Most people reading this blog understand that food and lifestyle does impact your health. What most people may not know is that food and lifestyle can and does actually make or break a person’s health.
Type 2 diabetes is on the rise, but it’s not because of a deficiency in metformin. High cholesterol doesn’t happen because of a deficiency in atorvastatin or lisinopril. You don’t get the flu because you’re deficient in deactivated flu viruses found in a vaccine.
Americans are fat and getting sicker because of what we consume (or don’t consume). One source from 2014 sites the USDA as having reported that the average American consumes 150-170 pounds of sugar each year. You may be thinking to yourself, “That’s not right. There’s no way I could be eating that much sugar.” And you may be right. Have you ever tracked your sugar intake for 1 week? I have and can personally attest that trying to keep the amount of sugar that sneaks into my diet below 5 teaspoons per day is extremely hard. Especially if I don’t make all of my own meals at home (which I am chagrined to admit that I don’t).
If the average American eats around 5 pounds of food per day and 2 pounds is nutrient poor sugar, then what am I really eating and more importantly, is it nutrient sufficient? There are RDA’s for that and all processed foods are enriched. So in theory, that should be enough to keep me healthy, right?
Nope. Such is the lie perpetuated by a glorified candy store known as the regular super market. Juice and soda are not the same as water. Coffee does not actually hydrate (side note: if you drink coffee before a blood test, it will elevate your blood sugar). And sad as it may seem, protein bars are not a God-send to all of our nutrient needs.
For those of you like me, who are huge foodies and tremble at the thought of restrictions and feeling hungry there is hope! Changing my food and lifestyle choices (because believe me, healthy eating is definitely a lifestyle choice) has been a grand adventure with years of trial and error that finally convinced me that celery sticks can actually be a fulfilling snack. And that people eating plain cherry tomatoes like it was popcorn weren’t weird. But perhaps more importantly, the art and magic of food actually happens in the preparation and sharing of a meal – within the lifestyle.
Food and lifestyle choices are constantly evolving and will never be perfect. For those just starting “the change” to a better food and lifestyle I believe it’s a decision. It’s a choice to tell ourselves, “Man this celery stick tastes great, even better than those cheese and crackers I could have had.” It’s not really a lie. Truly it’s not.
The quality of that stick of celery is, in one sense an explosion of unparalleled deliciousness because it is a perfect blend of carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. It is literally an anti-inflammatory explosion with far reaching, downstream effects.
No amount of science could ever imitate or modify the complex and dynamite nutrition found in celery and other plant foods. But people can’t get rich from plant foods that have been harnessing the energy of the sun, soil and water for eons. However, it is possible to get rich by convincing Americans that there is something better, tastier, modified and patented.
If enough people forget what nature looks, tastes and feels like, then it won’t matter what happens to the earth because we won’t see it.
This is where Naturopathic medicine excels, by bridging the gap between nature and medicine. Within a community of booming technology, Naturopathic Medicine reminds people what it’s like to live in their body again. It offers hope to those who have been “medically rejected” and remembers and honors the centuries of medicine that has come before. And it all starts with going back to nature. It all starts with food and lifestyle.