On a physical level, you are what you eat. It’s been said many times in just as many ways. But in today’s fast-paced, get-it-done-quick society, it can be hard to make the best choices. The news is abuzz with talk of genetically modified foods (salmon, corn, soy, canola, zucchini and sugar beets—to name just a few), and the supermarket shelves are stocked with packaged foods that last well beyond their expiration dates. So how do we go about choosing foods with our ultimate health in mind?
Fresh is best.
Think about how your grandparents and generations before them lived. Transportation was hard to come by, so shopping trips were limited. Fresh milk was delivered to the doorstep. Produce was not contaminated with as many pesticides and was not genetically modified in laboratories, as it is today. Fruits and vegetables were grown in a field by a family farmer and eaten within a few days. The food had the benefit of interacting with Nature’s elements—sun, rain, nutrient-rich soil and living creatures. Simply put, food was pure. While our society has changed, your choices can support a healthy lifestyle. Choose fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. And if possible, shop local.
While our society has changed, your choices can support a healthy lifestyle. Choose fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. And if possible, shop local. Over the past few months, we have been living in a similar sort of fashion as in generations past. View this as a gift instead of as a punishment. As your fresh milk and produce is delivered to your door, imagine that you’ve stepped back in time, to a simpler life.
Read the labels.
When choosing packaged foods, stay away from names you can’t pronounce. Look for labels that have just a few listed ingredients, and make sure those ingredients are healthful ones.
Food as energetic support.
TCM believes that food should not be viewed solely as a physical source of nutrition. Whole, unprocessed foods have a healing essence that help to nourish the body on an energetic level. These foods and certain carefully-crafted herbs help turn on your body’s innate response to heal. Your body is powerful but it needs your partnership. For example, during times of seasonal transition, choose foods that are warming, such as ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric to ease yourself into the coming season. There is a color and an organ associated with each season. So during Spring, the season of the Liver, eat green and sour foods—such as pickles, dandelion, the greens of scallions, string beans, snow peas and vinegar—that carry the essence to support Liver function. As we transition into Summer, the season of the Heart, eat watermelon, plum tomatoes and bitter greens, such as broccoli rabe and escarole.
Food as preventative medicine.
Food is more than just something that sustains us, and gives us energy to make it through each day. It is medicine. It is your job to feed your body the right information to help amp up its healing fortress—and keep disease away.
Your thoughts are food, too.
While physically, you are what you eat, on an energetic—and much higher—level, you are what you think! Food is more than what enters our mouths. We gorge ourselves on news, social media and stock market fluctuations throughout each day, every day. Think about what all of this does to our digestive systems!
Ultimately, what you put in is what you’re able to give out. If you feed your body warm, healing foods that have not been processed or laden with chemicals, your body doesn’t have to work so hard to break the foods down and absorb the nutrients. Instead of expending your energy to process the junk in your body, your energy goes toward living your daily life. In our busy society, it is not realistic to live in a world devoid of technology. However, feeding yourself healthy thoughts and surrounding yourself with good news, heartwarming stories and laughter will do wonders for your mind, body and spirit.