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John W. Travis, M.D. & Regina Sara Ryan
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Nutritional Deficiencies

To listen" in this context means to be aware, and to be effective this requires honesty and thoroughness. You may crave sweets because they have been your sustenance and reward throughout life. If you listen only to this craving and set about satisfying it in all circumstances, then you will end up in more trouble. A craving may be an indication of metabolic need, or it may be the result of an addiction. There are lots of other signs you must attend to if you are to practice self-trust correctly. Let's consider some of these.

The condition of your teeth and gums are strong indicators of just how well you are eating. Frequent cavities and bleeding gums are not normal - and changing your brand of toothpaste will do little to alleviate them.

Look at your tongue. Is it discolored and coated? Do you have a sour taste in your mouth and consistently bad breath? Your mouth is trying to tell you something.

The strength of your fingernails and the overall condition of your skin are strong indicators of your diet-related health.

Despite what the TV advertisements may lead you to believe, chronic headaches are not something to treat with aspirins and dismiss. Headaches are loud-and-clear messages that something about the organism is amiss. They commonly indicate general stress. But that level of stress would be a lot less if not compounded by a host of diet-related conditions. Most people don't realize the connection between constipation and headaches, but the two are strongly related. Headaches are also commonly the result of imbalances such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and alcohol consumption. In any case, those long-lasting, fast-acting, extra-strength pain relievers can only muffle the warning sounds temporarily.

It doesn't take too much nutritional sophistication to appreciate the connection between overeating, indulging in spicy, rich food, and drinking alcohol and acid indigestion, acid reflux, and upset stomach. Listen to your body on "the morning after" - it can provide you with lots of valuable information about what doesn't work for you. It can also be a great motivator for change.

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