Healing With Food

Good nutrition is perhaps the most powerful medicine we have against chronic disease. The art of eating food for its medicinal value dates back more than 5,000 years. Herbs, spices and other nutritional substances are the oldest form of medicine known to man.


Western medicine is incredible when there is a serious illness or injury, but too many people rely on daily medication to fix preventable damage they create.

Over the counter medicine doesn’t fix the root of the problem. Pills can buy time, but never health, because pills generally fail to address the original cause of the problem or disease.

In the U.S alone, approximately 106,000 people die a year from adverse reactions to drugs that were recommended to them.

Billions of dollars has been spent researching disease, yet very little has been spent on prevention. It’s disturbing that less than 6% of graduating physicians in the U.S receive any formal training in nutrition.

Mass advertising and marketing has made pharmaceutical medicine appear like the only option. Over $5 billion is spent annually on advertising for prescription medications. With all this information, patients are telling doctors what type of drugs they need.

Most modern medicine creates unwanted side effects. Ads and commercials tell us, ‘Take this drug to cure this problem, but it may cause you to suffer from X, Y and Z.’ How crazy is that when you think about it? You’re taking a pill to fix one problem, that creates several more. Yet people still do it. Why? Because swallowing a pill is easier then changing what you eat and your lifestyle.

The typical Western diet is high in processed foods, full of sugars and trans-fatty acids that burden our bodies with small particles called “free radicals.” These tiny particles are the leading cause of disease. Daily abuse begins to feel normal, and we forget how great good health can feel. Fresh nutritious food can heal and prevent many health problems without harmful side effects.

In other parts of the world natural medicine is widely used and respected, but it’s thought of as an alternative medicine in the Western world. In China most hospitals have at least one acupuncturist and herbalist, and use more than 300 different kinds of medicinal herbs. Adverse reactions to Chinese herbs are extremely rare and are negligible when compared to those commonly produced by pharmaceutical drugs.

“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” These are the words of Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician from 400 BC. He blamed the cause of any illness to poor nutrition and bad eating habits. Today Hippocrates is known as the founder of natural medicine. He also said, “Feed a cold, starve a fever.” Advice still quoted today.

Instead of taking a pill for every ill, we need to focus on what’s making us sick to start with. Poor nutrition isn’t the only thing that affects our health. Lack of sleep, stress, smoking, alcohol and pollution are all added pressures that can influence our mood and immunity system. Before reaching for a pill to mask an underlying ailment, eliminate the root of the problem for optimal health with no hidden side effects.

You can’t always control the circumstances that life throws your way, but you can control how well you take care of yourself.

Andrea Maria Sims ~ Holistic Nutritional Advisor


Health ~ The Bare Bone Basics…


We tend to take good health for granted, but your health is the most important thing you have. Money can’t buy it, and life is not the same without it.

Living in a fast paced society, where days are busy and we’re always on the go, we often eat or drink without stopping to think…

What is this? Where did it come from? How was it made? And what is it doing to my body?

It’s strange that as a nation we give so little thought to food, when in fact food is the main component keeping us alive. Food gives us energy, while feeding and nourishing all the organs that enable our body to work. What you eat has an impact on your physical and mental health, as well as your energy level.

The word diet makes us think of losing weight and suffering. The truth is, the word diet actually means the steady intake of food. When you eat well, you put less stress on the body allowing it to function more efficiently.

Changing your diet can be difficult at first, but the human body is amazingly adaptable. You can train your body to do almost anything. It only takes three days to create a habit. So in three days you could already be adapting to a healthier life style.

One of the craziest diet myths out there…

If you skip a meal, then it’s o.k to eat cookies or chocolate instead.

The nutritional value of cookies or chocolate is practically zero. Yes, they will give you a short burst of energy, but they will do nothing to nourish and support your body and internal organs. Over time your health and appearance will suffer if your body is not supplied with the vital nutrients and anti-oxidants it needs. And skipping meals is never a good idea. I’ll tell you why…

Your Basil Metabolic Rate, {BMR} is the tick over speed of your body. This is the energy required to keep your body working. Even if you laid in bed all day and did nothing, your body would still need a certain amount of calories to function. Your BMR is what your body needs without using any extra energy on activity. For the average women it’s usually about 1500 calories, for men roughly 2500.

Your BMR can change. Let’s say you have a BMR of 1500, so you need 1500 calories a day to keep your body working. You’ve been eating more than that, and have put on a few pounds. If you crash diet, by reducing calorie intake radically over night and skipping meals, it upsets your body’s BMR. This can actually make you gain weight. Your body will go into panic mode and shut-down to preserve calories. It will respond to starvation by slowing down the vital processes to preserve energy, which will lower your body’s BMR. So if you needed 1500 calories a day to function, now your body has adjusted and it might only need 1300.


The best way to lose weight is to eat fresh, clean and green, and exercise. Once you start to feel the benefits, you won’t want to go back to eating any other way.

The Atkins diet was very popular a few years ago. This high protein diet cuts out carbs, {energy,} so of course you will lose weight quickly, but it messes with your body’s BMR. So when you do start eating carbs again, you put the weight back on fast.

High protein diets are dangerous because too much protein can make the blood very acidic. To counteract this acidity, calcium is pulled from the bones. We already start losing bone density by about 30. You don’t want to lose anymore, because this can put you in danger of developing Osteoporosis.

Protein is needed for growth and repair, not for energy. When your body isn’t given any carbs, {energy} it will have to turn protein into energy. This is extra work for your body. Many people on high protein, low carb diets, complain of feeling weak and tired. When you feed your body natural carbohydrates, your body will feel better, because it won’t be working as hard wasting all that time and energy converting protein into carbs. Protein should only be eaten in small amounts for growth and repair.

Fibre is essential for a healthy diet. We find fibre in things like brown rice, whole grain cereals, fruits and vegetables. Fibre can not be absorbed or digested, it just flushes straight through the digestive system, taking with it any toxins or build up and helping with constipation. It also helps you feel full for longer. When a good deal of fibre is eaten, sugar levels tend to be steadier.

High protein, low carb diets don’t provide enough fibre.


There are two different types of carbs. Good carbs, and bad carbs.

Good carbs are sprouted whole grains, vegetables and fresh fruits. They contain more complex, slow releasing carbs, which slows down the release of sugar into the blood stream.

Bad carbs are things, like white bread, {which has been bleached, and stripped of fibre and nutrients,} sugar, honey, candy and highly processed foods. These are fast releasing carbs, that send a quick burst of energy to your system. This requires a sudden burst of insulin to balance it. Then having spent the energy so quickly, the body feels exhausted and wants another quick fix, {sugar cravings.}

Sugar cravings can be fought by switching to good, slow releasing carbs, which will sustain your energy for longer periods.

Water is one of the most important things you can give your body. And most people don’t drink nearly enough of it. The average human body is 50 ~ 60% water. It keeps the body lubricated, helps cushion the joints, and keeps your body tissues such as eyes, nose and lungs moist. Blood is about 90% water. When you start to feel thirsty, this is your body telling you that your blood is too concentrated. Too late, you’re already dehydrated at this point. You should ideally be drinking about 2 litres of water a day. It flushes toxins out of your body and helps with digestion.

Vita means life in Latin. Vitamins help prevent and cure disease. Vitamins and minerals nourish the body and are essential for good health.

FAT! The word terrifies us. But the body does need good fats for good health. All of our organs are cushioned by fat, which helps protect them. It also acts as an emollient, keeping your skin and nails soft and supple. It’s also needed for good mental health, the brain is approximately 60% fat. Good fats are unsaturated fats, like nuts, seeds, and avocados. Most saturated fats are found in meat and oils.


Good digestion is the most crucial part of a healthy diet. If food is not digested properly, it’s not absorbed properly, which means even if you are eating lots of vitamins and minerals, your body is not absorbing all of them.

Your body produces around 10 litres of gastric juice a day which breaks down food. Digestion is a highly complex process that starts with the senses. The sight and smell of food initiate chemical reactions that get us ready to digest food. That’s why the smell of food makes us hungry. Chewing food is particularly important because it sends messages to the brain that are then sent to the digestive tract, telling it to start preparing gastric juices.

All the food you eat is liquefied by these digestive juices. So the more you chew your food and break it down, the less work your body has to do once it’s been swallowed.

One of the best things you can do to help your body break down food, is to stop eating carbs and protein together.

Hydrochloric acids and digestive enzymes break down your food. Different food types require different enzymes to break them down.

Protein requires a highly acidic enzyme to break down foods, this enzyme is called pepsin.

Carbohydrates need an almost neutral enzyme called salivary amylase, which is actually produced in the mouth.

These two enzymes do not mix well together. In fact salivary amylase is virtually destroyed when it’s mixed with highly acidic pepsin. This results in bad digestion, which results in bad absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Another reason why carbs and proteins should not be eaten together…

Carbs only need 2 ~ 3 hours to digest.

Proteins need 5 ~ 6 hours to digest.

When you eat these two foods together, the un-digested carbs have to sit in the stomach longer than necessary while waiting for the proteins to be broken down. This results in indigestion, stomach pain, and bloating.

Fruit is a very light food that only needs an hour to digest.

If it’s kept in the stomach any longer than this, the fruit starts to ferment.

That’s why fruit should be eaten on its own and not as part of a meal. Fruit should be eaten at least an hour before a meal, or two hours after any other food. This is the best way for your body to absorb all the vitamins and minerals, and to prevent the fruit from fermenting in your stomach, causing cramps and indigestion.

Not mixing carbs and protein is a little bit like being on the Atkins Diet, but you are allowed good carbs. You just can’t eat them with a protein.


If you want to be in great shape inside and out, exercise is the answer.

In our younger years, we’re usually strong, even if we don’t exercise. Around mid twenties, unless we exercise regularly, our body slowly becomes weak and more prone to sickness and disease.

Too many people spend the last 20 or 30 years of their life slowly dying. Muscle loss will age the human body quicker than any other factor.

Without physical movement, the lymphatic system isn’t stimulated, which means it’s harder for your body to detoxify bacteria, viruses and other impurities.

Exercise strengthens the heart, builds muscle, loosens joints, and improves circulation. It helps prevent high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, as well as keeping your body and attitude young and youthful.

After exercising you feel more relaxed, and some people say it even helps them sleep better.

When we feel tired and sluggish, we don’t realize it means our body needs movement. Instead, we misinterpret that feeling as a need to rest, which makes us feel even more sluggish.

Exercise breaks that lethargic feeling by getting your blood pumping and burning off the stagnant energy that’s built up. The movement WAKES YOU UP and makes you feel more dynamic.

Exercise can even become addictive because it increases Serotonin levels in your brain. These endorphins make you feel good! Once you’ve conditioned your body to a certain level of fitness, exercise isn’t a chore. Your body starts to crave movement because of the endorphins it produces.


And let’s not forget about rest and relaxation. A lot of people try to sleep as little as possible. There are so many things that seem more interesting or important than getting a few hours of extra sleep. But just as exercise and nutrition are essential for health and happiness, so is sleep. Sleep is needed to rejuvenate the cells, improve metal alertness, create emotional balance, and enhances your ability to handle stress. A good nights sleep can solve a myriad of problems.

So it’s pretty simple really, to look and feel great just takes a few common sense steps, which in return gives you optimal health, and more energy to live your life.

You can’t always control the circumstances that life throws your way, but you can control how well you take care of yourself…

Andrea Maria Sims ~ Holistic Nutritional Advisor www.imageandstyleguru.com