From Farm To (Acupuncture) Table
“THE NEWS IS NOT THAT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ARE GOOD FOR YOU. IT’S THAT THEY ARE SO GOOD FOR YOU THAT THEY CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE.” —David Bjerlie, TIME MAGAZINE, October 24, 2003.
I teach my patients that without an adequate nutritional foundation, I might as well be needling into air. Nutrition is a major component to acupuncture treatment. In fact, when one refers to Chinese Medicine, nutrition is one of the major components along with acupuncture, herbs, gi gong, and lifestyle.
According to Chinese Medicine, our food (part of what is referred to as post natal qi) is also ironically referred to as “gu qi.” The body (thru the Spleen and Stomach meridians) converts this food into a “gu” (gooy) soup of sorts. This is what becomes the nutritional qi for our body.
It’s this nutritional qi (or gu qi) that we are not born with and must provide. The nutritional qi is used for every process of the body. In this way, you can easily draw the parallel to nutrition/metabolism from a Western perspective.
Hippocrates stated, “Let food by thy medicine.”
Even with my background in nursing, my grasp of the power of healthy food was lacking. The education that nurses and doctors get in school is sorely inadequate. I don’t believe I’m speaking for only myself when I say that I used to think that all I had to do (and all I had to recommend my patients do) was strive for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables/day, and get adequate protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats into my diet.
Get in those macronutrients and supplement them with a good multivitamin and I was set.
First of all, I needed to learn what comprised healthy food. What was all this hype about whole food nutrition?
Why couldn’t I just supplement with an isolated vitamin(s)? Multivitamins are not reliably absorbed and are mostly excreted. Asking a multivitamin to do magic for you is like asking a quarterback to win the football game by himself.
So about 6 years ago I began a steep upward learning curve around whole food nutrition. I learned that an apple had over 10,000 phytonutrients in it (plant based antioxidants and minerals).
I started using a whole-food-based food concentrate with my family. I began recommending it in my practice and found that not only did it appear to get my patients to eat better, but they responded better to treatment. Because it is whole food based (and not an isolated vitamin blend) the body absorbs 100 percent of it!
Second, I began to understand what was so challenging about finding nutrient dense fruits and vegetables at the market. Most grocery store produce is picked before its peak of ripeness (the largest jump in antioxidant level in produce happens in the days just prior to its peak of ripeness). The produce is usually shipped over long distances, which delays its timely consumption by you. There are issues of genetic modification, pesticides, gassing for color enhancement, and a whole variety of ways to process that alter the nutrient concentration. Basically, unless you are able to eat fresh off the vine, local produce, and also eat it raw without heating it (which destroys the enzymes) your salad or dinner plate is going to be inadequate nutritionally speaking.
Did you know that once you cook your vegetables (apply heat) you destroy the enzymes? It is then no longer considered live food, because the enzymes are what allow it to be processed in your body.
Your body then has to draw from your own stores of enzymes (from your muscles and bones for example). This contributes to our aging process. Unfortunately, many people have difficulty easily digesting all raw vegetables. In this case I recommend minimal steaming.
As you can begin to see, optimum nutrition is a bigger conversation than most Americans understand.
This is why I recommend this whole food concentrate to fill in the nutritional gaps.
So, an American consumer is now able to narrow their nutrition gaps with a sustainable gardening tool that leaves less than 10 percent of the carbon footprint of a usual home soil-based garden.
I am passionate about educating my patients on healthy nutrition and informing them on how to accomplish this vital task in our daily lives.
I encourage my readers to contact me if you want to learn more about how to fill in and narrow your nutrition gaps. Remember—Americans are the best fed people, we are not the best nourished.
Additional posts by Jill Ellen Smith
- Acupuncture and Joint Implants, 04 Apr 2013 in Health & Wellness
- Acupuncture, Nutrition, and Cardiovascular Disease, 04 Feb 2013 in Health & Wellness
- Acupuncture and the Cancer Journey, 16 Oct 2012 in Health & Wellness
- Acupuncture Meets Electrical Stimulation, 12 Aug 2012 in Health & Wellness
- Anti-Aging and Acupuncture: Is There a Connection?, 11 Apr 2012 in Health & Wellness
- Acupuncture and the Pain in the Neck, 01 Feb 2012 in Health & Wellness
- Acupuncture CAN Support You Through This Flu Season!, 02 Dec 2011 in Health & Wellness
- Summer…“Barefoot in the Park”…Foot Problems and Acupuncture, 08 Aug 2011 in Fashion and Beauty&Health & Wellness
- Women Making a Difference, 03 Jun 2011 in Uncategorized