Are You Eating for Optimal Health? (2)

Beware of the Sun Screen

Optimal Health Begins With Whole Foods

By Sandra Miller L.W.M.C.

Nutritional Therapist

Part Two




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So we covered a few eating styles but I have more to scrutinize. Read on to find out which diet will give you optimal health.

Gluten free

Quite possibly, the gluten-free diet is one of the most popular eating styles today. the millennial’ make this diet worth noticing, as far as food companies are concerned.   Roughly about 10% or more of the population suffer from some a GRD or gluten related disorder. It is so prevalent that most restaurants cater to this population, and most grocery stores carry some array of gluten-free foods. Some undertake this eating style by necessity and some by choice. Removing gluten containing foods from the diet is a bio hacking hallmark because every human is unable to digest it. It is an eating style that has so many benefits.

Many people who chose to do so have decided to  prevent irritants like gluten from causing problems. Problems that show up down the road that affect our brain are good incentive. Most people will have a gluten related issue at some point in their lives but not make the connection. Of course, those with celiac disease MUST stay away from anything containing gluten it is an important healing step for those with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s and IBS as well. Anyone with chronic constipation, gas and bloating, diarrhea would do themselves a favor and ditch the gluten. This is how I healed my fibromyalgia and autoimmune thyroid conditions.  After 30 years I finally feel great.


Removing gluten from the diet for anyone has tremendous health benefits whether or not you think that you are sensitive to it. Gluten is a protein found in ALL grains. Yes, I said ALL. What most people do not know is that even corn and rice, and even quinoa contain gluten. It is not the same gluten that is in wheat or rye, but they are glutens nonetheless. each grain has a gluten that is specific to it. Since gluten is one of the several factors that contribute to “leaky gut” it makes sense to limit or avoid grains altogether.  Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would play Russian roulette with their health.  Those who suffer from anything from migraines to menopause and even autoimmune diseases like lupus and MS find that it helps in so many ways by reducing irritants to the gut lining where all dis-ease begins. Dr. Tom O’Bryan is one of the foremost authorities on the subject.  See what he says here:


By virtue of definition, a gluten- free diet is only a gluten free diet. Let me clarify: The only hard and fast rule to gluten-free is that you do not eat anything that contains gluten and/or works within the framework of gluten-free. There is no focus on organic fruits or vegetables nor is there a focus on pastured eggs or grass fed meat. Quality is not always the focus. The rest of the diet may not be clean and could still contain GMO foods, but be gluten free. The other issue is that there is no restriction on the amount of gluten free foods you can eat so most people only replace their gluten-containing foods with gluten-free foods. Instead of regular wheat crackers they will substitute gluten- free crackers and the same goes for pasta, cereal, and the like. Processed and refined carbohydrates whether gluten-free or not should not make up the balance a healthy diet.  Processed food is not for those who wish to be optimal.

The amount of processed carbohydrates in the diet tends to be very high and not much healthier than a standard American diet (SAD).This eating style is only as healthy as one makes it. Occasional gluten-free meals should be more like a “treat” than a staple.

Paleolithic (hunter-gatherer style)

Wow, has this eating style gathered some steam! It has been one of the fastest growing diets over the past few years, and it is known as the “Paleo Diet”. There have been other names like – “Caveman Diet” or “Primal Diet ” but the strategies are, for the most part, similar but one thing is for certain: It is reaching cult status. Why? Because its focus is, on the whole, real, foods that mimics as closely as possible an eating style our ancestors shared billions of years ago before the agricultural era ( minus the bugs and earthworms and I am OK with that). It mimics the way that was intended for us to eat- from and of the land. A land before industrialized agriculture.

Science has proven a symbiotic relationship with microbes such as probiotics and making us realize that our good health depends on them. It is hard to argue that our symbiotic relationship with the land and all that it provides would not be the key to the health of our DNA. We are all part of the same eco-system. This eating style supports a healthy gut and it’s microbe inhabitants. A Professor at Colorado University named Dr. Loren Cordain started the craze when he wrote the book “The Paleo Diet” and “The Paleo Diet for Athletes”. It has been redeveloped recently by Robb Wolff and Mark Sisson and adopted by Dr. Terry Wahls and has become the gold standard for healing autoimmune conditions. Dr. Wahls suffered from MS and was wheelchair confined for many years.  You can read her story here:

Dr. Wahls reversed the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and went from being wheelchair bound to biking to work thanks to this healing eating strategy. Heal the gut and you will see many common health challenges become a thing of your past.


This style focuses on fish that is wild-caught Salmon and seafood, grass-fed meats along other wild game and includes the organ meats of these animals as our ancestors would have. It also encourages lots of fresh and lightly cooked veggies. Some veggies INCREASE their phytonutrient density when cooked. Read more here:

Vegetables and fruits are encouraged in season mainly, and most people promoting this strategy emphasize QUALITY of food like organic fruits and meats raised on their native feed. This is a REAL FOOD DIET and NO processed food. It consists only of whole food so we would be eliminating all the perils that come with processed foods. All the chemical ingredients, GMO’s, high fructose corn syrup, industrialized seed oils that are full of hexane, and refined flours of gluten containing grains are shunned.


Benefits of Coconut Oil

Healthy fats are encouraged with coconut oil being hailed as the wonder food.  You have to be living under a rock if you are not familiar with the benefits of coconut oil. Oh, that’s right, I forgot the “conventional wisdom” told you that saturated fats were bad.  The truth is out now and no matter what eating style you chose, quality coconut oil is a staple of any healthy eating style.

Avocado, nuts, and seeds get a thumbs up and chia and hemp have no major adversaries. Paleo followers avoid dairy because of pasteurization that negates any benefits milk might have. Conventionally raised cows are usually given antibiotics because of frequent infections that the cows could contract being in such close quarters. Pus can be found in almost every milk sample! PUS! To make matters more complicated, A1 casein, a protein most often found in milk from the high-producing Holstein cows favored by American and some European industrial dairies is largely indigestible for a large number of people. .

Since healthy fats are encouraged liberally, the diet is high in fiber and quality protein hunger is never an issue.Weight loss is effortless with the aid of the higher fat low carb matrix of this style of eating.

Check out this video about pus in milk and hopefully this hits home enough for you to consider kicking the white stuff to the curb.  By the way, milk is not necessary for healthy bones and may actually weaken them.


Almost all salmon today that’s from the Atlantic is farmed and almost all Pacific is wild caught. Pacific waters are rife with pollutants.We already addressed the issue with farmed fish. The Pacific Ocean pulls toxins from a landfill that is the size of Europe so along with that swirling around in the water there is also a huge problem with plastics which put BPA in the waters and of course, it ends up in your fish. They even find tiny bits of plastics inside of the fish’s bellies. Mercury in large fish is a huge issue, and many pollutants find there way into our waters. Shrimp has been shown to be ten times more toxic than any farm-raised fish as well as since shrimp are bottom feeders; their diet is well…crappy! (lol)

Despite all the concerns with seafood and shellfish in general it appears the general consensus from the Functional Medicine community is this: It’s worth keeping seafood in the diet because of it’s numerous benefits.”We just have to take our own steps to detoxify our bodies from the pollutants they harbor.

Get started learning how to remove toxins with my FREE mini programs here:

Pork is promoted on the Paleo diet as well, but there should be some concern with pork as it harbors a parasite that COOKING DOES NOT DESTROY! Parasites and tapeworm are very real issues especially if the meat is undercooked and can cause some extremely dangerous brain issues and of course, digestive issues. I follow a Paleo diet about 90% of the time. I limit my use of bacon to about 1-2 times per week and use the cleanest I can find with no nitrates or nitrites. I am not negating my risk, however. Although though seafood is my favorite, I have had to limit this also to 2-3x per week.I have a strategy for assisting in the removal of the heavy metals and toxins. Immediately after I eat it, I take about five chlorella tabs and some cilantro as these two things are well documented for remove heavy metals from the body. Just don’t forget to add some fiber to assist in the removal! A safer bet would be to eat smaller fish like anchovy and sardine

Sun Chlorella is the one I use because the cell wall is tough for the body to break down.  This brand uses a special process that has a “pulverized” cell wall that allows for it to easily do it’s job. Dr. Josh Axe (one of my mentors) wrote a great article on chlorella and it seems that it proves most beneficial for those who have had chemotherapy!

Chlorella 7 Proven Benefits

As mentioned in the Mediterranean diet explanation, unless nuts are sprouted or soaked we encounter the phytic acid issue again so soaking, sprouting is a must. Lastly, the Neo-Paleo diet (neo stands for Neolithic Period (6,000-10,000 B.C.) was right about the time agriculture started. Neo-paleo is a more recent version, and followers of this morphed version do include dairy, but it must be raw and non-pasteurized. Foods like raw kefir from goats can be used if they are eating their diet of origin (grass). Many people still

Lifeway coconut kefir

Tula’s is a good brand also and can be found at Thrive Market.

SCD and GAPS Diets

The GAPS (Gut and Psychology) is somewhat a spin-off from the SCD (simple carbohydrate) diet that was developed and made popular by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. She designed this diet with the autistic child in mind. The basis of these diets addresses how your gut affects the brain. Certain foods are removed so that the body has the least issues surrounding digestion using only very basic carbohydrates like fruit and honey and not complex carbs like grains.This fosters healing of the gut lining and we now know that the gut is the root of all health or disease. It is a diet that we health coaches use when someone has serious health issues and needs to heal the gut ASAP. I will not go into detail on each as I will be writing in detail on both of these diets in the near future.


Both of these options allow the gut to rest and heal. That is important because all autoimmune diseases have now been shown to have triggers in the gut coupled with other environmental factors. Autoimmune conditions would include: Lupus, Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, psoriasis, eczema, ADD/ADHD and other disorders of the brain but also Type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto’s, Multiple Sclerosis and many others. These diets also help symptoms of fibromyalgia, brain fog, chronic fatigue and so much more. The first step in healing is to REMOVE offenders, and this diet does that brilliantly. We can than move on to REPAIRING the damage that has been done. RESTORING structure and function and RE-INNOCULATING by adding probiotics and what they thrive on.


As for the negatives: Well, compliance can be difficult though it may only require 30-60 days before reintroducing foods. It is not a compliance friendly diet because it is quite restrictive .If healing the body is the goal most people can deal with it. Also, most people on the GAPS or SCD diet have to learn how to cook. The health benefits come with eating real food, and you cannot find healing foods like this at the drive-thru window of your local fast food restaurant chain or out of a box. Nowadays most people have lost the art of learning how to make food. That is a negative when it comes to both of these diets since cooking is required much of the time.

According to Dr. Josh Axe of “If somebody follows this diet very closely, especially patients with irritable bowel syndrome or leaky gut or food allergies or autoimmune conditions, this is the ideal diet for any of those health issues”.


There are more eating styles not covered here that are spin-offs of those mentioned above. If we look beyond the names and they hype what you will find is that most of the solid eating styles will look like this:

They will include foods from all the major food groups. They should contain as much variety as possible according to taste and not cause any allergic reactions in the body nor interfere with the normal digestion and assimilation known for the human species.

Variety should include daily as many plants of as many color groups as possible. Prepare in ways that least destroy vital nutrients and enzymes.These foods should contain nothing artificial and should not come out of a box, package or can and would spoil if not eaten within a few days to a week. The diet must contain all nutrients that are vital to the health of the species. (there are about 90)

They should be as free of pesticides, herbicides, GMO’s, fillers, anti-caking agents, preservatives, artificial anything, and if packaged they should be packaged in steel or glass. So what that leaves us with is fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry from animals raised humanely.Eggs from chickens that are allowed to roam and fed their natural diet, plenty of water from natural springs, some legumes, nuts or seeds properly prepared by soaking or sprouting, however, in moderation.You can call a style of eating what you like but I am going to call it what it is, and that is INFORMATION to your DNA!

Food is information to your cells because it tells your DNA what to do. Should I be a healthy cell today or should I radicalize and turn into a cancer? I have said this before, but it bears repeating: Genes may “load the gun” but it is environment or “epigenetics” that pulls the trigger. So if we ask ourselves this question “What is this food telling my DNA to do? Is it leading to a positive impact on the health of the person while causing no harm? If so, then I just call that- smart nutrition.