So you’ve transitioned away from processed foods and started eating healthier. That’s great!
You’re becoming more mindful of organic – maybe you’re buying more fruits and vegetables, and maybe even meat, poultry, and dairy products from sustainable sources.
Or, maybe you’ve made an effort to eliminate toxic vegetable oils and other artificial fats like margarine, shortening, or fake butter spreads.
You thought you were making some headway, but you’re not seeing as many improvements as you’d like. You’re still tired, have brain fog and inability to focus, or you’re short-tempered and have no patience. Maybe the weight is just not coming off like you wanted, or you are still having blood-sugar crashes and problems sleeping.
How could this be? Surely all the changes you’ve made should be making a difference and eliminating your health issues.
Don’t despair, there may simply be some very basic things you are missing. Here are some possible reasons why you may not be seeing the full benefits you’ve been hoping for:
1. You’re buying organic, but processed foods are still finding their way to your kitchen.
Just because the package says “organic” or “natural” doesn’t mean it’s not highly processed and full of non-food and toxic substances. If you are buying soups, salad dressings, marinades, sauces, macaroni and cheese, crackers, cookied, breads, chips, cereals, and other packaged carb foods, you aren’t doing your health any favors.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying foods at the store which are labeled “organic” but really might not be better for you because they are still high in sugar, contain foods that are subjected to high-heat or deodorization, contain modern, rancid oils like canola, soybean, or corn oil, There are other not-so-healthy ingredients in organic foods too such as various sweeteners like evaporated cane juice, dehydrated cane juice, brown rice syrup, oat, rice, and potato flours, “organic” and “natural” flavorings (which are just other names for MSG, by the way), “natural” colors and other ingredients that seem perfectly okay, but are highly processed and not natural at all.
Real foods made at home from scratch are what will help your body to heal and improve, but these highly processed foods, labeled organic or not, are just like conventional, processed foods and aren’t much better.
For more information, read Organic is Only Part of the Story and Deceptions in the Food Industry: “All-Natural”.
2. Maybe you are cheating more often than you should.
Okay, no one can be perfect all the time, and you’re doing much better than the past. You’ve started reading labels and being more mindful of organic and sustainable foods. But…maybe you are still eating out several times a week, or are still taking short cuts by buying processed foods, foods with pesticides/herbicides (commercially-grown produce, legumes, nuts, grains, etc.), or commercial meats/animal products that might have antibiotics/hormones? Eating healthy does cost more, but think of the cost savings you are doing for yourself buy eating better now for the future.
Read Is Cheap Food Really Cheap? The Hidden Costs of Industrial Food.
3. You’re skipping meals or not eating enough.
One of the biggest enemies of normal weight balance, normal blood sugar levels, consistent energy, and even moods is skipping meals or not eating enough. To keep your metabolism going strong, weight normal, and blood sugar even, regular meals are a must. Many degenerative diseases can be caused or made worse simply by not eating regular, nutritious meals such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other problems.
Try to make certain you eat at least three meals a day, and if you are battling adrenal fatigue, diabetes, weight issues, hormone, or blood sugar problems, you will probably need to eat more meals daily until those are ironed out…and with plenty of real, healthy fats.
4. Your digestive tract may need some assistance.
Like most people, you probably have some type of digestive issue. It’s also likely that at some point in your life you avoided real fats because mainstream health told you to do so. This has likely led to chronic digestive issues (and overall health issues too). Maybe you are now eating more full-fat foods than ever before, but are still experiencing digestive problems such as nausea or a feeling of indigestion, bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort, or diarrhea and constipation. But don’t give up! Real fats are critical to healing your body, so don’t make the mistake of returning back to low-fat and artificial fats.
If you are just starting to eat real fats again after many years of consuming modern, artificial fats or low-fat foods, it is beneficial to ease back into eating real fats again slowly to give you body a chance to adjust.
A dietary protocol like GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride) can also be very helpful to heal digestive issues and help you to digest fats properly again.
In general, I try to stay away from supplements. But some people need even more support because of failing health, and sometimes supplements are necessary. If after you have tried a healing protocol like GAPS and you find that you need something in addition to this, there are a few options available.
Good quality digestive enzymes can help. Our bodies need living enzymes to digest our food. When we’ve abused our bodies for years, enzyme production goes down significantly. Not any enzyme on the market will do. Many of these are expensive and the enzymes are not living. Taking dead enzymes will not only waste your money, but won’t heal your body.
I take Enzyme Formulations by Loomis Enzymes. Dr. Loomis, a chiropractor, was the original creator of enzyme for human beings. These are live digestive enzymes that everyone needs (and many are lacking in due to poor lifestyle and diet), and are accompanied by healing herbs. The blend of these two substances together combines a powerful healing action in the digestive tract and helps you to be able to absorb the nutrients in fats you eat while healing your gut at the same time.
To find out which enzymes are right for your body, it’s a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable practitioner who can test to find out what you need. The link provided above can tell you about practitioners in your area.
Another good choice is Swedish Bitters. Some people find that these are a great help to digesting fats, and that they only need to take them for a period of time until their digestion is healed. Read this helpful post from The Healthy Home Economist about Swedish Bitters.
Probiotics are really important too…that is, friendly bacteria. We have trillions upon trillions of cells in our bodies, and we need a good supply of beneficial bacteria to support the life of those cells. Most foods we eat are dead, and even those which are living are still probably lacking enough healthy flora for our guts and digestive systems. There is a lot of debate about probiotics, but from what I have researched, I understand that it is best to get as many of these little critters into your system as you can, EVERY DAY. That means eating fermented and cultured foods as often as possible, and a variety of them to create a diversity of bacteria. Home-made versions of these foods are superior to what you can buy in the store. And for some, that also means taking a therapeutic grade probiotic that will boost your numbers of good bacteria. Here are my picks:
5. You are still avoiding meat and animal products.
Meat, dairy products, and cheese have received a bad reputation for many years. The real culprits of disease and bad health are the commercial versions of these foods. Grass-fed meats & poultry, eggs from hens on pasture, and raw dairy foods from healthy cows provide critical fat-soluble vitamins not found elsewhere in our food supply. These are Vitamins A, D, E, and K2, also Omega 3s, a variety of minerals, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, an important antioxidant).
Fat-soluble activators A, D, and K2 allow the absorption of minerals into the body. Avoiding these foods will continue to lead to nutritional deficiencies over time, which will only get worse. So if you are still on the low-fat track, all bets are off that you’ll be able to overcome health challenges.
A diet that includes low-fat foods is not healthy. Those foods are still processed and don’t contain all the nutrients, enzymes, and co-factors you need to help you absorb and reap the benefits of what you are eating. So even if it’s organic, if it’s low-fat or reduced fat milk or cheese, or lean meat, all bets are off about it really giving you health benefits.
Dr. Weston A. Price discovered in his travels that all healthy populations he encountered consumed TEN TIMES the amount of fat-soluble vitamins than populations from developed countries. These groups of people enjoyed robust health and the presence of many modern diseases we are now very familiar with such as heart disease, obseity, cancer and diabetes were virtually unheard of. It was very common to see individuals living well into old age with no health problems, ease in conception and pregnancy, the ability to resist infectious and chronic disease and tooth decay, and children that were healthy without the chronic health issues we see today such as autism, ADD, obesity, frequent colds, ear aches, flus and other infections, tooth decay, and crooked teeth.
If you want to see big improvements in your health, increase your intake of healthy fats – butter, cream, sour cream, yogurt, kefir, lard, tallow, olive oil, coconut, palm oil, and fatty cuts of meat and poultry, bone broths, and organ meats from sustainable sources you trust.
Try buying meats and animal products from a local farmer that uses safe practices with raising their animals and birds. Here’s a helpful post about Questions to Ask Your Farmer.
Here is more information on the health benefits of real, grassfed meat: The Grassfed Meat Challenge: Busting Myths About Meat.
6. You are still eating grains (maybe even properly prepared), but your body is not doing well on them.
Many people in the real food community have advocated sprouting, soaking, and fermentation or souring as a way to prepare grains for consumption, as our ancestors did. Dr. Weston A. Price did find evidence of populations who consumed grains prepared this way.
Despite what has been written and postulated about eating grains properly prepared, there are reasons why even doing this may not render grains healthy to eat. There are various factors occurring in modern times which were not present during the time of Weston A. Price:
- Lectins, found in grains, are often linked to auto-immune disorders, which are prevalent and becoming more common in modern society.
- Ramiel Nagel, author of Cure Tooth Decay, has written extensively on the subject of how soaking and sprouting alone does not eliminate phytase sufficiently. Souring or fermenting the grain, as in making sourdough, is the best method for removing phytase.
- Since the inception of GMO foods, digestive and auto-immune disorders have began to skyrocket (1996). Digestive disorders such as Crohn’s Disease, Leaky Gut, various forms of colitis, chronic abdominal issues such as cramping and bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. The poor state of the average person’s digestive health is reason enough alone to abandon grains for at least a period of time. When you eat foods and cannot digest them, it causes further damage to the intestinal and digestive tract. Grains contain phytic acid and will actually cause leaching of minerals in the body.
GMOs are produced with a pesticide originating inside the DNA of the plant (which is inserted into the seed in the lab). When insects eat this substance, it causes their internal organs to rupture. In the movie, Genetic Roulette, Jeffery Smith from the Institute for Responsible Technology talks about how these substances are causing irritation and are punching small holes in the intestinal linings of those consuming them (not just grains, but soy, corn, cottonseed oil, etc.). Monsanto and other seed companies who produce these crops have not yet officially approved GMO grains for the U.S. market. But they have test plots in varying locations around the country. Contamination of non-GMO grains is eminent and likely has already occurred. If you are eating wheat, even organic wheat and other related crops such as kamut or spelt, you have likely consumed contaminated grains.
Read this informative post by Mark Sisson at Mark’s Daily Apple which discusses misconceptions about grains and why they may not be as healthy for us as we are taught by mainstream health and nutrition experts: Top 8 Most Common Reactions to Your Grain-Free Diet (And How to Respond).
7. Your foods may be coming from a GMO source.
You may be buying farm-fresh eggs and locally-raised meats, but have you checked to see if your farmer is using GMO (genetically-modified substances) in the feed given to animals or birds?
Foods grown or fed with genetically-modified substances – commonly soy, corn, cottonseed, salmon, dairy foods, and some other foods can cause serious health issues for those consuming them – the animals, birds, and human beings too. Animals are experiencing higher rates of miscarriage and infertility than those who don’t, and human infertility rates have been on the increase dramatically over the last two decades. There are other issues as well:
- Food allergies – according to the Institute for Responsible Technology: “Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced. A human subject showed a skin prick allergic-type reaction to GM soy, but not to natural soy. The level of one known soy allergen is as much as 7-times higher in cooked GM soy compared to non-GM soy. GM soy also contains an unexpected allergen-type protein not found in natural soy”.
- Liver problems – according to the Institute for Responsible Technology: “Rats fed GM potatoes had smaller, partially atrophied livers. The livers of rats fed GM canola were 12-16% heavier. GM soy altered mouse liver cells in ways that suggest a toxic insult. The changes reversed after they switched to non-GM soy.”
For more ideas about how to avoid GMOs, read 4 Ways to Avoid GMOs in the Foods You Buy.
8. Other factors might be affecting you besides what you are eating or not eating.
What about a toxic environment in your home or place of business? Do you have a lot of chemicals or toxic substances near you? What about carpets, paint, cleaning solutions, air fresheners, personal care products such as deodorant, toothpaste, hair sprays, shampoo, conditioner, clothing and dishwashing detergents, dryer sheets, perfumes, etc.?
Read Your Toxic Load – How Does it Affect Your Health?
What about toxic relationships or situations with people in your life? Are you in a situation where you continually feel guilt or accountability for something that isn’t your responsibility? All these things can affect your health adversely, and should be taken into consideration. These can contribute to stress and strife that is very depleting of nutrients and especially valuable minerals your body needs. At all costs, absolve yourself of obligations or connections to toxic people, whenever possible. They are not doing you or your health, any good.
9. You aren’t getting outside enough and exposing yourself to the sun.
If you are trapped behind a desk in front of a computer or work in some other industry requiring you to be inside every day, or are in the house doing chores, etc. you are probably not getting enough sun exposure. The sun provides Vitamin D in its most elemental and well-absorbed form. Contrary to popular belief, sun exposure is critical to our health and if you don’t get it, your immune system is probably getting weaker every day.
Have you ever wondered why people seem to get sick during the winter? It’s no coincidence that when we are lacking in Vitamin D, our immune systems are vulnerable to bacteria and viruses that make us sick. Some years ago, Dr. R. Edgar Hope-Simpson confirmed this during decades of research and believed there is a reason for flu outbreaks that comes in the form of a “seasonal stimulus”. But it is also true that not everyone comes down with the virus.
As research has continued through others such as John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council, it is now apparent that low levels of Vitamin D are indeed this “seasonal stimulus” which is not only triggered by a weakening in the immune system, but also greatly impacts our susceptibility to infection. Vitamin D has extremely powerful influence over the immune system, and the presence of it can prevent sickness. When we are exposed to a virus, our immune system produces broad-spectrum antimicrobial elements – antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). We also have this ability in our skin cells and the cells lining internal openings and passageways, and also a varying amount of immune cells to produce AMPs after exposure to harmful microbes. But in order for this response to happen, there must be sufficient Vitamin D in the body.
In Nature Immunology, a study was produced discusses how Vitamin D must be present for proper signaling and activation of T-cells, our immune system’s guard against damage by foreign pathogens. T-cells cannot activate without Vitamin D. Vitamin D is actually a precursor to our bodies’ ability to produce a natural antibiotic which are responsible for protecting us against pathogens – bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
For more information, read Get Your Sunshine While You Still Can – Prevent Flus and Colds!
Vitamin D Crucial to Activating Immune Defenses – Science Daily
10. You’re not getting enough rest/moderate movement or exercise/stress relief.
Never underestimate the positive effects of getting enough rest – which means going to bed by 10 or 10:30 most nights and sleeping a full 8 hours or more – and making sure you aren’t over extending yourself in terms of obligations and tasks. These are both instrumental in healing.
If you stay up late regularly and don’t allow your body the rest and recharge it needs…or if you are constantly on the go and being pulled every which way, you can expect your body to be worn out, tired, and not capable of handling the demands of your day-to-day life. Your immune system will not be strong and you can easily fall prey to chronic health issues, colds, flus, and infections.
Getting outside and moving is important too, but over exercising (which many people in our culture do) without proper rest, nutritional, and lifestyle support is a recipe for adrenal exhaustion and body burnout. Dr Mercola talks about how too much cardio can actually damage your heart. Dr. Lawrence Wilson says that too much exercise can lead to severely damage the adrenal glands and damage your health. When this happens, your hormone levels are not normal and your immune system becomes overwhelmed. Then you are vulnerable to disease and illness.
Cortisol levels which are normally released only on occasion for helping your energy levels and appetite to increase and keying down allergic and inflammatory responses in the immune system. It also maintains and releases energy in the body to allow it to overcome negative effects of illness and disease, trauma, extreme temperatures, and also helps maintain balanced moods and emotions.
Cortisol goes out of balance when used too often. This is what happens when the body is dealing with too much stress or demand without proper support. When cortisol levels in your body stay high for too long a period of time, the results are: weight gain, a decrease in bone density, loss of muscle mass, decreased ability to produce protein which leads to kidney damage, retention of fluids, thinning of the skin, up and down blood sugar levels, and increased susceptibility to viruses, bacteria, fungi, allergic response, yeast overgrowth, parasites, and cancer.
Stop doing so much, avoid working over time whenever you can, and in general do less. Most things can wait until tomorrow, and if they can’t, it may be time for re-evaluation of your priorities.
For more information, read What is Adrenal Fatigue and Do I Have It? Keeper of the Home
11. Healing takes time. Be patient.
We often want progress much sooner than it actually happens. The reality is, our bodies became sick over a period of years, probably decades of time. Healing can take months to years to accomplish, and if we slide back too often, longer. But if we are on a steady course, we can notice improvements and signs healing in a fairly short amount of time – days, weeks, or months.
Less fatigue, more energy, better sleep, less pain in the body. These are all things we can expect if we stay on a regular effort of eating well and treating our bodies with care and kindness. But don’t give up if you feel like you have plateaued and aren’t progressing. It may just take more time than you believe it should, and with lifestyle changes you will eventually see a difference and reap the rewards of your careful attention to your body and what it needs.
72 replies on “11 Reasons Why You Aren’t Healing Despite “Eating Well””
I linked this to my facebook feed, but the image shows an ad for Paula’s bread even though the preview didn’t show it. A turn-off for sure. What is Paula’s Bread? I won’t be looking it up!
Hi Mercedes – on Facebook when you post a link, there should be an option below it to choose specific thumbnails of the images that come up on the link you are providing. Paula’s Bread is one of the sponsors of Real Food Media, the blog network I belong to. I am actually not very happy about some of the sponsors that are now being used (which are beyond my control since I am not the person in charge of that). If you don’t choose a thumbnail, it will just automatically default to the first image the reader picks up, which is in this case was Paula’s Bread.
Paula’s Bread sells grain grinders, bread makers, and related items for making your own bread at home, which I don’t think is terrible if you are going to make your own bread and other home-made grain producs…but our family doesn’t eat a lot of grains because I believe grains can be very harmful to our health especially because of the drastic changes in grains over the last several hundred years of history and also due to the eminent contamination of GMOs. Monsanto and other seed companies have test plots with GM wheat, so I’m not keen on encouraging people to eat it.
Great post! I wanted to add another reason why one may not be healing. Mhtfr mutation which causes problems with our detoxification pathways. It’s said 40% of the population has this mutation. I think everyone should get tested for this which is done by a simple blood draw. I’ve read GAPS can be beneficial for this mutation but often times supplements are neededto open the detox pathways. Google Dr. Ben lynch and you will find tons of info on this. Many people including myself who are doing everything”right” find they are t healing and for me this mutation is responsible!
Hi Js – great info, thanks for sharing that valuable information. I am definitely all about detoxing and cleansing, so I think this is so important for people to know. There are so many factors responsible for our health ills, it would be impossible to put the blame in just one place, so having other notions about what could be slowing down healing is incredibly important. Thank you!
Awesome! Everything you have written is absolutely true. If you are going to heal with food, you have to do everything you can. And it takes time. But once all your body functions are working well, your body will keep you healthy, just so long as you keep eating right and doing all the other things advised in this superb post.
Hi Stanley – thanks for your comments, I was hoping this list was concise, although Js above added a good one that I didn’t know about. It’s really great to have a community that can contribute to all the things we put out there, and to help support each other. Thank you!
For me the most important cause of ill health is food intolerance. If I avoid the food I am intolerant to I am healthy. If I am not healthy I know I have eaten a food I am intolerant to. If I don’t know what that food is, I think about what new food I could have eaten that could have caused the problem. Once I identify the food and avoid eating it, ( or environmental chemical) then I feel healthy.
Maggie – food intolerance is a symptom of gut issues. Even if you avoid the food for the rest of your life, that won’t solve the gut issues you are experiencing which cause food intolerance. That’s why I mentioned a healing protocol such as GAPS, which heals the gut lining (intestinal wall) and provides the nutrition you are lacking. By continuing to avoid healing food such as healthy fats – as the ones I mentioned above: butter, cream, sour cream, yogurt, tallow, lard, olive oil, coconut oil – you are depriving your body of the essential nutrients you need to be healthy – A, D, E, and K2 – fat soluble vitamins which support digestive, immune and overall health, and prevent disease. If you don’t address gut issues, eventually the list of foods you can eat will be so short, you’ll be getting no nutrition in your diet.
I hear this a lot from vegetarians and vegans, and others with eating issues who say they can’t eat meat or dairy, etc., so they go on a plant-based diet and claim they are healthier because they are not eating meat. At first it may seem like you are achieving health with this diet because you remove commercial animal products full of hormones, antibiotics, and other toxins…but it’s the processed foods in general which caused your body to get sick in the first place – years of eating industrial meats and animal products that make us sick and cause disease. Fruits and vegetables from industrial sources are also toxic as they are grown with GMOs, pesticides/herbicides, etc. Why not heal the gut with a protocol like GAPS and then be able to eat the real versions of all foods – as nature and God intended…and get the nutrition our bodies need?
Great post! This is so vital for people to understand. I myself worked with food only for a few years and saw dramatic and remarkable improvements in my health. However, I reached a plateau and realized that more intensive gut healing was in order.
Not only that, oddly, I was under-medicated for my thyroid and adding more Armour resolved some lingering issues. I think thyroid should be added to the list because it is so crucial for so many functions and adrenals may not be functioning well if thyroid hormone is not up to par. This can result in metabolic, blood glucose, and hormone issues.
Heavy metal detox is next. So thank you for sharing these important things to think about.
Jill – yes, I’m definitely a proponent of detox. That’s why I mentioned the GAPS diet since it’s something that anyone can do and it’s very gentle. It involves using juicing done at home with fruits and vegetables. In the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride talks about the complicated protocols people use for heavy metal detox and how juicing is really very effective for this…as well as other foods used on GAPS such as bone broths, infusions like nettles, ferments, and other mineral-rich foods which act to displace and excrete heavy metals.
I agree that thyroid issues are a big deal as they are indicative of overall underlying hormonal imbalance. I believe you can balance thyroid and gut issues with real food and lifestyle changes. I also generally believe that prescription drugs can cause a lot of damage and deficiencies in the body, Of course, there are always exceptions such as if you have had your thyroid removed or if you are Type I diabetes with a non-functioning pancreas, I have heard that medication is absolutely essential. Still, I tend to go in favor of no medication for just about any medical condition unless all other options have been exhausted and there is no other choice. I believe this because there is an attitude in allopathic medicine that says medication and surgery are the first line of defense and there is almost no credibility given to using food and natural treatments for disease.
I’m new to all this and want to get my family on a whole way of life but it is a little overwhelming and I’m not sure where to start and where I can buy whole foods in my area. I’ve heard a lot of places that claim to be whole and organic really aren’t. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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An important point has been missed in this post. If your liver/gallbladder is filled with cholesterol nuggets your detox pathways are clogged. Flushing my liver/gallbladder has vastly improved my health, and I continue to do them once a month. Check out the Miracle Liver and Gallbladder flush by Andreas Moritz.
Lee-Ann – did you see #4? It talks about digestive difficulties and what to do about them. Enzymes and bitters are very useful for these issues, as are healthy fats to heal the gallbladder and liver cells and function. I have a post about the liver/gallbladder miracle cleanse that I did almost 3 years ago. I only did it once, and I know Moritz recommends it be done multiple times until no stones are seen (I have the book).
Most people won’t use this protocol as it’s pretty involved and bitters and enzymes are a really good alternative for those who don’t want to undertake a complex cleanse. I’ve used enzymes for years and finally found the right type which are live enzymes and work remarkably well.
Excellent article, well written. Although number 10 is not inaccurate, I would like to elaborate a little further. Most people don’t exercise, only about 20 percent of the population and out of those many don’t even understand why, how and what is exercise. To counteract our otherwise sedentary lifestyles, proper exercise needs to be rigorous in other words it needs to be challenging, with brief intervals leading to maximum exertion and unfortunately that excludes walking for most of us.
Routines such as Tabata and HIIT are excellent examples. They are short in overall time, can be done anywhere and require no special equipment …. so no excuses. They have been shown to be excellent for hormone stabilization including insulin, in a number of research studies. And very important they are excellent for detox, you can not avoid sweating when performing even a brief routine properly. This brings me back to point number 8, it isn’t just important to avoid as much toxins as possible it is also important to regularly detoxify and that includes sweating.
Even when consuming all the right foods the metabolic processes that break down foods, especially animal foods, leave behind toxic by products that have to be cleared out. This has only become a problem due to sedentary lifestyles, we are designed for regular physical rigour. Please consider that even just moving our limbs in full range of motion is great and necessary to clear out our lymphatic system. This is called succusive action, which is a pumping of the lymphatic system, which clears away the toxins that accumulate in the matrix. The matrix to put it simply, is the filler in between everything in our body.
Hi Raine, thank you for this very valuable, well written article. Might I add that we need to address possible energetic imbalances between ourselves and foods and substances. I call these imbalances or disruptions ‘allergies’. In my work I teach people how to eliminate these allergies one by one for better health and well-being. I totally agree with what you say in your article but the problem is if people are allergic to things like the sun (and I have had clients who are) then they will not get the benefit of it. This is also true of grains, and ANYTHING else for that matter. We can be allergic to anything! I look forward to reading more of what you have to say. With love, Cathy x
Andi – I’m not saying people shouldn’t exercise. If you read my points about adrenal exhaustion, nearly everyone in modern society suffers from it. Over exercising when our adrenal glands are fatigued will only lead to more health issues including weight gain, fatigue, and many problems associated with those symptoms. Walking is excellent, but until adrenal fatigue has been addressed, nothing more should be attempted because it will perpetuate the adrenal fatigue cycle. This can take a few months to correct, and sometimes even longer. Our bodies know what we can handle, and listening to our bodies and how we feel is very important. You can achieve detox through many methods other than exercise such as infrared saunas, mineral baths, dietary protocols like Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride’s recommendations in GAPS or Elaine Gottschall’s SCD.
Here is an excellent post by Robb Wolf about adrenal fatigue and how this occurs when the body is not given enough support:
There are many people who have actually lost weight – yes, lost weight from not exercising and eating a traditional diet. Sedentary lifestyles are not really to blame in our health epidemic so much as the toxins in our environment and also the dietary habits we keep. Processed foods cause our bodies to store toxins because our digestive systems don’t know what these substances are and we cannot process them, and also many of them permeate our gut lining which becomes nearly transparent and allows undigested proteins to slip into our blood stream, causing auto-immune issues and many other problems. The result is disastrous for keeping our weight in check. Here’s a good post from Johnny Bowden, Ph.D about this topic and how exercise doesn’t really cause weight loss:
When our bodies are healthier, natural weight is much more easy to achieve. Just like low-fat diets which our culture clings to desperately, if exercise really worked to help us lose weight and keep it off, why isn’t it helping to reduce our obesity epidemic?
Here’s another informative post by Dr. Stephan Guyenet about exercise and weight loss:
Hi Cathy – yes, I’m certain that energetic imbalances have a massive affect on our health and ability to tolerate certain substances, including sunlight. I have coached many people with severe allergy issues and through a detox protocol such as GAPS – my specialty- those allergy issues can be reversed so the person no longer experiences those issues. This is true with foods like nuts, dairy, legumes, and other foods (I’m not a fan of grains and believe these substances are too high in Omega 6s, cause inflammation, and are now contaminated with GMOs which have a profoundly negative affect on our health), especially with so many people who have digestive issues.
I have seen some examples of people who healed their digestive tracts and were able to overcome all or most allergy issues – including sensitivity to the sun. When the body is not overwhelmed with toxins and excess triggers, it’s amazing how much easier it can deal with normal and healthy substances. People react to foods like dairy and others because of gut compromise and dysbiosis caused by years of poor eating habits and lifestyle. When that is healed and the body repleted with the right nutrients, allergies often disappear – and especially when the right foods are then eaten in place of the non-healthy ones.
Raine I did read your entire article which is why I commented. I mostly agree with you, but as per the adrenal fatigue you are not quite correct. I didn’t say over exercising I emphasised on rigorous and brief periods of maximal exertion. We have had great success in our clinic and equally it has been demonstrated with success in a number of clinical trials.
Walking for the average person is not exercise and for those suffering form adrenal fatigue or diabetes is actually counter productive. A Tabata type of routine, which on average consist of a 5 minute warm up, 6x maximum intensity cycles (20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest), followed by a 5 minute cool-down has proven to be extremely effective and that in a total time of 13 minutes on average. That said, I mentioned the average and depending on the individual the warm-up and cool down may be reduced. As well as the maximum intensity cycle my have to be modified to for example: 10 seconds on and 1 minute off for a maximum of 2x. All depends on the capacity of the individual, which for some individual should be carefully monitored by the trained eye. This type of carefully planned exercise with brief but extreme rigour, stimulates the production of new mitochondria and works wonders for stabilizing hormones. Slow continuousness routines like jogging or walking have shown to be counter-productive as they have a greater potential to lead to exhaustion.
It follows the concept called hormesis, a little amount is stimulating and a large amount is suppressive. Adrenal fatigue comes form long periods of stress overload without resolution and that is easy in modern western society. The brief maximum rigour followed by an adequate rest period allows for a conclusion and is positively stimulating as well.
As per the rest of your comment, we are in agreement. Exercise has nothing to do with weightloss, it’s to counteract sedentary modern lifestyles as we are physical beings. It aids in stabilizing hormones, clearing out the lymphatic system, detoxification and elevated fitness through increased strength and cardiovascular capacity is certainly health promoting. Proper weight is attained and maintained through good dietary habits as you have pointed out.
A healthy weight is the end effect of good health and there are many contributing factors. Physical rigour is just one of the ingredients and if it wasn’t for our modern lifestyles of either sedentary habits or repetitive monotonous activities, exercise would not be necessary.
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Great article. All of these points helped me eliminate all my autoimmune issues within the past two years. I am pain free, symptom free and best of all – medication free. I started out with learning about leaky gut. It is a strict lifestyle but once you see the benefits it is very worth it. I am never going back to the food pyramid again! One point missed in the article though is the nightshade family (specifically for joint pain/arthritis) and food intolerances that may have happened because you can’t tolerate grains. This will cause some damage on the intestines and create further intolerances. A solid elimination diet with thorough food journaling of every bite taken, symptoms, and supplements documenting any changes – whether pulse rates, feelings, pains, gas, stools, etc. You can find out so much going on with your body.
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