Nutrition 101

It has been said that it is easier to change a person’s religion than it is to change their diet.

With all of the endless different and conflicting information we hear regarding what we should eat, what we should not eat, when we should eat, when we should not eat, and how many calories should be eaten per day, blah, blah, blah….who really knows how to achieve a healthy diet?

I have personally experimented with different kinds of diets in the past (starting in high school) not because I particularly wanted to but instead felt forced to. I grew up in the USA eating the regular American diet. I never thought much about or was even very interested in thinking about food until my digestion dilemmas started controlling my life. Sometimes I would be fine eating a certain food and other times not fine at all. I tried to figure out my body but it was always an impossible task. When food always makes you feel sick, you get desperate. I kept thinking that something was wrong with ME. It seemed like everyone else around me could eat whatever they wanted at any time of day and I envied that.

Infectious disease vs. Chronic disease

Infectious diseases are at an all-time low while chronic diseases are skyrocketing. Why is this? It’s simple really. It all stems from the time in history in which we shifted from an agricultural existence to an industrial one. It is great that we have been able to eradicate a lot of history’s horrific infectious diseases. That is something we can be proud of. But what are we dealing with right now, today?

I have read books and have studied countless hours regarding everything nutrition. I have decided that the link between eating good, healthy food and preventing many of the leading chronic diseases that plague current societies is huge. HUGE. I have learned that food can literally be the medicine our bodies need.

The problem (and it’s a big one): We have lost touch with what real food even is. We have tried to play God in this industrial age by manufacturing, processing, and “creating” what we think will pass as food for our bodies. I have really thought about this in the deepest sense. I have literally spent days…weeks…months pondering this phenomenon. Cancer, diabetes, obesity…these are all chronic diseases of the humans of today. But here’s the thing…they are all preventable! We can take a stand and take back our health; we have that capacity.

I realize that not everyone has digestive complaints or health complaints in general. Some people really do just have awesome genetics and a fully-functioning immune system. They sail through life eating and drinking whatever and are perfectly fine. However, at some point in every family there will be a chronic disease that will manifest itself.

MY RESEARCH HAS TAUGHT ME THAT EVERY CHRONIC DISEASE ORIGINATES FROM THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM…..

Also, I believe it is extremely important to realize how often these types of diseases are showing up in YOUNG children. I have been awakened. Because I have been sick, I would not wish what I’ve been going through on anyone. The standard American diet will never be a part of my life again. It is unacceptable for me and for my family.

The solution (and it’s a simple one): Get back to our roots. Think about our ancestors. How did they live? What did they eat? They lived off of the land and ate the food nature provides. The food God has provided for us. Meat from animals…vegetables…fruit…nuts and seeds. These are all natural foods that the body understands. The body does not know so well how to digest grains, dairy, or any man-made food. (Grains and dairy will each have their own posts somewhere down my blogging line explaining why they should be avoided).

Preparing and cooking food MUST be done in our own homes. This is crucial. Guess what? This takes time. A LOT of time. Did I mention this takes SOOOO much time? It is a full-time job when you are doing this for every single meal. But guess what? It is SOOOO worth it. Your body will thank you.

Brittany


Traditional vs. Functional

What does traditional vs. functional even mean? Well the way I see it there are basically 2 main types of medicine, traditional medicine and functional medicine. To be honest I didn’t know much about medicine before I saw how flawed the regular healthcare system is and the way doctors approach patient care. I do feel that modern prescriptions help in the healing process (if the patient *really* needs that particular prescription) but I also can see that these prescriptions are relied on way too heavily by the conventional doctors of modern society.

Anyone who has ever made a doctor appointment for any reason can attest to the fact that it is not a very satisfying experience. You go, tell the doc what’s wrong, a brief discussion takes place, maybe some tests are done at best, and then you are sent on your way typically with a prescription in hand. You then proceed to walk away with the feeling, but what if this medicine doesn’t help me? What else can I do? I am in a lot of pain. I don’t think the doc understands….and so on and so forth.

Traditional medicine is practiced by most doctors in hospitals and clinics. It is the standard, conventional way. We all know that doctors specialize in one area of the body. So it’s only logical that if you have a skin problem that you make an appointment with a dermatologist, right? Depends. Sometimes these doctors forget that the body works as a complete system and that a problem at site A could be caused by a problem way over there in site H.

I must make note however, that I have faith in the traditional system as far as *after* someone has already been diagnosed with a disease, such as heart failure, and needs surgeries, etc. I just don’t like how prevention of such disease is blatantly disregarded and most people are left grappling with the questions of how they became “diseased” in the first place. Some of it is obvious; some of it not. These traditional doctors have a hard time answering the tough questions which leaves people lacking much needed knowledge.

Functional medicine is a specialty that views the body as one whole system. It is a holistic approach that includes addressing lifestyle habits such as diet/nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction practices through yoga/meditation. A doctor will look at a person’s entire history in all aspects of life as well as the past and present diet of an individual. Then after the patient has provided current symptoms, many lab tests are completed in order to find out the *root* cause of the big problem. You mean there’s hope after all? Yes, why yes.

It took me FOREVER to get to the point where I finally stopped going the traditional route and made an appointment with a doctor who specializes in Functional and Integrative Medicine and is also a Registered Dietitian. I simply did not know these kind of doctors even existed! I would have made an appointment years ago had I known. It is definitely the way to go for anyone who is sick and tired….and well, tired of being sick!

Brittany