To add or to avoid...that is the question


Wellness Consultant
Feb 26, 2010
It seems to me that the matter of nutrition is both complex and personal. By that I mean this: We cannot assume that one size fits all. Just because a particular nutrient helps one person does not mean that it will help another, and may, in fact, be detrimental. In other words, in my opinion, concentrating on single nutrients is like trying to get from one place to another by walking a treadmill!
So, the anwer is whole foods, the way God (or if you don't believe in God, nature) designed it to be. The synergistic design of whole foods provides all we really need. By whole foods I mean foods that are whole.
A basic rule of thumb is, if it comes in a package, a carton, or a can, it is probably not a whole food. It has been altered in some way having been robbed of nutrients and then having had them synthetically added back in as if what God did in the first place can be bettered by human engineering.
Thing you might find in the periphery of your grocery store (but not always), you know, vegatables and fruits. Even the bread you buy is not real bread! Try this, let it set out for a few days. If it gets moldy it's not real bread! If it just turns hard it's probably more like the real thing.
Eat organic as much as possible. I'm not a vegan but I have learned to cut back on the meat products. Unless you're getting your dairy from an organic source your milk isn't really milk and your cheese isn't really cheese! If there are more ingredients than four or five, if there are words you cannot pronounce, if there is corn syrup, if there is asparteme or one of its synonyms, avoid it.
I could go on with the sugars and the preservatives and all that but you get the picture. Thanks for indulging me, we're all in this together!


New member
Apr 15, 2010
Clermont Florida
This sums up all we need to know to remain healthy. Your post is on target. I don't look at this post as indulging you as much as helping us. I write about this topic on a blog, and I know that each persons learns differently. So, if everyone repeats this in their own way we have a chance to reach more people.

I like this forum it seems that everyone here gets it. We have to take care, and you are right we are all in this together.

Spirit Raintree

Certified Nutritionist
Dec 10, 2009
My thoughts about supplements

Hello Naturalman and BlancheYHU,

Thanks to Naturalman for bringing it back to the basics and focusing on whole, fresh, organic foods (the way they occur in Nature) being the true foundation for health. The funny thing about this subject is that some folks consider that health food. Truth is, that's real food and the rest of the pre-packaged stuff is quasi-food or fully artificial. Do people even realize how weird it is that they eat artificial food? I find that rather bizarre. Humans (myself included :D) are a funny crowd.

In my work as a nutritionist, I love to remind people that nuts, seeds, and even leafy greens are a great source of Essential Fatty Acids. Whole, fresh, ripe, raw, organic fruits and veggies are the best sources for vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and all those groovy phytochemicals that modern science can't even figure out. The combination and synergy offered by whole foods is mind blowing.

Even after studying nutrition for over 15 years, I feel as though I am only beginning to learn. Clueless and unlearning more each day is my motto. I choose an empty cup philosophy in life.

I still feel that supplements have their place in the world. They offer an alternative to folks who aren't going to eat in a way that supports optimal health. Supplements are also cool for folks who don't have availability of good quality foods or when dealing with a specific health condition. Of course, if you don't have access to good food, it's unlikely you'll have access to supplements, but that's another issue.

Herbs are my favorite category of supplements. Also whole foods, herbs and spices are a wonderful way to enhance the already impressive healing potential in quality foods. Many times, I have taken a tincture of echinacea at the onset of a cold. I've also seen great results with herbal teas (Traditional Medicinals and Yogi tea are my two favorite brands) and bee products: bee pollen, honey, propolis, and royal jelly. Again, all of these are whole foods that are considered supplements.

From my perspective, the main role of suppplements is to handle acute or chronic imbalances. If something is out of whack, you should improve eating and lifestyle habits and consider short term (1 week to several months) supplementation to speed the healing process. For chronic (long-term) imbalance, plan on supplementing for about a month for every year the imbalance has been present. For acute (short-term) imbalance, supplement for as long as it takes to fully recover, then give it an extra 2-7 days.

An example would be osteoarthritis, a chronic degenerative condition. You would want to supplement with a good quality mineral supplement, Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's), and a good anti-inflammatory to handle the symptoms. My favorite anti-inflammatory products are either herbal formulas like New Chapter's Zyflamend or a solid dose of turmeric, ginger, bromelain, or boswellin. A solid dose is usually around 3 grams (about 6 capsules) a day in divided doses. Supplement for one month for every year you've had symptoms of arthritis. 20 years of arthritis, 20 months of supplementation. And, of course, appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes. Otherwise, the supplementation will only have short term effectiveness.

A cold or flu is an example of an acute condition. At the onset of symptoms, start taking a good quality tincture of echinacea (Gaia herbs, HerbPharm, and Herbs, etc. make great products). Take a dropperful (approx. 1 milliliter) every hour for the first 2-3 days. This will oftentimes boost immune function enough to knock it out. If not, take a combination of echinacea with goldenseal (goldenseal helps with the mucus) in the same way as the echinacea. At the same time, eat less dairy, less meat, and more fresh or frozen vegetables. Season foods with onion, garlic, and ginger to further enhance healing response.

It's always best to research any option to educate yourself in proper usage. You're eating it, it's a good idea to know as much about it as possible. Always remember, the best way to be happy is to be healthy.

Thanks again for the thought provoking post, Naturalman. I hope everybody has a great day.