For years I've been reading books and articles on nutrition and for years I was trying to get a clear idea of what constitutes an optimal healthy diet. One would think it should be simple enough to find an answer to this question. Yet there are so many schools of thought on the subject, varying in their degree of radicalism, that to find a straight answer is quite a daunting task. I was also looking for something that could be reasonably implemented in an average household, that went well with and didn't contradict the Torah ideology and was based on sound evidence. So here are the conclusions on the principles of good nutrition in a nutshell and hopefully I'll come back to this topic in the future. A)It's important what you eat - your food choices and the quality of food B)It's also important what you don't eat - sometimes just removing some foods from your diet, even if you don't change anything else makes a tremendous difference C)It's important how much you eat - I just read in an interesting book the Life-Transforming Diet that sometimes even if you eat the "wrong" food but in the "right" quantities it doesn't affect you adversely D)Sometimes it's also important when you eat - what food to eat and in which combinations and how heavy or light the meal should be in the particular time of day. The benefits of proper nutrition are many. Good health, longevity, high energy level and self-discipline are just a few. But even from the educational point of view, it's important to give our children a good foundation for life both physically and emotionally. To teach them the basics of good nutrition, to appreciate the intricacy of the design of the human body, how to relate to food in a healthy way, how to exercise self-control and the health and medicinal properties of various foods. Having a child with allergies brings all of the above into sharper focus for me. I really learned to appreciate food as medicine, because due to many sensitivities my son often does better with natural rather than conventional medicines. Here are a few books I found particularly helpful and informative.
Life-Transforming Diet by David J. Zulberg - a really interesting book on health and nutrition based on traditional jewish thought and the teachings of the Rambam.
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon- a cookbook with a lot of interesting information based on the research of Weston Price who went around the world to discover what an optimal diet should be.
Gentle Healing for Baby and Child by Andrea Candee