Kyle Vialli is a vitality ‘agent’ and coach hailing from the UK – a philosopher, cosmologist, media and cultural scientist, humanitarian and lecturer in the human potential movement. He’s in the country at the moment, giving talks and seminars nation-wide (organised by Julie at Conscious Choice). The particular seminar I attended yesterday focused on nutrition, but we were reminded that nutrition is just one of the (extremely important!) sectors in the larger spectrum of factors that contribute to overall vitality.
The most profound nugget of information I took away from Kyle’s talk today I thought I’d share: The Three Dimensions of Nutrition. Basically, he explains that there are three main factors that contribute to the way a food can increase (or decrease) our vitality, and how we can utilize what we put in our systems, and they are as follows:
1. NUTRIENT POTENCY – consume foods that are as potent in nutrition (minerals) as possible. Things like organic soil, biodynamic farming practices, seasonality, the distance a food has had to travel etc all have an impact on this. We want to be eating foods that provide the body with a full quota of organic minerals, so that these minerals do not have to be leached from the body (alkaline* substances such as calcium, magnesium, potassium etc) in order for digestion and assimilation to occur.
2. A FOOD’S DIGESTIBILITY – Digestibility has been a key theme on my blog since the beginning. Kyle reiterated, “We are not what we eat. We are what we assimilate”. I’ve said it before but I really do think it’s a shame when raw foodists shun all cooked foods in favour of dense, raw concoctions (high in nuts and seeds and often poorly combined), which are actually quite hard for the body to break down and assimilate. On the other hand, lightly cooked vegetables and even some lightly cooked animal products such as biodynamic, free-range eggs or high-quality grains are actually easier on digestion than the aforementioned raw favourites. Factors that effect the natural digestibility of foods include:
- The anti-nutrient (enzyme-inhibitor) content of a food
- The organic water content of a food and its density
- Eating certain foods in the company of enzyme-rich raw vegetables
For example, conventional soy products, which are often spotlighted as health foods by the media, are actually full of anti-nutrients, making them incredibly hard for the body to break down and therefore highly mucus-forming. Remember, if we can’t break down something and eliminate it completely, it contributes to the build up of mucoid plaque in the body and a continued state of acidosis and toxicity, as well as making it terribly difficult for our digestive system to absorb vital nutrients. On the other hand, ripe, organic fruits and young tender greens and leaves are the only foods that are immediately able to be readily digested and assimilated by the body as we receive them straight from nature. The digestibility of foods can often be increased by techniques such as juicing**, blending and culturing (as is the case with soy products in the form of fermented miso and tempeh). Culturing a food by adding organic sea salt and inoculating it with good bacteria actually causes some of the enzyme inhibitors to be broken down, resulting in a food that is ‘pre-digested’, ie slightly wilted and fibrously softer for more efficient assimilation in the body. (PS. I’m keen to give raw sauerkraut and real cultured butter a go, yum!)
3. OUR DIGESTIVE EFFICIENCY – as covered in this post, years of accumulation of inorganic waste matter in the colon (which eventually seeps into the bloodstream and becomes a systemic problem throughout the body as we become more toxic) compromises our ability to digest vital nutrients from food. It’s estimated that the average person only assimilates around about 30% of what they put into their bodies, and this is not even purely because of what we have been fed and how we have lived during our own lifetime. Generations upon generations of poor nutrition and toxic lifestyles has compromised our blood chemistry: we were all born into a poor situation no matter how well we eat in this day and age. Of course, the only way to improve our digestive efficiency is to remove these blockages in the intestines, as well as at a cellular level throughout the body, by awakening (through raw, alkaline plant foods and their juices) and releasing the impacted waste matter in the body. Of course, our digestive efficiency can further be improved by implementing basic food-combining principles, which promote the body’s natural digestive efficiency.
Now, here’s the punchline: these three dimensions of nutrition make up a powerful formula. When the components are multiplied together, you basically can calibrate the nutritional quality of any food and how it contributes to our physical vitality.
Nutrient Potency x A Food’s Digestibility x Our Digestive Efficiency
Therefore, you can actually increase or decrease the vitality-giving potential of any food by changing one or more of the above components. Does that make sense? I’m pretty sure Kyle made it a lot easier to understand! Perhaps you take the humble egg, choosing a biodynamic, free-range local variety for nutrient potency, cooking it lightly and consuming it in the presence of raw or cultured vegetables to increase its digestibility, and eating it as a part of a properly-combined meal to increase our digestive efficiency. Of course, the vitality of a seemingly healthful, high vibration food can be disrupted by applying these principles in reverse, perhaps by stripping it’s nutrient potency with pasteurization and heavy processing, adding toxic preservatives and taking it into a highly acidic, impacted intestinal system. The point being, each individual food can be manipulated on the scale of health-generating vitality to a certain extent, as can our overall diets.
Am I the only one who find this stuff totally fascinating?!
*Just to clarify again, ALKALINE substances naturally carry a negative electromagnetic charge, ie at a subatomic level they contain more negatively charged electrons in each atom than positively charged protons. When a substance carries more protons than electrons, and therefore is positively charged and ACIDIC, these extra protons act as ‘free radicals’ in the body, and are widely linked with the aging and degeneration process. The beauty of highly ALKALINE, or negatively-charged foods such as green vegetables and their juices, is that the free electrons in these substances act to attract and neutralise free radicals, literally electromagnetically attracting and pulling the acidic waste matter into the channels of elimination for removal from the body.
**A side note on juicing (because we all know I’m a fan, and apparently, so is Kyle!): many of the key alkaline parts of green vegetables are bound up in the fibrous structure of the plant and cannot be assimilated by the body. A big kale salad will not necessarily contribute much to your overall health if you cannot assimilate the nutrients from the fibrous kale as is, no matter how much you chew! The purpose of nutrition is to harness the amazing phytochemicals in these superfoods and absorb them into the bloodstream as efficiently as possible, and juicing provides the vehicle for this. No, we don’t have juices in nature and the whole process may seem utterly radical, but today our bodies are compromised like never before (see above!). Juicing is necessary in a world where our digestion is compromised by toxic waste in the body and we are already deficient in vital minerals. Bypass the digestive process with juicing and voila! Vital minerals reach the bloodstream with ease, which is crucial for cleansing and nourishing the body on a cellular level.
Kyle’s book, What In The World are we Supposed to Eat: The Truth About Nutrition, will be out later this year – I’ll definitely be checking it out! – and keep an eye out for his TV program called Vitality Agent that’s currently in the works.
Next up, I’m keen to do a review of Kris Carr’s new book, Crazy Sexy Diet, so stay tuned! I assume the next few nights will be spent burrowed away in my room glued to my e-copy… will post again when I eventually emerge (hopefully enlightened and with knowledge to share!).