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Suggestions for Nutrition
for Optimal Musculo-Skeletal Health

This information has been gathered through years of reading and research.  It is what I have found to be true and what has worked for myself and my clients..  Be sure to consult your physician before undertaking any diet changes, especially if you have health problems that you are dealing with.

There are many health programs on the market today, all claiming to have the secret to weight loss and health.  Some work for some people, others work for awhile and others should be avoided.   Dieting is not the answer to today's health concerns.  Health is achieved through proper nutrition and choosing the correct foods to meet these needs.
There is the key...choice.  We all choose what we eat on a daily basis.  When we start making different, healthier choices, health is achieved and maintained.  You can start with these simple suggestions.  I don't recommend making the changes all at once, as this could cause a detox reaction or other symptoms.  Just take things one step at a time and take things out a little at a time, replacing it with better choices as you can.
Changing the way you eat is a process.  Sometimes you return to the candy and chips.  Don't be so hard on yourself.  It's ok to eat that sometimes.  It's what you eat most of the time that counts.

It is important to experiment and find what works best for your body and your activity level.  Pay attention to how each food you eat makes you feel. Try keeping a food journal, indicating how you feel after eating.  The goal is to learn to listen to your body and take care of it accordingly.  Eat only when you are hungry, not when you are upset or depressed.  Learn to distinguish the difference between those signals that are telling you to eat that pint of Hagendas that you couldn't resist at the store.  No one said this was going to be easy...

The most important rules to follow are:

  1. If it makes you feel tired, grumpy, achy, or worse in any way -STOP no matter how many experts have told you that it is good for you.
  2. If it makes you feel better, eat more in moderate amounts.
  3. Keep your eating balanced.  Eat a variety of products, not the same thing everyday.
  4. You are the only one who can say how much and what you are going to eat.  It is your responsibility to find the key to your health and eating.  No doctor or expert knows all the answers.  Seek out many solutions and keep looking until you find what you need to be healthy.

What to Avoid:

Sugar:  We do need sugar as a vital source of fuel.  The best source is from natural sources in whole foods, where they are balanced with the proper minerals.  Processed white sugar has all the minerals and vitamins removed. Read all labels carefully as most canned/processed foods contain sugar.  Sugar often appears as sucrose, dextrose, glucose, corn sweetener, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and maltose.  It's in salad dressing, cereals, energy bars and foods that you least suspect.
Refined sugar passes quickly into the blood stream and shocks the stomach and pancreas. It causes an acidic condition in the body and the body rushes to neutralize this using its reserves of minerals to do so.  Calcium is one of these and is used up quickly.  Calcium is one of the essential nutrients used in the contraction of muscle fibers. A muscle cannot relax without proper amounts of calcium.
Over time, conditions of hypoglycemia and diabetes can result from constant intake of sugar.  The adrenal glands also become stressed, resulting in conditions of fatigue and impaired immune function.  Sugar contributes to mental clarity, ADD, arteriosclerosis, anxiety, irritability, shakiness, headaches, insomnia and many more symptoms and conditions.
What to do:  Balance your meals with more protein to help reduce sugar cravings.
There are also many supplements to help ease the addiction.  some that I have found to work are chromium picolinate, biotin, and vitamins B complex and C. (take according to label)
For more information see : Optimal Wellness by Dr. Ralph Golan,  Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Balch and Balch.  These two sites deal with proper food combining and eating more raw foods-  www.healthnbeauty.com, and www.chetday.com

Caffeine: Caffeine is actually a drug and it is addicting.  Caffeine produces an initial surge of energy, alertness, and well-being through its direct effect on the nervous system and adrenal glands.  With this constant stimulation the nervous system and adrenal glands become stressed and overworked causing fatigue and immune system problems in the long run. This stimulant also activates the contraction of muscles adding to tightness that may already be there.
Coffee beans are the most known source of caffeine.  They are grown in countries that use pesticides and herbicides that are too toxic for use in the US.   Caffeine is also found in chocolate, cola's and other soft drinks and some over the counter drugs such as Excedrin and Anacin.   Some signs of caffeine problems are fatigue, headache, depression, insomnia, anxiety, muscle tightness, high blood pressure and PMS.
If you get a headache when you don't have your morning coffee, you are addicted to this drug.
What to do: Gradually ending the intake of this substance is recommended.  Begin with cutting back on the daily amount and substitute with other products such as teas and coffee substitutes such as Postum.  Eliminate the intake of soft drinks substituting with water with lemon or herbal teas.

What our bodies need:
Water :  This is the most important!  We really do need those 8 glasses or more a day for optimal performance.  Some of the signs of dehydration are fatigue and dizziness.  Water is vital to the body and is used in almost every bodily process, including digestion, absorption, circulation and excretion.  It is the primary transporter of nutrients and is necessary for all building functions in the body.  It is also important in maintaining the body temperature.  It is necessary to replace water that is continually being lost through normal respiration (breathing), exercise (sweating) and normal elimination.
It needs to be plain water- coffee, soft drinks, juices don't count as water.  They are liquids but they usually require that water be used for the body to process them so what water they come with is quickly used.
What to do:  Keep a water bottle in your car, at your desk, in your briefcase.  Try keeping track of how much you drink for a few days just to get an idea of how much more you need.  If you work out extensively, you will need more than the 8 glasses.  Don't wait until you are thirsty. It is usually too late and will require more glasses to rehydrate you.   Drink bottled or filtered water.
  In general, eat foods that are as close to their original source as possible.  Avoid canned and processed foods as they contain more chemicals and unknown ingredients. Eat organic as often as you can avoiding the pesticides and hormones.  This includes meat and dairy as well. Eat a balance of fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates, protein and  water. Supplements are suggested especially for injuries or problems such as chronic muscle pain, inflammations or other conditions.
 In general, moderation and balance are the keys to good health.  If you want to eat sugar and processed foods, just eat a little, not the whole pint of ice cream or whatever.  When you can't always eat vegetables at a meal, eat them later.  Drink water all day long so you can take many bathroom breaks and get away from your desk.  Healthy  choices lead to healthy lives.  Make the choice today.
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