Diet is a confusing and frustrating issue for many people. We’re either forcing ourselves to stick to a program that we think is healthy, and kicking ourselves for “failing,” or we’re just trying not to think about the whole thing.
Someone you know feels energized eating a certain way, while you might feel irritable and starving on that same type of diet. Clearly the key is biochemical individuality, and no “off the shelf” diet program can take your individual needs into account.
Diet is complex, yet it can be relatively simple at the same time. There is a complex of factors we need to look at to determine which foods are best for you—the foods that will strengthen your system rather than weaken it.
Because we now have diet typing research–including Dr. Abravanel’s body/glandular typing, Dr. Laura Power’s blood typing, and William Wolcott’s metabolic typing–we can systematically determine what fuel your particular body runs well on. That may be different from what your friends or family members do well on.
There’s a multitude of diet programs and opinions about what works best. Most are based on one particular aspect of diet, such as low-carb, or raw foods. People make some seeming progress with these one-size-fits-all schemes at first—mostly due to the fact that they’re eliminating the junk foods they were eating before.
Sometimes one small intervention, like cutting down on sugar or processed foods, can make a big difference. So even one of those pre-fab diets that doesn’t really fit you can give you some benefits at first, simply because of what you’re NOT eating. But we want to take it a step further.
The factors that determine your ideal diet are:
- Body type–which of your endocrine glands is dominant
- Blood type
- Metabolic type
- food allergies and intolerances
- existing nutrient imbalances
- ideal weight
- current health conditions
Most of these are probably familiar to you, but body typing may not be. Body typing is the result of extensive research by Dr. Elliot Abravanel and others including Dr. Laura Power in very recent years. Dr. Abravanel found that each person has a particular body type, which reflects which endocrine gland is more active in their metabolism than others.
Dr. Abravanel found that there are four basic endocrine glands that determine body type: Pituitary, Thyroid, Adrenals and Gonads.
For example, an Adrenal type will be generally strong and sturdy, with their adrenal glands being dominant. Their body shape and pattern of putting on weight will reflect that—they tend to have a strong, stocky build with relatively broad shoulders. When they put on weight, it’s higher up on the body, not so much on the thighs and hips.
Adrenal types tend to crave greasy and salty foods, which make them feel better in the short run but actually weaken their adrenals in the longer run, by overstimulating them.
A healthy diet for each body type (and the one which would help each person achieve their ideal weight and maintain it) would de-emphasize the foods that stimulate their dominant gland, while emphasizing the foods that strengthen and support their recessive (less active) glands.
Many people believe that their food cravings are signalling a nutritional need for that particular food. But what we’re actually craving is the feeling that the food gives us, as a result of overstimulating our dominant gland. The overstimulation weakens and exhausts the gland, and sets up a vicious cycle in which we crave more of the food to get the stimulation.
By eating foods that strenthen the recessive glands and give the exhausted dominant gland a break, we can break that vicious cycle. Then the food cravings disappear, and the foods that are healthiest for us become the same ones we actually like!
Diet is no longer a battle of will and a matter of depriving yourself of the foods that you love. Your preferences shift as you begin to eat the foods that your particular body really needs.
You can begin to experience the deep feeling of satisfaction that comes from eating food that your body really wants and needs, which is a different experience from the kind of temporary satisfaction (followed by let-down) that comes from addictive cravings.
When you eat the foods that your exhausted dominant gland is telling you to eat, you’re relieving some tension, and that feels good in a way. But you’ll notice that you don’t really feel relaxed or satisfied in a deeper way. Something is missing…
The Four-Beat Cycle
There’s a cycle we naturally go through, which Wilhelm Reich called the life cycle or the four-beat cycle. We start with a tension, which in this case is hunger. It grows, and we feel charged. Then we need to satisfy the hunger, so we eat, and that discharges the tension. But the fourth part of the cycle is relaxation.
Foods that are overstimulating and weakening for us don’t allow us to get to the relaxation, so we never feel finished. We feel relieved of hunger in a way, but still on the prowl for something else. Many people have this kind of experience fairly often.
But with the proper diet, we can be getting to the relaxation phase at every meal, feeling satisfied and complete. Hunger naturally arises again for the next meal, and we can experience the full four-beat cycle as it naturally occurs, without cutting it short and leaving ourselves stuffed yet still unsatisfied.
The diet system based on blood types was popularized by Dr. D’Adamo, author of Eat Right For Your Type, but was further developed by Dr. Laura Power who brought out some new insight based on extensive allergy testing.
Blood type determines a certain type of biochemical individuality relating to the immune system. People with different blood types evolved under different environmental conditions, so they adapted to different foods. This means that foods that a person with a particular blood type is not adapted to, will be treated as foreign, and the body will produce an immune reaction.
People with type O blood inherited a gene from very ancient ancestors in tropical areas– southern Asia, Africa, or tropical areas of the Americas. You may have type O blood even if your more recent ancestors are from Europe, because you have to go back even further to see where the genetic adaptations took place! Type O’s are adapted to tropical hunter-gatherer foods, such as meats, some seafood, poultry, root vegetables, greens, and some tropical fruits.
People with type A blood had ancient ancestors in northern Europe, and do best with European foods including poultry, some seafood, meats, and European fruits and vegetables. They can tolerate more grains than other types.
Type B is an Asian type, and type AB is a middle-eastern type.
Metabolic typing in its modern form is the culmination of the work of many researchers. The work that pulls this all together is William Wolcott’s book, The Metabolic Typing Diet.
It’s based on the polarity between the oxidative system and the autonomic nervous system as control stystems that work to keep us metabolically in balance. Each person’s metabolic functioning will either be dominated by the oxidative system or the ANS (or a balance). Depending on which system is dominant in a particular person, and in what way that system is out of balance, the metabolic typing diet helps to bring the metabolism back into balance.
This can be very helpful for people with significant or stubborn health issues, and especially for those with metabolic imbalances related to diabetes and obesity.
Putting it All Together
So the question airses: How do we put together all these different systems, and what happens when a food is good for your blood type but not for your body type?
FoodPharmacy™ software is a new tool that allows the practitioner to input all the factors that determine which diet is right for you, including blood type, body/glandular type and metabolic typing when appropriate. A complex of factors turn into a simple, elegant food chart listing 300 foods.
The practitioner first determines which typing systems are applicable in your case. For someone who needs to lose some weight and feel more energetic, body typing is going to be important for them. For someone with no significant health issues but just wants to improve their health generally, blood tying may be the main criteria for their eating guidelines.
If we’re working with both body type and blood type, and for example, broccoli is fine for your body type but not for your blood type, then broccoli will show up in red (to be avoided). So the foods that are good for you to be eating (in green and black) are the ones that have passed all the “tests” that the software puts them through in your case.
According to the information you gave in your questionnaire, other factors may be added in—which organs and systems you need to strengthen, and which health issues you’re most concerned with. Food that show up in green reflect those factors—they are the ones that have been found to be especially supportive of your weak areas.
Breaking long-standing eating habits isn’t an easy task. Often there are deeper emotional issues involved, and there are ways to facilitate working through those held patterns. It’s a process of making small improvements over time, and the proper dietary guidelines will support you along the way and help make it easier so it’s not the kind of struggle we’ve all gone through with diets.
So by “easy” I don’t mean it’s a piece of cake. It takes effort to make changes. The Customized Eating Guidelines provide a firm foundation on which to build a diet that provides the fuel that your “engine” was designed to run best on. Now it’s a matter of working with those guidelines in a practical way that starts from where you are right now, and doesn’t expect you to make unreasonable leaps, but supports your ongoing progress.
- Diet is never a static issue, and our needs change over time, so think about updating your eating guidelines as things change.
- In addition to diet, healthy “regimen” involves proper hydration, sleep, exercise, etc., and there are no one-size-fits-all rules for those things either!
Indulge in treats sometimes! Remember that striving for perfection isn’t any healthier than eating junk food. Be firm yet gentle with yourself.
Please let me know if I can help support you further in all aspects of your regimen.
All the best,
Read Full Post »