Road Trip Time!
Viridian are known for doing things right – the company was founded on two fundamental principles; to develop a range of supplements with the highest possible ethical standards and to generate significant funds for children’s and environmental charities – so we knew their health summit would be no different. It was an all-day event with a host of inspirational, world-leading experts. The theme of the day was Transformation – transforming the health of people, lives, society, future generations and the planet. So with that Nichola and Michelle headed off with open minds, hoping to come back all inspired.
The first and fourth speaker of the day was Deanna Minich and she was discussing ‘The Science of Colour and the Art of Healing’ and then delving into this in more detail in her afternoon talk on ‘Phytonutrients: Latest Science and Clinical Application.
According to Deanna ‘We can think of food as pure physical nourishment – to give us the calories we need to function – to move, speak or think. Or, we can expand our vision to encompass eating as something that connects us to our inner and outer landscapes – our emotions, creativity, mind, heart, truth, expression, intuition, and need for connection with the environment, people, animals, plants, earth, water, planet and universe.
We’ve all heard that we should eat the rainbow every day but Deanna goes into this in much more detail – breaking down each colour connecting it with the chakras in the body, the physical and physiological areas affected.
In her afternoon talk Deanna discussed the world of phytochemicals or phytonutrients (biologically active compounds found in plants) – the tiny tiny part of the make-up of plants that pack a real mighty punch! An interesting fact that Deanna reminded us of is that the phytochemical component of organic fruit and vegetables is a lot higher than in non-organic fruit and veg. Which makes sense when you think about it as plants produce phytochemicals as a form of protection against environmental stresses whereas non organic plants have a lot more relaxed, laid back lifestyle with pesticides and herbicides doing their protecting for them. This protectiveness seems to be passed on to whoever eats the plant and are known for helping us stave off illnesses and disease. Deanna was full of tips on how to increase the amount of phytochemicals in the diet such as – after you chop or crush garlic leave it sit for 5-7 minutes before using as this increases the amount of phytochemicals – how simple is that!
The main thing we took from Deanna’s talk was that it just reaffirmed why we strive to live the lifestyle we do – eating as much unprocessed, colourful, fresh food and choosing organic where possible. As Deanna says ‘Eat the rainbow, be the rainbow’.
The second speaker on the day was Dr Alex Richardson author of They Are What You Feed Them and her topic was ‘Transforming Mental Health and Nutrition’ and she was discussing the extremely interesting topic of the biological basis of mental health and how food and diet affect children’s brains and behaviour as well as their physical health.
She stressed the mega importance of sufficient Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) but especially during the first 1,000 days of a child’s development i.e. foetus growth up to two years of age and how there was a link between maternal DHA deficiency and fewer synapses (the minute gap between two nerve cells which a neurotransmitter passes) in the baby’s brain. She also discussed that when trying to help depression with omega 3 it is EPA rather than DHA which has better results in this area and how these can work synergistically with standard anti-depressant medication, in fact studies have shown that the two work better together than either of them alone. She also stated that in her opinion short chain omega 3’s (ALA’s – vegetarian sources) are not an effective substitute for DHA which is something that a couple of Only Natural staff members feel quite strongly about so basically unless you are vegetarian, fish sources are best!
The third speaker was the one that Nichola and Michelle were most interested in – Robyn Puglia, a specialist in auto-immune disease and gluten-reactive illness, and she was discussing ‘Reversal of Autoimmunity and Inflammation’. Her main message was that disease does not occur for no reason, there are a number of triggers, again starting from maternal exposure and diet.
Interesting enough, according to Robyn, genetics is only responsible for about 20% of autoimmune diseases. Again confirming what Deanna had said ‘Your genes are not your destiny, they are only the starting place’. One point that was made and we would certainly notice it with customers, is that more women are affected by autoimmune disease. According to Robyn this has to do with the involvement of oestrogen and that women have more exposure to daily toxins such as skin care, cleaning, hair care and make-up products. There is some good news though! According to Robyn it is possible to reverse an autoimmune condition with a reversal diet and supplementation.
The final speaker of the day was the fabulous Ben Brown, who came to Wexford last year to discuss a subject he’s very passionate about – digestive health. This time round he was discussing ‘Detoxification: Food, Lifestyle and Environment’ in particular the effects of too much sugar in the diet. As usual Ben was very informative, energetic and passionate and I think everyone finished on the day feeling renewed and grateful they were in their chosen profession.
All the speakers on the day went into a lot more detail than this blog gives them credit for so, if you are interested in any of the topics covered feel free to ask either Nichola or Michelle instore or alternatively drop us a line in the comment box below.