Few people can be unaware that fluoride has been the subject of fierce controversy in the UK in recent years. In every other European country fluoride is banned because it is believed to be a slow-acting poison but in this country local authorities are con tinuing to fluoridate water, albeit amidst vociferous opposition. Once it is artificially in the water it can only be removed by distillation or ion exchange. Water filters won’t do it.

As if this were not worrying enough, the British government has still not acted to satisfy an EEC directive to limit pollutants in drinking water, in spite of the passing of the final deadline in July 1985, and according to the Department of the Environment is nor likely to do so in the foreseeable future. There are four pollutants causing particular concern: nitrates from fertilizers; lead: al minium; and pesticides. Levels of nitrates in water in agricultural areas such as East Anglia and Yorkshire have been rising rapidly and in some areas are well over the limit considered safe by the World Health Organization. High levels have been implicated in

infant poisoning and stomach cancer. Lead is another problem. High levels are clearly linked with brain damage in children, impaired brain function in adults and heart disease, but the government cannot make tap-water levels comply with the EEC directive until it has completed its own program which won’t happen until 1989. should ensure that local authorities supply water which is unlikely to dissolve lead, but once water reaches the boundaries of your property the responsibility becomes yours and most of the lead gets into water from old-fashioned domestic piping.

The Department of the Environment is still quibbling with the EEC about the exact level of various pesticides to be allowed in water. Apparently aluminum levels will be brought into line but not yet!

Areas with poor water supplies are primarily in East Anglia, the North and West of England, and Wales and Scotland. Water can also contain chlorine that has not been filtered out once it has done its work, ammonia, sulphates, copper and asbestos, and in one area of ​​the country it recently contained minute shrimp-like creatures. The Oundle Division of Anglian Water naturally made light of the problem, asserting that the treatment needed to flush out these tiny shrimps would have no effect on human beings or domestic animals but as fish can be adversely affected, it is advisable that the water in fish tanks or ponds is not changed during the period while the work is being undertaken. They justified their use of pyrethrin, the substance needed to knock the shrimps out for a while and make them release their otherwise tenacious grip on the side of the pipe (it seems a straight flush would not shift them) with the assertion that this was an organic, naturally occurring biodegradable material.

 To purify your water, buy a filtering jug from a health food shop or chemist. An alternative is to drink bottled mineral water. Evian, Volvic, Malvern, Ashbourne and Perrier are all acceptable. Perrier is slightly acidic so it shouldn’t be drunk while you are fasting and trying to alkalize your bloodstream.

 Aluminium

 Don’t use aluminium kitchen-ware or foil or any of the many products which contain aluminium. These include most table salts, baking powder, antacids, toothpaste, cigarette filters, buffered aspirin, hot-water heaters with aluminium heating elements, and processed cheese. Aluminium is highly toxic. Not only does it create digestive problems but it may be linked with Alzheimer’s disease, a form of early senility which can start as young as forty. It has become something of an epidemic in America and now kills more people than cancer, and it is getting that way in Britain to. Use earthenware, glass, china, iron or stainless steel in the kitchen, and greaseproof paper or roasting bags. Aluminium-free baking powder can be made with 1 teas poon potassium bicarbonate added to 2 teaspoons cream of tartar and 1 teaspoon arrowroot.

 Microwaves

It seems that in a few years’ time half of all households will own one but I believe that this is another gigantic experiment on the

population which will certainly prove to be detrimental in the long run. The Russians have found that chronic exposure to low levels of microwave emission may result in biological changes including a decreased rate of heart muscle contraction, low blood pressure, changes in the blood’s composition, thyroid problems, hormone imbalance, alterations to the central nervous system, brain-wave patterns, and behaviour, and a lot of non-specific ailments. There is also a growing suspicion that these ovens lead to a higher rate of breast cancer among those who use them. Currently the regulations governing the safety of microwaves are not stringent enough to protect from leakage.

Gas

 This is surprisingly common allergen. If you are prone to allergies like asthma or eczema or get vague headaches it is better to stick to electricity for cooking

 Eating Out

There will undoubtedly be occasions when you simply cannot

ignore restaurant food. Having cooked professionally in such places in various parts of the world I have a fairly good idea of what goes on behind the scenes, but it is still possible to work your way through this minefield and enjoy your meal with a clear conscience knowing it is halfway nutritious. Avoid menus which are overly long and full of complicated,

heavily sauced dishes. A short menu with a few simply cooked items is liable to represent good fresh ingredients. Don’t eat anything deep fried. Order baked or new potatoes in their skins. Don’t patronize places which sell all sorts of different salads with creamy complex dressings. If there are a few salads on the menu, and the greenery looks crisp and undressed and there is nothing canned added, go for these. Ask for the ingredients to make up your own dressings. Otherwise choose the cooked vegetables and specify no butter.

Often I don’t bother to read the menu at all, I simply negotiate for what I want. Sometimes the waiters get a little flustered but by

being assertive and charming I usually win. I often advise my cancer patients who are on very selective diets to telephone the restaurant in advance and explain the situation and in thesc instances the chef has always come up trumps. Most imaginative chefs love a challenge! Sometimes I phone in advance myself simply offering as an excuse the fact that I am having to follow a special diet for health reasons (which is of course perfectly true). When I go to the theatre or cinema I pack some grapes so that I don’t feel deprived in the interval. When I travel by air, as I frequently do, I try and negotiate with the airline in advance but if they come up with something totally inappropriate I have a bag of fruit at the ready and a supply of my three-seed mix (equal parts of pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds). When I visit friends and restaurants I always carry a few herbal tea-bags with me as coffee and tea now literally make me ill.

All of this sounds as if I manage to keep my halo well burnished at all times. Untrue! There are occasions when I leap in feet first and succumb to temptation. Not often but when I do so I make sure I relax, savour every mouthful and really enjoy it, because nothing upsets the digestion more than guilt or worry. And if 1 am going to succumb I make certain I do this with only one course and one item in that course (usually the dessert course – my Achilles’ heel is homemade ice-cream).

Assimilating what you eat

“You are what you cat’ would be much more accurately stated as “You are what you assimilate’. You may be eating the world’s most nourishing diet and eliminating with the precision of a sergeant-major but if you are not making full and proper use of that food it is all, literally, a waste of time (and money). I have encountered some people who fill themselves with vitamins and minerals until they are in danger of rattling and who still creep around feeling half dead. This is because there is some organ, gland or system which is damaged, malformed, traumatized or underdeveloped and so unable to function efficiently metaboli cally. This is further complicated by the fact that your dietary needs are totally different to everyone else’s – so your need forvitamin B12, for example, may be several times higher than your neighbour’s. There are many things you can do to ensure efficient assimilation.

health fitness

 CHEWING

Proper digestion begins in the mouth. Saliva is permeated with ptyalin which helps to break down starch, so if you gulp your food or talk excessively while eating you won’t be able to make full use of it. Chew your food patiently until it is a liquid pulp before swallowing it.

LIQUIDS

These dilute the digestive juices and should not be taken with meals. Drink half an hour before or an hour after a meal. The only exceptions are vegetable and fruit juices which count as a food (and so should be swished round the mouth well to ensure they are mixed with plenty of saliva before swallowing). Herbal teas count as a medicine and may be used to swallow herbal capsules with. Good wine and champagne taken in moderation actually help the digestion by aiding relaxation and so may be taken on high days and holidays with a celebratory meal.

EMOTIONS

The metabolic processes of the body are much more upset by distress, rage, greed, shock, fear, guilt, anxiety, depression, jealousy and grief than by the odd mouthful of naughty food. You need emotional equilibrium to digest your food properly. If you are at all upset miss a meal. If you are upset but feel starving and desperately want to eat sip a small glass of freshly pressed fruit or vegetable juice slowly. Try not to eat to comfort yourself or to relieve tiredness. It’s an easy trap to fall into. It stuns me how many people use the family dining-room table as a battleground, and how many children have forkfuls of food forced between their clenched teeth or are constantly admonished to clear their plates. Unhappily, eating everything put in front of you is a

destructive habit too many people drag with them into adult- hood.

TOO MUCH, TOO OFTEN Most of us cat too much too often. It takes four hours to empty

the stomach completely, so the ideal eating pattern is a light breakfast at 8 o’clock, a sustaining lunch at 1 o’clock and a light snack at 6 o’clock. (This does not apply if you are hypoglycaemic and need to eat little and often.) If you follow this pattern you won’t tax your body’s enzymic systems.

PRE-PRANDIAL TITBITS Don’t titivate your jaded appetite with salted snacks or pickles.

Salt and vinegar will run down the stomach lining over time.

Choose something raw to begin with, such as a piece of fruit or

some crudités, which will help to perk up your immune system,

avoid digestive leukocytosis (the breakdown of the ability to

produce white corpuscles of blood or lymph) and get the gastric

juices flowing.

FOOD COMBINING Proteins are the only food digested in the stomach. The digestion of starchy foods begins in the mouth and ends in the intestines. If you persist in mixing starches and protein together the starches are trapped in the stomach while the protein is digested and the starches ferment and become sour. If you mix acid fruits and starchy foods together it also encourages fermentation and in digestion. 

APPETITE

If you are not hungry don’t eat. It sounds obvious but many people eat out of sheer habit.

Digestive tea

  parts ginger root

  parts fenugreek

  parts allspice

 part cinnamon 2 parts dandelion

  part plantain

  part meadow-sweet

  part skullcap

Brew as an infusion   and drink 1 cup while eating This assists the gastric juices, pancreas, liver, stomach and im tines, normalizes stomach acids and helps to remove any to acid, stops burping and any mucus congestion, soothes the nervous system and tastes spicily palatable.

Supplementation for Optimal Nutrition

I am not a great believer in shop-bought vitamins and mineral supplements because their quality is so suspect. They are general- ly synthetic and often expensive. It may be true that a molecule of synthetic crystalline ascorbic acid is chemically identical to the ascorbic acid present in roschips, but the rosehips contain vital accessory factors such as minerals, trace minerals, enzymes and coenzymes as well as minute traces of other probably vital nutrients which we know little about as yet. The substances interact with one another to ensure the full absorption and utilization of the ascorbic acid in a wonderful burst of internal cooperation

This is true of all herbs. In parsley, for example, the ascorbic acid, vitamin A, essential oils, flavones and various minerals all combine to assist each other to increase the flow of saliva, cleansing the mouth and reducing the bacteria there. Once in the intestine the ascorbic acid and its adjuncts are absorbed very slowly, ensuring that faeces remain soft and so acting as a gentle laxative and an effective diuretic. In an ideal world a balanced diet of fresh, unprocessed foods would supply all your vitamin needs, but unprocessed food is very hard to come by. And it also needs to be remembered that vitamin needs vary with age, stress, illness, pregnancy and alcohol and tobacco intake. The following formulation is a carefully balanced herbal alternative to synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements. It contains the full range of vitamins and minerals, amino acids and alkaline protein, all of which are easily assimilable.

Herbal mega-multi vitamin and mineral supplement

  •   parts spirulina
  •   parts alfalfa
  •   parts roschip
  • parts kelp I part yellow dock
  •  part comfrey I part cayenne
  •  part Irish moss
  •   part Iceland moss horsetail
  •   part 1 part parsley
  •   part watercress
  •   part lobelia
  • Take two rounded 5 ml teaspoons of the powdered herbs stirred into vegetable juice with each meal. The dose can be adjusted according to need and should therefore be increased for convalescents, pregnant and lactating women, menopausal women and anyone under stress.

 

Body Talk

You will notice that I haven’t given you any hard-and-fast rules about diet. That is because you will find you are wise enough to sort out for yourself what you need to eat and when you need to cat it. It is an extraordinary fact but I have observed it over so many years working with my patients that I know it to be true once you have cut out all the junk food from your diet and cleared the rubbish from your system your body will tell you what it needs. It is no longer clogged up and weighed down and that powerful and ancient knowing with which all of us are born but which during the growing-up process gets lost under a deluge of rubbishy chemicalized food surfaces again.

Let me give you a case in point. A few months ago I was at a well-known health clinic where I had chosen to fast on fruit for three weeks. On the seventh day I began menstruating and by the eighth day I was feeling so low I actually fainted. Knowing what I do about fasting, I appreciated that the eighth-day was ‘a crisis of acidosis’ but I was losing blood at a very fast rate (which is unusual for me) and I can never remember fainting in my life. When I came to, I had a desperate craving for red grape juice. I told the nurse about it who adamantly refused to let me add it to my fruit diet because, as she put it, ‘All diets have been very carefully thought out and are totally adequate. She was wrong

No one diet will ever suit everyone under all circumstances, Red grape juice is high in fructose and iron and that is exactly what

needed that day because my body wisely told me so I Have known some people vomit up even a cup of herbal tea at the beginning of diet reform. This is not instinctive body talk, Ji because the body is so toxic and the digestion so battered that i cannot deal even with the simplest bit of pure nutrition and in this instance I get the patient to start with just a few teaspoons of the tea and graduate from there. I must emphasize that accurate body talk only begins once you have cleaned the body up. At first your inner voice will come in whispers and fits and starts because a new way of eating is rather like learning to ride a bike. You wobble about a lot and fall off several times but when you doggedly remount and keep wheeling you eventually get the hang of it and finally the speed, once you know how, is wonderfully exhilarat ing! At that point you won’t have to rely on any books or gurus- you will find out exactly what you always wanted to know about what suits you.

The Tortoise and the Hare

I will offer you a final piece of advice on diet reform I always give my patients. Don’t do it all at once unless you have phenomenal will power. Alter one aspect of your diet at a time. Choose to give up, say, coffee to start with and expect to feel exhausted initially as you come off all those adrenal stimulants. There is plenty of herbal help near to cleanse and support the body while you do so. You will notice something very intriguing when you transfer your allegiance to an imaginative, balanced, whole food, pre

dominantly raw diet. Your taste-buds will get sharper and fussier and you will actually feel nauseated not just naughty when you eat foods which don’t suit you. Or you will get headaches, aches and pains, a rash, diarrhoea, bloodshot eyes or halitosis and you will decide that it is just not worth paddling in your own poison. Don’t, as you change your eating habits, let the smell of burning martyr’s flesh pervade your house. Try not to become a fanatic but on the other hand don’t let other people’s opinions bother or sway you. It’s amazing, but I suppose it’s human nature,

just how unhelpful friends can be when they see you changing. A lot of mine begged me to stay my sweet, round, cuddly self when I lost a lot of weight. I think the change disconcerted them and made them feel that my character would change with it. For better or for worse it hasn’t!

One of the quickest and most satisfying ways to embark on a new way of eating and cleanse your system quickly is to fast. Read on ..