Food & Illness

“Sit up straight!!” “Did you wash your hands??” “Elbows off the table!” All familiar expressions that cover physical posture, curbing the spread of germs and table manners. But no expression your parent or grandparent uttered was more worthy of taking notice than “You are what you eat.”

It’s a familiar but complex statement of fact. It is further complicated by the awareness that most of us no longer know what we’re eating. How can you be MSG, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup in its many forms or tricalcum phosphate? Well, you can’t, but if it’s in your food it’s in you.

Unlike protein, minerals and vitamins or carbohydrates those subastances are not things your body can utilize, they are things your body has to work to eliminate. Some are foreign and your body will respond as such using energy it could be using to heal injuries or illness and support your immune system. In other words, it’s a drain on you body’s resources leaving you more vulnerable to disease and long-term injury recovery.

The connection between food and illness is well established.  Yet the recommendations from the Western medical community are simplistic at best. Doctors receive less than 40 hours of nutrition education as part of their training. I’ve had clients who’s doctor assured them that their diet had noting thing to do with their arthritis, migraines, constipation, low energy, insomnia, etc. Yet eliminating one thing could improve all these things over a short a period of time. It is more than misleading to say diet doesn’t affect illness or health. It’s a gross oversimplification of a very complex system.

There is no magic bullet for good health but a balanced life can stack the odds in your favor. Balance that includes exercise of some kind, combining a variety of whole foods, sleep, play, work, rest and personal connections. Sounds like a lot, I know, because it is. But if you look at your life, balanced or imbalanced it’s alread a lot. Our lives can feel filled with balance or struggle. It’s up to each of us to decide which “a lot” we want.

To shift the balance from a lot of what you don’t want to a lot of what you do want takes a willingness to look at what is working for you and what isn’t. Change, real change, can only happen with awareness and honesty. Grand sweeping changes rarely last and often leave us feeling overwhelmed and ultimely defeated when can’t or don’t follow through.

Gradual change, slow steady integration of new habits and choices around our food and activities will create lasting change. If you’re ready to make lasting changes, be in touch.