The first form of medicine is the kind we eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks in between. To me, food is medicine. For all of human existence, we have depended upon eating food to grow, thrive and evolve as a species.
Making Wise Choices
Not all medicine is good for us. A medicine that saves one man may be lethal for another. The same is true of the foods we eat. While food can be medicinal, it does not mean that all foods are created equal or that what is healthy to eat for one person is equally healthy for another. Rather, we are bio-individuals with each one of us having attributes that make us different from other people. Although we all need the same basic nutrients and can get them from similar sources, it does not mean that gluten is good for a celiac or that peanuts are good for someone with a peanut allergy. Even if you don’t have a full blown auto-immune disorder or allergy, it doesn’t mean you don’t digest your food a little different than me. By learning what foods are the best for us to eat, we have the opportunity to hone a diet that keeps us healthy.
This is why each of us should take the time to discover what foods are the best for us as individuals. You can learn more about your own unique needs by doing food sensitivity tests, allergy tests, elimination diets and nutritional analysis with the guidance of a trusted health practitioner. The sooner we can learn the best kinds of food for us, the sooner we can start making wise choices about the foods we eat. This will dramatically increase the probability of positive future outcomes. Investing time and money now into tailoring a diet that is healthiest for you will likely reduce the amount of pharmaceutical medication you will need later in life.
Human bodies are incredible! They can withstand a tremendous amount of abuse and neglect and still function, sometimes for a long time. But imagine what your body would be like if you’d given it the very best nutrients for your entire life. No candy, no junk-food, no over-processed food look-alikes. If you feel pretty good in your skin now, imagine how you would feel with a prescription for optimum nutrition?
Many of us did not start out thinking of our food as medicine. What’s amazing is that some ailments are reversible through dietary changes alone. What’s more amazing is how hard it can be to make said dietary changes that promoted the ailments in the first place. If your doctor were to say, “Take this medicine for the next six months and then come back to see me for a re-evaluation.” you’d likely head on down to the local pharmacy and fill that prescription. If, however, the doctor said, “I want you to follow this dietary protocol for the next six months and then come back and see me for a re-evaluation.” would you do it?
If you take nothing else away from this post, please invest in yourself a little by taking the time to track your eating habits for at least a week. Take a journal of your days, starting with how you feel upon waking and throughout the day, especially after meals. Be sure to note any aches and pains. Also track symptoms of congestion and inflammation (stuffy nose, swelling, etc) and indigestion (gassiness, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, etc). Also notice if you have a time of day when you have tons of energy and another when you’re dragging. Note all of it – food, liquid, bathroom breaks, exercise, mood, energy, bloating, thirst, hunger! All of of it! See what you discover. After one week of diligent tracking, you may start to see some patterns emerge. If so – see what you can do to encourage the patterns you like or discourage the ones you don’t – whichever is necessary.
Taking a similar journal has helped me to identify some key information about myself (for instance, that I drink WAY too much water!) I’d love to know what kinds of discoveries you make, be sure to leave a comment below. Although we are all bio-individuals, we still share the experience of living in these human bodies and sharing our experiences, we can help one another to live more vital lives!