large international company very rich as your health becomes very poor.

Eric’s Favourite Drinks

Green Tea

I love green tea, in fact I drink two or three cups every day. Green tea contains a rich concentration of flavonoids and polyphenols, natural antioxidants that may protect cells from carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) and inhibit tumour growth by helping to neutralise free radicals in the body. Green tea helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, and cavities. The tea’s antioxidants may also guard against heart disease by relaxing blood vessels, inhibiting the formation of blood clots that trigger heart attacks and strokes. Green tea also contains fluoride (natural fluoride!), which strengthens teeth; green tea’s flavonoid content may build up bones as well, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and tooth decay.


Coconut Water

Many travellers to the Pacific Islands have enjoy coconut water. Coconut water is among the purest liquids you will find in nature. This a pure health giving tonic and is full of natural electrolytes including potassium; and has various proteins and fats the body needs. I love it! And, it is great for upset tummies, and especially good to ward off bugs and parasites when you travel. This drink has been used for a long time as a nutritious refreshing drink. It has the nutrition found in milk without any animal fat, and it has the nutritional benefits of orange juice with out the sugars – the calories. In addition, it is full of vitamins and trace elements, and it has only 5mg of two natural sugars and nothing else compared to over 15 man made sugars, additives, colours and flavours and enhancers found in many sports drinks, for example.
If you are looking for a refreshing drink that is not only nutritious, and in addition helps to detoxify the digestive system then this drink has it all. Coconut milk from the fresh (green) coconut is best, but if you can’t access this then milk from the brown coconut will suffice.


Hot Cocoa drink

What’s not to love about this drink? Have you ever tried skipping a cup of coffee and had a cup of warm cocoa instead? Research from a couple of years ago has revealed that chocolate may be actually good for you. Scientists reported preliminary evidence that cocoa and dark chocolate may keep high blood pressure down, your blood flowing, and your heart healthy because of its antioxidant abilities.
However, many people like to eat the processed form of chocolate with all the non nutritious ingredients such as sugar, corn syrup and milk fats; usually in a “family” bar, the actual cocoa content is less than 25 percent! When you buy a chocolate bar, get one with dark chocolate and high (75%+) cocoa content. And when you do, eat one or two squares a day, not the entire block!

For a healthy cocoa drink, try mixing pure cocoa with low fat milk. I like cocoa in rice or almond milk.  So go on enjoy your chocolate, but do so in moderation!
Chocolate improves mood and may help protect against heart disease when consumed in moderation. Chocolate increases the production of the brain hormone called serotonin, which is responsible for regulating mood. Low or fluctuating levels of serotonin have been associated with depression or mood swings. Cocoa is also a very rich source of polyphenols, which are plant-derived antioxidants that may protect cells against oxidative damage that can lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels, possibly putting you at higher risk for a heart attack.


Tomato Juice

Tomato juice would have to be my favourite beverage. I love that tangy cold and refreshing taste, especially with a little Celtic sea salt and a dash of Tabasco sauce. Tomato juice may protect against numerous cancers, especially prostate cancer. Processed tomato products are the richest source of the antioxidant called lycopene, which has been associated with a reduced risk of prostate, lung and stomach cancer, as well as pancreatic, colorectal, esophageal, oral, breast, and cervical cancers. Lycopene also appears to protect the lungs and heart against oxidative damage, helping to ward off cardiovascular disease.


Cranberry Juice

This is not only a great juice for the ladies to ward off urinary tract infections, cranberry juice has a very nice refreshing tart taste. Research suggests that the same antibacterial properties present in cranberry juice that fight off urinary tract infections may also protect against periodontal disease, and I now recommend this drink for those with gum disease too. I am very wary of cranberry juice, however, because most all the commercially available cranberry fruit juices have a considerable sugar content, so limit your intake to only one glass daily. “Make sure the label says 100 percent juice, not ‘juice drink’. You can find this type of juice in health-food stores and even in some supermarkets. Best served very cold. I love it on a hot day and pop a few ice cubes into the glass. Try also with a few mint leaves added for that extra zing.

Beverage Articles Of Interest

12. Good Health Even On A Tight Budget

Feeling the effects of Covid-19 and the global financial crisis? Many people I’ve spoken with have, and many are worried about how they can keep good health during the downturn. Well, the BIG thing is to relax, it will come right. We have gone through many downturns in the past and this one is no difference, things will improve, so work on your stress levels and try to stop worrying so much.

I’m 62 yrs old and have seen a few boom and bust periods in my life, a few years later and all is OK again. You don’t need to be wealthy to eat well, you may think: “Eating a healthy diet is going to cost me a LOT more money”. Well, I can assure you, that is not true, it’s nonsense. Chances are that you can most probably eat healthier right now and save plenty of dollars on what you are spending on your weekly grocery bill. Click here to read my twenty tips on how to live well with less money.


13. Take Basic Dietary Supplements

The US Foods and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements as foods, not medications. We may claim certain health benefits on the label. Supplements, unlike pharmaceuticals, cannot claim to “cure, treat, or prevent disease”. (nor should any drug)  Some evidence suggests that certain nutritional supplements can improve health in various ways. Multivitamins, calcium, and vitamins B, C, and D are the most popular nutrient supplements. Calcium promotes bone health, while vitamin D aids in calcium absorption. Vitamin C and E are antioxidants, which are chemicals that protect cells and keep them healthy.

Take a Multivitamin Daily

It has always been my goal to limit the amount of dietary supplements our patients take. I absolutely believe you can get most all the nutrition you need from wholesome food, providing you eat a wholesome diet, that is.

There are some exceptions to this, however, but I doubt anybody would benefit from taking the 38 dietary supplements couple of plastics bags of supplements that many so people take. However, if you’re looking for an all-inclusive insurance policy, I take one of the best and most comprehensive high quality multivitamins on the market, made from the finest raw materials available.

Take a quality multi-vitamin each and every day. But STOP – don’t just take any multi, make sure you are taking in a natural product which is not synthetically based. Many supplements are based on synthetic vitamins and minerals and are mass produced and churned out to a population who are unsure of their quality. That’s why we don’t stock just any old retail variety supplements.
Our customers enjoy a higher quality multivitamin and mineral formulation than you will find on websites generally. If you wish to become a member and be eligible for great discounts and special offers, please contact us today.

Take an Omega 3 Supplement Every Day

I personally take and recommend an Omega3. Clean, fresh oil made from fish caught in a sustainable manner in the cleanest ocean remaining – the Southern Ocean. Don’t be fooled, it is important to understand the difference between the “good, bad and ugly” when it comes to the dirty business of recommending an Omega 3 fish oil. Ensure you buy  a premium quality concentrated DHA & EPA.

Make sure you get enough Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiencies are quite common today. There has been a renewed interest in Vitamin D, and the interesting thing I find about vitamin D is the amount of attention they have given it only the past few years, and this is because of its connection with immunity and in particular with cancer. They have linked an increased cancer risk of vitamin D deficiency, enough for you to pay particular attention to this kind of research, and to consider having your vitamin D level checked.

You would think because of the high sunlight levels in Australia and New Zealand that deficiencies of this vitamin would be uncommon, but this is clearly not the case. If a person lacks vitamin D, they have not only a higher chance of getting rickets and having soft bones, but are also more likely to get cancer and have an increased tendency to develop any one of several chronic diseases. Why do you potentially lack this crucial vitamin? Because you spend a lot of time indoors, your diet is probably lacking in food sources rich in Vitamin D (organ meats like liver and other sources such as fish), and if you do go outdoors you will probably “cover up” or wear a sunscreen. Please go to our Vitamin D page to learn a lot more about this most important vitamin, many children are deficient in Vitamin D unfortunately.

Page Last Update 20 June 2022