Nutrition Nuggets from a Naturopath

Hello!  I thought you might be sick of hearing me preach about all my nutritional pet peeves, so I decided to mix things up today and interview Naturopath Seneca Anderson (aka Dad) to get his perspective on health and nutrition.  You can click here to read more about him and his qualifications, but as his daughter I can tell you a few things you won’t read in his official bio.

Here's what my parents looked like way back then!

Being raised by an ex-hippie naturopath in the 80’s wasn’t exactly the norm.  People didn’t have the awareness of whole and healthy foods that we do now.  There weren’t a lot of options for those with common food sensitivities, health food stores were rare, and you didn’t see an organic section in the supermarket (Do I sound old or what?).  Companies weren’t held as responsible for including MSG, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and other harmful ingredients in their products like they are now.

So while all the other kids were eating their Doritos, fruit roll-ups and white bread, my mom was making miso soup, brown rice patties and seaweed!  As you can imagine, this was completely mortifying to me when I was growing up.  In my mind, there was nothing more rebellious I could do then sneak a soft drink at a birthday party.

Now that I’m older and I understand why my parents limited all those harmful processed foods, I see that they were so ahead of their time.  I crave my mom’s stir-fried greens and brown rice like most people long for their mom’s meat loaf or lasagna!  I’m really grateful that I was raised on a properly-prepared whole foods diet, and I think it’s the foundation of the good health I enjoy today.  My dad has also helped so many other people with severe and chronic illnesses be restored to health for more than 30 years.

And here's what they look like now. Those hippies clean up nice, don't they?

Now instead of rebelling against the limitations my parents put on me when I was little, I’m partnering with them to educate other people about eating a whole and healthy diet.  Don’t you just hate it when your parents are right?

My sisters Melina (Office Manager) and Alice (Acupuncturist) also work for the family business.

So here are a few of Dr. Anderson’s thoughts on nutrition.

Nutritionista: Explain the connection between the foods we eat and the toxins that you’re finding in your patients’ systems.

Dr. Anderson: Most of our foods are highly processed, packaged in plastic and prepared in microwave ovens.  Chemical additives, plastics (hormone disruptors), refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, etc. do not provide the nutrients required by our bodies for proper nutrition and elimination.  It’s difficult to absorb the beneficial nutrients contained in organic fruits and vegetables when one eats refined white flour.  White flour and water makes a paste which sticks to the intestinal walls, hindering good absorption of nutrients.  It is no wonder that so many of us are obese, nutrient deficient and well on our way to developing chronic, degenerative disease.

Nutritionista: What is the number one nutritional mistake you see your patients making?

Dr. Anderson: Besides making poor choices about what to eat, many people are severely dehydrated, and do not take the time to relax and chew their food properly.  Eating in a relaxed manner and taking the time to chew each bite sufficiently helps to counteract stress and enhance good digestion and assimilation.

Nutritionista: What are the most common issues/illnesses you’re seeing with your patients and what nutritional steps can they take to prevent and cure these conditions?

Dr. Anderson: One of the really common problems I find is adrenal exhaustion.  It’s brought about by chronic stress as well as poor choices in response to the stress in our lives.  My female patients often default to drinking wine or eating chocolate.  Many of my male patients consume too much alcohol and fried foods.  Both men and women overeat.  The end result of adrenal fatigue is exhaustion, which often leads to dependence on coffee or other stimulants.

It’s essential that we learn to properly manage our stress and blood sugar to maintain good adrenal health.  Regular exercise and relaxation are very important, as is eating a good breakfast with high-quality protein.  A category of herbs called adaptogens are very helpful for restoring proper adrenal function.

 

Nutritionista: What are the most common food intolerances you are seeing with your patients, and what are the root causes of these sensitivities?

Dr. Anderson: I believe dairy is the most common food sensitivity.  I became aware of this more than 40 years ago, so I quit making it a staple in my diet, and only use it on rare occasions.  I also recommend minimal dairy consumption to my patients.  First, there’s the quality problem.  The pasteurized, homogenized dairy products sold in grocery stores would no longer support the life of a young calf.  Secondly, many people consume far too much dairy and oftentimes it is introduced into the diet way too early in life.  Humans don’t produce the proper enzymes to digest it until we reach our first birthdays.  Raw milk, however, is a different story, as it is generally much better tolerated.  Unfortunately, due to the influence of the dairy lobbyists, raw milk products are illegal in the state of Georgia.

I’ve been aware of the common gluten sensitivity for a shorter amount of time.  I’ve seen dramatic results with my patients when I’ve uncovered this sensitivity and they have been diligent about removing it from their diets.  I’ve also seen chronic digestive, rheumatic and skin problems clear up on a gluten-free lifestyle.

Many people with gluten sensitivity are also sensitive to soy and dairy.  In my experience, soy is very rarely a stand-alone sensitivity.  Other common sensitivities are corn, eggs, nuts and citrus fruits.  It is very gratifying to assist folks with the elimination of these sensitivities with laser acupuncture.  Regardless of whether or not we suffer from food sensitivities, we all seem to benefit from eating dairy, soy, gluten and citrus fruits in moderation.

So there you have it, folks, a few nutritional nuggets from someone with a lot more experience than me.  If you or someone you know is experiencing health problems, or you’re just interested in having more energy, stress relief and a stronger immune system, I urge you to come see Dr. Anderson to get a different perspective.

Have a wonderful day!

6 Comments

Filed under Healthy Tips, Rants and Cravings

6 responses to “Nutrition Nuggets from a Naturopath

  1. Great post, Nutritionista! How lucky you are to have a dad with so much wisdom and insight.

  2. Thanks Laureen! I agree.

    Hope you’re doing well!

  3. Sarah White

    Such a great post Nutritionista!! Thank you for sharing.. I am SO excited and truly blessed to be working with such an AMAZING family.. 🙂

  4. What a great post! Guess there is something to that old adage “Father Knows Best” after all. Really enjoyed seeing the shots of your folks then and now – and seeing how your dad’s wisdom is being honored today with your career path.

  5. Enjoyable blog and what a lovely family. I suffered from adrenal fatigue for many years before being diagnosed. Traditional medicine would have us all on mood-altering drugs right along with the food additives that are so hard to avoid. I was told my problem was, perhaps, all in my mind. I recently released a top-selling book titled “All In My Mind? Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia.” Anyone can read more at http://www.jenbusch.com. This is from the misdiagnosed patient’s perspective and I want others to know they can overcome. I did alter my diet to point of eating only organic, minimal dairy and carbs, etc. etc. Because I was in 4th stage adrenal fatigue it took a long time. However, some of those who suffer absolutely do not want to change their diet and other habits. They want a purple pill. I don’t blame them, I did too! Although I took the comple natural route! Please keep sharing your valuable information. We can change the world one patient at a time.

  6. Stephanie

    I came back to reread this post. Love it! =)

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