How do we feed ourselves properly? The answer is: get back in touch with your body’s inner intelligence.

We all have different heredity and constitution. If your predecessors were Vikings or Eskimos, then chances are that you will generally need to eat lots of fish, meat and fat. But if your predecessors came from a Mediterranean culture or some tropical area of the world, then you will probably need more carbohydrates in your diet. As a result, anyone of the popular diets suits some people and does not suit others.

Also, throughout our lives our bodies go through cycles of building itself up and cleansing itself. For building itself your body needs very different nutrients from those it uses for cleansing itself (animal foods are generally building, while plant foods are generally cleansing).

We all have an autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for your heart beating, for your digestive system feeding you, etc. The autonomic nervous system is made out of two branches: a sympathetic nervous system and a parasympathetic nervous system. These two systems generally work in opposition to each other providing a very complex balance in every function of the body.

Depending on an infinite number of factors (daily cycle of activity and sleep, season, weather, stress, infection, feeding / cleansing, your occupation at the time, etc.) you will shift from being ‘sympathetic dominant’ to ‘parasympathetic dominant’.

These two branches of our nervous system require very different sets of nutrients to be fed: one likes meat and fat, while the other needs more plant foods. Only your body knows what proportions of protein/fat/carbohydrate it needs at any given moment of your life.

How do we feed ourselves properly? The answer is: get back in touch with your body’s inner intelligence.

Mother Nature gave us senses of SMELL, TASTE, DESIRE for a particular food and a sense of SATISFACTION after eating it. So, when your body needs a particular mix of nutrients, it will give you a desire for a particular food, which contains just that right mix; this particular food will smell divine to you and taste wonderful, and you will feel satisfied after eating it.

So, the only way for us to serve our bodies properly with the right food is to be in touch with our senses!

The DESIRE for a particular food is the main way your body tells you what it needs at any particular moment nutritionally. So, when you get hungry, stop and think: ” What is the most appealing food for me right now?” The answer will come immediately, and just the thought of that particular food will fill your mouth with saliva. Desire is your inner body intelligence talking to you, letting you know what it needs to keep you healthy, energetic and happy. If you listen to your desire every time you eat, you will be able to digest that food well and it will do you only good, because you have eaten it at the right time, just when your body asked for it.

TROUBLE is that in our modern commercial world people’s desires for food has been manipulated through the use of addictive and taste-altering chemicals in processed foods. Listening to your desire only applies to natural foods – foods that Mother Nature has designed. Stop eating processed foods and your normal sense of desire for food will return.

The sense of SMELL gives your body a lot of information about the food: is it safe to eat, has it been contaminated by chemicals or microbes, is it fresh, and most importantly, is it appropriate for your bodily needs at the moment? So, before putting anything into your mouth smell it: if it is the right food for you at the moment, it will smell very appealing. If it is not the right food, it will smell repulsive. Respect your sense of smell and listen to it.

TROUBLE is, that many people in our modern world have a damaged sense of smell due to use of manmade chemicals, such as laundry detergents, domestic cleaning chemicals, so called air fresheners and perfumes block the limited number of smell olfactory receptors in your nose. Once the receptors are blocked by a chemical, any new molecules of that chemical coming in have nothing to attach to, so you cannot smell it anymore.

To restore your sense of smell, remove all smelly/perfumed chemicals from your environment. In a few weeks time your olfactory receptors will clean themselves up and your sense of smell will return.

The sense of TASTE is one of the channels of communication between your body’s inner intelligence and your conscious mind. This the way your body tells you it needs a particular mix of nutrients, by giving you great pleasure from consuming them in the form of food.

The TROUBLE is that many people have an altered or dulled sense of taste due to regular consumption of processed foods. Many processed foods contain taste-altering chemicals, which are deliberately added to the ‘food’. These chemicals are not only toxic, but can alter your perception of taste for a long time, so it is essential to stop consuming processed foods in order to restore your normal sense of taste.

Working with a holistic dentist is very important, as many dental materials in the mouth can make it toxic and alter your sense of taste.

The sense of SATISFACTION after eating. If you have eaten a meal appropriate for your body’s nutritional needs at the time, you will feel fully satisfied.

It is important not to overeat, so you don’t feel ‘stuffed’. However, if you listen to your sense of pleasure from food, then you will not overeat because you would stop eating as soon as the food stops being pleasurable.

Cravings for sweet foods are common due to unstable blood sugar level. It takes time to normalize blood sugar and the most effective way to deal with it is to increase your fat consumption, particularly animal fats. So, consume plenty of animal fats with your meals.

The GAPS Diet is not set in stone; you have to adapt it for your unique body, for its unique daily needs. The GAPS diet gives you the list of foods to work with. When you eat these different foods and in what proportions is up to you. Listen to your body’s needs, communicated to you through the senses of desire, smell, taste and satisfaction. Your body will let you know what proportions of protein, fat and carbohydrate to have at every meal.

Use your senses of smell, taste, desire for food and satisfaction from eating it to guide you in your decisions: when to eat, what foods to eat and in what combinations. And remember: you are unique, so what suits your neighbour may not suite you at all.

This Blog is an abbreviation of the original. Please find the complete document at the source: One Man’s Meat is Another Man’s Poison!

For more information on GAPS please refer to her book

Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia, 2nd Edition Paperback – Nov 15 2010

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This Post has been condensed from Dr. Natasha McBride’s article One Man’s Meat is Another Man’s Poison!

Dr. Natasha McBride: GAPS was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, MMedSci (neurology), MMedSci (human nutrition) in 2004 after working with hundreds of children and adults with neurological and psychiatric conditions.

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