Question 2/20 from Andrew:

I was raised with an understanding of healthy eating. I stay away from the typical junk food snacking and fried food mania, yet I still do not feel that I am getting the proper nutrients. Do you have a few rules to live by?



Answer from SkillfulDoc:


The two primary guidelines I urge my patients to follow with regard to nutrition are to eat seasonally and to eat whole foods.


In the introduction of my book, Skillful Living, I begin to explain the connection between a person’s state of health and their relationship with nature. For example, an indication of low energy or a weakened immune system during certain seasons is often the indicator that an individual is the failing to match their diet and behavioral patterns to the season itself. For instance, it makes sense to eat warmer, more filling foods in the winter and to reduce your activity level somewhat compared to what you would otherwise do in the summer. Frankly, our society’s “advances” in technology and scientific knowledge which have allowed us to gain a measure of dominance over nature, comes with a price. It really has to be questioned as to whether theses “advances” are really an achievement, or whether they challenge us even more.


Today, many of us have lost sight of our connection to nature particularly as an organizing force the helps us remain balanced. Many health conditions which are considered common, from headaches to mood swings, can be attributed to an imbalanced lifestyle. We have come to expect certain aches and pains as normal in our daily lives, and have lost the instinctual alarm to make the appropriate changes. Quite regularly we reach for pills to mask the symptoms.


To live an optimal healthy life is to master a skill; to master skillful living. We must learn about proper nutrition to accomplish this. Having yogurt and fruit in the morning, then, while healthier than some breakfast choices, becomes even healthier when the fruit we chose is local and seasonal. Eating seasonally simplifies our daily nutrition decisions. By eating what is growing locally, our nutritional intake is aligned with the seasons, and therefore more aligned with life around us. This may be one of the more important components to living a skillful life.


Getting back to your question, as you can see, proper nutrition is one aspect of keeping our bodies balanced. Your feeling of nutritional deficiency, however, can also be attributed to imbalance resulting from a lessoned awareness of nature’s cycles in other respects. For example, knowledge of the stages of the moon and tides will help regulate sleep patterns as well as mood swings. The easiest ways to come into greater balance right now is to eat seasonal whole foods, get outside to enjoy the lengthening days and sunshine,, and give yourself several hours in the evening, free from stimulating activities (and TV) to wind down. I’d call that Skillful Living!



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