“Food is far more than fuel; it’s a language that programs every function of your cells.”
Food is a source of vital information created by the earth that comes from the earth. In the field of Nutritional Genomics, researchers believe that food speaks to the genes by providing information to assist with gene expression. The chemistry of every cell in your body is expecting nutritional information and has the biology that can transform that information into the living, breathing, moving tissue that is your body.
I recently listened to an interview with Dr. Cate Shanahan who works as a sports nutritionist with the LA Lakers, about her book “Deep Nutrition.” Dr. Shanahan suggested that asking yourself these 5 questions can help you make more optimal food choices and experience greater vitality. Here’s an example of foods from the 5 questions, and some of what the Lakers have been eating lately.
5 Question Food/Ingredient Test
- Source: Where does the food come from? Can you actually envision the landscape? Is it one of beauty, like rolling fields or the peaceful tranquil ocean? Or is it one of industrial post-apocalyptic despair, like what I-5 can look like here in California when you’re driving through that feedlot section?
- Tradition: Is there a tradition behind its use? Has this food been used by traditional societies? A
classic example is olive oil. There’s olive oil in Italy and Greece going back thousands and
thousands of years*.
- Wholeness: So when the answer to “Is there a tradition behind its use?” is either “No,” or “I really don’t know,” then the next question is “Does this food violate the principle of wholeness?”. Like, is it a whole food? Or is it something synthesized?
- Non-Destruction: The next question is “Does it violate the principle of non-destruction?” Destruction occurs during processing. Let’s take the example of olive oil again: How was it processed? Was there heat? Was it cold pressed? Were there toxins? Was there care taken to preserve the antioxidants? The way you can tell that is it will say “cold pressed,”“unfiltered,” “unrefined, ” or “raw” on the packaging.
- Allergies: Ask yourself: “Is it something I’m allergic to?” If it makes you feel bad, don’t eat it.
So in the case of Bone Broth, you could ask the following:
What is the source? Is this beef or chicken bone, is it coming from a healthy animal that came from a natural environment like a field or pasture? If you can answer that in the affirmative, then that’s great. Go to the next question. Is there a tradition behind its use? Well, yes, many cultures have used both beef and chicken for thousands of years. It doesn’t violate the Principle of Wholeness because actually we’re using the animal bones instead of throwing them out. So it’s definitely an affirmative answer to that question. And does it violate the Principle of Non-destruction? Although boiling bones in water does destroy the bones themselves, using this traditional cooking method extracts the minerals and essential amino acids without using chemical extraction or lots of machinery. As for question number five, If you are allergic to beef or chicken, then you may indeed be allergic to broth made from beef or chicken bones– pretty simple, right?
These 5 questions serve as a Force Multiplier that may help you feel and perform better now—and for life.
* Animal Protein and Fat, Bone Broth, and Fermented Foods are a few examples of Traditional Foods.
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