Many common health conditions experienced by people today, such as diabetes, allergies, arthritis and cancer can be assisted with attention to lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise. By raising your awareness of your food choices and the effects these choices have on your body, you are more able to participate actively in your road to recovery and good health.
Before the advent of modern medicine and big pharma, people who suffered from many adverse health conditions were treated with what could be grown in the garden or found naturally occurring in nature. Herbal medicine has a long and successful history of treating people and boosting immunity to disease, while being relatively inexpensive. While medicine has made many miraculous advances in diagnosis and treatment of modern illness, I think it is as, if not more, important to go back to basics and provide a solid foundation of health through choices that we make at a grass roots level.
When you are young, food choices don't seem to matter so much as strong young bodies with intact immune systems are miraculously forgiving. But as you age, you wear down those strong defenses, and stacking poor food choices on top of the stress of everyday living means that the deficit in your health and your ability to bounce back quickly are compromised, until one day you wake up and can't remember the last time you actually felt good – able to bounce out of bed full of vitality, energy and joy. And no, it is not inevitable with aging, you do have a choice (no matter how old you are) to age gracefully and energetically.
One of the first things you can do to regain control of your perhaps wayward diet is to keep a food diary. Do this for a month at least and you will notice how your moods, decisions, and hormonal cycles are enhanced or affected by your food choices.
Notice what symptoms occur throughout this time and look for patterns – you may find that eating too many carbohydrates cause you to feel bloated, retain water, and weigh more on the scale in the morning. Or you might find that eating a lot of acid-forming foods exacerbate your aching joints or that certain fatty foods make you feel liverish and slow.
Notice your emotions, when do you have flair-ups, low moods or high energy?
I would love to hear from you if you start your food diary and what you notice about your awareness of your health in relation to your food choices.
Next week I will discuss some foods that have health boosting properties that you can add to your diet immediately…