Sunday, March 22, 2015

A-Z Challenge - Foods that help me feel better

In my quest to use food to nourish my body and make me feel better, I have tried quite a few new items and other old favorites have come into my regular eating. I have attempted to severely reduce my consumption of non-foods. I try to recognize food as if I were my great-grandmother (who I never met). She was married to a farmer in rural North Carolina, and lived in a dirt-floor house. She would not recognize Cheetos, Cool Whip, or Frosted Flakes. However, there are some limitations to using her as my source: she wouldn't recognize papayas, avocados, or sharon fruit either. But you get the idea. So, when I come across a new food, I think "Would Great-Grandma know what this is?" If so, I try it. If not, I ask a second question, "If Great-Grandma had grown up in ___(Mexico, China), would she know what this is?" If is passes that question, I try it. Otherwise, I read the label to see if it has recognizable food in it; generally I choose to skip it.

So, my subject for this year's A-Z challenge is "Actual foods that help me feel better." These are foods that I eat regularly now, and I have found that they reduce inflammation or increase digestive ability or increase energy or reduce general poundage. Some of them are old "standbys" and some of them are new to me. I hope that you'll get some new ideas for eating some new things, or incorporating more of a particular food (especially plants) into your own diet.

Cheers to feeling better!

I've also found a number of sites that have helped me understand, choose, cook, and eat real foods. Here is a partial list:
  • My Fitness Pal. While I use this for tracking everything I eat (yes, and considering the calories as well), My Fitness Pal also sends e-mails with great advice, recipes, suggestions for both eating and exercise. A very sensible and reasonable resource.

  • Thank Your Body. Robin at has a 21-day, daily e-course on eating simply and healthily. For instance, here is her recommendation for starting to eat "real food."
    1. Pick 1 to 3 ‘NO’ foods that you are willing to give up now.
    2. Pick 1 to 3 ‘YES’ foods that you can add to your diet.
    3. Stay with those simple changes until they feel normal. Then repeat the process again.

  • Kris Carr.  Kris has an amazing story about living healthy with cancer, and her enthusiasm is contagious! Although she is more "radical" than I am (vegetarian/vegan who drinks fresh green juice three times daily), she nonetheless speaks plainly and responsibly about caring for our bodies with what we consume. She is the founder of the "Crazy, Sexy Wellness Revolutions" and all of her letters begin with "Hiya Gorgeous!"
  • Spark People 30-day Small Changes Challenge. This is a site sponsored by Meta (who apparently changed from Metamucil - good call). I signed up for the 30-day challenge and received daily e-mails with suggestions and ideas. Very helpful. Ranging from food choices, exercise, stress-relievers, sleep aids, etc. Other than the advertisements for Meta stuff, I like this very much.
  • Dr. Mark Hyman, pioneer in Functional Medicine and author of the Blood Sugar Solution. He is a sensible, experienced MD who underwent his own health issues. Functional Medicine is a new perspective on treatment of an individual; rather than disease-orientation, it's a wellness orientation; rather than suppressing symptoms, it searches for and solves root problems. My own functional medicine MD, Dr. Chip Watkins, was the first MD to give my pain any sort of relief. Dr. Watkins introduced me to the concept of wellness. The husband of a dear friend, Dr. Bose Ravenel, left his thriving pediatrics practice to join a Functional Medicine team. I'm a big fan of Functional Medicine!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great theme - will be fun to read!