Nutritional Balancing for Dummies: DIET
Welcome to the Nutritional Balancing for Dummies series! Over the next few weeks, I’m going to dissect the four components of a Nutritional Balancing protocol and explain each one in layman’s terms.
I wrote a comprehensive explanation entitled What Is Nutritional Balancing? at Traditional Cooking School several months ago. In that post, I cite all kinds of scientific references for the four parts of a successful NB protocol: diet, lifestyle, supplements, and detox. If you’re new to this NB thing, I highly, highly recommend you click on that link and read that post first. Then come back here, and things will make a lot more sense!
Today’s post is an in-depth explanation of the diet aspect. I’m also going to explain how I’ve incorporated NB into my lifestyle and some exceptions to the “rules” that I’ve allowed on my program.
I’ve been following a Nutritional Balancing protocol for over a year. In that time, I have seen symptoms and issues that I’ve had for literally my entire life — things I didn’t even know were “symptoms” because I’d had them for so long and they felt totally normal — disappear.
When you try to explain Nutritional Balancing to people, most of what you say typically goes right over their heads … because it’s A LOT of information. I lose people somewhere between “I take 24 pills a day” and “I love coffee enemas”.
(Actually, neither of those statements is a joke…)
Think about a wooden chair with four legs. What happens if you saw one of the legs off? The chair tips over, right?
Well, that’s how important each aspect of NB is.
You can change your diet, de-stress your lifestyle, and sit in a sauna daily, but if you’re NOT taking your supplements, you won’t see the full benefits a NB program can give your body. You can take supplements, do coffee enemas, and eat veggies all day long, but if you don’t learn how to relax and de-stress your lifestyle, your program will be lacking.
Each aspect of NB works with the other three aspects to give you a completely holistic and balanced healing approach that truly addresses the mind, body, and soul.
If you’re not doing one aspect of the program, you’re not going to have a completely successful program. Period.
If you read my post at Traditional Cooking School, but still find yourself scratching your head, trying to figure out exactly what you’re supposed to do on your NB program, this post will help you. And let’s be honest, Dr. Wilson (one of NB’s pioneering practitioners) is a freaking genius when it comes to this stuff, but seriously, who has time to sift through, process, and absorb all the information he offers??
Well, uh, actually I do; but even I have to keep going back and sifting through the articles to find what I’m looking for.
Today, I’m going to focus on one leg of the chair: DIET.
Hopefully, I’ll answer any questions you may still have lingering about what a NB diet looks like. And if I don’t accomplish my goal, that’s what the comments section is for! If you ask a question in the comments, I promise I’ll answer it to the best of my abilities. 🙂
Fasten your seat belts and get ready to download a lot of info…
NB Diet for Dummies
You need easy-to-digest foods that are rich in minerals and vitamins so that your body can begin to replenish depleted minerals and balance out those out-of-balance ratios your practitioner is telling you about. Organic foods are preferred simply because they are cleaner and will not be adding any more toxins into your already overloaded body. Fresh, organic vegetables and pastured meats are the focus of a NB protocol.
A NB diet focuses heavily on cooked vegetables because they’re easier to digest and metabolize, making their vitamins and minerals more readily used and absorbed. Dr. Wilson says that around 80% of your daily intake of food should be cooked, but not over-cooked, vegetables!
Veggies you want to focus on include any and all of the following:
- Cruciferous veggies: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, broccoli romanesco, and broccoli rabe.
- Green, leafy veggies: kale, spinach, arugula, turnip and mustard greens, watercress, chard (Botanically, many of these are in the cruciferous family, but for the purposes of NB, we’re going to call them leafy greens. They should be a daily staple in any NB program.)
- Root and winter veggies: carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, onions, radishes, taro, golden beets, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash.
Healthy meats and fats:
- grass-fed lamb
- wild, canned sardines
- pastured chicken or turkey
- pastured, soft-cooked eggs
- raw dairy, such as cheese, butter, and yogurt
- grass-fed beef and bison
- wild venison and elk
- olive oil
- quality sea salt,
Foods to have in small amounts (less than 10% of one’s daily intake) include:
- roasted almond butter
- quinoa and rice
- millet and amaranth
- blue corn tortillas and tortilla chips
- alternative sweeteners xylitol and erythritol
- pastas made from corn, quinoa, or rice
- dried beans and lentils in small amounts (of course, I advocate for Traditional preparation of all legumes)
Avoid these foods:
- Boxed, canned, and processed foods
- All fruits (here’s why)
- Wheat and spelt
- Processed dairy, including pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized milk, cheese, and yogurt, processed cheese food (Velveeta), chocolate milk, and low-fat dairy
- Nightshades: eggplant, peppers, okra, potatoes, tomatoes
- Zucchini and yellow squash
- Red beets
- Coconut oil, avocado oil, and palm oil
- Honey, sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup
- Fish and seafood (because of high levels of mercury and toxicity of bottom-dwellers)
- All pork products
- Fermented foods, except yogurt and kefir
- Alcohol, soy, and coffee
Dr. Wilson highly recommends that every person following a NB program consume 10-12 ounces of fresh carrot juice per day. Carrot juice adds valuable minerals to the diet, especially a bio-available form of calcium. He also seems to like wheat grass juice, about 2 ounces, if one prefers wheat grass over carrot juice. The juice is highly beneficial for liver detoxification and methylation — processes which need to occur on a successful NB program.
Juices should not be consumed with meals. Wait until two hours before or after a meal before drinking freshly pressed juices, but if at all possible, incorporate some fresh carrot and/or wheat grass juice into your NB program.
Drinking spring water is a big deal. Dr. Wilson recommends spring water, and spring water ONLY, as your beverage of choice on your program. He suggests drinking 32 ounces of water first thing in the morning.
Spring water is high in naturally occurring minerals, unlike reverse osmosis and distilled water. Drinking “purified” water, “alkaline” water, and other designer waters do not contain those valuable minerals and are actually chelating minerals out of the body, contributing even more to deficiencies and imbalances — which are exactly what we’re trying to correct in the first place!
Dr. Wilson wants each adult to drink at least three quarts of spring water daily. Carbon-only filtered water is the second best option. (See this post for a discussion on water filtration options.)
Now, here’s where I want to say that, in working with my practitioner, I have made some exceptions to these dietary recommendations and do not follow them to the letter. One very important truth: YOU have to do whatever it takes to set yourself up for success on any healing program you choose to embark on. If making a few exceptions to the rules means you are happier and sane on your program, then make a few exceptions! Listen to YOUR body, first and foremost, and to your practitioner!
Some of the foods that Dr. Wilson doesn’t incorporate into a Nutritional Balancing protocol are wonderful foods for the body, and I have made these foods part of my diet with the knowledge and guidance of my practitioner.
I regularly eat sweet potatoes, avocados, coconut oil, and tomatoes. I also make my own salsa, which contains an abundance of nightshades* (see note at the bottom). I eat asparagus and summer squashes, in season. If the goal is to consume up to nine cups of cooked vegetables per day, then I had to be able to incorporate a wider variety of veggies and also to keep veggies that I know and love as part of my diet. And, by the way, I don’t eat anywhere close to nine cups of veggies per day; I don’t even eat nine cups of food per day!
Although Dr. Wilson isn’t a fan of soups, we do soup once or twice a week. I believe in the importance of bone broth far too much to cut it out of my or my family’s diet. We also still consume fermented foods, besides yogurt. Like bone broth, I believe in the benefits of fermented foods, and do not feel that they compromise the success I’ve experienced on my program.
Pork products are also supposed to be eliminated from a NB diet, but we still eat very clean bacon and sausage. We’ve never been pork chops or pork tenderloin people, but I’m 100% sure you could tell me I’m allergic to bacon and I still wouldn’t give it up. 🙂 I can understand why Dr. Wilson recommends steering clear of pork since it can be difficult to find clean, pastured pork, and at the time of his writings, that type of pork was nearly unheard of. I won’t eat supermarket pork either. Gross!
I’ve never been a big fruit eater; the texture of most fruits is off-putting to me, and honestly I’d rather eat roasted veggies, eggs, and bacon! While on my NB program, I occasionally have a smoothie made with strawberries, blueberries, coconut milk, avocado, and chia seeds. Berries are among the lowest sugar fruits, and since I’m not even eating them weekly, I don’t feel badly about a smoothie now and then. I do make a point to stay away from the higher-sugar fruits: mangos, pineapple, melons, apples, and bananas.
When I first began NB, I was religious about juicing carrots everyday. I did add some green apple and lemon to my carrot juice to make it taste better. I experienced a lot of liver and gallbladder detox issues when I first started NB, so I added red beets to my juicing routine since beets are incredibly helpful to the liver/gallbladder. I have to admit that I’ve been out of the juicing habit for a while now. I have a hundred excuses too, but really my problem is that I’ve gotten lazy about it. Sigh…
Now, if any NB police are reading, this is where you get off … exit the blog and go on policing elsewhere … buh-bye.
(Whispers): I still drink alcohol.
Yup, you read that right. I don’t drink it daily or even weekly by any means, but if I’m with my girlfriends or having a date night with The Hubs, chances are I’m going to drink a glass or two of wine. I might even get crazy and have a margarita.
Why? Because I’m all about balance. The minute life becomes about following a bunch of eating rules and putting those rules above relaxing or fun or life’s simple pleasures is the minute I’ll throw this whole thing out the window. I get it that there are people who absolutely cannot make exceptions like this because of dire consequences to their bodies, but I am not one of those people, thank goodness.
Annnnnd, I still eat salmon. Wild-caught, of course, but my humble opinion is that the benefits of a superfood like salmon outweigh any potential exposure to heavy metals like mercury.
… and now back to our discussion …
I, personally, cannot fathom drinking a quart of water as soon as I wake up. I try as hard as I can to listen to my body’s cues throughout the day and remain hydrated. I am a stickler for natural spring water and won’t drink anything else. Since I started drinking spring water, I feel like my body’s water requirement has decreased — most likely do to the fact that spring water is so hydrating, not dehydrating like distilled or reverse osmosis water.
I want to be very clear that just following the dietary aspect of NB will not be enough to experience deep healing and detox of heavy metals. The other three legs of the chair are still vital to the success of a NB protocol. I also want to emphasize that the exceptions I have made on my program will most likely be different from any potential exceptions you can make. I work closely with my practitioner and speak with him on a weekly basis to monitor my program — and you should work as closely with yours.
*Many people are highly sensitive to nightshades and may not even know it. If you suspect nightshades may be an issue for you, the best way to be sure is to eliminate them completely for a few weeks and then reintroduce them, paying close attention to any symptoms, digestive distress, rashes, or other things that might feel “off” in your body.
So, now you know what the dietary recommendations are for a NB protocol. I have just saved you hours of pouring over research — you’re welcome. 😉
Are you following a Nutritional Balancing program? Can you share your experiences with us?
Be sure to come back next week for the next post in this series — Nutritional Balancing for Dummies: Detox!