Healthy Meal Plans: How To Live Long And Never Be Sick
When discussing health care, we usually refer to medical insurance and prescription drugs, but isn’t that just fixing a broken glass and “unspilling” the spilled milk? Real healthcare is taking care of your health while you still have it, and that’s why we’re here.
Now, we all know that health begins with nutrition, and in this article we’ll try to get to the bottom of the proper diet for your organism, and, at some point we’ll check out is the Scarlet O’Hara’s promise that she “will never be hungry again” (Gone with the Wind, 1939) actually good for her health.
What (And How) You Eat Impacts Your Body And Mind
But first, let us see how exactly our diet determines how we feel, and to a certain point, how we think. The food we eat provides our body with the information it needs to function properly. If that information is wrong, our metabolism gets confused and our health declines.
The function of food in our organism
- Even though this is a well-known fact, it is very rare that a doctor recommends a patient a dietary health program that focuses on his/her needs and particular condition. Instead, the patients are most often prescribed prescription drugs or surgical treatments.
- This is often a mistake since a lot of nutrients can act as a medicine, and treat and prevent illnesses. The benefits we get from food extend further from calories and grams, but just as it can be good for us, if we choose it poorly food can also be very bad for our health.
Food and health
Our food choices can contribute to the development of numerous diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, obesity, and even certain cancers. Today, we are so exposed to processed foods which are filled with toxins, pesticides, and many other things we are not even aware of. And the solution for all that is going back to the roots of the problem and changing our diet to the better.
There is one particular area of medicine that is covering these issues. It is called Functional Medicine, and it is a dynamic approach to assessing, preventing, and treating complex and chronic medical conditions using nutrition. This area of medicine also focuses on how nutrition impacts health and function.
When the practitioners of this medicine examine the role of diet in chronic disease, they observe multiple systems, such as the immune system, digestive system, and the detoxification system, because of the relations between those systems. For example, because 80% of the immune system is contained in the digestive system, a person's problems with immunity could be related to faulty digestion.
Chronic disease is almost always preceded by a certain period of declining health in one or several the body's systems. That is why the practitioners of Functional Medicine seek to identify these symptoms early on so that they could determine the dysfunction which probably leads to disease.
One of the ways Functional Medicine addresses the decline in health is by providing the foods and nutrients essential to restore organism’s proper function. This is deeper and more natural way to improve your health, which is also cost-effective and non-invasive.
The modern life pace and poor food choices
The fast life pace is making us eat even faster, and before our brain even gets the signal that our body is full, we eat much more calories than we need. All of this has a devastating impact on our metabolism, which is becoming lazy, and the time we need to get our body on the right track is much longer than the time we needed to compromise our metabolism.
As a contrast to this, we are more and more obsessed with physical appearance, but instead of trying to achieve these unrealistic standards of beauty by taking care of our health, we are actually waging war against nature, and use everything from Botox to fat burners to look more attractive and youthful.
- We forget that the true beauty is in making peace with nature and basing our beauty regime on healthy living and eating. A healthy meal plan and healthy lifestyle can indubitably lead to a more beautiful version of you.
Nutrition and mental health
- Furthermore, as later discussed in more detail in this article, some foods can aid or damage our mental health as well. By depriving your organism of some essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish (e.g. salmon) you are also depriving your brain of the protection against dementia and Alzheimer's disease and improvement in memory and focus.
- Beyond that, what and how we eat affects our appearance and therefore our self-confidence. When we feel good about ourselves, and we are happier and more fulfilled persons. As such we engage in social interactions and relationships much easier. Furthermore, we feel more outgoing, have fewer inhibitions and have a greater capacity of enjoying in life.
- The food we eat can also be linked to our emotions. It is the notion commonly known as “comfort food”, when we eat certain (often unhealthy food) to face with or avoid certain emotions we are going through.In terms of “spiritual nutrition”, we eat crunchy food when we are dealing with anger, salty when we are feeling fear, high gluten products when we need to feel safer, sugar when we are eager to be excited, dairy when we crave for the unconditional love and protection, chocolate when we need to feel sensual, fatty foods to hide our internal shame, and so on. This intuitive eating can be prevented by changing our attitude and behavior and restoring balance to our mind.
Medicines And Side Effects
One of the worst habits of modern day medicine is that everything is treated with prescription drugs and various surgical treatments. Let’s take cancer as an example. It is usual to use anticancer drugs for treating cancer, right? Well, as it is generally known, anticancer drugs have numerous severe side effects, such as loss of hair, diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, and others.
How is it possible that something that should cure you actually make you feel even worse?
The reason behind this is that such drugs are deadly poisonous. True, they are designed to attack cancer cells, but in doing that, they are also attacking your body's healthy cells and cause serious damage. When your otherwise healthy cells are damaged, your body activates a large number of enzymes to repair them, which, eventually, causes a deficiency in enzymes. All of this leads to a decline of your physical health followed by severe side effects.
Although anticancer drugs are the most obvious example, such damage is not limited only to them. All drugs cause similar damage and inhibit the activities of the enzymes, which is more or less intense, depending on the chemical composition of the drug.
Sure, some drugs can relieve the symptoms of a particular condition we are suffering of, but they are never a long term solution. By taking a cold medicine you may feel relief from high body temperature and sore throat, but gradually, your immune system will become weaker, and you will be more prone to future colds and other diseases.
Also, some drugs can cause allergic reactions. It is known that some antibiotics, such as those in penicillin and sulfonamide families cause allergies in around five percent of the population. However, allergic reactions can come as a result of taking any drug and can range from a simple rash to life-threatening reactions.
The chemical structure of certain medicines is bound to trigger side effects. A common example is Benadryl (diphenhydramine). While this drug does ease the symptoms of allergies, it also, simultaneously, suppresses the activity of acetylcholine (a body chemical) and leads to drowsiness, dry mouth, and other side effects.
Even when you think that a specific drug doesn’t have a bad impact on your health, you might be surprised to know that there is hardly any prescribed drug that is completely harmless. Just look at Warfarin which is used to prevent blood clots. Normally, it is very well tolerated, but in some cases, it can lead to serious internal bleeding.
There is a possibility of side effect when you mix one drug with another and when those drugs are in interaction in your body. Also, drinking alcohol with narcotic painkillers is responsible for an alarming increase in accidental overdose deaths. Surprisingly enough, drinking grapefruit juice can have a negative impact on your organism when mixed with blood pressure and cholesterol medicines.
Life Power Is Proportional To A Number Of Enzymes
Life on Earth depends on various biochemical reactions which can happen at an adequate rate only thanks to enzymes. This means that many of the essential biological processes would be impossible if there would be no enzymes. However, the very existence of enzymes is not the only factor affecting them. Enzymatic reactions can still happen at an inadequate pace if the concentration of enzymes in a certain system is low.
The pumping of our hearts, digesting, breathing, thinking, absorbing and eliminating food, and even feeling are all functions that depend on enzymes.
For plants germinating, growing, blooming, spreading leaves, bearing fruits and enabling new life would not be achievable without enzymes. Although there are 3,000 to 5,000 known enzymes, that is probably just a fraction of a number of enzymes in our body.
But what exactly are these essential substances? Enzymes are protein molecules manufactured by animal and plant cells, and they are in charge of making chemical reactions faster without changing the very reaction. For instance, digestive enzymes may help you to break down the food you are eating much faster, but they do not break down as a result of participating in that reaction.
You have probably noticed by know that the role of enzymes is key in our functioning, and it can be a major factor for a proper diet. Not even the most balanced diet can be utilized efficiently if the enzymes are not functioning properly.
Not all enzymes are made the same. In general, we categorize them into two groups:
Digestive enzymes deal with the digestion of food and the delivery of nutrients throughout the body. Although there are more of them, the most common digestive enzymes are stashed in the pancreas from where they travel into the stomach and small intestine. The three most important enzymes for digestion are lipase, amylase and protease. They digest fat, carbohydrate and protein.
Metabolic enzymes are in charge of running the body at the level of the tissues, blood, and organs. They are needed for the growth of new cells and the maintenance and repair of the body’s organs and tissues. Metabolic enzymes take carbohydrates, fat, and protein and transform them into the proper harmony of working cells and tissues. They are also in charge of removing the worn-out material from the cells and keeping them clean and healthy.
Our body stores certain amounts of enzymes inside it, but some of our poor dietary habits (e.g. drinking alcohol, smoking, drugs, processed foods, sugars, etc.) can have an adverse effect on those amounts.
A diet of meat, milk, and milk products will call for more enzymes to aid digestion. An all-day sedentary work which requires using a computer and talking on a cell phone exposes you to electromagnetic toxins. Such exposure requires enzymes to destroy the free radical oxygen generated inside your body. Combine these poor habits together, and you will get a lifestyle that depletes enzymes and consequently exhausts your body‚ ability to digest and metabolize food. Furthermore, your cells lose their ability to repair themselves. As a result of these poor choices, your life power will decline.
- This destructive lifestyle that uses up our enzymes diminishes our life power and leads to disease and death.
Secrets To Never Getting Sick
Nobody likes being sick, and although most of us do at some point get sick, most of the health threats we are facing with happen thanks to our bad life choices. As bad as this sounds, it is also a good thing, since now we know that there are some things we can do to avoid getting sick.
- 1. Avoid feeling tired all dAY
- 2. Intracellular detoxification
- 3. Supplement enzymes with fruits
- 4. Fasting for longevity
Do you feel lethargic, tired and lack motivation even after a rest? If your answer is “yes” that might mean the nutrients taken into your body did not transform into energy in the cells, at least not in the amount you need to function properly. But what could be the cause for such a poor conversion of food and air to energy?
If we had to take one lucky guess, that would be trash. A buildup of waste materials in the cells of your body can be the main suspect behind all this, and that’s why you need to address this issue as soon as possible.
As you see, one of the biggest health threats that can happen to you is the buildup of toxic materials in your cells. This means that the best solution for this problem is intracellular detoxification.
And the key to the detoxification is enzymes. When a cell is invaded by pathogens, an organelle generates enzyme and sends it to work inside the cell’s cytoplasm with the task of destroying the membrane of the cytoplasm, thus getting rid of the infected cell.
- This process is called apoptosis (programmed cell death), and it might sound threatening, but is actually essential for the survival of all living organisms. If there weren’t for the apoptosis that would lead to uncontrolled cell proliferation — cancer. In average, an adult person loses between 50 billion and 70 billion cells each day due to apoptosis. This process, in which infected cells produce the very same enzyme that will destroy them, is the ultimate intracellular detoxification.
- However, in cancer cells these activities are inhibited when there are large amounts of radical oxygen and other free radicals, turning the body oxidative. This is why it would be useful for cancer patients to follow the Shinya Biozyme in which the free radicals in the body are eliminated, and the apoptosis is induced by reducing the intake of animal protein and increasing the intake of fresh vegetables and fruits.
As mentioned, the enzymes in fruits can help induce the apoptosis. Among them, enzymes found in pineapples, kiwi fruits, figs, and green papaya are believed to be especially superior.
In the Biozyme program, Dr. Shinya recommends eating fruit to supplement the missing enzymes in your organism. These fruit enzymes have a structure that is very close to those of the enzymes found in lysosome (membrane-enclosed organelles that contain an array of enzymes).
Furthermore, besides their many benefits, fruits are rich sources of antioxidant components or phytochemicals that can aid the function of enzymes. A diet rich in fresh fruit is linked to improving health and increasing life power in different ways that go beyond simply supplementing nutrients.
Fasting is, by definition, a willing reduction or abstinence from some (or all) food and drink for a period. People begin fasting for some different reasons, including medical and religious.
It is not a very popular practice, because, who likes to be hungry? However, that can be a good thing from time to time, since it causes enzymes to activate and clean out, thus re-energizing the cells in your body.
If that is to extreme for you, you can simply eat more moderately, that is, stop eating before you feel full. Also, you can give up snacking and try to increase the period in between the meals, so that you feel hungry more times a day. If your goal is to activate the enzymes, moderate fasting will be necessary, whether you like it or not, because the key to elevating your life power might just be, not in eating, but in not eating.
This practice that includes everything from periodic multiday fasts to skipping a meal or two some days of the week is called intermittent fasting, and it is believed to have the same health benefits that uninterrupted calorie restriction promises.
One of its main effects is increasing the body's responsiveness to insulin, the hormone in charge of regulating blood sugar. The decreased sensitivity to insulin is often associated with obesity, diabetes and heart failure, while long-lived people tend to have unusually low levels of insulin, probably because their cells are more sensitive to insulin and therefore need less of it.
Fasting can, therefore, be the best anti-aging treatment available to all. It is a whole new understanding of how to stay vital and youthful.
Here are some of the practices this healthy eating plan approach is based on, so that you can know their benefits and ways to implement them into your daily life.
How To Choose The Right Food For You
Although there are some foods that are bad for everyone (e.g. processed foods) and some that are good for everyone (e.g. most of the vegetables), each organism is different with its own different needs, situations and conditions. If you choose a diet that is just right for you, you may contribute to your overall health and avoid filling your cells with garbage.
1. Why can one suffer from malnutrition despite satiation?
Take a look at the nutrients in A, B, C, and D columns again. Although it sounds illogical, many people who have opulent meals can still be deficient in nutrition. It is because a diet packed with animal-based food (meat and dairy products) and refined grains (bread, white rice, pasta) may be severely deficient in nutrients belonging to groups A, B and C.
Also, many of those who consider their diet includes enough vegetables can still be deficient in enzymes because they are consuming cooked or grilled instead of raw vegetables, but enzymes in vegetables may be compromised or even destroyed when they’re heat-treated.
2. Choose food with life power (whole foods)
Our modern lifestyle offers many convenient and fast ways to introduce certain nutrients in our diet. However, the very concept of breaking down food to the nutrients it contains and then supplementing those foods with vitamin and mineral supplements is a complete misunderstanding of the concept of life power. Those little pieces patched together do not make a whole that fills your organism with life power – whole food does.
Instead of reducing calorie intake, you should pay attention to the quality of food you are eating. Brown rice that hasn’t gone through as much processing as its cousin white rice is, therefore, always a better choice for your health. Refined flour, on the other hand, misses the germ and the bran and it doesn’t provide you with enough vitamins and minerals, and it should be replaced with whole grains, and so on…
3. Minimize the consumption of foods that generate garbage in your cells
Ever since people started to view diet as a path to a healthy life, the first step to a clean diet was identifying the foods that can harm our organisms. In this occasion, we are discussing those foods that are accumulating garbage in our cells.
The result of such poor diet choices can appear in the form of constipation, diarrhea, headaches, menstrual disorders, and allergies.
To stop this negative cycle, you should gradually change your diet by reducing the consumption of animal-based foods and refined grains, which are the main culprits for generating garbage in the cells.
There is an entire school of opinion that meat and dairy products are more nutritious than plant foods, like fruits and vegetables, due to the high amounts of protein. However, besides the protein, animal-based foods contain cholesterol and animal fat which can be dangerous to our health if taken in excess. They also lack dietary fiber which means consuming them can lead to deterioration of intestinal activities and development of vast amounts of bad bacteria.
On the other hand, carbohydrates are considered to be the main villains of diets, since there are believed to be the cause of weight gain. However, a diet completely devoid of carbohydrates can risk your health in exchange for a quick and temporary weight loss. The problem isn't in carbohydrates themselves, but in the refined carbohydrates, that should, by all means, be avoided.
Many people stick to the apparently simpler diet choices, such as white rice and white bread, because they believed they are tastier and easier to cook, as opposed to brown rice and whole grains that are thought to taste worse and are more difficult to cook and harder to digest. However, when you get used to their taste, you will see they are just as delicious as their unhealthy counterparts, and there are also many easy ways to cook brown rice.
4. The ratio of plant-based food and animal-based food should be 7 to 1
Consuming meat does induce growth, but that doesn’t mean that one will not grow unless he eats meat. There are much herbivorous among wild animals (e.g. elephants and bulls) that are well built and have more developed muscles than some of the carnivorous animals.
Carnivorous animals, such as lions or cheetahs, can capture prey very fast and easily, but they don’t have sustained power. When it comes to stamina, herbivorous animals are far superior to lions and cheetahs and some other carnivores. There is no evidence proving that meat-eaters are naturally stronger or have better body constitution than animals which eat only plant food.
There is a question that continues to pop up when it comes to our dietary habits. Are humans carnivorous or herbivorous? Although we are categorized as omnivorous, this is not necessarily correct.
Of course, if we would compare various meat-based foods, we would conclude that fish is the best way to eat animal-source food, due to its richness in omega fatty acids and other nutrients.
When observing the rate Dr. Shinya advises, we can see that most people today are eating too much animal-based food which opposes to the natural order and leads to various diseases.
5. Nutritional science produces people with diabetes
The core of the Shinya diet, which insists of plant-source foods, may seem too strict to people who are used to eating meat in almost every meal. However, there can be no doubt that the glut of these meat-heavy meals is exhausting both for your body and mind.
Switching to whole grains or mixed grains which are a rich source of dietary fibers and are digested slowly can prevent a rapid elevation of the glucose level in blood and also provide enough nutrients for a proper body functioning. As for the problem of overeating, we have already mentioned that it can be addressed by chewing more slowly and thus giving your brain the time to realize your body is full.
6. Water is an important nutrient
Approximately 60 percent of your body weight is water. Your body uses water in organs, cells, and tissues to maintain all important bodily functions. However, you lose water through sweating, breathing, urinating and digestion.
An adult person loses about 2.5 liters of water as urine and sweat each day, and therefore the deficiency in water that happens as a consequence should be compensated by drinking enough water during the day. If we assume the water you get from foods is 1 liter, there is still need to supply your body with a minimum of 1.5 liters (6.5 cups) of water by drinking it.
7. The body does not want tea, sports drinks or alcohol
- What do you drink after you finish a sports activity? A bottle of sports drink, tea or water? The label can read that it is a perfect amount of minerals and amino acids for recovery after practice, but sports drinks can also contain a lot of refined sugar.
Nothing can serve as an alternative to water after such activities.
- Not even tea. Although teas have a healthier image than high-sugar soft drinks, they also contain tannin, a bitter substance that can roughen the mucous membranes in the stomach.
- Moreover, teas also contain larger amounts of caffeine than coffee. As it is well known, caffeine has a strong diuretic effect, so that most of the water in the tea you will be quickly excreted without hydrating your cells. In other words, by drinking tea, you are dehydrating yourself on the cellular level.
- It is also a bad idea to have a chilled beer when you are thirsty, even though it provides an instant satisfaction.
The alcohol inside the beer can prevent the supply of nutrients and oxygen to your cells and prevent the elimination of waste.
To sum up, you should minimize the consumption of sports drinks, energy drinks, soft drinks, alcohol and tea, and maximize the consumption of water.
8. Bottled or canned fruit juice may be devoid of enzymes
Vegetables and fruits are good for your body, but they are the best when consumed raw or when you juice them yourself. Some labels may be claiming that the bottle contains a 100% fruit juice, but that is not that likely, especially because such juices are usually made from concentrate. The useful enzymes are lost through the process of heat treating the fruits to create concentrated juice, so you are essential, losing the best thing you can get from fresh fruits.
9. Health benefits of fermented foods
The majority of bacteria that exist in human intestines are bacteria neither good nor bad, but more precise, intermediate bacteria. However, they can become beneficial or harmful depending on your actions.
Supporting beneficial bacteria in your intestines leads to a healthy life. This doesn’t mean destroying the harmful bacteria, or making the good, but eating in a way that prevents the intermediate bacteria from becoming bad. Fermented food can help with that.
People whose base their diet on meat, dairy products, and processed foods without any intake of fermented foods should devote special attention to preventing the development of bad bacteria since they are the most likely to lose stamina and energy and they also show more and more signs of disease as they age.
Consuming fermented food, on the other hand, replenishes the body with enzymes and thus improves its energy levels. Still, it’s important to use quality fermenting appliances such as (fermenting crock pot) to ensure the best quality of the meal altogether.
It is true, however, that no matter how many nutrients we may get from foods, we would not be able to maintain our energy if we did not have sufficient enzymes in our body. This is why I call enzymes the source of life energy.
Golden Keys To Good Health
Now that we have made it clear just how important it is to maintain optimal levels of enzymes and take care of our diet, it is the time to summarize all the things that are necessary to live a healthy life and be full of life power and energy.
- A good healthy meal plan is 85–90% plant-based foods
- 50% whole grains, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, barley, whole grain bread, cereals, soy beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans lentils, pigeon peas, black, white & pink beans,
- 30% green and yellow vegetables; root vegetables, including carrots, potatoes, carrots, beets, and yams,
- 5–10% fruits, seeds, and nuts
- 10–15% animal-based proteins (no more than 3 to 4 oz per day)
- Foods to add to your diet plan
- Herbal teas
- Bee pollen and propolis
- Seaweed tablets (kelp)
- Enzyme supplements
- Brewer's yeast (good source of B-complex vitamins and minerals)
- Multivitamin & mineral supplement
- Foods & substances to avoid or limit in your diet
- Dairy products such as cow's milk, yogurt, cheese, and other milk products
- Japanese green tea, Chinese tea, English tea (limit to 1–2 cups per day)
- Sweets and sugar
- Regular table salt (Use sea salt instead)
- Fat and oils
- Additional dietary recommendations
- Stop eating and drinking 4 to 5 hours before bedtime.
- Chew every mouthful 30 to 50 times.
- Do not eat between meals except for whole fruit if hunger keeps you awake during the night or prevents you from being active during the day.
- Eat fruits and drink juices 30-60 minutes before meals.
- Eat more food raw or lightly steamed. Heating food over 118° F will damage enzymes.
- Do not eat oxidized foods. (fruit that has turned brown, has begun to oxidize)
- Be disciplined with the food you eat. Remember you are what you eat.
- Eat whole, unrefined grains, and cereals.
- Eat fermented foods.
- Good water (PH>8.5)
As we mentioned, water is essential for your health, but you can’t just drink any water. It is important to choose water that has not been polluted with toxins and chemical substances. Drinking “good water” such as hard or mineral water, which has much calcium and magnesium, will keep your body at an optimal alkaline pH. Here are some additional recommendations for water consumption:
- Adults should drink at least between 6 and 10 cups of water every day.
- Drink 1–3 glasses of good water after waking up in the morning.
- Drink 2–3 glasses of water about one hour before every meal.
- Moderate exercise
- Exercise is necessary for good health, as long as it is appropriate for your age and physical condition because excessive physical activity can release free radicals and harm your body.
- Some beneficial forms of exercise are walking (2.5 miles), doing tennis, golf, swimming, bicycling, muscle strengthening, martial arts, yoga, and aerobics.
- Adequate rest
- Get six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep and try to go to bed at the same time every night.
- Do not eat or drink anything four to five hours before bedtime. If you are feeling too hungry or thirsty to bear, have a small piece of fruit one hour before going to bed.
- Take a power nap of about 30 minutes after lunch.
- Breathing and meditation
- Practice deep abdominal breathing four or five times per hour and meditate from time to time.
- Wear loose clothes that do not restrict your breath.
- Think positively.
- Listen to your own body and be good to yourself.
- Joy and love
- Joy and love will not only boost your mood but also your body’s enzyme factor.
- Appreciate life’s little wonders.
- Live passionately.