You Are What You Eat

So, my mom recently informed me that she cut out all sugar and stopped taking the dozen or so medications she was on for digestive problems. Uh huh, that’s right, after almost 70 years on the planet, she’s finally realized the role that diet plays in overall wellbeing (love you mom)!

baby-crushAs a country girl from the Midwest, I was raised on Cheetos, chicken nuggets, and Orange Crush. Case in point: a photo of me raiding the Hostess Ding Dong snacks before being packed in my dad’s lunch.

I’ve struggled with an unhealthy attachment to food since I was a little girl. I remember filling each ache, pain, and frustration with food. The fullness in my stomach drew my attention away from the emptiness I was experiencing in that moment.

As an adult, I’ve allowed myself to feel entitled to a treat all too often – “deserved” of my misplaced indulgence. Gluttony only perpetuates suffering, not only in our individual lives, but in the world. So many are people are struggling to find their next meal, as we in the U.S. waste billions of dollars a year on food!

Food is fuel; it’s nourishment!
And you can’t do good, when you “does your body good BAD”!!!
(Remember that ridiculous Milk commercial from the 80’s?)

With the barrage of advertisements and reports, it’s hard to know exactly what’s healthy. Eggs are bad, now they’re good. Coffee was bad, now it extends lifespan! How to know?

One thing is for sure, too much sugar and processed food creates all sorts of problems. Refined sugar is quite literally a cancer in your veins. It increases inflammation and free radicals, causing oxidation and risk of cell mutation and disease. It’s dangerous! Every time you grab for that cookie think about exploding, cracking, mutating cells. IF that won’t stop you, maybe this image will…

You are what you eat! We have more genetic material in our bodies from BACTERIA, than in our own DNA! In fact, the average American adult has over 1,200 different species! vin rouge bouteilleThere is mounting evidence of the pervasive role of gut microbes in human health. Thanks to Drs. Justin and Erica Sonnenberg, authors of The Good Gut, we now know that microbiota play a crucial role in regulating the immune system. Our microbiome may hold the key to unlocking new treatments for chronic autoimmune conditions and other diseases.

p.s. Fermented foods are great for the gut, which includes wine! So enjoy! (in moderation)

In my personal quest for health, and to overcome my own addiction to food, I’ve tried many things – Weight Watchers, Body by Blood Type, naturopathic medicine, Arise & Shine, juice fasts, and other cleansing regimens, a personal nutritionist, the Flat Belly Diet, Michael Thurmond’s 6-week Body Makeover, and you name it.

Good news friends! You don’t have to juice your food, drink lemon water, and take cayenne pills to detox. It turns out your body is pretty good at cleansing itself. What you do need to do, is cut out the junk. Cut it out! Incorporate whole foods, and consume less.

The best solution I’ve found is the 5:2 diet, a simple intermittent fasting routine using nutrient dense foods. Step #1: two days a week reduce your caloric intake to approximately 500 calories for women/700 for men. Step #2: eat as you would normally the other five days. Easy!

You’ll find that on “normal” days you’re less hungry and on fast days you have more energy and mental clarity to conquer the day. Kate Harrison’s online guide is a great resource to get started.

Not only will you feel better in the short-term, calorie restriction has consistently been shown to extend lifespan and ameliorate age-related diseases. So you can do more good all your days long, and feel good doing it! Salud!

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