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Food Medicine

The other day a friend shared a post from a nurse talking about how lifestyle choices affect our overall health and wellness. The basic message was about how changes to diet, sleep, exercise and other daily habits can have huge impacts on disease prevention, healing, and even our physical capabilities. Shortly after we watched the documentary "Poisoned: The Dirty Truth About Your Food". While we always pay attention to our food choices, this served as a reminder of how important it is to be aware of what we are putting into our bodies.

Ancient healing traditions from around have the world have utilized food as a main component in both preventive and curative health care for millenia, yet we are living in a time where food products containing known carcinogens and other toxins are marketed to us, and sometimes specifically to our children. A time when profits are often valued over people, and a time when there is not only a need, but a demand, for apps that can scan codes on our foods and tell us how bad or good they are for us because we can't just assume that what we purchase to eat is actually safe for consumption. And sometimes no quick way of figuring out what some of the ingredients even are. The fact that we even have to question the safety of our food and water supply is baffling for many of us. Just as the fact that other humans knowingly choose to sell such products is sickening, saddening, and infuriating.

Why is humanity's moral compass so far skewed that we will knowingly poison each other for money? Why does this trump basic decency and respect for life? And what can we do about it? We shouldn't have to worry about these things every time we go to the grocery store, life is already stressful enough, but until something changes the minds of the producers of these products and/or government regulators actually do something about it, this disturbing trend will stay the same. So we, collectively have to change the way we purchase, using these companies own bottom line to motivate them by demanding better quality. At the end of the day it will come down to where we put our money, and how much we value our own wellbeing through conscious food choices.

By sharing knowledge of our own experiences and what we've learned with each other, reading ingredient lists, and using tools like the food apps to help us separate the junk from the food, we can short cut the process of deciding what to eat when it seems like every other brand is lying about how healthy their products are. Some basic principles that most experts who actually study health outcomes agree on are that when possible we should strive to eat foods that are:

- minimally processed/close to their whole form

- ethically sourced

- non-gmo

- naturally sweetened and/or have little to no added sugar, corn syrup and other sweeteners

- organic/minimally sprayed/not sprayed to avoid many pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other poisons

- locally grown when it's available

- grown in our own or trusted family/friends gardens

Every body is different, and what specific diet will serve each of us best is as unique and individual as we are, but when we tune in and listen to our bodies, noticing how things sit in our digestive systems, how much energy we have, how often we have inflammation in our system, we can start to feel how some things nourish us while others drain us. We can follow Hippocrates prescription to 'Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food'.

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