“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
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Food matters. It matters a lot in terms of our health and well being and both physical and mental health. Unfortunately, we live in such a fast-paced society that traditional meal preparations can get lost in the shuffle during the week. It’s hard! I am like the worst at making breakfast for myself – scrambled egg muffins and protein bites have been a lifesaver. It’s so hard to do all of the things we have to do, especially as moms. Go to work, come home, raise a family, extracurriculars, cook meals, clean, etc. It is truly a monumental task these days! I also am mindful that food quality is also related to socioeconomic problems which is incredibly frustrating. It’s sad when junk food is often cheaper than healthy and organic foods – I will talk more about simple ways to add healthy additions to all food later in this post.
No, I am not an expert, medical professional, nurse, doctor, nutritionist, etc. So really, you have no reason to take any advice from me whatsoever. I am not really interested in giving advice either but if that’s how it’s taken, then so be it. I am just someone who is passionate about all things food – eating, cooking, shopping, sharing… and I love to find new ways to make things healthier!
I know what works for me and what I value in terms of what I consume and choose to purchase. I am passionate about living my best and healthiest life because that’s just it, we only have one life to live and I’d rather feel super awesome than not. I am also incredibly frustrated by the state of the food industry and how much we are not told, falsely marketed to, and how we are made to feel like things might not be in our control (this is my opinion). I have also seen some amazing and healthful results on my nutrition journey and it makes me passionate to share the information! One day I hope to have the credentials to back up what I have learned. Until then, I’ll continue to rely on my faithful friends (many of whom are in the holistic health and naturopathic realm, as well as medical practitioners) who I have learned so much from over the years.
Progress not perfection
In reality, we all have things that work for us and things that don’t and things that go beyond our comfort zone. I have many. It’s been a long journey of self-discovery, trial, and error, consulting with medical professionals, nutritionists and naturopaths to take me to where I feel very confident in how I choose to live my life. Please understand here that I am specifically talking about food and personal care items and I am not trying to replace the advice of medical professionals but rather complement it. From my perspective, I have also observed a lot of this with my family friends and family going through a number of serious health issues over the last few years. It has been quite eye-opening, to say the least. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying disregard what your doctor says, no, not at all, I see my doctor regularly and value their medical opinion for sure. However, what I am saying is that I have found that there can be a disconnect in our healthcare system when it comes to nutrition. There are so many amazing foods that can help to heal the body and looking to our lifestyle choices (toxins in our home, type of food we eat, what we cook our food in, what we use on our skin) and how they can deeply affect our health. I think these things can be often overlooked as problems in someone’s overall health and I think it is beautiful when there is an integrative approach to our health care where traditional medicine and other practices can work together – it’s where I have seen some great results in myself.
This journey is not new to me. I have been pretty health conscious for many years and I wouldn’t even say I am that stringent on it compared to others. I was that weird child who didn’t really like candy or pop and always wanted more vegetables in my lunch so, to say I feel like this NEEDS to be part of my life in some way would be an understatement. However, I do think there was a time where it had got to a point of obsession and anxiety rather than something that was just part of my lifestyle – it sort of took over. I would worry about every little detail of what I ate or what I put on my body. I have come a long way since then but leading a healthy lifestyle remains a big priority in my life – a healthy priority.
I don’t have all of the answers for myself, no one does. I am constantly learning more and more and constantly changing what works for me and what doesn’t and it is important for me to listen to my body.
When you know better, you do better
Part of the problem is that there are so many schools of thought when it comes to nutritional advice and it can be incredibly overwhelming and confusing. I recently had some health testing done and it really hit home to me that healthy eating and lifestyle can in large, look SO different for everyone. This was something I knew but the testing really made that sink in, especially because it exemplified certain things I was eating that I thought were healthy were probably not very good for my individual makeup. It also showed me other things that I should be eating (I had limited meat but as an individual, I need to eat more). That’s what I think is so important for people to be mindful of and I wish everyone could discover for themselves. This topic is something I speak about a lot because I think sharing information holds much power and ultimately, I care about the state of our society and the health of the people is a big part of that.
Some places I look to for solid nutritional advice and recipes:
I also live by the philosophy that good fats are GOOD! Avocados, coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee. No low-fat here!
Balance is key. But, when I talk about balance I am not speaking of eating three chocolate bars and then a kale salad as balance necessarily. I think balance, for me, is more of an awareness thing. What we eat adds up. Toxins in our food add up. What we put on our body adds up. What we are exposed to in our environment adds up. It’s called the body burden. So balance is key. I am mindful of how often I am finding that balance and what I am doing to counteract that and if there are any more healthy ways to get my “fix” for whatever I am craving. I do eat foods I shouldn’t and eat and grab things in a hurry on days where I am in a major rush and I just really need to fill my belly. I am also addicted to Annie’s Mac n’ Cheese so there’s that. I just try to do my best ensure I am eating a variety of foods and making sure I can make them as healthy as possible. I also don’t beat myself up when I do eat things that aren’t normally part of my diet.
Simple Healthy Additions
True balance can be hard to find sometimes, so that’s why I like to add little items of nutrients everywhere I can.
- Sprinkling hemp seeds on to many dishes is a great way to boost protein and they also are a great combo of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Good fiber content as well.
- Nutritional yeast is a great way to up many nutrients including a complete protein source as well as packing a nutritional punch with many other vitamins and minerals. I love to add this stuff to potatoes, salad dressings, eggs, making vegan parmesan, or even making a cashew “cheese” sauce.
- Chia seeds are a great addition to smoothies, yogurt, energy as they are high in fiber, a source of antioxidants as well as calcium. Be sure to let them expand before eating.
- High-quality grass fed bone broth is a great way to give our immune system a boost. It has many minerals and is healing for our guts.
- Grass-fed butter or Ghee is important and so healthy for us. It is a much better choice than conventional butter from grain-fed cows because it is higher in healthy omega 3 fats, healing for our guts, and has healthy vitamin k2 which works synergistically with other vitamins in our body (calcium, Vit d) to ensure they get to where they need to go.
- Collagen is an amazing protein source and is easy to consume (I put the powder directly into my hot drinks or in with other food). Collagen is absorbed quickly and is good for bones and joints and can be good for fine lines and wrinkles as well as hair and nails!
- Kimchi as a side. I love this dandelion kimchi from Live Organic Food. It is high in Vit A and is also fermented so helpful for balancing the gut!
“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Here are some of my must-have items in my pantry/fridge:
- Cacao Powder
- Camu Camu Powder
- Hemp seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Coconut Oil
- Nutritional Yeast
- Grass-fed butter
- Bone broth
- Leafy greens
- Frozen fruit
- Cilantro or Parsley
- Digestive Enzymes
- Dark Chocolate Chips
- Nut Butter
- Sweet Potato
- Pumpkin seeds
- Raw Honey
- Maple Syrup
I love food. I absolutely love everything about food. Shopping for food, cooking food, sharing food, trying new recipes, it is all so exciting to me! I also love finding new ways to make things taste great while being really healthy for us! I do believe we can truly enjoy what we eat and still feel good even when “indulging.”
*Please note it is always important to talk with your healthcare provider about your specific health concerns and any new supplements you may wish to start taking. All opinions are my own.