1. The quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.
2. An approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases.
Being healthy, as the above definition of wellness suggests, is not about the absence of diagnosis but rather living a lifestyle that builds up our body’s natural defenses and prevents disease. There are many facets to achieving this, all of which will be discussed in time, but food and what we put into our bodies plays a large role in our overall health and wellbeing. In this time of COVID - 19, the emphasis on this should be even more important. Food is powerful. It can bring destruction or healing and it is up to us to choose how we use it.
In order for you to choose the right foods, it’s important to understand our current food system. There are many people who think they’re eating healthy because they are eating products labeled as “fat-free”, “no sugar” and “low-cal”, but the reality is that these are typically the most nutrient-depleted, contaminated foods on the planet. Thanks to marketing, deep pockets, and political action groups funded by these self-interested deep pockets many people have been led astray when it comes to true health.
What To Believe
Much of the what fills the shelves of grocery stores throughout the world today is filled with processed goods that have little-to-no nutritional value and are making us sick. Understanding what foods to chose can be complex due to the profit (not health) driven marketing that comes in the form of government promotion, advertisements, packaging, sponsorships, and the unsuspecting neighborhood kids. Trying to filter through these messages is complicated by conflicting studies on what is healthy vs. what is not. We all know that there are some products that are good for us and others that are flat out detrimental to our health
but trying to figure out which is which isn’t always an easy feat.
Here are some seemingly simple guidelines for ingredients that should ALWAYS be avoided. I use “seemingly” because if you begin to look at what’s in your food, you will likely find at least one of these in most of the processed food products that line the shelves of the grocery stores.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Artificial Anything (such as sugars, colors, flavors)
“Whites” (white flour, white sugar, etc)
GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)
All the talk of what ‘not’ to eat may leave many wondering what they CAN eat! The below list and information following are great tools for gauging what you should eat.
Whole grains (amaranth, quinoa, brown & wild rice, barley, sprouted grains are optimal)
Food high in natural fats - examples: avocados, coconut and other nuts, olives
Limited dairy and meats - Choose free-range and those grown without hormones or other antibiotics - Opt for fish, poultry, lamb and bison over other meats
Fresh fruits and veggies (local and organic as often as possible)
It’s Not About The Numbers
True health is less about the number of calories or points you’ve consumed and more related to the quality of food you are eating. A plant-focused, nutrient-dense menu, with a focus on those foods that are immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory, will not only help your body fight off COVID, but can bring other health benefits, such as clarity of mind, lower blood sugar, and weight loss, into your life.
Don’t Be Afraid to Venture Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Here are some of the ‘go-to’ foods and dietary principles that I try to integrate into my everyday food choices. I’ve included links to some recipes or additional information for each category. Remember, I am not paid by any of these sites. They are just sites I’ve either researched for personal use or recipes that are amazingly delicious and super healthy. The goal is to give you a jump-off point in hopes that you’re inspired to continue seeking more information and delicious recipes to support your health!
Making changes in one's food choices is not always easy. Many of us have become accustomed to eating certain foods without questioning why it is we are eating what we are eating. History, memories, and culture are often drivers of our choices, and letting go of these things can be hard. Our bodies have become accustomed to certain flavors and can be a bit stubborn when we try to bring about change... BUT none of this means we shouldn’t consider changing
.As we continue in our health journey together, I challenge you to seek to understand what drives your food choices and where might you need to let go of the past and begin making new, smarter, food choices. At some point, COVID - 19 will not be the driver to feeding your body better, but that does not mean you should stop caring for your body. Instead, consider that this is the wake-up call, just the beginning for some of you, to better understanding the importance of making healthier food choices for lasting, true health. In health,