By Elizabeth Szlek

The new year is upon us, and as usual, we are inundated with many messages on how to lose weight, exercise more and so on. This is all well and good, but in addition, we should be thinking about how to maintain our health in other ways, mostly less apparent.

When I go out into the world and do my seminars, there is one slide that always causes people to get a bit nervous. When discussing nutrition, I point out that there are nearly fifty essential nutrients, and without even one of these, we can expect malnourishment, and eventually, inflammation and disease. So, it would seem we should all be aware of just what our bodies need to remain healthy.

There is a show on TV right now, “My 600-Pound Life”, which is a truly sad thing to watch. Here are featured heavily obese people who are severely malnourished. What? All they do is eat all the time! True, but here is the fact: Eating food does not equal proper nourishment. A radical thought, but one to consider. Here is a corollary to that: You cannot make up your own diet, or eat according to your appetites, and expect to be healthy. No, what you need to eat are those fifty essential nutrients that YOUR BODY NEEDS for proper functioning.

Well, then, what are these nutrients: The consist of two fatty acids, eight to ten amino acids, thirteen vitamins and twenty minerals. Now, taking a high-quality multivitamin will pretty much take care of the vitamins, and using sea salt every day (1/2 tsp. minimum) and a high quality multimineral will work for the mineral portion. Eating high quality protein of various sorts ( eat a variety of protein sources: fish, meats, organ meats, and some plant ? proteins) will take care of your protein needs, and finally, you probably should be taking a fatty-acid supplement to make sure you are getting a wide range of good essential fats. So, not so very hard to do!

But, of course, many people do not do even these simple things. They are still eating processed, industrial salt that fails to deliver the very important trace minerals they need. I spoke to a woman obviously suffering from chemical sensitivities, and told her that she would do well to include the trace mineral molybdenum in her diet. Her response? “I can’t afford it!” She didn’t realize that just using sea salt daily would provide it to her.

Are you buying your meats from large superstores? Just realize that those are industrial products of the lowest quality. We do have farmers’ markets here in the Mohawk Valley, and also some good small butcher shops. Get meat that came from a single animal, and not from a mix of a thousand cows (hamburger). And try and find beef that was grass fed, so you aren’t subjected to toxins from the genetically modified grains the meat will pass on to you!

I am always astounded when people tell me they hate vegetables. They are the very backbone of good nutrition. And don’t tell me you eat canned corn and canned peas and call them vegetables. What I mean is, those products are dead, having been canned. All the vitamins and enzymes live vegetables and fruits contain are gone. Eat live food, and even more important, fermented foods and drinks. These are filled with food enzymes that your body can use to repair your cells while you are sleeping. They keep you from aging and promote long, healthy life – something we all desire.

Finally, try your best to avoid genetically modified foods. They are simply deadly, due to their structure, and the poisons they have been sprayed with. It’s a tough thing to do, but just take small steps and seek out organic foods when possible. And lose the margarine: Eat butter!

So, these are some of the most important steps you can take to change your health for the better in 2017! Good luck, happy new year, and God Bless you all!

Elizabeth Szlek is the Director of The Door Counseling Center of Yorkville, NY. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and a GAPS practitioner. She can be reached at (315) 768-8900.

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