Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Nutrition is fuel and medicine.
It is the entry point as well as the key to you living your healthiest life and aging well.
Like a car, if you use bad fuel, it won’t run well. The same is true for your body:
bad fuel (food) = your body not running or feeling well
The foods you choose to eat can either be medicinal or poisonous.
How do you tell which foods are fueling and medicinal and which are not?
After you eat:
- Notice how your body feels.
- Do you feel nourished?
- Are you experiencing physical signs of disease such as bloating, gas, indigestion, headache, body or joint aches?
- Notice your energy level.
- Do you have sustained or increased energy?
- Are you experiencing lower energy, fatigue or a desire to take a nap?
When it comes to nourishing your body, making small shifts will help you create habits you will be more likely to sustain.
Small Shifts/First Steps:Start simple and build up to develop habits that last. Here are a few rituals to choose from and begin:
- Follow Michael Pollan’s advice: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
- Cut down your portion size; eat ½ of your plate when dining out or prepare just a little less at home.
- Make a list of all the fruits and vegetables you like and add at least one serving to each meal during your day.
- Choose organic fruits and vegetables when possible. At the very least, choose organic if listed on the dirty dozen (from the Environmental Working Group):
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Eat less or crowd out one by one: gluten, dairy and soy foods.
- Take a good probiotic supplement.
- Take digestive enzymes before you eat.
Deeper Dive Steps:
If you’re a person who is highly motivated to change and/or has a diagnosis for:
- Digestive issues
- Hormonal shifts or perimenopause, menopause, andropause (male midlife hormonal shifts)
- General or adrenal fatigue
- Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or another autoimmune disease
- Generally, feel unwell or have an overall sense of malaise
Implement the following:
- “Clear the muddy waters”: Crowd out the following one by one or all together: gluten, dairy, soy and refined sugars
- Begin to support the health of your belly
- Drink bone broth daily
- Take a high-quality probiotic supplement.
- If you've never taken probiotics, you will want to start low and go slow, as you may have increased symptoms if your gut flora changes too rapidly.
- If you've found you can tolerate that dose, but have not reached your gut health goals, you can work your way up to higher doses.
- Take digestive enzymes before or between meals
- Decrease your stress. See the Stress Well page for related rituals.
- Invest in a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, and start blending healthy smoothies, soups and more. This is a great way to get in more fruits and vegetables and go easy on your belly.
- Invest in a juicer to ingest nutrient-dense fruit and vegetable juices.
- Follow expert advice or robust formal programs for these conditions:
- Dr. Isabella Wentz (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis)
- Andrea Nakayama (Functional Nutrition)
- Joe Cross (Healing with Juice and Plant-Based Nutrition)
- Meghan Telpner (Culinary Nutritionist)
- Kelly Brogan (Holistic Psychiatrist)
- Find a functional medicine practitioner to help you with the formal blood tests, interpreting the results and prescribing appropriate solutions
Practical Resources on Nutrition:
- Michael Pollan’s Seven Words – In Defense of Food video
- Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (Joe Cross Documentary Movie)
- Joe Cross Website
- Dr Josh Axe (Clinical Nutritionist and Chiropractor)
- Meghan Telpner teaches us about undieting
- What to Expect from a Functional Practitioner