While adaptogens, tonics, and nervines are a powerful way to support and nourish a healthy stress and healing response, let’s not forget the #1 principle of:
… when it comes to building and sustaining a strong and healthy foundation.
There are many wonderful foods that come to mind when I speak about a deep level of nourishment to support growth, repair, and hydration.
Here are 5 of my favorites ...
Grass-fed whey protein concentrate:
This very well could be the greatest complete protein food on our mother earth.
Whey protein is by far the best food source of complete, biologically available protein for the human body.
This food in its concentrated form sourced by grass-fed goats or cows has a perfect biological value score of 100 and contains all essential amino acids along with all of its naturally occurring constituents. Whey in its concentrated form provides you with an 80/20 ratio. This means it contains 80% protein and 20% omega 3 grass-based fats and immunological constituents like alpha & beta-lactoglobulins, immunoglobulins, lactoferrin,
As a part of adapting to our external environment, we should strive to sustain quality lean muscle tissue
In order to do this, it is very important to have a quality source of nourishing protein and this is exactly what you get with grass-fed whey concentrate.
Chia seeds are one of the most well-balanced plant sources of the omega 3 fatty acids on earth.
This food provides so many unique qualities with its ability to nourish that, it too, makes it a stand-alone food.
Chia is a true survivalist food! History has shown when used on its own, it has the ability to support the natural detoxification process while at the same time keeping us nourished and very well hydrated.
Because of its high nutrient, fiber and fatty acid levels this food is able to sustain the body for long periods of time. Proper hydration is vital when attempting to sustain the body so the simple act of soaking these seeds for as little as 15 minutes allows them to absorb up to 12 times their volume in liquid making them into a truly versatile, sustainable source for proper hydration, protein and essential fatty acids.
This amazing bean is also known as the “food of the gods”.
Cacao is not only one of the greatest foods for nourishing the brain, its impressive levels of unique phytochemicals are known to nourish and support brain health across the board. It is also the greatest natural source of the most common nutrient deficiency:
Pure cacao can be added to just about any food or beverage you consume which makes it so easy to use on a daily basis. This amazing food also adds a unique flavor profile of bittersweetness that you won’t find anywhere else from one single food. The nourishing fats found in cacao have the ability to keep you sustained for long periods of time.
Cacao provides a very rich and satisfying nourishment experience that will make you want to keep coming back for more.
Himalayan sea salt:
Himalayan salt is the one of the purest, most natural salts in the world. It is completely unrefined and comes to you in its raw, natural form. This salt was formed over 200 million years ago in that primeval sea where the first signs of life formed in the mineral-rich water.
Due to its location and how it was formed; it is extremely pure and free of contaminants or pollutants. It gains its pink color from the high content of iron. It also contains trace amounts of 84 minerals and elements including potassium, magnesium, calcium, iodine, zinc
Before the supplements glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM came onto the market as the great joint-rejuvenating mixture, there was a thousand-year-old food used for this and many other purposes called bone broth.
Bone broth is a truly nourishing and rejuvenating food that,
Bone broth is very easy to make and is very inexpensive. All you need is a crockpot, marrow bones (if beef then grass fed is preferred), apple cider vinegar and sea salt. You will find tons of recipes on youtube and for a nice strong bone broth, it takes one to three days to make. I suggest you make a nice big batch and what you don’t use over the first 4-5 days, simply freeze the rest of it. This will last in the freezer for up to 6 months.
I like to put them in ice trays and pop them out as needed.
Treat your herbs like food:
The food you put in your body is the fuel that drives you to optimum performance. A very common mistake that many people make is using foods which may be classified as “supplements”, not like the food it actually is.
If you take a stroll back in history, you will find that all tonics, adaptogens and these lost foods used by every culture on a daily basis were in fact incorporated into a person’s daily life as a part of their diet.
This was the main factor that made these substances easy to use for a lifetime. People didn’t feel as if they needed to do something extra to consume them. To them, it was as normal as brushing their teeth. This is exactly what I am suggesting to all of you. When you begin to use these powerhouse foods the way they were meant to be used, as food, this is when they will become a real part of your life. I want you to make this fun and easy and there are lots of ways to do this using common foods and drinks you use every day.
Below are a few suggestions.
- Coffee: This is the mother of all transport systems and one of the easiest ways to use your lost foods on a daily basis. If you are using a powder, then simply add it to your coffee with some almond or coconut milk. If you want to kick it up a notch, prepare an adaptogen or tonic tea and use it as the water to prepare your coffee. FYI,
chagaand reishi mushroom are great for this purpose.
- Starches: This is a wonderful way to spice up a plain and boring starch like rice, potato
andhot cereal. We use spices like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon onthese foods all the time in order to add flavor and boost nourishment levels. Therefore using any one or more of the above “lost foods” is not a far stretch. Simply add the powder or extract to the food with some coconut milk and enjoy. Again you can use an adaptogen or tonic tea water as the base for making the starch. Now you have infused potato, rice, and hot cereal. Then add your favorite spices and you have a delicious treat.
- Snacks and Bars: This is a wonderful way to take these foods and combine them with other highly nutritious foods (like nuts, seeds, and fruit) to make an amazingly nourishing snack to keep you going throughout the day. For example, here is an awesome Organic MultiSeed Cracker Recipe.
I think our world is filled with beautiful treasures that don’t make it to the forefront simply because they are not “marketable” or exciting enough.
Superfoods and functional foods are respected by cultures all over the world and the knowledge of the people indigenous to where these foods grow is considered sacred.
Perhaps this is yet another lesson that we in the western world should take note of and begin to respect the power of these wonderful foods.
About Michael Stuchiner
Michael Stuchiner is an experienced Master Herbalist, the Head of Education for Z Natural Foods, a teacher, and an accomplished author. With an 18-year specialization in medicinal herbs, Mike also has a vast knowledge in tonic and adaptogenic herbalism. Mike has enjoyed a 25-year career as an elite-level competitive powerlifter where he learned to heal his ‘mind and body’ as an avid user of herbal remedies.
As an “in-the-trenches” herbalist, Mike has done more than 85 speaking engagements, consulted with clients ranging from young to elderly, worked with athletes in virtually all sports and with clients who have “dis-ease” states of a wide variety. Mike also mentors student Master Herbalists and will continue to teach the next generation to grow a deeper wisdom of the human body through appropriate herbal remedies.
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