Tips From Dr. J & Mercedes

The Jordan Method, Supporting The Body Through Nutrition
Thursday April 11, 2024 by Christopher Jordan

This narrative will focus on the body from a nutritional aspect. “You are what you eat,” is a phrase, whose origin is uncertain, but certainly resonates with most nutritionists. In the narrative subtitled, “The Principles of Mind, Body, Spirit,” the most dense division of the lowest aspect of our Energy Selves is the physical body. In Vedic tradition this is called Anna Maya Kosha. In Sanskrit (an ancient Indian language) Anna means food. The physical body is literally increased from childhood to adulthood due to the accumulation of the food that we put into it. Thus, the quality of what we put into ourselves will directly influence the quality of our bodies. Know also that body tissues, or at least their molecular make-up, are replicated throughout our lifetimes, so we can actually rebuild ourselves periodically. You are not doomed by your earlier dietary indiscretions. Although, it would be better to start early with appropriate dietary habits

Forty years ago, an internal medicine physician commented once that it didn’t matter what foods you ate, as long as they contained the essential building blocks required for the development and normal functioning of our bodies. The medical community in that same time period, suggested that the use of nutritional supplements was unnecessary. Both of these concepts can be considered accurate if we assume that our food choices are considerate of the foundations of these statements. Our foods must contain the essential ingredients of life. We must consume essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. What makes these elements of our diets essential is that they are required for our development and normal bodily functions as we don’t make them, but that our bodies make everything that we do create from them.

The intention of this narrative is to outline the very basic tenants of our diets. The word diet indicates the foods we consume. Too often we think of it synonymously with weight loss. While how much we eat is important, a simple guide found below will address that. What we should eat are foods that when consumed in a day provide those essential elements indicated above, while minimizing anything that is challenging to the body. It is best to consume minimally or avoid totally excess calories, unnecessary chemicals, refined or processed foods. Eat as close to nature as possible. In our current state of existence, this is a significant challenge. Do the absolute best that you can, and rely on the power of your body to process what you take in and effectively eliminate what is not required. Above all, do not stress about it. Trust the inherent capacity of our bodies’ to survive.

Without attempting to teach all of the biochemistry that it requires to become a clinician, let’s review the basics, with which some may be familiar. Our cellular structure and the chemicals necessary for normal physiology are derived from both fatty acids and amino acids. The former are found in lipid* based foods, the latter in protein based foods. Carbohydrates are our primary source of energy, but “sugars” also contribute to the molecular foundation of that which determines how everything will “Be” in our bodies: How we are made and how all of that works. The backbone of our DNA is sugar. The base pairs attached to the backbone, which define everything living, are amino acids. Quick note on energy: we can derive energy from fats and proteins as well. There are elements of how we release energy within each cell that require a more complex knowledge of biochemistry, which we will avoid to reduce confusion. Perhaps we may be too late for that, but please read on.

*Lipids are the fatty stuff, which includes cholesterol, which is essential to our health. All of our cell membranes contain lipids. Which sources of fat effect the characteristics of each cell, including how they function. Dr. Jordan frequently stresses paying attention to the fatty acids of our diets relative to inflammation. Science has shown that if the composition of our foods is too high in omega-6 fatty acids as compared to omega-3 fatty acids (greater than a 4:1 ratio), there is a greater propensity for the expression of the chemistry associated with inflammation. The foods that have this higher ratio are those that grow on stalks: wheat, rice, corn and oats. While these foods have rich sources of nutrients, when consumed without a balance of higher omega-3 food sources, they can be pro-inflammatory. Foods that have a high omega-3 composition are: deep green leafy foods such as kale, spinach and collards; seeds such as flax, quinoa, hemp and chia; and fish and fish oil or other marine lipid oil. When consumed in the same meal high omega-6 foods and high omega-3 foods compliment each other. Pasta and spinach, oat meal with ground flax, rice and fish, are examples.

Protein sources can be vegetable based or meat based. Look up vegetables that have all of the essential amino acids, or eat ones together that fulfill that requirement. Eat meats that are less fatty, naturally grazing or grass fed, or wild caught. Carbohydrates should be complex, ideally not simple sugars, and contain fiber naturally, i.e. whole foods. Your plate should contain ¾ vegetables and ¼ protein. The vegetables should ideally be leaves, stalks or seed bearing parts. Roots also contain beneficial nutrients and do not contribute to inflammation, but are highly caloric. When you do, it is best to consume more colorful roots: beets, carrots, the more colorful potatoes, as these colors are antioxidants.

Eating less is achieved by eating slowly. Chew each bite of food until you can no longer discern the texture of the food you just put in your mouth. By doing so, you completely masticate the food to provide more surface area for enzymatic digestion in the gastrointestinal tract, and supply moisture to the bolus of food you are about to swallow, which eliminates the need to wash it down. Washing it down dilutes your digestive juices promoting bloating and other aspects of poor digestion. You should not have a beverage with your meal, unless you are consuming very lightly with a pairing beverage. Prior to as an apeitif, is certainly ok and can be a lovely way to relax before a meal, especially with guests. Starches begin to be broken down while chewing as well, as there are enzymes in our saliva that contribute to this process. The wafting of flavors through the back of the throat into our nasal passages activate receptors in our olfactory system (the sense of smell) that stimulate the pancreatic activity associated with the digestion of the type of foods we are consuming. Eating slowly helps us achieve satiety naturally, telling us we have consumed enough. If you have issues with over-eating, seek support.

Food is our foundation. Choose wisely. Eat moderately. Enjoy thoroughly.

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