Food Ecology 101: Keeping Your Inner Landscape Healthy

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach

With so much emphasis being placed on creating a “greener” planet for ourselves and all future generations, it should come as no surprise that the same principles can be applied to our health.  What occurs during the time between consuming foods and their ability to enhance our well-being or contribute to its detriment lies largely in our nutritional choices as well as the pairing thereof.

An emerging science referred to as “Body Ecology” has shed much light on this topic. Selecting foods that combine together efficiently to assist digestion can go a long way towards keeping us healthy.  Very often undigested food remains in the digestive tract too long, creating a toxic environment that allows yeast, viruses, cancer cells and parasites to thrive. Eventually, our delicate inner ecosystem is damaged, rendering us more prone to illness. 

In the past I have written about the importance of timing nutritional intake, specifically geared toward facilitating the development of lean muscle mass.  Here is yet one more reason to be mindful of combining food sources in an optimal way. Below are a few tips to get you thinking about meal-planning in a new way:

Avoid pairing protein with starchy foods 


I realize this has become the “American” way, as is the case of meat and potatoes.  However, while the digestion of protein requires an acidic gastric environment, the breakdown of starches requires an alkaline system.  These two cancel each other out, with the end result being undigested food lingering in the digestive tract.  Choosing cruciferous veggies or a green leafy salad to compliment your fish/chicken/beef dishes, as opposed to starchy veggies, will facilitate digestion and keep your inner tract in top condition so as to allow for maximal nutrient absorption.

Kick-start your morning 

While I fully admit to being a Starbuck’s aficionado, brewing the delicious caffeine at home, body ecology recommends starting the day with a glass of warm water and lemon juice. This combination helps to hydrate the body while cleansing and toning the digestive system. Lemon and lime juice can also be enjoyed with animal protein, for flavor and to enhance digestion.

Before making any radical shifts in a meal plan, it may be wise to consult a physician.  However, engaging in small changes such as these often leads to major health payoffs. Empower yourself and make strides towards keeping your inner landscape lean and green!