1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chronobiotic Nutrition--Just-in-Time Eating from a Gardener's Perspective

Many years ago when I was preparing for a career in food-service management, I ran across a useful concept developed by Japanese manufacturers: Just-in-time production. It's defined by the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge as "a management philosophy and not a technique." Originally referring to the "production of goods to meet customer demand exactly in time, quality and quantity," it's now used by many management professionals as a "means of producing with minimum waste," which is understood to include time, resources, and materials. Does it sound like a win-win scenario? Japan's own Toyota Corporation sure thought so and implemented this philosophy dreamed up by Taiichi Ohno, now known as the Father of JIT.

At that time in my life, it (JIT) was just another acronym--skeleton of a word--to absorb and memorize for a test. Now I understand its full implication for me as a gardener, a consumer, a wife, a mother, a student...
Looking at the picture of SAM and me in my last post gave me an idea. Why not use time to improve the way we consume food and thereby enhance our productivity and, ultimately, appearance? I'm talkin' bloat here, right now.

Over the years, I've noticed that if I eat certain foods at certain times of the day, my digestive system strongly objects. Ahem! I could clear a room in five seconds, if you know what I mean. I didn't understand the correlation between time and food. Now I do.

According to Marcella Vonn Harting's book "Yes, No, Maybe" Chronobiotic Nutrition, instead of dieting, we should be concerned with "being on time in time all the time" and "celebrate eating foods at precise times of day for specific health results." Our body processes, as in every living thing, are governed by circadian rhythms. Light and darkness affect us mentally, physically, and behaviorally. They also affect the things that grow that we consume: plants and animals. The sun and the moon, solar and lunar effects, somehow tell our bodies when to produce certain enzymes, hormones, and proteins that keep us going, strong or not, depending on what and, most importantly, when we ingest.

I'm about a third of the way through the book and just started following the dietary recommendations at the beginning of this week, so it's too early to tell if things are changing for the better. And this week is a strange one in the scheme of things. The last few days' schedule are a little mixed up. Ordinarily, we would eat "Tree" things like tree fruits and nuts first thing in the morning; "Shrub" things like veggies, vine fruits, meat protein, and dairy products for lunch; and "Root" items like carrots, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, seafood, and eggs for dinner. The first few days before the full moon and the first few days after it mix things up. Right now we're supposed to be eating "Roots" in the morning. Okay, eggs and potatoes seem like good breakfast items but shrimp, carrots, and onions? SAM is not entirely on board with this idea. He's a little concerned about the onions I added to the mix this morning. They're somewhat of a deterrent to social interaction, especially at the office. 

Crystallized Ginger
 Before he headed out the door with his lunch of an apple, pear, assorted nuts, and shaved coconut, I handed him a small bag of these homemade goodies: Crystallized ginger slices. Guaranteed to freshen breath and aid digestion but for optimal results probably best consumed before 11:30 a.m. They're in the root category, after all.

SAM's fluorite octahedron

Now if only rocks like this octahedron were part of the plan, SAM the geologist would be grateful for my efforts to improve our nutrition. Nah, they're too pretty and, according to SAM, valuable to eat.


  1. Very interesting concept and one I've not heard of before. Sounds worth checking further into!! ~karen

  2. Well, this sounds interesting! Will pass along to my Mom who is always interested in all things nutrition!!! Thanks!

  3. Karen and Julie, I found out about this book from one of our upline people in Young Living. The author is a Crown Diamond in the organization, which is quite an accomplishment. I've recently been studying physiology (again) and find this concept an interesting new avenue to explore. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Sounds interesting.
    There are many theories on a diet come and go.Whatever they are, it takes will power to keep on doing.
    This "just-in-time" eating sounds reasonable. It would be quite encouraging if you can see or feel a tangible result from what you are doing.
    Hope you'll let me know the follow-up.

  5. Interesting post, I will be looking forward to hearing what the results may be. Diane

  6. Your story interested me very much as it reminded me of “I am what I eat.” I used to choose carefully good food and avoid junk food. Now I am taking organic food as possible but less careful about food.
    Last year, I went to Toyota car factory for the guided tour. They showed many efficient policies to develop their manufacturing process without waste nor mistakes. Their No.1 policy is JIT! I was also amazed with their automation robots in production lines.
    I had never thought of combining food and JIT!! Very innovative and intriguing!
    Best wishes,

  7. This sounds like a fascinating book. I've had lots of digestive problems over the years and have tried so many different theories; maybe timing is the key. I doubt there's ever a good time for me to eat refried beans and hot salsa, though:)

    Tell SAM his fluorite specimens are beautiful!

  8. Cosmos, so far so good with the new plan, although this past weekend was a bit off schedule. We had to go out of town, and it's difficult to keep up with the routine when travelling. When I do keep up with the plan, I feel more comfortable with what I eat, and I've already lost a little weight. If nothing else, I'm more mindful of what I eat and, oddly enough, more grateful for it.

    Thanks, Diane, for visiting and commenting. Welcome to the blog! I will try to post regular updates and observations on the eating plan.

    Thanks, Keiko. It might be a little bit of a stretch on my part to apply Mr. Ohno's excellent philosophy to this eating plan. I thought it might help me to remember what my goal is for following this plan: to make myself more productive (healthy, fit, energetic). If ever I get to visit Japan, I will be sure to take a tour of the Toyota plant. It sounds like a fascinating place.

    I don't know about the hot salsa, Rose, but the beans and mild stuff didn't affect me adversely when I ate them at the appropriate time. I'm amazed because they usually do. At least with this plan, I don't have to buy anything out of the ordinary or give up anything I like as long as it's consumed within a certain time-frame. I'll tell SAM that you like the fluorite.

  9. Dear Walk2Write,
    as always I will read the comments after commenting - so maybe I repeat something.
    It does sound a bit complicated, the system of the chronological eating. I am deeply interested in nourishments, so I might give it a look - but I have a slight aversion about very strict timetables and against 'making a fuss' - and it will come to that: 'My God - a carrot-cake at 4 p.m. - too many roots!" (I have a colleague who eats no wheat and dairy products - against bloating - that's OK - but she constantly speaks about her difficult alternative eating - and that is not that amusing.)
    In the long run I get on very well by listening to my body - then I hear when it says: "I am not hungry - stop! And when I lust for pineapple, "just now!" - then I learned: there is a reason for that - I need a special enzym or vitamin - and I would eat it, whether it is 6 o'clock in the morning or evening :-)

  10. At times there are doubts, but there may be some truth in it as the sun and the moon does have some effect on our body (based on their movements) and the way and what we eat also must be having some effect.
    Waiting to see the results.

  11. quite a food adventure. enjoy the ride and let us know how it goes

  12. I know.. I know.. whats this JIT. It's a part of Lean Methodology.It has currently been implemented in my office..

    But the way you implemented it in ur own dietary systems seems very interesting Walk2write..

  13. Interesting but out of my control. It seems my diet is totally controled by my spouse - a.k.a. "The Chloresterol Policewoman." Except, of course, when she is absent and I can choose food that tastes good and I like. :)

  14. Where are you with the Solar eating? I just started in the last 2 months read the Book and am looking to connect with people who get it!

  15. Traci, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I have not been following the "plan" (don't want to call it a diet) very well lately. We had a wedding for our daughter in the works, and then there was quite a bit of travel, which makes it difficult to settle into a routine. I do follow it occasionally for a day or two and notice a difference in my energy level. It could be that I'm just more aware of what and how much I'm consuming instead of mindlessly munching or shoveling great quantities of food in my mouth. I think that may be the major point of the plan anyway. Good luck with your goal, whatever it is!