HOW DO YOU CHOOSE TO NOURISH YOUR BODY?
“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” ~Ann Wigmore
FOOD IS MEDICINE
This is the cornerstone of my food philosophy and that which all other principles are built upon. Food is a powerful vehicle which we can use to promote health and healing in our body. But we must make food choices accordingly and begin to ask the question – is the food I am eating building health or building disease? Understanding which foods build health and those which build disease is an important area to study. And I’m more than happy to get you started!
CULINARY NUTRITION IS THE WAY
Culinary nutrition can be defined as the art of eating and cooking for health. No chef training required! Just inspired action to take back control of what you put into your body, replacing the highly processed food with food you process using your own hands. It does require some time in the kitchen – but that’s where the magic happens! And the healing.
REAL, WHOLE FOODS HEAL
What’s the ONE thing you can do today to upgrade your health? Choose real, whole foods. Forget the overprocessed junk food, the food packaged with an ingredient list the length of the Mississippi River, and anything that was engineered in a lab. Instead, choose nutrient dense food that was grown and raised in nature. This food has the power to heal.
CHOOSE ORGANIC, SHOP LOCAL
There are certain things I do not want to put into my body – herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, pesticides and a host of other toxic chemicals sprayed on conventional produce. Not to mention the genetically modified crops (GMOs) that are slowly taking over our food supply, crops that are irradiated, and crops that are fertilized with synthetic ingredients which could include sewage sludge.
Then there’s the antibiotics, growth hormones and other chemicals used on livestock. And the environment the animals were raised is just as important. Choose to support brands that raise animals in a happy, healthy environment, fear free environment. You have the right to make this choice.
It really all boils down to this. Make shopping easy – choose organic, and shop local whenever possible. By choosing organic you can eliminate the conventional chemicals and GMOs (genetically modified organisms). If that’s not an option, utilize the dirty dozen and clean fifteen list for produce. And when you shop local you have the opportunity to talk with the farmers and get to know exactly how your food was grown/raised.
EAT WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL AWESOME
I don’t know about you, but I want to feel awesome 24/7. When I feel awesome (meaning I’m not struggling with health challenges), then I can be awesome in other areas of my life. I can be an awesome dog mom. I can be an awesome teacher. I can be an awesome aunt. I can be an awesome friend. I can DO awesome things like travel, cook, and hike in nature.
For me, I learned that foods like gluten, dairy, and sugar DO NOT make me feel awesome. And the thing is, these are probably the same foods that don’t make you feel awesome either. You’ve just got to give it a go to find out.
GIVE UP THE GLUTEN
The primary reason I was able to heal my body completely from a crippling disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis was because I gave up the gluten. Gluten is an inflammatory food that can cause leaky gut, which is what leads to systemic inflammation, which can then lead to autoimmune disease or a host of other diseases. If you are considering giving up the gluten, I want to help you. And I think you’re awesome for taking that first step!
Read more about my, Gluten Free and Loving It™ program.
SAY NO TO DRUGS, I MEAN SUGAR
Like gluten, sugar is an inflammatory food, which can lead to intestinal permeability, inflammation in the body, and a state of dis-ease. Plus, it is also addictive. Have you ever tried going without sugar for a few days? It’s really hard. You actually experience withdrawal symptoms as if you were detoxing from a drug. You see sugar triggers the same part of your brain that cocaine does and in one study rats actually preferred the sugar over the cocaine. It’s not easy to give up but it’s so worth it.
And that’s not to mention, the blood sugar imbalances that arise and cause the body to stay in a constant state of uncontrolled overeating. Sugar hijacks your taste buds and literally takes control of your next bite. Don’t believe me – read about the ‘bliss point’ that was engineered by food industry companies to get you addicted and sell more of their products (scroll down to the question ‘what kind of R&D goes into launching a new product).
You don’t have to completely cut out sugar. But please, say goodbye to the refined, overprocessed stuff that is poison to your body. Stick with the natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup or green leaf stevia.
DAIRY CAN BE A PROBLEM
Some dairy, is okay, for some people. However, about 75% of the population, just can’t digest it (1). The inability to digest the sugars found in dairy products is called lactose intolerance. There’s also the proteins, casein and whey, that cause trouble for people. And I haven’t even gone into where you source your milk that can cause major trouble (this goes back to choosing organic and shopping local).
For quite some time, I thought I was one of the few that could digest dairy. But I was wrong. I too, am sensitive to dairy. I will enjoy some grass fed, pasture raised dairy from time to time (usually from goat or sheep’s milk). But I don’t make it a regular thing. I like feeling awesome and dairy steals some of my awesome when I over do it.
HEALTHY FATS MAKE ME HAPPY
Healthy fats are the way to my heart. They satiate me. Balance my blood sugar. Energize me. Power up my brain. And make my body feel REALLY awesome.
Coconut oil. Extra virgin olive oil. Avocados. Ghee. Grass fed butter. Sesame oil. Cacao butter. Hemp seeds. MCT oil. Cashews. Pistachios. Tahini. I could keep going here. You get the idea.
MAKE IT WITH LOVE
Pour your heart into what you cook, literally. Show gratitude. Express your joy. Say a prayer. Be happy. Not only can your love be felt by yourself and others eating your food, but the molecules in the food can feel it too. Don’t believe me? Sound too woo for you? Watch this short video about water molecules and emotions. And then go cook your next meal with some love!
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
Above all, follow your own path when choosing how to eat – what works for one person, might not work for you. I welcome aspects of all different diets, traditions, and philosophies. I don’t label myself. I look for what my body likes and doesn’t like. And I go with that. Sometimes it changes, as my body changes. There is no one size fits all.
Listen to your body, and it will lead the way!
(1) Hertzler SR, Huynh BCL, Savaiano DA. How much lactose is low lactose? J Am Dietetic Asso. 1996;96:243-246.