“Food is Medicine” coined by Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine; it was his belief that eating wholesome food is the basis for good health. Hippocrates said almost 2500 years ago “Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.”
When many friends & family contact me to help treat conditions they tend to hope that I will recommend a herb that’s the magic pill they can take and not have to change lifestyle. Lifestyle changes tend to be the cause of our woes and ignoring this fact would literally disregard my first rule. Let food be your first medicine. Although I do have herbs in my apothecary that will absolutely help I find myself repeating over and over again that “your life style has to change”. Breaking habit is hard I agree! Your body & life will hold you accountable regardless if you gather the strength or not though. Regardless cause & effect happens.
Food as medicine is my first recommendation always. Not everyone has the land to farm but if you don’t you can always get subscriptions to a small organic farm that you love and taste the complete difference in sweetness of a fresh carrot vs a carrot in the supermarket. Naturally, you would eat seasonal foods that tend to do exactly what your body needs that particular season. Here are some very important ideas to keep your food- medicine.
Buy organic! I’m not sure why some prefer pesticides on their food. The benefits of eating organic foods–from lower pesticide exposure to environmental impact–are well-known. Budget-conscious consumers can get the most bang for their buck by prioritizing which organic foods to purchase based on the amount of pesticides they’re likely to contain. For example you MUST get berries & potatoes organic but avocados & garlic aren’t sprayed most of the time. Avocado doesn’t absorb pesticides and garlic IS a natural pesticide.
Eat local & in season. You really want to get the freshest foods. Every additional day after food has been pulled from the field, the more nutrients you lose. If you join a CSA program or shop at the farmers market your likely to get same day picked foods with max healing potential. You can find a local CSA on localharvest.org
Honor the temple. Every single time you put something in your mouth you are either promoting good health & vitality or demoting your health & vitality. There is no in between, remember that!
Zen eating. This is like zen walking but it’s zen eating. Take your time choosing ingredients, cooking ingredients and also eating the food. If you eat meat, make sure it’s from a conscious farmer that is farming in alliance with Mother Earth. Bless those farmers and charge your food with love & appreciation.
Check in. Everybody is on a different diet these days. I don’t judge. What I see the most is people needing elimination diets to see if foods are good or bad for them. I recommend it. My needs change seasonally and so what I’m recommending is really checking in while zen eating and afterwards. Did the cheese or orange juice suddenly make you phlemy? Are you swollen after eating that bagel? Ask yourself “How am I feeling- what did I eat?”
Tea time. Drink tea before meals to get your digestive enzymes going. Do not drink during meals, you want to give your body a chance to absorb the zen food you put so much love into. This is your chance to drink the medicinal herbal teas that will add what your specific Dosha might need.
Tune in for my next post listing super foods to incorporate in your diet for each season!