” Let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine”
There is truth and there is stretched truth.
Is Food Really Medicine?
What you eat affects your body. Food as medicine is a preventative health care investment. Food can be a prescription to specifically address and promote healing. Heart healthy diet? Food as medicine. Diabetes diet? Food as medicine. Plant based? Effective food as medicine for many. On the flip side, when damaging foods are part of the relationship, they can contribute to disease and overall ill health.
“Food as medicine” that has meaning of eating certain healthy foods or that only eating super foods will make your problems will away is the stretched truth. Food as medicine is part of holistic medicine. Holistic medicine for your health includes: Hygiene. Exercise. Proper sleep. Stress. Relationships. Boundaries. Food relationship is part of the healing process.
What you believe and how you relate to your food affects how you process food and contributes to your mental health. Beliefs like: guilt, hate, disdain, elitist. Yes, elitist- your food relationship is better than anyone else. All of these affect food choices and digestion. Negative beliefs or thoughts induce stress. Stress impacts many biological processes, including digestion. Loving yourself in each stage of your food relationship is part of food as medicine.
Be thankful when you have food.
Have grace when you don’t make the best choices.
Find power in making small changes.
Ignore the assholes who say you can only eat raw, salads, or juice/shakes to be healthy or this is food as medicine. It’s just bull shit. You can eat healthy doing these things and you can eat healthy in a variety of other ways. You can eat healthy with frozen veggies. You can eat healthy and hate salads.
How to Eat Food as Medicine Overall
discovering food sensitivities
more whole grain fiber
less boxed or premade foods
more herbs and spices
loving where you are in your food relationship
Food as medicine is the entire relationship you have with your plate. This includes what you believe about yourself and your food relationship. Food donations when you can certainly helps. That’s positive energy for others and yourself. Food as medicine goes with self care, mind care, and appropriate physical activity.
Food relationships are a part to holistic health care.
There isn’t a plant-based diet police. Maybe there is, ignore them. Plant-based diet is more about emphasizing plants and eating less processed/refined foods. It’s about the sciences of Ayurveda, Blue Zones, plus others bringing the importance of our food relationships in our healthcare. Plant-based is more of a food relationship math ratio with options.
What You Can Eat on a Plant Based Diet
This is what our food relationships need to see more of.
But what about the sugar? One my favorite, Nutritionfacts.org addresses the sugar factor of fruits. The problem with sugar is when it’s added to foods or altered from plants to put in foods. Your body does not process fruit sugars the same way as added sugars. You need fruits and the nutrition they offer. Three one cup or one whole fruit serving a day is what we need.
“Eat the Rainbow” they say, sometimes me too. But what does that actually mean??!! Simply put, variety. Greens are a daily must but can look different. Aim for two servings of greens a day. Cruciferous vegetables need one serving daily- your cabbange, broccoli, cauliflower to name a few. The point is to be adventurous and rotate out. Spinach or kale does not have to be daily.
Quinoa or to not to Quinoa. An excellent grain but not totally necessary. Do not have have to go gluten free either. Whole wheat, oats, quinoa, amaranth, buck wheat, rice are all perfectly acceptable.
These are your protein, vitamin, and fiber contributors. Peas and a variety of beans. Caution with canned versions with salt.
Nuts and seeds
Your brain and nerve loves omegas. Nuts and seeds have that and more.
What You Should Eat Less of on a Plant Based Diet
Meats and Dairy
You can still eat meat and dairy but this is where the math kicks in the most. According to The Whole Foods Diet, meat and dairy should be in the 10% of your food relationship. Say you eat three meals a day and a couple of snacks- your meat and dairy should be about one snack serving a day. Personally, it’s a working progress. It becomes easier as you gather recipes and find quick snacks/meal ideas.
Generally speaking this is frozen or boxed meals, sides. Even some prepared foods are processed. I get needing quick pick- up meals and even advocate for some. There isn’t always time for cooking! Aim for the least amount of ingredients and ingredients you can pronounce.
Plant-based is everywhere and an official marketing scam. Not going to lie, I love certain plant based meats. However, this is still processed. Restaurants, packages, prepped meals with plant based “meats” are still processed foods! Third time is a charm (maybe) plant-based meats are still processed! Enjoy them every once and awhile. The best meat-substitutes are vegetables and grains themselves. Think whole food replacements.
Carb Bull Shit
Yes fruits, vegetables, and grains are carbs. The bull shit is that they cause weight gain. Processed versions of whole foods do. The whole foods in the right balanced diet do not cause weight gain. Carb smart is reducing your refined and processed carb intake. Carb dumb is not eating a whole food or plant based because it has carbs. Be carb smart.
I love the plant-based diet for its health benefits and healing properties. I love the most that it’s fairly-open minded food relationship that doesn’t judgement for hating kale but applauds my other greens intake. What can you eat on a plant-based diet? Plants and no bull shit.