It’s Time To Treat Food As Medicine, Not Fuel. Here’s How

May 28, 2020

Food is medicine. Bad food is bad medicine and makes us unwell in the long run. Good food is good medicine that can prevent, reverse, and even heal disease. When you take away the bad food and put in the good food, magic happens.

The problem with conventional medicine thinking is that it treats diseases individually; each one requiring specific symptoms, diagnoses and labels: “you have rheumatoid arthritis,” “you have migraines,” “you have depression.” And then you get the immune suppressant, the migraine pill, or the anti-depressant.

Imagine if these conditions didn’t have to be treated, or you didn’t need to know their names. For me personally that would equal freedom. Freedom from fear, freedom from shame and freedom from vulnerability. Can you relate?

Your diagnosis is not your destiny

When people who knew about my “diagnosis” used to ask me how I was, I sometimes felt ashamed. To be ill is to be suspect: what did I do to cause my illness? Or, what wasn’t I doing to cure it? My shame came from the “RA victim” rubber stamp on my forehead and the belief that I was somehow at fault for getting ill in the first place. I was fearful of the future and how my mobility would change (because it was changing rapidly). And I was also ashamed of the vulnerability my illness created. I didn’t always appreciate my husband’s “over care” and worried he would always see me as this weak, sick person.

But here’s the deal. When I decided to take back my power and make my health and wellbeing a priority, the transformation began to happen. I began to make very intentional nutrition and lifestyle choices that both empowered and reinforced my body and mind to start healing itself.

Fast forward six years, I no longer feel ashamed. Once I let go of the lie that my diagnosis was my destiny I was finally able to step into a place of healing.

Whole body medicine

My training has foundations in both functional medicine and biological medicine, which is medicine by cause not symptoms and looks to treat the whole person with dietary (and lifestyle) changes that support the body. Food is essentially information carrying detailed instructions to every cell in the body, helping them to renew, repair, and heal. Real food, especially plant-based food, can send messages and instructions to heal cells and even switch on healing genes. This phenomenon is known as epigenetics.

If you are constantly putting in information that is making your body toxic and sick by eating processed foods, refined and fake sugar, chemicals, additives, trans fats and MSG, your body will be inflamed. Inflammatory foods and what I call anti-nutrients act like poison in the body. They inflame your gut and cells, leading to whole body, systemic inflammation that you experience as pain, allergies, headaches, fatigue, depression, digestive issues, PMS, skin problems, brain bog, the list goes on.

The anti-inflammatory approach

Taking an anti-inflammatory approach to eating requires removing the anti-nutrients and inflammatory foods out of your diet and adding healing, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory foods, which have the power to heal in a way that medication can’t and will never be able to do.

The power of getting rid of the bad stuff and putting in the good stuff allows you body to start healing and it will gift you in return with the feeling of profound wellness, even if you don’t have a chronic condition.

My true goal is to help people live optimally. Because I was once so ill and inflamed that I couldn’t even tie my shoelaces. I know what it’s like to wake up every morning feeling like you can’t go on, or to have a laundry list of other symptoms that deplete your capacity to enjoy life. I learned to heal my body from the inside out. And now I’d like to share with you how I started.

The two major factors of disease

Two of the major factors that make people sick are being toxic and inflamed. The place to start is to stop the things that make you toxic and inflamed and do things that help your body to detoxify and cool off inflammation. This is when miracles start to happen. The scientific research supporting the role of inflammation and toxins in illness is overwhelming, yet most doctors don’t know how to help their patients deal with it.

My approach is food first. The key to creating optimal health is to provide the right conditions for your body and soul to thrive. By eliminating foods (and lifestyle practices) that create toxicity and inflammation and replacing with detoxifying, anti-inflammatory foods.

Here are my six shoot-from-the hip places to start:

  • Remove the bad foods and toxins: refined and fake sugars, trans fats, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, alcohol and caffeine
  • Add whole, healthful foods: plenty of vegetables and leafy greens, moderate amounts of whole fruit, beans, lentils, whole grains, pseudo grains (quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth), nuts and seeds. See resources here and here and here
  • Avoid all potential food allergens. The most common include: cow dairy, gluten, yeast, eggs, peanuts, corn, nightshades and citrus.
  • Drink green smoothies – chlorophyll-rich and full of nutrients to support liver detoxification. You can find my go-to green smoothie recipe here
  • Drink Miracle Broth – an easy plant-based broth with amazing properties that you can sip on throughout the day. Read more and get the recipe here
  • Stay hydrated with clean filtered water – aim for 2 -2.5 litres each day

Lifestyle medicine

On top of this, it’s important to include some daily lifestyle practices to support you on your healing journey. Practicing self-care is not a luxury, it’s essential. Holding and regulating yourself ultimately means you can be of better service to yourself, to others and to the planet. Adding doses of self care into each day will recharge, regulate and regenerate your whole being. Practicing breath work or meditation, keeping a journal, getting outside in nature and daily movement are some examples of self-care but you can find more here, here, and here.

The bottom line

Believe me, you don’t need to be one of those people who walk around just accepting feeling mediocre – fatigued, achey, depressed, confused, misheard and misdirected. The symptoms you are experiencing may not be disease, but they are red flags – your body’s way of telling you things have gotten out of balance and these symptoms are robbing you of the possibility of feeling great.

But don’t just take my word for it. Try it for yourself. Think of it as an experiment and try to prove it to yourself. Take just one week to implement these changes to see just how powerful real, whole food can be.

How did I learn this? Find out here.

Now I’d love to hear from you. Do you have any questions? Have you tried it already? If so, how did you feel? Please share in the comments below or write to rachel@3sources.com.

Disclaimer: If you are on medication, by no means am I suggesting that you stop treatment. Please consult your health professional for their recommendation.

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