Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 8: Food as Medicine

My friends and readers,

I hope you had a glorious weekend...I certainly did. 

Yesterday, I was able to spend the day with my mom. We are both busy ladies and Sunday is usually our day together. Before embarking on our shopping extravaganza, we went to the local diner for breakfast and it was in that dingy place that we shared a really nice moment. We got to talking about my life and singing, and I took a moment to thank her. I stopped, put down my fork (I was eating a slightly flavourless spinach omlette) and I looked at her and said, "I know I thank you from time to time, but I want you to know from the bottom of my heart, that I am so thankful for you. If I didn't have your love and support I wouldn't be able to carry on singing like I do." We both teared up in the local diner amidst families and the scent of fried food. My mom then looked at me and said, "You know...I was speaking to my one friend the other day and I told her, 'I breathe because I have a daughter.'" Needless to say, there was more crying and then we laughed at ourselves because we were crying. What a lucky woman I am. 

After breakfast we went to Costco to stock up on some things (they sell monster-size bags of quinoa for cheap!) and I found this great book! My mom had recently read about the author in the Spectator (the Hamilton newspaper) and she was really excited about it. Isn't it so funny that her book was one of the selected books being sold at Costco!? Universe, I am again listening to your signs. 

I am a firm believer that food is truly our medicine and we can keep our bodies healthy all the time using food to do so. The standard North American diet (or the aptly named SAD for short) can be incredibly detrimental to our health and many of us don't know any better because we were trained to eat this way since birth! Yes, when our bodies are young and resistant we can sometimes tolerate this diet,  but why tolerate anything we don't have to? After doing a lot of reading and experimenting over the past 3-4 years, I have realized how much food is really our saving grace. In Western Medicine, the doctor gives us an antibiotic or drug of some kind as a quick fix to our problem. They treat the symptom, not the whole person!

This author is actually from Hamilton, my hometown! Her book is called Meals That Heal Inflammation and her name is Julie Daniluk. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and on The Dr. Oz Show, among many others. She is a registered holistic nutritionist. Holistic meaning that she treats the entire person using nutrition. I've only read through about 89 pages and I am so thankful to have found this book! It goes in depth with information that has only been lightly touched on in other reading material I have come across. I was/am suffering from many of the problems she highlights in her book and I now feel like I have an extra tool in helping me combat these nagging issues. After all, disease is our body telling us that something needs to be dealt with. A small example of a form of inflammation that many people overlook is bloating and gas. If this is something you regularly deal with, you are eating things that are causing you inflammation in your gut.

We are brought up to believe that as we age, our bodies will break down and we will just have to deal with pains we didn't have at a young age. This isn't true. Our bodies have the ability to remain in good working order into our 70's 80's and even 90's. It's all about what we put into them.

Here is the introduction to her book, just so you get what I'm talking about:

"Let's face it: your pain may be directly affected by the foods you eat on a daily basis. Take white sugar, which I'll compare to a debit card. When you "insert" white sugar into your body, you have to cough up the funds in your account, such as B vitamins and chromium, to complete your transaction (that is to metabolize it). Over time, your repeated consumption of white sugar depletes your account of nutrients. If you fail to continually top up your vitamin and mineral reserves, you may end up with an overdrawn account. As a result, you will lack the necessary nutrients for keeping inflammation in check. there are other pro-inflammatory foods as well, and I will point them out to you as we go along. 

This book is a catalyst for change. It will provide you with a systematized plan to reduce inflammation, while explaining how food works as a healing tool. The book is laid out in two parts. The first part is an introduction to the science of inflammation. The second part of the book is packed with quick reference guides, delicious recipes, and tips on how to revamp your kitchens and cook with a new healing vision.

Meals That Heal Inflammation is a cutting edge plan that steers clear of inflammatory choices such as white sugar, harmful fats and processed foods, replacing them with healthy choices such as natural unrefined sweeteners, healing fats and anti-inflammatory vegetables. For example, raw honey is a sweet ingredient frequently used in the recipes in this book. Honey works as a powerful antibiotic. It destroys the Helicobacter pylori bacteria that is sometimes the cause of gastric ulcers. When the bacteria are kept in check, inflammation of the stomach is reduced. Meals That Heal Inflammation will inspire you to lead a healthier lifestyle. It may not be easy to start, especially since we're conditioned from birth to eat in a certain way. If we retrain our palates and taste buds and return to the diets of our ancestors, great rewards await. Remember, so much of our healing is in the mind. By eating healthy every day, you're giving yourself a beautiful affirmation: I love myself enough to eat the things I need to heal." 

Not only does she deal with the food itself, but there is a lot of information on the emotional attachment we have to food. After all she is a holistic nutritionist. There are reasons we eat what we eat and many of them are emotional.

I am actually going to see a Holistic Nutritionist this evening for my first appointment! I am so excited to learn from her and tell her all about the reading material I've found. I'll report back on the appointment. 

If this intrigues you at all, pick up her book or visit her website. Its quite amazing. I post the link and the cover image here. 

 On that note, I will leave you with something inspiring from, yet again, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari:

"Happiness is a journey. It is also a choice that you make. You can marvel at the diamonds along the way, or you can keep running through all your days, chasing that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that ultimately reveals itself to be empty. Enjoy the special moments that every day offers because today, this day is all you have."

I'm totally smiling right now.

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