“The girl from Texas who became a vegetarian,” is how nutritionist, chef and author, Nancy Addison, introduces herself when taking the stage, whether in a morning talk show health segment, or at a holistic conference like the recent New Life Expo which took place in Manhattan this past October.
As Nancy watched relative after relative suffer from either heart disease or some sort of cancer – herself suffering from acute anemia and carpal tunnel – she began researching the correlation between diet and overall health. “Frustrated,” she writes, “with conventional medicine, I embarked on a long course of study into many different healing concepts, including ancient Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, macrobiotics, Mediterranean cuisine, natural hygiene, raw foods, detoxification, and supplement therapy.” And incorporating the most beneficial components of each concept into her own system of health and healing, Nancy has been sharing her gained knowledge with others.
When diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome, the pain was so bad she had to wear splints on both wrists. “I’m an artist, a potter, and a gardener. I use my hands quite a bit. The pain was so bad.” The doctor wanted to give her anti-inflammatory shots, and she let him do it once, but the reduction was not permanent. Then he wanted to do surgery, but instead, Nancy wanted to do something more natural. “I started researching carpal tunnel syndrome (before the internet back in 1983), and I found that healthy fats and certain nutrients could help to heal it. I started adding them to my diet. Slowly over the weeks, the pain went away naturally and has never returned.”
As we head on into a new year with everyone and their grandma making New Year Resolutions, we asked Nancy for a top ten list of changes we can make in our daily eating habits. Even if you just take one and incorporate it into a regular routine, your body will benefit from it.
Nancy Addison speaking at the New Life Expo, October 2018
The Top Ten list of Healthy Eating for 2019
1. Eat high-quality, nutrient-dense foods. The body becomes much cleaner and more vibrant if it is getting the best variety of nutrients. The body also becomes more aware of problems. Your taste buds become cleaner and more discerning. Many people just need to add some nutrient-dense, concentrated food to their diet to feel satisfied on a deep cellular level. The lack of nutrients in our food may be because soils have become depleted and food just isn’t as nutrient-dense as it was a hundred years ago. Studies have shown a decrease of anywhere from 40–80 percent of nutrients in food today, as compared to food in 1914. Everyone should eat nutrient-dense foods, with more minerals, and fermented probiotic-rich foods. Nourishing our bodies should be a major reason we eat food in the first place. What we consume becomes our blood, cells, skin, and hair. Our well-being depends on the quality of our food.
2. Eat organic and non-GMO foods. Because what we eat becomes our blood and cells, I recommend buying organic whenever possible. If we eat foods that have poisons on them, or put into them by genetically modifying seeds, then we ingest poison.
3. Avoid processed foods. Choose unprocessed foods so you aren’t ingesting MSG, potassium bromate, aspartame, wood pulp, artificial dyes, chemicals, and other additives the FDA allows in food. Many of us grew up thinking additives are normal to ingest, but our bodies were not made to assimilate chemicals and preservatives. Whole, real food – grown, harvested, and stored in a safe and healthy way – is what we are meant to have as nourishment for our body.
4. Eat more raw, whole foods. Eating organic, live, fresh, vine-ripened or tree-ripened whole food can feed the body on a deeper cellular level than cooked or processed foods. Vine or tree-ripened foods have salvestrols in them that have cancer-fighting properties. Organic foods have nutrients like sulfur and chromium in them. These natural nutrients are critical to having a healthy body. Cooking, storing, or processing whole, raw foods can destroy some of the vital nutrients in them.
5. Eat a varied diet. Because our bodies can become allergic to anything we consume too frequently (no matter how healthy it is), avoid eating any ingredient every day. Eat a particular food no more than four or five times a week and keep a variety of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
6. Eat whole, sprouted grains. When eating pasta, bread, crackers, and chips, consume only whole grains. Avoid corn and wheat, especially genetically modified varieties. If you want to lose weight, definitely cut out corn and wheat. Gluten-free and sprouted grains are preferable.
7. Cut out sugar or consume as little as possible. Do not use fake sugar substitutes in any way, shape, or form. Stevia, dates, xylitol, and raw, organic honey are my top choices for sweeteners.
8. Make sure you are not low in any nutrients. Be certain to get enough protein each day, and a variety of proteins, so you get the right amino acid complex combinations. Ensure that all of the B vitamins, especially B12, are in your diet and absorbed well. Iodine, iron, calcium, zinc, Vitamin D, sulfur, chromium, and magnesium are all important nutrients and should not be overlooked.
9. Consume only good fats like organic, extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil. Make sure you get enough of the essential fatty acids—Omega 3, in particular.
10. Chew food thoroughly to aid digestion. Avoid drinking beverages with your meals. Beverages water down digestive juices, making them less acidic. This makes it harder for the body to digest food.
For more of Nancy’s tips on holistic living visit organichealthylife.com. Her new book, Diabetes and Your Diet, provides nutrition and lifestyle advice for reversing diabetes.
New Life Expo is America’s longest-running holistic event focused on holistic enlightenment and conscious living. Learn more at newlifeexpo.com.
Top photo: Bigstock
Photos of Nancy Addison: Amanda Addison
Book cover courtesy of Nancy Addison