This blog is part of a series; its original title was Heilkunst Basics : Grade One
The next step along the Heilkunst treatment process, if we are following along with our education analogy, would be grade one. Once the basic foundations have been set from Kindergarten, the next challenges are taken up:
- Quantitative and qualitative aspects of nutrition : Once the basics of nutrition have been learned from Kindergarten, further refinements can be employed. At one level, the quantity of food can be considered. This parallels the need in the medical jurisdiction of correctly adjusting the dose and potency, once the correct remedy has been selected. Likewise with food, someone may be choosing all the healthiest foods for themselves, but consuming more than they need. The general tendency in North American culture is to eat more food than necessary for sustenance, and as the expression goes — “you can have too much of a good thing”. One of the most important factors behind longevity is a concept called CRON, which stands for “calorie reduced optimal nutrition”. The idea is not simply to reduce the calorie intake, but also to ensure that the calories which are consumed are of high quality. This leads more to the healthier experience of feeling satisfied, rather than simply feeling full. Foods with greater nutritional density are full of living energy, and have very little ‘packaging’, which wastes our body’s resources. This is the problem with a highly grain-based diet, for example, which offers up very little nutritional value compared to the amount of packaging that the body has to process in order to extract the tiny bit of nutrition.
- Sequential Eating : Another factor beyond simply eating the right foods in the right quantities is to eat them in the correct sequence. In order to optimize digestion, and the amount we are able to assimilate the available nutrients, a conscious ordering of our meals from the most watery to the most dense foods will do this. Since the foods we eat are layered in our stomach, if we stack these layers from most watery to most dense, then the co-ordination of different enzymes can be done in a much more efficient way, one layer at a time. The traditional sequence of a meal service unconsciously follows this order : first drinks are served, and then a soup or salad, followed by a light entree, and then finally the (densest) main course. Tying this back to the principle of hydration, it becomes clearer why the glass of water about 20 minutes before a meal is the optimal time for hydration, as well as to prime the digestive juices for the upcoming meal to digest.