The body is brilliant – a symbiotic system that seeks continual harmony with its internal and external environments. Biologically, humans have not changed much in the last million or so years, but the world around us is constantly in flux. To support our health and healing, we start with a healthy diet.
While attending Chinese medicine school, I became severely ill. Doctors from the many modalities I sought out for help were unable to agree on a diagnosis, cause or plan of action. The only choice for me to heal was to take responsibility for my own health. Ultimately, the simple power of food is the first step toward healing.
How is food healing?
Phytonutrients help balance the body’s internal environment by providing anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants. Paramount to the prevention of disease and healing from it is our ability to nourish ourselves well.
Common underlying causes of disease are inflammation, being overweight, toxic overload, stress and in Chinese medicine; overthinking and emotional stagnation.
Let’s take a closer look at the foods you can use to help you live with the most vitality. Your healthy diet planning starts here:
Foods that reduce inflammation
Principles of an anti-inflammatory diet are foods that increase metabolism, decrease the likelihood of chronic disease and add fiber to your daily diet.
- Make a fabulous stir fry with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and mustard greens
- Add walnuts and flax meal to your morning kefir for all day anti-inflammatory energy
- Drink a warm mug of golden almond milk with turmeric and ginger
- Supplement your routine with ginseng and holy basil. They work in tandem to nourish the brain and lower cortisol.
- Find new ways to use vanilla oil. Yum
- When in season splurge on watermelon. It hydrates the body while fighting inflammation and free radical damage making it anti-aging melon magic!
Foods to help eliminate toxicity
Paying mind to cleansing on a semi regular basis will make it less challenging when you choose to try a longer detox. You can help your body by providing some of these power house foods and including them as part of your healthy diet.
- Opt for a hot cup of green tea instead of coffee. As a coffee lover, I understand this one is tough, but in this case the diuretic properties of our beloved bean is just counter productive.
- Add a dose of apple cider vinegar with fresh lemon to your water once a day
- Dandelion tincture is one way to help the detox process, but you can also toss the leaves into a garden salad. Bitters are better!
- Strawberries aid in detoxing skin by providing vitamin A and A needed to neutralize and eliminate toxins. They also reduce inflammation and balance PH for healthy digestion.
- Celery because… fiber, but it is also loaded with water.
- Don’t forget Cilantro! It lowers anxiety, prevents UTI, chelates heavy metals and prevents oxidative stress. That’s a lot for one little leaf.
Foods to counter affects of stress
Raise your hand if you are stress free. Stress to the body is a little different than stress to the mind. Things like pollution cause stress in the system. A healthy diet including the foods listed below can change that.
- Oranges are great because of their vitamin C content. They promote healthy skin and lower the risk of stroke.
- Try a smoothie with blueberries, spinach and maca. An antioxidant rich wake up call.
- Munch on a handful of pistachios for a great source of good fats and protein.
- Barbecue some aloe (yes, it can be done) or better yet chop it up small into a summer salad.
- Supplement your routine with rhodiola, reishi and cordyceps to boost your immune system and protect heart health.
- Licorice root is very beneficial to many systems in the body and one of them is soothing mucous membranes.
Foods that promote energy and initiate natural weight loss
Sometimes we just want to feel more energized and maybe drop a few pounds without fasting.
- A grapefruit is a go to snack because it speeds up the body’s metabolic rate and functions as a liver tonic.
- Make a quick banana, almond butter and coconut oil smoothie for the road.
- Or experiment with your slow cooker and do a lentil soup with ghee and a touch of cayenne.
- Throw chia seeds in anything, but not at people.
Foods that harmonize alkalinity
Pop quiz: Why is acidity so bad? Ok, I will tell you. The kidneys are tasked with balancing electrolytes which balance hydration and keep the whole positive negative ion exchange in order. One point shift on the PH scale is a biological mess.
- Dates, raisins and cucumber snacks. These treats offer a touch of sweet and a little crunch.
- Avocado toast on Ezekiel bread for its high protein sprouted goodness. Note: it is not gluten free.
- Cut up fresh mushrooms with onion and a clove or two of garlic next time you make stuffed acorn squash. Then, invite me over.
What about overthinking and emotional stagnation?
This requires another level of body awareness as well as a close up look at personal patterns, habits and beliefs. Because the body is a cellular landscape with a unique topography it adapts to shifts in the environment and heals when we remove the cause of our discomforts.
If you are looking for a simple guideline for healing foods to follow, eating lots of whole, raw, organic leafy green veggies, and probiotic promoting fermented foods are a solid place to start your healthy diet. P.S. You won’t even miss the coffee.