Food Mindfulness – A friendly reminder

The holidays are here! Time to enjoy them in a healthy fashion.

I hope you made it through the candy-saturated Halloween celebration. Even if you do not celebrate this holiday, you were subjected to the marketing of sweet treats comprised mostly of milk and sugar, with (maybe) a little caramel coloring to call it chocolate. I saw many patients with aggravation of symptoms around this time, blamed on the tricks and treats, some still recovering.

Onward! Next up are the holidays of November and December. Throw in work parties and birthdays into the mix, it is a crazy time. Then we will all be ready for a new years wellness resolution.

Food is such a big part of human history, aside from obvious substance, it has been center in so many cultures and religions. It is something we cannot live without, and something we partake in several times a day. Currently, the food system seems to be contributing to many peoples illnesses. People are now starting to question their food choices more than ever, realizing that their go-to’s may be causative of their stomach-aches, headaches, or thyroid problem. Food, today, is heavily processed; it lacks nutrients and fiber, while containing inflammatory fillers (gluten, whey protein isolate), red lake #40, titanium dioxide, another other hard-to-spell chemicals. I struggle to consider this real food.

This season, you can choose to think about food differently. Food is often considered satisfactory based on its taste, but what if we respect other aspects of food. Mindfulness eating can support one’s enjoyment of food. Consider the locality of the ingredients, the dense nutrition that will help strengthen your connective tissue and bones, and the antioxidants that will repair your blood vessels and improve your senses. The link between digestive issues and anxiety & depression is clear, scientists refer to this as the gut-brain axis, and the research is (finally) booming. There’s some food for thought (pun intended).

Americans have also lost their creativity with recipes. The Standard American Diet (SAD) involves dairy and wheat in every meal and every snack, every single day. Without rotating our foods in moderation, we subject our immune system to the same food proteins. This repetition is a cause of food sensitivities or intolerances. This year you should challenge yourself to bring a new or updated recipe to an outing. Start simple – gluten free flour, or a dairy free recipe. Pinterest and social media accounts are filled with helpful ideas.

Remember, food should be made into energy, if you are tired after a meal then you are doing something wrong. Every bite you take, you are either fighting disease or feeding it. In moderation, you can enjoy it all.

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