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How to Get the Most Energy from your Food

By Ronnie Landis

The great riddle of nutrition relies on one’s unique metabolism and adjusting their macronutrients according to how they produce energy from food. The complications in diet ideology are rooted in a one size fits all concept. This approach can never be accurate as no two people are identical in their metabolic signature. The idea of metabolic typing is to identify and experiment with the foods that allow you to produce the most amount of energy for the least amount of caloric intake.

There are two dominant macronutrient types that are easily used as energy; Fat and Carbohydrates. Protein is not efficiently used as an energy source as it is used for construction, tissue-repair, cognitive support, immune support, and blood sugar modulation.. There are 9 essential amino acids that are not recycled in the body and must come from food. There are 21 in total excluding the 9 that can be manufactured in some metabolisms. The iconic viewpoint of veganism is that animal protein is necessary for strength and energy therefore a meat free diet is incomplete. This is a misconception born out of a simple ignorance regarding the difference between protein and fat. What meat eaters consider a desire for protein is actually a desire for fat. Meat is actually a poor source of protein by dry matter weight and usability. The Max Plank Institute of Scientific Research conducted a study in the 1950s to demonstrate the effects of cooking on protein. They cooked a piece of steak and immediately discovered 50% of the amino acids were rendered unusable. It has been confirmed that the number 1 cause for kidney disease in America is excess animal protein that is unusably stored over time. Animal foods are generally fat(cholesterol) dominant foods and contain secondary protein where the primary protein source of all herbivorous mammals are plant sourced. 

Many raw foodist commonly mistake nuts for being protein rich when in fact they are fat dominant. Seeds are more balanced in their fat to protein ratios, specifically hemp seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds. We are designed more for seed consumption than nut consumption. Our jaw bone structure is designed to grind seeds and nuts but seeds are easier to consume in higher caloric amounts without digestive irritation, as nuts in high amounts can cause. In order to balance a 100% raw diet diversity of fat-protein-carbohydrate foods are essential. Green leafy vegetables are the great equalizer and help to neutralize the acid based minerals that can excessively throw one’s body type out of balance. A high raw diet can be balanced out by incorporating sweet potatoes, yams, steamed broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, and semi-grains such as black rice, wild rice, and quinoa.

Each person carries their own metabolic signature that is broken down into metabolic oxidation rates. This is a concept arrived at by George Watson and carried into the living foods field by Dr. Gabriel Cousens. Each person falls loosely under one of these umbrellas; Fast oxidizers, slow oxidizers, and sub-oxidizers. Each person is uniquely influenced psycho-chemically by food choices and food combinations. This means that our mood, emotions, temperament, thought patterns, impulsions, blood ph, and personality are being effected positively or negatively.

Fast oxidizers have a speedier metabolism and tend to process a larger amount of fat and oils as their primary energy source than they do simple sugars. This group runs a higher amount of metabolic energy from their adrenal glands and thyroid. This causes fast oxidizers to become susceptible to sympathetic overload which can lead into frustration, adrenal fatigue, constipation, and mental burn out. When a fast oxidizer attempts to run a diet high in carbohydrates, and low in fat they fail to meet their metabolic needs for cholesterol and hormone pre-cursors to support the endocrine system. This is one of the chief reasons why this group may experience difficulty adjusting to a vegetarian diet, especially veganism, without the proper guidance. Since this type is more prone to heightened physical and mental exertion they require more fat in the form of nuts, seeds/butters, avocados, olives, durian fruit, coconut products, raw dairy products, ghee. It is also worth considering periodic pasture raised eggs.

Slow oxidizers have a slower metabolism and tend to run efficiently on sugars as immediate fuel. This group may do well on a diet consisting of moderate to high fruits, complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, and amaranth, yams, sweet potatoes, and lower to moderate plant fats in their diet. If a slow oxidizer attempts to eat a high fat diet they can experience fatigue, digestive stagnation, constipation, moodiness, and lack of concentration. This group runs a parasympathetic dominance which slows down their adrenal activity and thyroid metabolism. Slow oxidizers may find it can be difficult at times to lose weight where fast oxidizers can seemingly eat as much as they want and never gain weight. This is due to the rate in which the thyroid is functioning.

Sub-oxidizers are the balance point between the two extremes. Through the progression of one’s health journey they will potentially find themselves balancing out where the adrenal/thyroid feedback reaches homeostasis and sympathetic/parasympathetic dominance balances out. It appears through the knowledge of living foods sub-oxidation is more achievable than on a cooked food and animal food diet. When you consume a big salad you are consuming mostly carbohydrates from vegetables and non-sweet fruits (tomatoes, cucumbers, lemons, bell peppers, etc.) and fats from avocados, olives/oil, seeds, nuts, etc. Raw food provides a wider assortment of options to experiment with and create an integrative lifestyle from. Most people suffering from food allergies are constantly eating the same foods. Switch up your food choices once you feel an irritation or tolerance to something. There is no limit to how far you can explore this riddle and once you find your perfect ratio you will have mastered your perfect diet.

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