To Follow the Recipe?

To achieve your health goals, you many need to adjust the recipe before you start.

My mother is an amazing woman. She’s done so many varied and cool things in her life; I could fill an entire blog just bragging about her. The secret to her success comes down to something you’ll hear her say while cooking: Always follow the recipe the first time. The secret to her success is to follow all the steps as they’re written and then make changes moving forward. The quilted panels that hang in my office were made by her. Already an expert quilter, the designs on the birch trees were something new that she’d never done. She broke it down into parts: enlarged a picture of each branch on the copier and then transferred the designs to the fabric. Following the recipe the first time.

Interestingly, my mother’s approach to getting things done never wore off on me. There’s a trail of needlework, knitting, and rug hooking that has followed me for over a decade. I just couldn’t stick with the patterns. They were either too boring and lost my attention, or maybe I’ve just felt hemmed in by patterns or recipes. I recently reupholstered a chair in my office. The previous renters left a well-loved chair when they moved out. I added more character to it when I was painting the blue walls in the office. To follow the recipe the first time, I could have taken the original pattern apart, cut similar pieces in the new fabric, and sewn it back together. However, I decided that it needed accents, so I folded ribbon and sewed into each seam making it look like thin piping. I’ve never done anything like that before, but it looks good. The chair with its piping now matches the valances over the windows that also started as a pattern that diverged while I was cutting the fabric.

One way is not superior to the other and you can find both expressions of creativity living side-by-side in my office. Their contrast highlights something that I see in the practice of nutrition and how bodies respond to nutrition.

When I began working in nutrition, each seminar that I went to handed out nutritional protocols like cookbooks that could be used for any type of existing problem from bloating to Wilson’s disease. Give patients these supplements, this often, and for this long. You’ll find this approach to nutrition all over the place: from the recommendations on the backs of supplement bottles to many of my nutrition colleagues. The thing is, these recipes work for many people - their bodies follow the recipe the first time. However, when I tried many of these recipes for myself and with my patients, many of them actually caused more pain than the problem they were trying to solve. I began to wonder, “Why should the same supplements work the same way across bodies?” Yes, we have the same biochemistry, but we have different microbiomes and small genetic variations that can make huge differences in how we use nutrition. For this reason, some bodies, like myself, need to alter the recipe right off the bat.

These days, the nutrition work I do is guided by basic principles of biochemistry, clinical experience, and fine tuning from the Morphogenic Field Technique. In many cases, supplements are just too strong for people. Foods, herbs, spices, and essential oils are much better ways to help their bodies; single ingredients work better for them (check out last week’s blog on Spring Cleanses for more information). When I ditched the supplement recipes, I could also alter healing guides around food preferences and availability, the amount of money and energy you want to put into a healing guide (teenagers prefer to pop a supplement, women who cook love to add spices, etc.), or what someone had around the house (lots of essential oils, supplement brands that I don’t carry, etc). Basically, I help you create healing guides similar to how I cook: what you have on hand, what you think sounds good, and what you have time for.

If you’ve tried following recipes to achieve your goals and are having trouble, then sign up for a nutrition visit and let’s see what we can do together.

Dr. Julie

Breathe   Adjust   Nourish

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