Allow me to describe what a typical initial conversation sounds like with one of my clients: “I’ve been sick for years. Running from one health practitioner to another. I’ve been to the top medical doctors, naturopaths, homeopaths, herbalists. You name the health field, I’ve tried it. I’ve experimented with many different diets and an array of various supplements. For the last decade or more, I’ve spent thousands of dollars and countless hours trying to get well. But I seem to be getting sicker. Nobody believes that I’m sick. I can barely get out of bed. Can you help?”
Do these words sound familiar? If so, read on as there’s hope on the horizon.
After many years of struggling with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, multiple chemical sensitivities (or, environmental illness), I’m happy to share with you that there is a way out.
You can get well!
These conditions are not at all a life sentence. The trouble is that it takes a tremendous amount of work and patience if you expect to be able to optimize your health and return to running on all eight cylinders.
I did a lot of things wrong while I was learning my way out of the rabbit hole of chronic illness. One of the first things I did right was to examine the pioneering work of Dr. Weston A. Price and his critical research on the need for consuming adequate amounts of animal fat in the diet.
The second thing I did correctly was decide to train in a new natural health field called Nutritional Balancing.
If I had a wish list, one of my first wishes would be to make Nutritional Balancing easy to explain. But it’s not. Nutritional Balancing is almost impossible to explain. As I often tell my clients, the only way to truly understand Nutritional Balancing is to actually go through the entire program from beginning to end, which may take about two years (for anyone who has only done the program for, say, one year, this would not be adequate). This is no easy task. In terms of its degree of difficulty, on a scale of 1-10, Nutritional Balancing is a 10/10! [My clients tell me that to do Nutritional Balancing one needs to be as tough as a Navy Seal!] In other words, my program is not for the faint of heart. It’s only for those who are tired of listening to hocus pocus and are truly committed to getting well.
Today, there seems to be no shortage of chronically sick people. Yet, relatively few have been able to properly deal with the devastating effects of intractable health conditions including, chronic fatigue, depression, brain fog, anxiety, insomnia, poor memory, obsessive compulsive disorder, suicidal thoughts, no libido, infertility, PMS, hot flashes, hair loss, skin rashes, etc.
The first thing people need to do before attempting to get well is realize that their symptoms are not normal. Unfortunately, millions believe that their symptoms are normal, that they’re just signs of aging. But this is simply not true!
None of the symptoms my clients complain of are normal. Indeed, my clients all start off working with me very ill. Normally, they begin my program perhaps running on zero, one or two cylinders (out of eight). While millions of people may settle for running on empty, my clients are ready to work very, very hard in order so that they can reclaim their health and return to living life to the fullest.
The second thing my clients must do before working with me is to let go of anything they used to believe about health, nutrition and healing. In other words, they need to start off with a clean slate. I’m guilty of believing that I could take a remedy to get well. That is, take X to treat Y. I used to believe that a “solution” was to take caffeine for energy; aspirin for a headache; vitamin C or D for a cold; an adrenal glandular or adaptogens for the adrenals; a thyroid glandular for the thyroid; or, valerian for sleep and so on. I had to learn the hard way that this “remedy” approach has very limited effects because the solution isn’t addressing the underlying reasons why the symptoms (like a cold, headache, insomnia or fatigue) are happening in the first place.
In order to help my clients optimize their health, I implement a program that is based upon a very innovative, cutting-edge approach called Nutritional Balancing (I’m fully trained and certified in Nutritional Balancing, but as you will see, I use a different dietary approach than the originator of this program, Dr. Larry Wilson MD).
The History of Nutritional Balancing
One of the reasons why I was initially drawn to Nutritional Balancing is because the founder of the lab that I use (Analytical Research Labs), Dr. Paul Eck, acknowledged the important work of Dr. Weston A. Price and his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. In the 1930s, Dr. Price traveled the world examining the nutrition and health of primitive cultures, and he noted that as long as these cultures honored their ancestral diets, they enjoyed radiant health. In cultures where they displaced some of their ancestral foods for Western, industrialized foods, he observed a decline in their overall health.
Unfortunately, some individuals oversimplify Dr. Price’s findings and believe that his message was about avoiding industrially processed foods or including farm fresh raw dairy in one’s diet. But his message was much more specific than that. Dr. Price observed about a dozen different dietary characteristics in the healthy primitive cultures he visited.
One of the most important observations he made in these healthy primitive cultures was surrounding the benefits of consuming adequate amounts of high quality animal fats. They also benefitted from eating lacto-fermented foods, organ meats and bone broths. Tragically, in our modern world, animal fats have been wrongly demonized. To add insult to injury, we’ve also removed lacto-fermented foods, organ meats and bone broths from our diets. Over the last several decades, as we have become more and more detached from eating our ancestral diets, we’ve become sicker, fatter and more depressed than ever before in the history of mankind. Unlike other Nutritional Balancing practitioners (who promote a diet very high in carbohydrates and low in fat), a significant part of my program involves educating my clients about the importance of returning to our ancestral diets, and that includes helping my clients overcome their fear of consuming animal fat.
Nutritional Balancing Basics
Nutritional Balancing involves a multi-prong approach. One of the prongs involves ongoing testing and updating of the targeted supplements. Other prongs include resting more and sleeping about nine hours per night; avoiding strenuous aerobic activities; doing daily near infrared sauna therapy and coffee enemas; and eating three square meals (the time-honored ancestral diet, based upon the work of Dr. Price). Every prong of my program is there in order to help my clients reclaim their health, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. As I touched on earlier, in total, Nutritional Balancing could take about two years to complete, perhaps longer.
The duration of the program will depend on one’s age and how sick they are when they start the program; their level of compliance; whether or not they’ve ever been a vegetarians (vegetarians and vegans are usually much sicker and take longer to recover); and, their stress levels during the program (including whether they experience a divorce or a death in the family or work stress, for examples).
To start off with, through a simple hair tissue mineral analysis, I test my clients’ biochemistry to see where they stand in terms of their mineral balance (both the ratios and levels). Based upon their biochemistry, I design a targeted supplement protocol that will manipulate their minerals, moving them towards a healthy profile. Over time, their biochemical make-up should mimic the biochemistry of a healthy individual and their symptoms should dissipate. In a nutshell, when the minerals gravitate to their correct positions, this will ‘turn on’ the thyroid, adrenals, hormones, neurotransmitters. I liken this effect to the key fitting the lock. In other words, for our neuroendocrine system to work properly, minerals need to be in the correct positions so that crucial bodily systems will work properly.
Never underestimate the important role minerals can play on our mental and physical health. Since minerals are our own personal ‘spark plugs,’ we need them in balance so that we can run on ‘all eight cylinders.’ As the minerals fall out of position, we feel sluggish, less motivated, tired, depressed, anxious, agitated, angry, apathetic, lethargic; we lose libido, struggle with insomnia, lose muscle tone. In other words, we diminish our quality of life. In working with my clients, as their minerals balance out, they report feeling more energy; their libido returns; their sleep improves; they have better brain clarity, improved mood, more stamina, better muscle tone, etc.
I wish minerals were easy to fix. Unfortunately, millions of people take mineral supplements like zinc or magnesium randomly and may actually make themselves sicker. This is the reason why I feel fortunate to have found Nutritional Balancing. Thankfully, the program helps people save money, time and grief because the testing identifies the correct supplements an individual needs in order to move their biochemistry in the right direction. Without the supplements, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to bring our minerals back into balance. As my clients know, I’m extremely strict about following all of the prongs of my program (that’s why they call me Sgt Pam!). I want people to get well as soon as possible; therefore, I don’t think it’s wise for anyone to cut corners and leave things out of the program or quit prematurely. I find that the combination of following an ancestral diet (based upon Dr. Price’s work) along with the supplements and other aforementioned prongs to be extremely effective at helping my clients restore their health.
Not All Nutritional Balancing Practitioners Recommend a Lowfat Diet
Even though Nutritional Balancing practitioners are trained to recommend a diet very low in animal fat and high carbohydrates, the diet that I endorse is based upon the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, author of the most important book ever published about health, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. As I alluded to in the first part of this article, Nutritional Balancing is based upon mimicry. We’re balancing the minerals so that they mimic the balance of minerals in a healthy individual. In a similar fashion, as Dr. Price taught us, I feel it’s crucial to mimic the diets of people who were healthy.
I was fortunate enough to have been recommending an ancestral diet before I learned about Nutritional Balancing. Therefore, I had already witnessed people improving in their health by incorporating Dr. Price’s nutritional principles in their diets – I don’t know many (or, any) practitioners who have had the opportunity to see this phenomenon. Given how widespread the popularity of a high carbohydrate low fat diet is in the natural health world, it’s understandable that most natural health practitioners would still be animal fat phobic. The good news is that Dr. Price’s work is becoming more mainstream and an increasing number of health practitioners are now recommending an ancestral diet in their practices.
That said, what does an ancestral diet look like? Well, in my opinion, healthy eating is very, very simple. What makes healthy eating difficult to do is all of the dietary misinformation out there.
Healthy eating should not be complicated. Our ancestors would be rolling over in their graves if they saw all of the food rules we abide by today
Through wisdom, our ancestors knew to eat “three square meals.” It’s really not rocket science. Eating three square meals is very easy to do. If you watch television series like Little House on the Prairie, My Three Sons, Leave it to Beaver, etc., you’ll notice that historically, we sat down to eat a bacon and egg style breakfast and a meat and potato style lunch and dinner. Of course, when I say “potato” this can mean an array of cooked vegetables, topped off with a dollop or two of butter. And, when I say “meat,” it can be a wide variety of animal foods, including chicken or turkey (with skin), fish, lamb, etc. So, we know that eating three square meals kept us healthy (both mentally and physically). There’s no guess work involved. I know that recommending three square meals isn’t sexy. It’s not new. So, it sounds boring. But we know this eating habit kept us healthy, therefore I think it would be wise to return to eating this way.
The goal of Nutritional Balancing is to restore your biochemistry so that it resembles the biochemistry of a healthy individual. We know that when we ate three square meals, we were healthy. It seems commonsensical that we mimic the way we ate several decades ago – that is, three square meals (and that means we should be getting about 70% of our calories from animal fat). Historically, we’d eat breakfast upon rising in the morning. Then, about five hours later, we’d eat lunch. Then, five hours after that, we’d eat dinner. In the ‘olden days,’ we didn’t suffer from having animal fat phobia, cholesterol phobia, egg phobia, raw milk phobia, butter phobia, liver phobia, chicken skin phobia, gravy phobia, etc. In fact, before we developed these food phobias, we were actually pretty healthy. As a general rule, our diets would have consisted of 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, grains). In other words, throughout history, our diets consisted of relatively small amount of carbohydrates (approximately 72 grams per day). [For more information about this, se sure to read one of my favorite books, Life Without Bread, by Wolfgang Lutz.]
The goal of Nutritional Balancing is to balance one’s healthy minerals and, at the same time, kick out unwanted toxic metals. To do this, one must strengthen the adrenal glands and improve bile production and flow. One of the roles of the adrenals is to balance our minerals and also rid the body of unwanted metals. In very simple terms, the adrenal glands send out a signal in the body to grab at the unwanted metals and then escort them out via the bile. But when the adrenals get weak, their ability to do fulfill this role becomes compromised. To me, it doesn’t seem a coincidence that animal fat is the best fuel for the adrenal glands and is also necessary to trigger the release of bile. Since bile is one of the main exit routes for the unwanted metals, it’s crucial to make sure bile is working properly. And, one way to make sure bile is working properly is to make sure you’re consuming adequate amounts of animal fat in the diet.
A diet low in animal fat will thicken bile and therefore cause gallstones to form (why would bile show up if there’s not enough animal fat present in the diet?).Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t give us enough warning signs to let us know that our bile isn’t working properly. In many people, there are virtually no symptoms when bile becomes blocked or stagnant. If you’ve been following a diet low in animal fat, initially animal fat may be cause digestive distress. You may feel pain or discomfort under your rib cage (in the gallbladder area). Or, you may experience pain in between their shoulder blades and/or neck (these symptoms can be a sign that there are trapped gallstones). Whether or not one experiences digestive difficulties when eating animal fat, another extremely important feature of my program is the heavy focus my clients place on improving bile production and flow. If my clients eat lots of animal fat and experience pain under their right rib cage, they may need to slowly, gradually increase their consumption of animal fat. It may take a few months to build up to three fatty meals per day, but eventually, the digestive discomfort disappears.
In order to help improve one’s ability to digest animal fat, doing daily coffee enemas can be extremely beneficial as they help to stimulate bile production. Another important strategy to help support bile is to make sure you’re regularly consuming things like lemon water, raw sauerkraut, pickles, beet kvass, apple cider vinegar (diluted with water) or eating a few wedges of grapefruit with meals. The more my clients take in tart or sour foods/drinks, the more they tend to hear their bile flowing. Over time, they begin to hear the trickling, gurgling or even squirting of the bile from the gallbladder. I call these sounds the ‘symphony orchestra.’ When my clients report that their bile production and flow improve, this is when they report feeling more energy, improved brain clarity and mood. Reaching this milestone takes much work and patience as it can take many, many months or even years before bile production and flow improve.
It’s not enough to improve bile production; individuals must also clear the gallstones from the bile duct system so that the bile will flow down into the small intestine. When my clients are feeling strong enough or brave enough, they may choose to do a series of liver/gallbladder flushes to help clear the gallstones from the bile duct system. Normally, my clients see hundreds, if not thousands of gallstones take their exit.
Currently, if you’re on a Nutritional Balancing program, you’ll find that most practitioners encourage their clients to consume 70% of their diet from vegetation (mostly from cooked vegetables) and approximately 7% of their diet from animal fat. One of the reasons why I and many of my clients are sick in the first place is because they were consuming a diet high in carbohydrates and low in animal fat. It has never made sense to me to ask my clients to continue eating this way. After all, animal fat is necessary help us absorb minerals. Since my goal is to help people balance their minerals, it seems illogical to reduce animal fat in the diet.
Let’s calculate what a diet consisting of 70% vegetation (mostly from vegetables, which are sources of sugar or carbohydrates) would mean: If an average adult consumes about 2100 calories per day and their goal is to take in 70% of his/her calories from vegetation that would mean that they would consume 1470 calories from vegetation. One cup of mixed vegetables could contain about 32 calories. This would mean an individual would be consuming approximately 46 cups of mixed vegetables per day (46 X 32 = 1472 calories). One cup of mixed vegetables could also contain about 7 grams of carbohydrates (sugar). If you were to eat about 46 cups of vegetables per day, you would be consuming a whopping 322 grams of carbohydrates per day [46 X 7 = 322]!
The government food guide recommends between 200-300 grams of carbohydrates per day (a recipe to create diabetes, obesity and a host of other health problems). Since we’re not designed to consume a lot of carbohydrates, this amount of sugar in our diets would be very destabilizing for our blood sugar and would therefore tax our adrenal glands (our back-up system for controlling our blood sugar). Over time, a high carbohydrate diet will wear down our bodies’ batteries (the adrenal glands) and lead to all sorts of health problems including, fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety, aches and pain, etc.
We didn’t evolve on a diet high in carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables and/or grains). The ice age only ended 12,500 years ago. So, how could we have consumed a lot of vegetation? Back then, we didn’t have greenhouses! Over our recent history, as we’ve increased our consumption of carbohydrates, we’ve become sicker, fatter and more depressed than ever before in the history of mankind. In addition, since following this high carbohydrate fad diet our brains are actually shrinking (which can’t possibly be a good sign!).
Another reason I warn my clients about overeating vegetation is not just because of the damaging effects of overconsuming carbohydrates (sugar), it’s because we evolved on animal foods, which tend to be high in zinc and low in copper. Plant foods tend to be high in copper and low in zinc.
Therefore, eating too many plant foods could interfere with one’s biochemistry. One of the main problems Nutritional Balancing practitioners find is that their clients are copper toxic (because of the copper added to city water; copper pipes; birth control pills; not eating enough red meat in the diet; vegan, vegetarian or near vegetarian diets; etc.). Therefore, it just doesn’t make sense to me that we eat huge amounts of vegetation. True, at first, because most sick people have weak digestion, eating more vegetation may feel easier on their digestive system….but in the long-run, it would work against their biochemistry. This is why some of my clients need to gradually increase their consumption of animal fat in the diet. I find, though, that as long as they’re doing their daily coffee enemas and are diligent about consuming their tart/sour foods, it may only take a few months before they can tolerate adequate amounts of animal fat in their diets.
I find that people respond favorably to nutritional advice when you break the information down to the least common denominator. For me, that translates to recommending “three square meals.” Our ancestors would recognize your dinner plate if it is taken up by a fatty piece of meat, fish or chicken and it is surrounded by a few kinds of cooked vegetables (which may take up 70% of your plate NOT 70% of your daily calories). Just make sure that your cooked vegetables are coated in butter – not just for flavor but because the fat will help you absorb protein and minerals. In that case, in terms of space, vegetables can take up over half of your plate. But because vegetation has fewer calories than fatty animal foods, it wouldn’t represent 70% of your daily intake of calories. Fatty animal foods are much more energy dense than plant foods.
Nutritional Balancing practitioners are trained to recommend getting 7% (or less) of your calories from saturated fat. That’s a dangerously low amount of saturated fat in the diet (unprecedented in human history). For a few decades now, we’ve reduced our consumption of saturated fat in the diet and just look at how sick we are. If an average adult consumes about 2,100 calories per day, a diet of 7% saturated fat would represent about 140 calories (or 16 grams). One tablespoon of butter contains approximately 100 calories. Therefore, you’d only be able to eat 1.5 tablespoons of butter per day. That’s it! In many cultures around the world, butter is considered a sacred food. A healing food. It would be such a shame if you could only eat 1.5 tablespoons of butter per day. If you’re only allowed to get 7% of your calories from saturated fat, then there would be no room on top of the butter for things like cheese, meat and eggs!
Among its very important roles, fatty animal foods are the best fuel to stabilize hormones, fuel your adrenal glands and support cell membranes. Animal fat also triggers the release of bile, which is an important exit route for unwanted metals. If animal fat isn’t present, then bile goes to sleep. It doesn’t make any sense to me to follow a diet low in animal fat while balancing one’s minerals and eliminating unwanted metals from the body. If you eat animal fat and you feel pain or discomfort under your right rib cage, consider gradually increasing your intake of animal fat. But if you’re comfortable eating animal fat, then enjoy! You will find that as long as you’re tolerating the animal fat, you will more quickly stabilize with regards to your mood, focus, energy, sleep, etc.
Keep in mind that well-meaning health practitioners who developed eating strategies in the 1970’s, 1980’s and even into the 1990’s would have easily fallen victim to recommending a high carbohydrate, low fat diet to their clients. So, don’t fault them. For decades this was one of the only diets health practitioners were recommending. The work of Dr. Price wasn’t truly properly understood until Sally Fallon, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, began public speaking in the late 1990’s. I’m eternally grateful to Sally for her work. Thanks to her insightfulness, I’m much better able to identify nutritional misinformation. More importantly, I understand the roots of this dietary misinformation and can empathize with individuals who are still going through the same dietary confusion I’ve experienced. If you’re doing Nutritional Balancing, I highly recommend that you merge the program with the dietary principles of Dr. Price. If you’re experiencing digestive distress from eating more animal fat in the diet, consider gradually increasing your intake of fatty animal foods. Over time, you’ll find you can tolerate them — after all, your ancestors survived and thrived on a diet high in animal fat, so we should as well!
Is Nutritional Balancing Right for You?
Please don’t start Nutritional Balancing unless you’re willing to follow it through. Starting the program and not completing it just doesn’t make any sense. It has taken most of us years to throw off our biochemistry, and it will take potentially two, three or four years to restore. If you’re interested in enrolling in my program, please email me through my website so that we can arrange to meet by phone or Skype. Because my program is so difficult to do, I find it’s important to screen everyone before accepting them as clients.
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Are you no longer taking Nutritional Balancing clients? The article says to email you through your website, but the contact page says you are blogging and parenting too much to respond to emails… I NEED nutritional balancing, but like you I think a healthy diet looks more like what Weston Price advocated. If you aren’t taking new clients, could you recommend a qualified, like-minded practitioner?
do you mean the zinc can replace the copper? the zinc in red meat can replace the copper?
Hi Pam, in your protocol do you recommend fruits? If yes, What kind? I did NB For a year and then stoped to follow other protocols and now I’m finding myself wanting to do it again since I’ve have some symptoms back. Thanks
I’ve been studying Dr. Wilson’s work for a while now, and while I appreciate all the information you’ve presented here, I feel like there is an error you presented in the diet he recommends.
I don’t believe he recommends 70% of calories from vegetables, but about 70% of food volume. He only recommends 9 cups a day of vegetables, not 46 cups which would probably be impossible without hurting yourself. That would put you at about 56 grams of carbs per day based on your estimation for mixed vegetables.
Anyway, appreciate the thoughts in bike output, very interesting.
A diet rich in fats is the best option I totally agree with you. Sometimes when you tell people that they look at you if you are crazy. “Don’t you know how bad that is to your health”! We’ve been so deeply indoctrinated to demonize saturated fats it is second nature now. I wonder how much more time will pass before people discover that this is a flat out lie. It is just so easy to believe that fat will make you fat. So easy to sell. No study have ever proven that cholesterol and saturated fats cause heart disease. However the diabetes epidemic begun exactly when we switched to the heavy carbs diet. Good article!
Julie Casper, WAPF Chapter Leader
Here is a great resource article to help you to find a qualified nutritional balancing practitioner: http://nutritionalbalancing.org/find
Pam, I follow the traditional diet but my fatigue and lethargy continue. Not until this article have I considered the fact my gall bladder was removed 20 years ago and might be a cause. What advice do you give someone who has had their gallbladder removed?
Hello Kathy, Bile is a dirty word! Very few people seem to understand the importance of bile and how bile affects mood, energy, aches and pains, etc. My clients jokingly call themselves toxic cesspools. Many of our toxins should be taking their exit via our bile. But for most of us, our bile production and flow is impaired. As bile production and flow improve, this is when my clients report feeling more energy, brain clarity, pain reduction, etc. Even without a gallbladder, one should still do their utmost to improve bile production and flow. Part of that process needs to address balancing one’s minerals (the metals will thicken bile). To help thin bile, focus consuming the sour/tart foods. Coffee enemas will also be of benefit (to boost bile production). The gallbladder is just a containment sack for the bile. Over time, as bile production and flow improve, even without a gallbladder, people should hear trickling and gurgling sounds (of the bile). The only sound people without a gallbladder won’t hear is the squirting (of the bile from the gallbladder). [As long as the metals are there, though, it can be very difficult to improve bile production and flow. Doing things like coffee enemas and consuming sour/tart foods may help, but in the long run, it’s crucial to pull the unwanted metals out of hiding and clear them from the body.]
HI…WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT NATURAL SWEETENERS VS ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS?
Hello Carlos, The sweeteners I would recommend would be things like local maple syrup or raw honey.
Sounds awesome Pam! But what brand of hair analysis do you use? Research shows that reliability and reproducibility between products can be poor. I would love to look into it more!
HTMA has a bad reputation because most of the labs out there wash their hair samples (which can skew the results). Plus, they don’t know how to properly interpret the results. Finally, they don’t have the correct supplements to properly address one’s biochemistry. The I use is Analytical Research Labs (ARL). They don’t wash the hair sample. And, they know how to properly interpret the results. Finally, their supplements are extremely effective. If I hear about another lab that can fulfill all of the criteria I’m looking for, I would switch, but so far, this is the only lab I trust.