The Nourished Metabolism

electronic thermometer

This ebook written by Elizabeth Walling has come to my awareness at an apropos time. It is on sale now for 35% off until May 31, 2013. Take a look: The Nourished Metabolism

I have been feeling internally chilled of late. I have also had uncomfortably cold feet on some nights that worried me, so the nutritionist I’ve been working with, Anne Fischer Silver, had me take my basal body temperature for a week several times a day. My temperature was consistently low – not at the normal range of 97.8 – 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit once at any time of day, which Elizabeth Walling identifies as a a tell tale sign of slow or “stressed” metabolism in her book The Nourished Metabolism. Other symptoms are mood swings, inability to handle stress, dry skin, dandruff, brittle nails, psoriasis, eczema, poor digestion, constipation, diarrhea, allergies, erratic sleep patterns – insomnia, trouble falling or staying asleep, exhaustion – alternating between wired and tired, blood sugar crashes, PMS, irregular menstrual cycles, low sex drive and other signs of hormonal imbalance.

Several of these symptoms are true for me, and I am not surprised.

I am in deep need of balance, which is one of the reasons I have recently decided to move from San Francisco to Portland. What I’ve come to understand is that to nourish one’s metabolism isn’t only about what we put into our mouths. It is about every aspect of our being – mind, body, spirit and emotion.

Elizabeth Walling covers these topics in The Nourished Metabolism:

  • Chapter 1: Why You Need a Nourished Metabolism
  • Chapter 2: Stress: Metabolism Killer
  • Chapter 3: Dieting: The Ultimate Metabolic Stressor
  • Chapter 4: Digestion: The Energy Gateway
  • Chapter 5: A Balanced Plan for Eating
  • Chapter 6: Salt, Sugar and Water Myths
  • Chapter 7: Supplements vs. Superfoods
  • Chapter 8: Why You Need Better Sleep (And How to Get It)
  • Chapter 9: Smart and Balanced Exercise
  • Chapter 10: Biofeedback: It’s What Your Body Has to Say
  • Chapter 11: Metabolism and Weight

I interviewed Elizabeth on Monday. During our conversation, she highlighted the importance of mindfulness — paying attention to how what you are eating is effecting your body. She talked about bio-individuality, and the need to tailor our diets based on our unique bodies.  As a result her book is not a diet plan to follow but, rather a set of principles to consider and experiment with. She highlights the fact that nutrient density is critical. We need to balance nutrient density with energy. We need to eat enough food and to eat enough of the different types of food to supply the body with what it needs to rebuild.

Stress: Metabolism Killer

I chose to publish this book review on this blog, rather than Nourishing Ourselves because having children can be fairly stressful and I envisioned a lot of parents may be out of balance.

“One of the mistakes a lot of people make is to conclude that the diet is everything and that only what we are eating is important. There is so much else going on especially in our society today that people didn’t have to deal with traditionally. All the different kinds of stresses, whether it is emotional and mental stress or the stress of being exposed to toxic chemicals all day through plastics, beauty products, cleaning products and all that. Or not getting enough sleep, which is really common in our society, or maybe even exercising way too much, which is also really common amongst health conscious people. So it is important to see what in your life is causing your body stress.”

I have identified for myself that not getting enough sun light is causing my body stress, which Elizabeth lists on p. 18 of her book. I have been making changes accordingly – ensuring I get outdoors more, in bare feet and in shoes, and it feels very nourishing. Elizabeth and I talked about the fact that it isn’t just sun, an isolated factor, so to speak — but, what nourishes us is all the “co-factors” we experience when we are outdoors. I’ve also identified that working every day of the week, at least for part of the day, week in and week out, year after year is unsustainable, so I am moving toward creating a true day weekend, or sabbath, where there I consistently experience time where I am not “working”.  In my case, a lot of my work is also my pleasure and my joy. Nonetheless, I have a strong sense I need more rest and time away from the computer. Hence, my plan for an urban homestead with a garden and chickens.

Minimizing stress is  at the core of Elizabeth’s recommendations. Another is to stop dieting, and to avoid the scale because the scale doesn’t tell the whole picture.


Elizabeth talked about the importance of not going to extremes, as much as possible, noting that we collectively tend to go back and forth to extremes. Clearly, what creates balance for each one of us is different. She encourages us to actively listen to our body, in order to see how it to responds. “Be mindful, look at your life and be honest.”  She thinks that having a bit of routine in your life can go a long way. Creating habits that nourish us. Elizabeth, who is herself a mother of two, thinks it is important to create a foundation and build from there. For example, in her case, she prioritizes sleep. She doesn’t work late into the night.  It is very rare that she only lets herself get 5 or 6 hours of sleep. She rarely skips meals. She ensures she eats enough – for her every couple of hours. She thinks it is important to be flexible in order to stay in balance and manage stress. One doesn’t have to do everything.

Matt Stone’s Protocol

I asked Elizabeth what the differences and similarities are between The Nourished Metabolism and Matt Stone‘s approach?  I have not read his books however, I know his approach to boosting one’s metabolism has worked for some in our community. Elizabeth explains: “My approach is similar in some ways and different in other ways. His approach is definitely geared toward the hard-core dieter. His approach is to fix it quickly by kind of going to the other extreme, which I think does work, and like you said, it focuses a little more on less/lower quality foods, it is easier to get a lot of energy in. Like I said in my book about balancing energy and nutrients, I think it is something you can do in a balanced way, and make small changes and I think this can help people with weight gain and things like that when you aren’t jumping from one extreme to another. I think that is really important for you on a mental and emotional level. To feel balanced and not feel like you have to be dieting or over-eating. One is hurting your body and another one is supposed to be fixing it but it doesn’t always feel that great. I think it is important, where ever you are, and whatever is the biggest problem for you is to take it one step at a time. So, if you feel you aren’t eating enough nourishing food, to add a couple of new things in, change the way you eat a little bit, if you feel like you are not eating enough, and if eating dessert helps you eat enough, I think that is okay but, it is important to know that your body doesn’t really want to eat a whole cheesecake. For me personally, I found that I really needed to find a balance on an emotional and mental level and stop saying that I really needed to be either under eating or overeating and cycling back and forth and come to a place where I could just be and just live so that my whole life wasn’t consumed by what I was eating and how much of it I was eating.”

“With Matt Stone’s protocol, it is really about correcting an imbalance but, sort of by going to the other extreme until you can find your balance and that can involve eating less nutrient food if that works for you. I think there is some merit to that.  I think eating a lot of milk shakes and pizza and that sort of stuff at first … if you have a really damaged metabolism, I think it can raise your body temperature but, at the same time I don’t think it really brings you to a place where you know what to eat and know what to do after and know how to live the rest of your life and eat for the rest of your life.  Which is why I don’t really believe in any diet protocol that you can lay out for 30 days or 60 days.  It is so hard to do and commit to, and then you come to the end and have to figure out what you’re going to do for the rest of your life.  That is why I think it is so much important to instead of jumping to another extreme to fix the problem to figure out what it is going to take for your body personally. I think for some people they do okay having more white rice and having a few more desserts and things like that but, that is something you need to figure out for your own body and what works for you and what is most important to you and what fits into your life because for some people it is much more difficult to have access to certain traditional foods and for others it is easier so it is all about putting it together for your life and what works best for your body and in your life.”

I noted that for me personally, I don’t thrive with the 80/20% rule – whereby we are encouraged to allow a certain percentage of our dietary intake to be less than ideal.  I feel much more well served at 95%.  If I go too far, I start to suffer on every level.


As Elizabeth observes, each person is going to need to find what creates stress for them, and what creates balance for them. What creates balance for me will not create it for others. It also changes for us in the course of our lives. The book gives suggestions but, doesn’t offer a concrete plan as a result.

Some symptoms I am experiencing, coupling with this book, have served as a wake-up call for me to engage in biofeedback and to hear what my body has to say, as Elizabeth outlines in chapter 10.

Do you suspect your metabolism is out of balance? When you consider your life – have you identified areas of stress and imbalance? How are your sleep patterns, your mood, your hair, skin, digestion, temperature?  Again, Elizabeth cautions us to keep biofeedback in perspective:

Biofeedback is a useful tool that can help you keep track of your progress or see where your habits are holding you back. But remember to keep a balanced perspective about biofeedback. Don’t let yourself get too tangled up in measuring and weighing every single factor. Remember: stress is the enemy of metabolic health!

In closing, Elizabeth remarked that “Food is not quite the whole picture, it is the way you live.  For some people, food might be the most important thing they need to change and for some people it might be their lifestyle, or where they live or their relationships that they have, so it is all about looking at your life and seeing what areas you can improve on.”


This book is not simply about raising your metabolism, it is about nourishing your metabolism: The Nourished Metabolism – 35% off until May 31, 2013.


Filed under Book Reviews, Healing Arts, Healing Protocols

64 responses to “The Nourished Metabolism

  1. Jen L

    Welcome to the Pacific Northwest. It is truly magical and the food that you will have access to is the best in the world. I always say I eat like a king and believe me, I am not wealthy.

    I suggest a quick trip to Hood River-a really neat town less than an hour from Portland. Which neighborhoods are you attracted to?
    Best of luck

    P.S. Who are the gorgeous young girls featured on your home page?

  2. Very interesting perspective. I like that she doesn’t approach food as a one way for everyone and each person needs to find their own balance. This will make moving toward a healthier lifestyle an easier process for others.

  3. I appreciated this review and this book is on my to-read list. I’m thinking to-read sooner rather than later, as I’ve decided that metabolism is my primary health concern right now.

  4. Hannah B

    You have me curious now! I have some of the symptoms. :S

  5. Emily

    This approach definitely sounds intriguing. I’m a true believer in balance in all things so this book sounds right up my alley :)

  6. Amanda

    This looks like a great book!

  7. Krista

    This sounds like a really well balanced book. While I liked Matt Stone’s Diet Recovery book, this sounds a bit more balanced, and I know I would benefit from this kind of information. Thanks for the review.

  8. Kathy Garriott

    Thanks for the great information, I have some of these symptoms and look forward to finding out more!

  9. I’m very interested to read this book, I know I have some metabolic issues, ever since a med I took years ago made me gain a ton of weight quickly, and I’ve never been able to lose it. I’m interested to see if this will help me and make me feel better:)

  10. luckylass319

    I am so happy that someone has taken Stone’s work to another – more sustainable – level.

  11. Riki Juster

    This certainly sounds like a book I could use. I could use some motivation and drive. I am thinking this book looks like just the ticket.

  12. Yvonne

    I am in my 50’s and am having a hard time keeping the pounds off – I need this information to keep healthy for the next 50 years!! – I need this book!

  13. Honey

    Looking forward to reading this and beginning a healthier eating pattern.

  14. Karen M

    Wow, I have been thinking I’m crazy, or all my thermometers are off because my temp is almost always around 97! I had no idea it was possibly a symptom of dis-ease.

  15. Robin S

    I would like to read more on this subject.

  16. Have a lot of the above symptoms so certainly need to take a closer look at this. I agree totally about the biofeedback comment where one could too wrapped up in measuring everything, then your’e stressing about stress!

  17. I’m very curious to read it myself, it seems to answer some of my questions.

  18. I’m really interested in reading this book. I’ve been researching things of this nature (balance in life both mentally and physically) recently and am intrigued by the idea. They seems not only possible, but plausible and a way to pursue healing, not just weight loss.

  19. ShannanW

    Wow, this looks great! Such a thorough review, too. I’m excited to read this. I’ve really been interested in learning more about metabolism lately.

  20. Rajae

    I really would like to learn more about this! I’d love to win this book!

  21. Amie LoGrasso

    Very interesting topic. Would love to read it!

  22. Nicole

    This book sounds like it was written for me! I am very interested to learn more about healing and nourishing my metabolism so I can be the mom/wife I am called to be. Constant fatigue, irritability and mood swings make it difficult to do my daily tasks well and I know it is all because my metabolism is out of balance. I really need this book!

  23. Hayley

    I would love to read this, I could really use help in this area.

  24. ( : Kate : )

    Thank you for such a detailed review! I really appreciated your sharing the comparison between this “protocol” and Matt Stones. I think I would really benefit from reading this book and I have already sent your review to a friend who would benefit from the book as well!

  25. Crystal

    I like that it takes all aspects of life into account because you truly can’t have a nourished metabolism unless you address your entire life.

  26. Rachel

    This book looks awesome!

  27. laura

    I’d love to read this book!!

  28. Aislinn

    This is the 2nd blog that has brought my attention to this book. I would to have it!

  29. Donna Marie

    I so need to read this…

  30. Mandi

    I need to get this book. It sounds interesting.

  31. Jana Paschke

    Can’t wait to read this book!

  32. Hannah

    This is interesting. Would love to read more. :)

  33. I’d love to read this book b/c I’ve felt so tired in afternoons lately. I know something must be off with my metabolism/adrenals. HEATHERLBRANDT (AT) GMAIL (DOT) COM

  34. I have been thinking about purchasing Matt Stone’s book but after reading the review I think this book will be a much better fit for me. Thanks!

  35. stephafriendly

    I look forward to reading the book. My own metabolism seems to be improving since I left a stressful job.

  36. Janea

    I’ve head some good things about this book. Would love to win it. :)

  37. This review is quite comprehensive for a review, Sandrine, and makes having this book a priority! Thank you!!

  38. Jess

    This could very well be the key to unlock my path to optimal health. If I don’t win it, I’d buy it. Of course, I’d love to win it!

  39. Katie Bright

    I first heard about this book a few days ago and have been anxious to read it ever since. My entire family will benefit from this.

  40. Chelle Reese

    Living with autoimmune disease and other major health issues myself, I believe this book will unlock so many questions I have. Thank you for sharing this eye opening information. I look forward to reading this during my healing and 12 weeks of therapy from my spinal fusion (two weeks post). Gives me HOPE!!!

  41. jennifer s

    I would love to read this book. I miscarried 2 babies within 2 years and my hormone are completely out of whack now. I have hot flashes like crazy and I have gained 20 lbs that I can’t seem to lose no matter what I do. And I haven’t had a cycle since losing the last one a year ago. Losing hope of trying for anymore babies.

  42. Ange Bahlmann

    Great review, would love to read this book! I have most of those symptoms listed!!!!

  43. Alexis D

    This books sounds very informative and would love to learn more about nourishing the metabolism!

  44. Looking forward to reading the book!

  45. Laurie

    I am in need of advice that this book seems to offer! I have many of the symptoms and think I have hormonal imbalances… looking forward to reading it!

  46. I feel I’ve been eating well and following WAPF principles. I don’t feel stressed yet I’m in the middle of a move with two children so am sure there are plenty of stressors. I’m a breast cancer survivor, and I know my hormones are now off kilter due to treatment. This books really intigues me.

  47. I can’t wait to read the book!

  48. Lynn

    I like that it sounds like a balanced approach to nourishing ourselves. Would love to read it!

  49. megan grace

    i need this book , i was just about to buy it when i saw this competion but i think i will buy it anyway as we are in the stages now of beggining a healing journey for our whole family, it was too hard doing it on my own as the rest of the family didn’t fully understand what it is i am going through, im looking forward to having a healthy body and even more so a nourished family :)

  50. Sheena Girard

    This book sounds fascinating! And I think could be really beneficial for me! Definitely on my must read list!

  51. keeshadoss

    U love this part: “instead of jumping to another extreme to fix the problem to figure out what it is going to take for your body personally.” That is so true. It is trial and error… but when there’s error, chalk it up as experience and knowledge for the future instead of failure! And keep pluggin away! :) this book sounds like a MUST in my library!! :)

  52. This sounds like an awesome book, it’s at the top of my reading list.

  53. Jenny Baker

    I have so many of these issues, can’t wait to read!!

  54. This sounds like exactly what I need right now!

  55. Heather Darlington

    Hi – I purchased this book online but am unable to download it – could you please help?

  56. Thanks for sharing this much needed perspective. This is exactly what I have come to of late – that just focusing on food so much is not the answer. It can be stressful to be a food nazi and create imbalance in the other areas of life. If I am in the kitchen all the time because I am trying to eat “perfect”, the other areas of my life that feed me do not get nourished. Health is about balance in many areas, not just about what we eat. Excited for your move to Portland! I love it there! Amanda Love

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