Updated: Oct 18, 2022
For the majority of clients, a “foundation's first” approach to wellness is going to yield the best results, with the lowest effort.
It can be tempting to look at symptoms and immediately start with specific interventions. While there is a place for this, in most cases, long-term effective nutrition plans or protocols address the foundations as the first intervention.
As a general rule, a protocol is designed in stages and adjusted according to client progress and compliance. Designing a protocol through which you can easily build upon is pertinent to helping clients achieve results and not spend unnecessary time and money in the process.
Working on the foundations doesn’t sound sexy, but when we are able to upgrade our clients’ baselines with foundational work, we gain access to valuable information; Since foundation work often results in increased energy and feelings of well-being, we are also able establish a relationship grounded in trust with those we are working with
The symptoms that dissipate or whose intensity declines and the symptoms that linger when nutrient density is increased, offers us as practitioners a roadmap on how to curate targeted protocols and pinpoint the most effective interventions.
And the thing is, as we supply the body with the building blocks for energy production and metabolic functions certain symptoms by nature will no longer be present.
Increasing nutrient density is one of the most profound and simple ways to support our clients. Here are our 5 favorite foods to include into our nutrition plans and protocols that have helped us, help countless clients.
As more people become open to consuming nutrient-dense organ meats, liver is a great functional food to introduce our clients too. Liver is high in bioavailable nutrients often lacking in even the healthiest of diets such as copper and retinol, which can have profound effects on physiology in a short amount of time.
The most noticeable improvement clients tend to experience when they begin incorporating beef liver into their diet is a dramatic increase in energy. On a deeper level, the nutrients present in liver work on a cellular level to regulate immunity and metabolic processes and of course, liver supports the liver.
From an economic standpoint, liver is a low cost and accessible intervention for many that alone can move the needle towards their health and wellness goals.
If clients are not open to including liver in their diet, you can opt for desiccated liver supplements. If you go this route, it’s important to note that if clients are dealing with histamine issues, liver supplements can drive histamine-related symptoms.
Another nutrient dense food, bee pollen, contains a multitude of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals and is often referred to as “nature's multivitamin”.
Bee pollen is high in naturally occurring b-vitamins as well as bioavailable copper. Due to these properties, bee pollen has favorable benefits on healthy methylation, which we know is a characteristic of robust physiology.
Often used to increase vitality, life force and chi, adding bee pollen to our clients’ dietary recommendations can assist with their health goals, increase mood and motivation, all while bridging the gap between pathological physiology and coherent physiology.
Bee pollen has been traditionally used for allergies, immune support and energy. While it innately helps to increase baseline health, we can expect to see symptom reduction in these realms as well.
Classic and a no-brainer, it’s always good to include more deeply pigmented berries into our clients nutrition plan to elevate nutritional status.
Perhaps more notable than vitamin content, berries are a great source of anthocyanins and other phytochemicals that have been linked to health and longevity
Recommending berry intake is a non-negotiable when trying to improve baseline health!
Another classic! If our clients can tolerate eggs, making them a staple can make a huge difference in how our clients feel.
Eggs are a high quality protein source, they contain beneficial fatty acids, adequate carbohydrates and they have choline: an essential nutrient often lacking in a modern diet.
Clinical and subclinical choline deficiency contributes to many symptoms as the communication network in the body requires choline and dietary sources are scarce.
Aside from being a prominent food sensitivity, there’s one more caveat when it comes to eggs ; how our clients cook eggs is important. We want to ensure they are using the whole egg (none of this egg white business), slow cooking the eggs and consuming liquid yolk to get the maximal nutrient benefits.
Sprouts and Microgreens
Sprouts and microgreens have more nutrients than their fully grown counterparts and have all the building blocks needed to make a full grown plant. They are often easier on the digestive system and don’t have their nutrients completely bound in a hard to break food matrix.
We love recommending clients add microgreens to their meals because they offer us a variety of standard nutrients like vitamin K1, calcium and vitamin C with minerals along with more specialized compounds such as sulforaphane and chlorophyll.
Cost effective and easy to add to any meal, microgreens and sprouts are a low effort intervention that can contribute to a foundation through which health can flourish.
Increasing baseline health through working on the foundations and increasing nutrient density is an indispensable part of creating a nutrition plan or developing a complex protocol.
There are, of course, many layers to effective plan and protocol development that can span a few weeks to months. We’ll be hosting a workshop in September that goes over the nuances of curating individualized plans for clients. If you want to be the first to know all the details, you can join the waitlist here!
Author: Lisa Kowalyk, CNP