First Do No Harm








Digestion Part I  

There is a phrase among some naturopaths, and some alternative physicians or irregulars, as they have been historically classified, that "death begins in the colon."

This is such a facile phrase to mock that "debunkers" and "quackwatchers" have had a field day with the concept, almost as much fun as their field day with coffee enemas.

But there is some truth here being uttered, and we can all learn from it.

First off, as we’ve said previously (at this site):

The inside of your colon is still the outside of your body.

The inside of your digestive tract (alimentary canal) is still the outside of your body.

What we consume, doesn’t necessarily go "into" our blood and body, end to end, top to bottom.

If nutrition is the foundation of health, then digestion is the factory within that foundation. Our nutrition is limited first by the proper function of our factory, digestion. Poor digestion means poor health. If you suffer from indigestion three times a week, you are ill. Four times a week? You’re moving rapidly into a degenerative state. It’s just a matter of time.

Everyone, we admit, is unique. In many ways, we are also the same. Our proverbs and clichés describe our alikeness, while our uniqueness is the sum of our makeup. That Chinese proverb from our previous newsletter, "You can abuse your body up to age 35. After that, it abuses you," tells us about our alikeness. At about age 35, things begin to change. Digestively speaking, take the hamburger.

The hamburger (or cheeseburger, or doublecheese doublebacon gutwhomper for that matter) is an American staple. Tasty, filling, pleasing American foods; we all ate them as kids.

The combination of starchy buns (not to mention the sugar that Ray added to his McDonalds’ buns) and meat protein is, according to nutritionists, hard on digestion. Two separate and not equal parts of our digestive system are at work here, the one to digest starch and the other to digest meat protein, and they do not function well together.

As youngsters, our systems are strong enough to handle this combination, to a degree. At around 35, it all catches up, and our digestion suffers, and millions are spent to earn your billions of dollars in the number one, over the counter, self-prescribed medication: antacids.

And the problem, the odds are, is not even remotely associated with too much acid in your system.

Age 35 (it’s an average, could be 40 for some, could be 30 for others) is the cut.

The Perfect System

If digestion is working perfectly, you will have a bowel movement 24 hours after eating a meal. If you eat three meals (significant meals, not snacks) you should have three significant bowel movements the next day.

You should not have to strain and push, if you are eating enough fiber and are avoiding foods you are sensitive to. You should eliminate the bulk of your movement in just a few seconds after sitting down.

If you are "performing" at a rate any less than this, your digestive system is not working up to its capacity. If you are not even close to this, you are a chronic, degenerative disease just waiting to appear.

When digestion slows a few things happen.

  • Our bowels become impacted with toxic fecal matter. We eventually get diverticulitis, which according to the Merck Manual, we will all have one day. (Keep in mind that the person described in this manual is the "average person." One way to stay healthy is to refuse to be average.)
  • Toxins are reabsorbed if they stay in the bowel too long.
  • The yeast that resides in our bowel (to soften our stool) can begin to flourish in a stagnant colon.

All this adds up to a cycle of acidity. We become more acid, which leads to more yeast/fungal growth, which leads to more acidity from the toxins they release. Degenerative disease is not only possible, it’s inevitable.

What to do?

First off, find out what’s killing you. Do an elimination diet. The Fat Flush Plan is one great elimination diet, as you are eliminating a lot of problematic foods. (As if food could ever be a problem.) Wheat, grains, cheeses, fermented foods, milk products. If you wanted to eliminate more, that is even better. A juice fast, a water fast, a mono diet; these are all perfect places to start an elimination diet, as you get rid of those things that could be causing your digestion problems.

A mono diet is a simple diet of one thing, say apples (fruit is always best). You eat only apples for three days. You CAN (and really should) add some Celtic Sea Salt to your mono fast. Apples dipped in electrically charged minerals in the salt is an excellent treat for your body, mind, and even spirit. And for those of you who think I’m nutz saying this, well, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

Dr Bruce West suggest beginning with seedless grapes or watermelon since these are the least allergenic foods.

After your mono diet (at least 48 hours, or 72 hours if you are still having digestive pains), juice fast, or water fast, you slowly start bringing back into your diet, one at a time, those things you might be sensitive to: wheat, cheeses, fermented foods, milk products, etc.

Beyond an elimination diet, the next best thing is to learn to eat differently. There are many theories of nutrition. While one side promotes this, the other side promotes that, and since no one really knows anything, really, well, it all becomes a religion. My religion is right, yours is wrong. That is one way of looking at it.

Macrobiotics is an oriental diet based upon hot and cold conditions, and hot and cold foods and herbs. Many people have benefited from this diet. Listed below are some of the best books we've found on macrobiotics. You'll find many menus and menu suggestions in their pages. We’ll soon be reviewing a book called Controlling Crohn’s Disease, by Virginia Harper (and Tom Monte) in which she tells us of her story, how she beat Crohn’s Disease using a macrobiotic diet.

Eat Right 4 Your Type is a very popular system, and is recommended by our friend and advisor, the author of Health Alert, Dr Bruce West. It is based upon the theory, developed by Dr Peter D’Adamo, that certain foods are good for certain blood types and certain foods are not good for certain blood types. It is well worth reading, but to sum up its main points:

Type A people are natural vegetarians. They don’t function well with meat. Though some seafood is good, and soy products. Not good with dairy, either. If overweight, avoid wheat.

Type O are natural carnivores, they love meat. Fruits and veggies are also good for you, but limit (or cut out entirely (all grains and legumes (beans) ) Your healthiest meal would have red meat and liver, broccoli and spinach. Lots of Celtic Sea Salt.

Type B are omnivores; they can eat everything (let’s hope they don’t). Chicken, though, might not be good for you. And, according to Dr West, if you have a weight problem, avoid corn, wheat, lentils, peanuts, sesame seeds, and buckwheat.

Type AB are also omnivores, but they have to be a bit more particular (picky) than people with blood type B. And you have to eat less. If you are overweight, according to D’Adamo, you must avoid red meat, beans, nuts and seeds, corn and buckwheat.

The contrary side to Dr Peter D’Adamo’s theory is the claim that this is just plain bad science. Blood types evolved thousands of years before agriculture and we were all hunter/gatherers way back then. These people say that you can still get a lot out of this book by eating the Type O diet, regardless of your blood type.

The Mediterranean Diet is, by our western standards, one of the healthiest diets in the world. You can cut your risk of heart disease in half just by starting this diet. In fact, I have a friend who was on all sorts of heart medications, and he was a sailor. When he sailed into Greece, he was able to get off his meds while he was there, but after leaving had to get back on them. This is his testimony, and yet he still thinks that everything I talk about here at our web is pure bunk. Go figger.

The Mediterranean Diet and the Fat Flush Program have one thing in common, they decimate the Low-Fat Myth, stomp on it and sweep it out the door.

The Mediterranean Diet is dripping with olive oil, lots of veggies, dark green veggies, a little meat, pure water, fresh fruits, and a glass of good wine now and then. Check this link: 

Food Combining (something we did naturally as hunters/gatherers) is one thing most modern nutritionists all seem to agree on. It is good digestive science. If you are entering middle age and you are starting to have problems, then these simple rules must be followed without exception. I know many of you are going to miss your hamburgers and steak sandwiches, but try it for two months and tell me if it doesn’t work. Ok?

Keep in mind that these rules will also help you to lose weight. If you combine your foods properly, your digestion improves and your metabolism improves.

The Rules

  • Do not combine fruit with any other food. Eat fruit separately, half an hour before anything else and three hours after a meal. If you must eat close to bedtime, and it is three hours since your last meal, then you can have a little fruit. Anthony Robbins in his book Unlimited Power, one book that really changed my life,  recommends nothing but fruit before noon and nothing but fruit after six. I did this, as well as other things he suggested, and yes, it really changed my life. Fruit is digested "better" when it is eaten alone or before a meal.
  • Only ONE protein per meal. This means no steak and lobster or steak and shrimp. No steak and chicken either. No shrimp and scallops either. However, EGGS are the exception. Consider them neutral; they are good with meats, dairy, and beans.
  • Do not combine beans with meat, poultry, or fish. They combine well with dairy and veggies.
  • Milk and meat should not be eaten together. This is one of the laws of keeping Kosher. Milk and meat are simply not designed to be digested together. Sipping a hot tea with meals helps digestion.
  • Most should not combine meat (including fish or fowl) with gluten rich starches. Here is where we find out just how deadly our hamburgers are. According to Ann Gittleman, "Proteins do combine well with other friendly carbs such as a baked potato, a sweet potato, corn or peas – providing a green leafy salad is included in the meal."
  • Never drink water before food is swallowed. Allow your saliva to begin the digestive process.

This is about it.

In our next article on digestion, we hope to give you some more solutions involving the use of digestive enzymes and other digestive aids.

References and Further Reading

The Secret Link Between Indigestion and Disease, by Dr Bruce West. 
You can get a free copy with a subscription to his newsletter, 
Health Alert: 800-231-8063

Eat Right 4 Your Type: The Individualized Diet Solution to Staying Healthy, Living Longer & Achieving Your Ideal Weight

|Eat Right for Your Type Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia

The Macrobiotic Way : the complete macrobiotic diet & exercise book

The Quick and Natural Macrobiotic Cookbook

The Fat Flush Plan

The Fat Flush Plan Audio Book

Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement


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