Last weekend, we spent two days at the Nutritional Therapy Association Business Summit here in Austin. While we have always believed in the power of food to heal here at EPIC, we were astounded at all of the progressive science and work that’s currently underway in the field of nutrition.
Nutritional therapy is based on the idea that the modern health epidemic is a result of poor nutrition that leads to weaknesses in the body. The Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA) is an educational organization dedicated to helping people understand and reverse the devastating effects of the modern diet. Their holistic approach focuses on the importance of a properly prepared, nutrient-dense diet of whole foods paired with a well-balanced lifestyle. Their philosophy is also highly cognizant of bioindividuality—every individual has a specific genetic, ancestral, and geographical makeup that determines their unique nutritional needs.
If you think about it even for a moment, it’s pretty clear that the food you consume is going to have a huge—arguably the most significant—effect on your health. Our relationship with the food we eat is our most intimate relationship with the natural world. Whether we choose to eat a carnivore or vegan diet (or somewhere in between), we all consume things that were once alive. Moreover, all food—including plants—requires animal sacrifice (since some animals are killed in the cultivation and tilling of plants), so our relationship with food is sacred and deserving of consideration.
Nutritional therapy focuses on nutrient-density rather than calories. Think paying attention to the quality of your food rather than the quantity. If you focus on “real foods,” then your body will naturally crave the foods and amount of those foods it needs to reach a healthy equilibrium. NTA defines “real foods” as properly prepared and nutrient-dense whole foods (foods found in nature in their whole, unprocessed forms).
Choosing foods with the highest nutrient density requires proper preparation and sourcing. Some foods are best eaten raw and others should be slow-cooked for optimal nutrition. Pasture-raised, grass-fed meats contain more nutrients than conventionally raised meats. Try to source your food locally whenever possible to get the freshest, most nutrient-dense foods available.
You are not just what you eat. You are what you absorb. The NTA emphasizes that proper digestion is key to health. Make sure you are in a relaxed state before you eat so that your body is ready for digestion. You can do so by giving thanks or taking a few deep breaths before each meal. Also, make sure you have enough stomach acid for digestion by taking raw apple cider vinegar or an HCL supplement before eating. Finally, practice mindful eating by chewing thoroughly (at least 30 times) and by visualizing all of the steps your food took to get from farm to table.
When we focus on these foundation, our bodies have profound abilities to heal themselves. Health naturally follows a wholesome diet and lifestyle. Nutritional therapy is clearly aligned with EPIC’s values, from our founding story to our continued diligence to sourcing the best products possible. We are beyond grateful for the work the NTA is doing and thrilled to work with them more in the future.