Nourishing your body with real food is a beautiful form of self-love - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

From a health stance, the food that we eat should be nutritious enough to ensure a healthy body and should also be pleasurable to partake in. This ensures we are taking care of our physical and spiritual needs.
When thinking about our physical health, most people are aware that a good wholesome diet is required as a minimum. However, knowing what is 'wholesome' can be very difficult! Marketing of food products is now acceptable at any level, even with labelling laws, it a nightmare to navigate the local supermarket. Not to mention the diet industry in all its forms.
The pet food industry is even worse, as we are encouraged to feed packet foods over common sense options like table scraps and raw meat.
Only 100 years ago this kind of excessive obsession to do with food was related only to the immediate needs of nourishment to get a good days work done. Food was a good excuse to sit down around the table, converse the days events and relate to one another. Today, it's another matter entirely.
Navigating the supermarket storm and myths about what to eat
In actual fact, it's very simple to eat well for good health. You don't need fancy recipes, or a huge budget, or a science degree. All you need to know is that if it is alive and came from a plant, it's the best option, and if it came from an animal and is fresh, locally and humanely produced and ate grass (like the animal is designed to do), it's the next best option, and if its been processed, pulverised and comes in a bright packet, your best to leave it alone.
Simplistic maybe but the age old saying is 'keep it simple'.
We were hunters and gatherers. Agriculture is a fairly recent influence to our evolution, and certainly our digestive systems have not changed in tens of thousands of years.
Small, highly nutritionally dense foods were eaten – berries, nuts, fruits in season and the odd small animal, or bison (if you go back far enough!). Herbal teas and grazing on seed heads were common.
Agriculture introduced a new culture (approx 10,000 BC), and communities were formed around these new areas. This was just as risky - waiting for the field to yield what was planted, and protecting the captured herds of livestock.
So it was that bulk grain was introduced into our diet, cooking and preparing grains and bread baking became the norm. Grains could be stored indefinitely. 
Nowadays, wheat flour, sugar and corn bi-products form the basis of many processed foods. White flour and white rice representing the nutritionally depleted product. However, even the whole grain is problematic.
The development of Genetically Modified grains, the bulk chemicals used in the production of these grains has seen allergies skyrocket, and it is not surprising that digestive issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome are common place. You don't need a scientific study to relate the rise of these conditions (as well as obesity and related illness) to the most fundamental source - our diet.
It is common understanding now that these foods actually cause inflammation in the body. This comes as a surprise for some, particularly those who take the time to choose "healthier" options like whole grain breads.
What to do next...
First of all, don't panic!
Keep your approach to diet simple and sensible. It's not all doom and gloom. Once you have identified your key dietary imbalance ( and mostly the problem is grains and sugar), just eliminate these from your diet.
Choose instead carbohydrates that are not genetically modified (like rye, spelt and whole rice). Replace sugar with honey and maple syrup if you need to have something sweet.
Add the super foods that I have suggested, and see what happens!
Eat a diverse range of raw vegetables and fruit, have small portions of meat, eggs and fish. As Michael Pollan states in his famous quote; "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants".
Include pulses in your diet for extra fibre and protein. These are also good to make soups and stews out of, they last well, can be cheap to make and are highly nutritious.
Add nuts and berries when you can. Use culinary herbs; they are highly nutritious and add an extra medicinal quality - garlic, fenugreek and turmeric to name a few. They add beautiful natural flavours and can be grown easily in a pot next to your kitchen door. Use high-quality organic olive oil on salads and coconut oil to cook with.
Absorption of Vitamins and Minerals
Many will be aware that one issue in nutrition is absorption. There is no doubt that diet is one thing, and absorption is another. I really feel that by eliminating both wheat and sugar, and adding fresh raw fruit and vegies to your diet, absorption is improved. However, sometimes this is still a problem.
I suggest that before you try anything else; drink plenty of dandelion and chamomile tea. We have some excellent supportive products to assist with gut health and healing. 
If your digestion is still not great, then this is where we need to balance your system with herbs to restore correct digestive and metabolic functioning.
This is not difficult to do, and if you require some help in understanding your system, you can contact me directly.
Herbal Support
Herbs are peak nutrition, highly bio-available. Bio-available simply means the extent to which a substance is available to be used by the body. As an herbalist, it's my job to assess the physical body as a whole organism, and find the weak link.
To do this, I ask numerous questions. Then I prescribe a mixture that is able to support these weak areas. These weak areas can be in veins, liver, heart, kidneys, stomach, nervous system etc to name a few.
If you're eating well, have removed toxins from your home and environment and still have problems, then we are dealing with "history". Genetics, environment and the ever present emotional issues need to be addressed.
But I do want to make one element particularly clear.
If you want to get well, and heal, (particularly if you want to heal emotionally) you do need a good foundation to start with. And it's only through good nutrition that this occurs.
Everyone is different, and not everyone knows how to support their body to peak fitness. This is where I can assist, contact us to find out how. We are here to help you achieve your health goal.

Have a question? Contact McDowell's Herbal Treatments

McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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