Is your food your medicine? Or is your food making you ill? Now these two questions overly simplify how we are nourished, but they are a good starting point. It is true that food is central to our health and wellbeing, but how do we make it our medicine?
Image: Unsplash Photos: Brook Lark
When food is our medicine it keeps us well, and then it helps us recover from, or manage , illness. So, we need to understand our own requirements, our food, and be in tune with when we need to change what we are eating. This is where the core principles of Eating for You, what I refer to as the mantra, provide guidance:
Know Your Food
Know how to introduce and live with change
Making food your medicine
#1 Know yourself
Making food your medicine requires an understanding of your personal requirements and current habits. We often think we know our habits, but because these are choices that we make on autopilot, we really don’t connect with them or their effects on our health and wellbeing.
Eating for You encourages you to know your:
- Eating habits
- Reasons (drivers) for eating
- Personal health and lifestyle choices and goals
How can we find our medicine if we do not know our illness?
Does this make sense?
#2 Know your food
Finding the answers to theses questions, will assist you to make food your medicine:
- What nutrients and other qualities does food provide?
- What combinations of whole foods best suit me?
- Is where and how my food is grown and processed important to me?
Do you want to know the answers to these questions?
#3 Know how to introduce and live with change
Our nutrition and lifestyle requirements change due to our choice of activity, changes of the seasons, demands of day-to-day life, during illness and as we age.
- How well do you recognise that it is time to change?
- How easily to you adjust to change?
- Do you ask for support?
Would you like to be able to recognise change and adjust more easily?
How does mindfulness help?
Practising mindfulness is key to making food your medicine. Mindfulness is really about our awareness of our choices, our reasons for these choices and how they impact on our health and wellbeing. Most importantly it is an observational, not judgemental, process. It is integral to us assessing how we can better support ourselves, and who may be able to provide the knowledge and skills that we need.
For practical ways to introduce mindfulness into your day I recommend the following posts:
Eating for You provides a step by step approach to making food your medicine. The first chapter of Eating for You is currently available for free on this website, or you may like to purchase your own copy.