Tag Archives: Spring 2012 Catalog

Which Probiotic Is Best For Me?- Spring Catalog 2012

Which Probiotic Is Best for Me?

Nancy Webster

In the two-part article about the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet I wrote for the last two Beeyoutiful catalogs, I recommended Tummy Tune-Up as a moderate-priced, quality probiotic alternative to the excellent-but-more-expensive version created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome. About the time the last catalog went to press, and unbeknownst to me, the manufacturers who supply Tummy Tune-Up to Beeyoutiful updated the product label, noting that TTU includes trace amounts of soy and gluten peptides because of possible cross-contamination from other products manufactured on the same equipment. A few Beeyoutiful customers who follow GAPS were disappointed to discover this possibility in Tummy Tune-Up (so was I).

At the same time, Beeyoutiful introduced two new, extra-strength probiotics: Gut Guardian and Gut Guardian Supreme. The timing was perfect, especially for GAPS-oriented customers! I hope this article will help you decide which probiotic is best for your needs.

The Good, the Bad, and the Gluteny

GAPS does not allow use of any soy- or gluten-containing products, or grains. So, following up on what traces might be found in the “new” Tummy Tune-Up, I learned that “peptides” are tiny pieces of the whole soy or gluten protein molecules. Of the 2700+ peptides which make up gluten, scientists have narrowed down the troublemakers for celiac and gluten-sensitive patients to just three of those thousands. This means the likelihood of harm from the possible trace content in Tummy Tune Up is very, very slim—reassuring news, for sure.

The GAPS Diet also does not allow any FOS (fructooligosaccharides), sometimes called inulin on product labels. The Diet is designed to eliminate all polysaccharides (“many-sugars”) because they are difficult for an unhealthy gut to digest. FOS are considered polysaccharides since they are made from complex chains of glucose-fructose molecules. They are found in foods like garlic, onions, bananas, wheat, asparagus, and chicory root. When used in probiotic supplements and some commercial yogurt and kefir, FOS are usually refined from chicory.

So why are FOS found in many probiotic products these days? FOS are considered to be a “prebiotic,” meaning they stimulate the growth of the beneficial bifidobacteria. These suppress harmful pathogenic bacteria and yeasts. This helps good bacteria do their thing even more efficiently and paves the way for more nutrients to be absorbed by the body. Because FOS are an insoluble, indigestible fiber, they act as any other food fiber to “sweep” the digestive tract. Some people even take supplements of FOS as a natural, fiber-based regularity product.

Opponents to the use of FOS in probiotics say they might also feed bad bacteria and the yeast present in an unhealthy gut, just as other sugars and starches do. They also say the indigestible fiber leads to abdominal bloating and cramping—which the GAPS Diet is intended to minimize—because unhealthy digestive tracts don’t do well with fibrous foods. Dr. McBride clarifies at her www.gaps.me website that even the people sensitive to a prebiotic at first can usually handle it after some gut healing has taken place.

Like trace soy and gluten, the FOS in probiotics is present in only a tiny amount, just enough to enhance the good bacterial action, and it typically breaks down before causing irritation. On the other hand, the inulin in some powdered stevia products, for example, has a much greater concentration of FOS and is present only to bulk up the stevia and render it more like a traditional sugar for baking purposes. That is a form of FOS GAPsters should definitely avoid.

Another ingredient present in some Beeyoutiful probiotics (including Tummy Tune-Up) and in Dr. McBride’s probiotic is maltodextrin, a polysaccharide. Again, GAPS Dieters must avoid such complex sugars while their guts are healing. The maltodextrin in Tummy Tune-Up is derived from rice starch whereas the maltodextrin in Dr. Campbell-McBride’s probiotic is derived from corn starch, a highly refined, complex chain of glucose molecules. It is present for the same reason FOS is included in some probiotics—to increase the efficacy of the probiotic— although unlike FOS, maltodextrin is easily digestible and is as rapidly absorbed as glucose. Elaine Gottschall, creator of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, upon which the GAPS Diet is based, was adamantly opposed to using maltodextrin in probiotics because “it’s a sugar,”1 but Dr. McBride says she’s only seen a few problems from the thousands who have used it, “because the maltodextrin component is so small.”2

The Price of Health

If you are going to the trouble of following the GAPS Diet, if you are following a yeast-killing regimen, or if you just want to improve your overall health, you will be more successful if you take an excellent probiotic along with eating a good diet. But don’t trust the drugstore probiotics. While they might claim to have billions of strains, the good bacteria may not even be alive after months on the shelves, or there may be unhealthy fillers. There are some good choices available at reputable health food stores, but usually you’ll pay top dollar. You’ll need to take them for a good while if you’re on a health quest, so those extra dollars will add up.

Here’s a quickie cost and ingredient comparison (using January 2012 pricing) of the Beeyoutiful line (see more info on each at www.Beeyoutiful.com or in the product catalog):

1)      Acidophilus Blast. 3 strains; 10 billion organisms potency at time of manufacture (8 billion potency guaranteed per capsule); needs refrigeration, no soy or gluten but does contain milk derivatives and potato starch; no FOS or maltodextrin. $20 for 120 caps.

2)      Tummy Tune-Up. 8 strains; 4 billion organisms potency per capsule; enteric coated (to help it withstand stomach acid so more of the good stuff reaches the intestines where it’s needed); stable at room temperature; contains FOS and maltodextrin. $18 for 60 caps.

3)      Ultimate Defense. 13 strains; potency of 1 billion organisms per capsule; also contains fermented greens bringing with them live enzymes and naturally occurring probiotic strains; some green superfoods; fermented molasses and chicory root inulin/FOS; no soy but does have milk derivatives; stable at room temperature. (Not recommended for GAPS but excellent choice otherwise.) $30 for 90 caps.

4)      Gut Guardian. 10 strains; potency of 25 billion per capsule; contains FOS; no allergens from milk, soy, or gluten; needs refrigeration. $30 for 50 caps.

5)      Gut Guardian Supreme. 10 strains; potency of 50 billion organisms per capsule; contains FOS; no allergens from milk, soy, or gluten; needs refrigeration. $50 for 50 caps.

For comparison, the GAPS-promoted probiotic contains: 14 strains; potency of 2 billion organisms per capsule; soy and milk ingredients; maltodextrin; needs no refrigeration. $50 for 120 caps.

As you compare, consider also the potency in light of the recommended amounts for a “therapeutic dosage” given in Gut and Psychology Syndrome (available from http://www.gaps.me). These may be more or less than the “maintenance” amounts suggested on the bottle labels, so figure the costs accordingly. You’ll need to maintain the therapeutic level for at least six months, so the bulk rates Beeyoutiful offers can save you a bundle to put towards the digestive enzymes, cod liver oil, and omega oils also recommended on the GAPS Diet. As you ease back to a maintenance level, you may also be able to ease down to a less powerful probiotic. Here are the recommended therapeutic amounts:

  • Adults—15-20 billion bacterial cells per day;
  • Infant to 12 mos.—1-2 billion/day;
  • Toddler to 2 years—2-4 billion/day;
  • Child from 2 to 4 years—4-8 billion/day;
  • Child from 4 to 10 years—8-12 billion/day;
  • Teen from 12 to 16 years—12-15 billion/day.

If you are just starting a gut-healing regimen, be certain to build up slowly to the therapeutic recommendations, or you may suffer serious discomfort from fatigue, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, low-grade fever, headache, and flu-like symptoms caused from bacteria die-off. Start with a small amount (open capsules and just use ¼ or so of the contents at a time if necessary) for 3 to 5 days and watch for symptoms. If they occur, stay at that quantity until the symptoms subside. Then continue building up, again watching for symptoms. Keep increasing the measure until you’ve reached the therapeutic amount to be maintained for at least six months. That is about how long it takes good bacteria to overcome bad bacteria in your gut. And be sure to strictly adhere to the GAPS Diet during this time, or you will be wasting your money on the good probiotics. You need both to get better!3

To get as many beneficial bacteria as possible through your acidic stomach and into your intestines where they are most needed, take your probiotic at the start of a meal, preferably breakfast and supper. Your food will help neutralize stomach acids. Be sure not to drink or eat anything super hot (ginger tea or bone broth soup, for example), because high heat will kill probiotics. If you or your child cannot swallow a pill, the capsules can be opened and the contents sprinkled over food or mixed into tepid liquid.

Eventually, when you have reclaimed your gut health—which can take as long as two years—you will be able to maintain a healthy gut flora simply by regularly eating fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut.  I hope this explanation has helped you digest (pun intended!) the sometimes confusing ins and outs of probiotics. If you have further questions, please contact the knowledgeable customer service staff at Beeyoutiful.

Nancy Webster is a homeschool mother of eight and leader of the Southern Middle Tennessee chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. She enjoys moderating the online health forum for Beeyoutiful.com. Nancy lives with her family on their “partially working” farm in Tennessee.


[1] http://gapsfacts.com/

2 http://gapsaustralia.com.au/tag/dysbiosis/

3 If you give a probiotic a good try—like a few weeks—and you continue to experience negative reactions, maybe you should try another brand or go really simple and stick with just the SCD-Diet legal probiotics: pure acidophilus and pure scdophilus. More info about this can be found in the Gaps Guide by Baden Lashkov, available from www.gapsguide.com, another helpful website. At least one mother of a GAPS patient used milk kefir grains as her son’s probiotics, because he could not tolerate any supplements at all. Although this was unusual, it provides another option for those who might not be able to swing the cost of probiotics.

Sweet Memories – Spring 2012 Catalog

Sweet Memories

Putting Sugar Addictions Behind You

By Nancy Webster

I used to think the best time to go on a diet was May through August, the only months without the temptations of a major, sugar-related holiday. Even then, summer offers apple pie and ice cream on the Fourth and perhaps family birthdays here and there. I also used to think the only reasons I would worry about eating too many treats and desserts were getting fat and getting cavities.

That was years ago, when my youth covered for the regular indulging of my sugar cravings and when I didn’t know about the consequences already taking place in my body—and in my present and future children’s bodies. Yes, I battled ten or fifteen extra pounds, but compared to most overweight people, I reasoned, that wasn’t so bad.

Worse Than I Thought

Sugar-induced weight gain and cavities are only the beginning of problems caused by sugar. Back then, I didn’t know:

  • Sugar lowers immunities for six hours because infection-fighting white blood cells get tied up attacking the inflammation sugar causes and can’t protect against strep and other opportunistic germs. (No wonder my family was ravaged by a stomach bug or strep every Christmas season!)
  • Sugar encourages the development of cancer and feeds cancer cells.
  • Sugar sets your blood sugar levels on a rollercoaster, First, they must go sky high, forcing the pancreas to secrete copious amounts of insulin. Which then drops levels so low and so fast the adrenals have to serve as a trampoline to bounce the levels back up again. Since this happens over and over, the pancreas wears out, and you get diabetes. The adrenals wear out, and you get major hormone problems (even men!). And you and your children go back and forth from dragged-out to hyper, anxious, inattentive, sleep-deprived states.
  • Sugar messes up the acid/alkaline and good/bad bacterial balance in your gut, causing a range of problems from indigestion to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Sugar makes it hard for your body to absorb the protein your eat.
  • Sugar is often the culprit behind food allergies.
  • About tooth decay: You may not know the truth about how sugar really contributes to dental problems. It’s not because you didn’t brush your teeth well enough. Actually, decay forms because sugar upsets the body’s mineral balance, causing important minerals like calcium to be pulled from the teeth (and bones—think “osteoporosis”). As a result, teeth rot from the inside out.

Any sugar causes these problems, but what’s worse is that almost every sugary food or drink today contains high fructose corn syrup, which weakens the body even more than regular beet or cane sugar.

Some people, including diabetics who follow a conventional doctor’s orders, think they’ll get around sugar’s detrimental effects by switching to artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, or sugar alcohols like malitol and xylitol. They chose “smart” foods and drink labeled “sugar-free” or “diet”. But research shows that artificial sweeteners not only don’t prevent weight gain, but actually induce a set of physiological and hormonal responses that make people gain weight. Even stevia produces this effect and should be avoided until users get their blood sugar under control.

Although I knew enough to be afraid of sugar subsitutes, as I became more health-conscious, I started replacing white beet sugar with mineral-rich dehydrated cane crystals, raw honey, molasses, and even date sugar and rice syrup. (I never used agave, which because of processing methods, is as harmful as high fructose corn syrup.) I switched frm using white flour (sugar’s close cousin that causes many of the same problems) to fresh-ground, whole wheat four. We cut way back on candy, but we baked as much or more than before. I didn’t know those healthier sweeteners were still hitting our bodies as hard as regular sugar. And I still partied hardy at every holiday and birthday party (I couldn’t resist!).

Where There’s a Will, There’s No Way

I had no idea there was anything besides my (very weak) willpower to help me overcome my love for candy corn, Hershey’s kisses, my mother’s incredible Christmas Cookies, those colored Valentine hearts with corny sayings (especially the yellow ones), chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, much less the ice cream my husband and I shared late at night after the kids were in bed. How could a fresh apple or orange compete with those delicacies?

I had the “white plague”. I was an addict. And no wonder. First of all, everyone has a natural preference for the sweet taste. Second, sugars make us feel good—for a while. As Julia Ross points out in The Diet Cure:

“For some of us, certain foods, particularly ones that are sweet and starchy, can have a drug-like effect, altering our brains’ mood chemistry and fooling us into a false calm, or a temporary energy surge. We can eventually become dependent on these drug-like foods for continued mood lifts.”1

Third, according to research by the Weston A Price Foundation:

“…sugar begets more sugar. Eating sugar clearly throws one’s body chemistry into a tailspin. Tag on poor sleep habits, adrenal fatigue, and an overload of stress, and intense cravings for sugar (or other substance like alcohol or drugs) can easily develop. Insulin imbalances and a lack of the happy-brain chemical called serotonin are often the underlying culprits. Essentially, the sugar being consumed perpetuates the vicious cycle of more intense sugar cravings.”

Except for food memories of special treats and worries about not gratifying my baking friends and family by eating their goodies, I have gotten over my love affair with sugar and white flour. Educating myself on the dangers of sugar addiction was a start, but because I was as physically addicted to sugar as an alcoholic is to alcohol, I needed more help.

Please don’t wait as long as I did to get a handle on your sweet tooth—for your own sake and for your family’s. There are many pleasures you can enjoy more fully when you are healthy and free from sugar addiction. For your long-term health, the most important holiday you may ever take is the holiday you take from sugar—and that’s something to celebrate!


Sugar Free Tips

I have detailed below a collection of tips I used to kick the sugar habit.

Tip 1: The 5-Step Program to replace refined sugar with natural sugar:

1)      Eliminate all sugar drinks. Replace them with water, herbal teas, and fermented drinks like kombucha and fermented ginger ale.

2)      Next, limit sugar foods to 3x/week. Keep a food journal for accountability and to note how you feel physically.

3)      Eat at least three nutrient-dense meals each day, including lots of healthy fats (butter, sour cream, lard, tallow, coconut oil, palm oil, and olive oil). Fats slow the rate at which sugar hits the blood stream and reduce the need for pick-me-up coffee breaks. Fats also satisfy your appetite for a longer time—I eat a spoonful of coconut oil when a craving threatens.

4)      Then replace white sugar with natural sugars like maple sugar, dehydrated cane crystals, and raw, unfiltered honey (beware: most grocery store honey is imported from questionable foreign sources and often watered down with sugar and HFCS).

5)      Finally, limit the use of natural sugars to 3x,week in moderate amounts. Eat them in conjunction with a whole meal, which lessens the impact on blood sugar levels.

Tip 2: Include fermented foods (like plain yogurt, kefir, lacto-fermented sauerkraut, and fermented drinks) with your meals. Their good bacteria helps offset the sugars you ingest.

Tip 3: Keep tempting foods out of the house.

Tip 4: “Prepare meals with all six tastes: Ayurveda is a six-thousand year old philosophy on life, health, and food preparation. Practitioners of this system believe that when each taste is present in a meal—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent—the body becomes more balanced, ultimately minimizing cravings, stabilizing appetite and perfecting digestion.”

Tip 5: Eliminate or at least seriously moderate caffeine use. Caffeine aggravates blood sugar regulation and depletes good-mood neurotransmitters.

Tip6: Get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids as found in cod liver oil. Among other benefits, this helps fight carbohydrate cravings and balances blood sugar.

Tip 7: Try taking an anti-candida product like Beeyoutiful’s Yeast Assassin. A good probiotic (like Tummy Tune-Up or Gut Guardian) also helps overcome the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut which make you crave sugars, too. There are some supplements (for sale online and through health food stores) which can be taken temporarily to help manage sugar cravings as you are transitioning to a nutrient-dense, healthy fat-rich diet. These  are self-weaning and normally aren’t needed more than three weeks, according to Nora Gedgaudas in her book Primal Body Primal Mind, which recommends dosages and other supplements.

For example:

1)      L-glutamine, an amino acid, can stop cravings for sweets, starches, and alcohol immediately, because the brain can use L-glutamine instantly for fuel. (Do not use this if you have cancer!)

2)      The herb, Gymnema sylvestre, usually eliminates most cravings for sweets.

3)      L-tryptophan, another amino acid, helps calm carb cravings and restore serotonin function (“happy mood” hormones), especially when a person is lacking adequate protein.

Tip 8: Get plenty of uninterrupted sleep. Too little sleep affects blood sugar regulation and, when chronic, can lead to diabetes and adrenal fatigue.

Tip 9: Address the emotional reasons you love sugary foods. This is especially important at holiday times, family gatherings, and when you are stressed. Some people wrongly see food as their friend and try to overcome lonely feelings with it. Prayer works wonders here.

Tip 10: Some people overcome cravings and pain by using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), a form of self-administered acupressure explained at www.eft.mercola.com. This is also called “tapping”.

Tip 11: Before tempting social occasions, be a Boy Scout (even if you are a girl!) and “be prepared”. Prepare your mind by replaying why you want and need to eat better. Prepare your body by eating a healthy-fat filled snack like an avocado drizzled with olive and coconut oil dressing, some cooked veggies or eggs slathered in butter, or a spoonful or two of coconut oil. Those measures will help you choose carrot sticks and cheese over cookies and cake.

Tip 12: Use things other than food to reward yourself and your children: A special game, a bubble bath, a movie, an extra chapter in that good book you’re reading, a nature walk, a trinket, etc.


1 Julie Ross, The Diet Cure: The 8-Step Program to Rebalance Your Body Chemistry and End Food Cravings, Weight Problems, and Mood Swings – Now (New York, Penguin Books, 1999), 8.

2 Article at http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/zapping-sugar-cravings

3 Article at http://www.westonaprice.org/making-it-practical/replacing-refined-sugars

4 From http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/zapping-sugar-cravings

What Do YOU Invest In? – Spring 2012

What Do YOU Invest In?

By Steve Tallent

When I hear the word “investment,” I usually think of money–future returns, growth rate, interest rate, return on investment. But I want to discuss a critical investment that is only partially of a monetary kind. Even if the last thing on your mind in our struggling economy is investments, let me assure you that you are already investing–heavily. But do you have a healthy portfolio? Will you get a good return? Are your investments merely a reaction to market pressure, or are they deliberate actions through which you wisely map out the future and take steps to get there?

You may be scratching your head, wondering what I’m talking about, and if you think investments aren’t “your thing”, please don’t tune me out yet. Because I’m talking about investing the resources we have in life itself–especially the health of you and your family. These investments aren’t as measurable as purely financial assets, and returns are difficult, if not impossible, to calculate, but they are just as real. To give you an example of a non-monetary investment we all make, consider the idea of an emotional investment. You’ve probably experienced “setting your heart” on a hope of something particular happening. If it doesn’t come about, you lose the emotional investment. Going out to dinner and a movie, even if it includes popcorn and ice cream, while perhaps as enjable as a day at the park, doesn’t salve the pain if you’ve spent the past month living for a trip to the zoo, imaging the fun things you would see and do. You’re doing something nice, but you’ve lost that emotional investment. And the sense of loss is very real. We each invest all the time, in lots of non-monetary ways. So it’s important to take stock of these investments to make sure we’re investing in the right things.

High Returns

Investments that matter–some even into eternity–include your relationships, self-improvement, and physical health. If I invest all of my time watching sports while ignoring my family, in 10 years I may be an expert armchair quarterback and know all the best plays, but I might be watching those sports alone. If you want a relationship with your kids in 20 years, invest time and money in fun activities now. Even if the kiddos are small and irritating and you wish they’d be big, take a deep breath, and get in there and make some memories. If they are older and driving you bonkers by pushing boundaries and making you long for years gone by when they were cute and compliant, change your attitude and invest positive time and energy in them.

While it’s wise to invest money so you have money in the future, it is even more crucial to invest money so you have health in the future. If you do the former without the latter, most of your financial returns will go to doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. One of the most common excuses I hear is that “we know we need better nutrition, but we are on a budget and can’t afford to eat healthy foods or vitamin supplements”. Whatever the current budget issues, it is far cheaper to invest in health on the front end, than to pay for medical care on the back end.

Each year as Steph and I have been on our health-ward journey, our food and supplement budget has increased. We decided to invest in good food, vitamins that we know we need, and alternative health treatments, and in just a few short years, we have yet to fully meet our goals of more energy, better mental focus, and “not getting sick”, we are addressing health concerns now that have been caused by our cavalier attitude towards exercise and nutrition in the past. We spend food money because we want to be healthy 70 year-olds that the grand-kids can’t wait to go hiking with, instead of the 60-somethings they don’t want to visit in the nursing home.

Even so, the net budget increase has not been as great as anticipated, due to other savings. We have fewer blah, sick days and enjoy more focus at work and home. There are fewer doctor visits and medications. Meanwhile, others who have chosen not to invest in health end up using their money for doctor’s visits, pharmaceuticals, and even surgery. We have been witness to deteriorating quality of life among friends and acquaintances. You just can’t enjoy yourself when you feel bad at all times.

Living Under Information Overload

Our present “information age” is a fascinating time to live. We can access just about any information, anywhere, with just a few clicks or a phone call. We can also waste our lives watching silly videos, reading inane topics, or playing mindless online games. So there is good and bad–just like most of life.

I relish doing serious research from the comfort of my home and take it for granted that the itches of my curious mind can be scratched in seconds. More importantly, when a dispute arises about a particular fact, I can, in just a few moments prove that I am right ♥ I love keeping up with people who don’t live near us, reconnecting with people from long ago, perusing pictures, and exchanging letters almost instantly. I just have to be careful that I don’t get sucked in. There are so many distractions available on my computer that I could literally wake up each day, turn on the computer, be there until bedtime constantly doing stuff, and not get a lick of work done. Discipline is required. But that’s a rabbit trail.

One great benefit of this instant information age is that we at Beeyoutiful have access to a lot of health information. We receive health, nutrition, and supplement related updates from a number of sources. We are kept abreast of a lot of new developments, new studies, and new legislation. We are also privy to countless personal stories related to health and nutrition. I’m amazed at the conditions and situations that seem to be the direct result of poor nutrition, many of which could be vastly improved with better nutrition. I’m shocked at mnay doctor’s views on nutrition–which can often be summarized as “it doesn’t matter what you eat.” I spoke with a pediatrician the other day who argued that better nutrition cannot keep you from getting sick. But then he allowed that it might keep a person from getting heart disease. Can you say, “Total disconnect?”

Keep the Change

Some of the folks we hear about truly want to do better. A few can leapfrog to improved health by altering a couple of lifestyle factors. For others, progress is slower, but as they change their health paradigm, overall family health does improve.

Of course, some folks are not really interested in changing at all. They seize every piece of advice that supports what they keep on doing and discount information that advocates change. Unfortunately, many doctors, form their positions of perceived authority, offer the buttressing these people need to remain confident they are doing ok.

People make claims like:

  • “My doctor says that multivitamins are a scam”
  • “My doctor said there is no benefit to eating organic.”
  • “My doctor claims that essential oils are hokum.”
  • “My doctor told me the health food industry is just a bunch of hippies on a trip.”
  • “My doctor said alternative medicine is all a bunch of New Age mysticism.”
  • “My doctor says diet won’t affect my fertility.”
  • “My doctor put me on a low-fat diet.”

Doctors are important. And some of them are huge nutrition advocates with great wisdom to dispense. But many more are misled by the junk science out there. Too many poorly designed studies reach flawed conclusions, and on top of that, most doctors don’t have any significant training in nutrition. Steph and I talked recently with an excellent doctor who drank up everything we told him about nutrition, because it was so new to him and it made complete sense, scientifically. He even asked if he could call us if he ever had questions. We were taken aback, but he explained that in the 14 years of formal training–including two fellowships–he’d been given less than 90 minutes of nutritional education, and that was more than 20 years ago.

This doctor’s situation may seem unfathomable to those of us interested in nutrition, given how aware we are of the link between what we eat and medical conditions. But the truth is, for the most part, doctors treat only symptoms. Their short hand reveals the paradigm: C/o = complains of; CC= Chief Complaint. Complain to a physician about an itchy spot on your arm, and you’ll likely get a prescription cream, along with a comment like, “Hopefully that’ll make it go away.” No thought is give to an underlying cause, like: Why did it pop up in the first place? Not to wonder would be like having nails regularly popping out of the floor and walls in your house. You wouldn’t think “Who cares…just hammer them back in. Individual nails popping up is not much of a concern and is easily remedied.” That misses the real problem of course. They aren’t supposed to be popping up in the first place! And the same is true of our bodies. There are some things that they the average doctor is very, very good at, but the whole health and nutrition just doesn’t seem to be among them.

Among the information coming to us are quite a number of stories of infertility issues. Some of these have been overcome by good nutrition. Some required more aggressive therapies. I’ll relate part of one story that I think serves as a good example for some fo the things I have been talking about. There was a young woman struggling with infertility. Many people offered her information about the connection between diet and fertility and especially recommended removing certain things from her diet. But she repeatedly countered with either, how certain suggestions just wouldn’t work for her (without trying) or that her doctor said that this or that in her diet would not affect fertility. She wept and mourned and asked God why she could not get pregnant, and lamented to her friends. Thankfully, circumstances eventually required that she get a new doctor who told her to clean up her diet, and go her some more aggressive therapies. Within a short time, she was pregnant and birthed a healthy baby.

Let’s examine the woman’s story as an investment scenario. She first invested her time, ernergy and money in junky foods. The return on the investment was the satisfaction of eating those items along with the heartbreak of infertility. We reap what we sow–can’t blame God for that. But changes in her investment paradigm resulted in different returns. Yes, there was sacrifcie. Yes, there was expense. But there was also immeasurable joy when a new baby entered the world.

We have also been witness to a number of stories of children being born with birth defects. These are heartbreaking, but the most tragic are the cases of spina bifida. Beautiful children, but not formed properly, sometimes suffering greatly. Just makes you want to cry. It is a well-established fact that spina bifida is completely preventable with folic acid. That’s why it is in all prenatals. The problem is that it is needed in the first 10-12 weeks of the pregnancy. After that the damage is done. Most people don’t know they are pregnant until weeks 4-6 into the pregnancy. Coupled with that is another problem — morning sickness. It may be difficult to get enough good nutrition, or vitamin supplements during those first crucial weeks. And it is important that the father also have folic acid in his diet before conception. For those reasons and because folic acid is stored in the body, most multivitamins contain the minimum daily amount though to prevent spina bifida, and we recommend that anybody that is of child bearing age take 400mg of folic acid per day. This is a small investment that can pay huge dividends.

Obviously, we all make mistakes and none of us can claim to always do what is best for ourselves or our families. But we need to be committed to doing the best we can. There seems to be some kind of a collective, if not individual, arrogance concerning health-care in the western world. Medicine can fix it. Maybe it is the success of antibiotics that has spawned this. It is a misplaced, and unfounded belief. Medicine can treat a lot of things. Rarely can medicine actually restore health. We talk with a lot of people who seem to think that they aren’t like other people, that their bodies and minds don’t have the same needs. They may even allow that good nutrition is important, but then boast about how much junk food they can eat and how they are still thin or fit or don’t get sick. It’s like they have a notion of invulnerability. But that sort of sloppy investment will catch up with them in time. True, we are all unique, with individual needs, but there is nothing new under the sun. Don’t fool yourself: Nutrition matters.

You Can Do Better

There seems to be a mindset developed by watching parents or grandparents and the progression of their lives. We develop a notion of what to expect from watching them. Perhaps they didn’t pay particular attention to nutrition, supplementation, or exercise and hey, they didn’t have X health problem until they were Y years old. But I say to you: Abandon that line of thinking. Modern health trends are not good. Issues that used to wait are not hitting more and more people at younger and younger ages: Cancer, obesity, thyroid, IBS, leaky gut, autoimmune, skeletal problems, gall stones, kidney stones, infertility, hernias, hypoglycemia, diabetes, behavioral disorders, food sensitivities, and even death.

Our dentist once told me about dental care: “Only floss the teeth you want to keep.” The same principle applies to health in general. Invest well. Should you invest in a daily multivitamin? Probably. Aren’t they are waste of money because some of it is just passing through? Some are a total waste of money. Some are really, really good, but priced like gold. You can, though, get a reasonably priced, high quality one. We carry a few that we think fall into this category. And when you do get one, use it! That takes discipline, perhaps even planning. But if you invest in nutrients essential to health, and immune-building supplements, they will likely keep you from getting sick and keep you from walking into the germ factory at the doctor’s office if you do get sick. You can also learn how to treat at home–hot to make garlic poultices, for instance, or how to use charcoal and which essential oils to use. Learn to culture foods and use digestive enzymes. Even if all you can muster is a few baby steps, pledge to yourself to invest in your future.

Whole Life Policies

Invest in relationships. Invest in health. Invest in bettering yourself (read some good books!). It will not take long for you to start reaping the returns in a well-balance, productive life. In the long run, you will be ahead financially.

As I wrap this up, I want to speak just to men. (Since most of the people reading this are not men, it probably means that you, ladies, will have to read this to them.) Men need to realize the seriousness of this stuff and to be the CEO of the family investment group. We always talk about “taking care of it” later, but today is the day. Start these good investments. And then stick with them. It’s easy to run off to work and let somebody at home hold the line there with healthy food and discipline, while you cheat on the family diet at work and run home too tired to invest in the family. We’ve all done it. I know I have. Once we were intent on withholding High Fructose Corn Syrup from my daughter, and Steph was avoiding it, too. But I had to have my soda. And Noelle would inevitably ask for some. It felt wrong to tell her she couldn’t have it while I sat there sipping it down. But it also felt wrong to give it to her. So I began to indulge my habit only while I was out of the house.

The sweets in the back of the pantry that were just for mommy and daddy were also an insidious habit. Finally, I thought, “If it is bad for my daugther, isn’t it bad for me also?” I finally gave up on the excuse that “I’m an adult, and I know what I am doing. It doesn’t make me behave badly, and it might be unhealthy but not in a measurable way. Besides, I exercise to that minimizes the issues, and blah, blah.” In the end, I realized the best way to protect my daughter was to protect the entire family. So: no HFCS. None in the house. None at out-to-eats. And guess what. I’m better for it, and so is she. Guys, envision your future, and then invest in a way consistent with the future you want.

Changing over to a healthy investment strategy is much easier when the people around are all on the same page, singing the same song. Even if it means progress is slower, more of it sticks with you.

Making the effort doesn’t have to be a divisive issue, either. That will cause stress, which is bad for health. Study, learn, cajole, read to those around you, drop amazing or shocking tidbits of information–not opinion, but facts. Get on Beeyoutiful’s forums, or call us if you need ideas on how to get your family engaged. Sometimes a good documentary helps capture interest. It can speak volumes in a short time. But do it together. Sacrificial investments now will pay huge dividends later!

So how much do you have invested? Me? Not much. Nut much money, that is.