We hear it all the time… Eat local. Eat sustainable. Eat seasonable. Eat whole foods.
And you will not only feel better physically, but emotionally and mentally as well.
This is great in theory but how do we apply it to this hectic, busy world.
In ancient times, foods were almost always seasonal due to sheer availability. This is a simplistic explanation of seasonal eating in its rawest form. However, due to modern industrialization, today we have too many choices and most foods are available during every season, thus it is extremely important to balance one’s health with the proper nourishment.
As a society, we are often not willing to take the time and energy to help ourselves feel better using diet and exercise (we sheepishly raise our hand). Yet the one trait we all have in common is we do have to eat and drink in order to live. If there is one message I would like to convey, it is that it can be extremely empowering to understand how to heal yourself from the inside out and food is the place to start. When you adjust your own diet to include local and predominately seasonal ingredients, you can go beyond helping yourself. You can also help teach your family and friends to make better dietary decisions to benefit their lives in addition to your own. When one consumes foods in alignment with what our earth provides us as nourishment, one is believed to be following the theories of seasonal Chinese dietary therapy.
This doesn’t have to be complicated and we also subscribe to the 80/20 rule…or for you over achievers 90/10. 80% of the time try to eat the foods we all know we SHOULD eat, and 20% of the time eat the foods you WANT to eat or are most convenient.
Processed foods are often easier and can be stored for longer periods of time than whole foods, but they are full of chemical ingredients that most people cannot even recognize, let alone pronounce.
One of my food-related rules is if I cannot pronounce it I should not be eating it.
Processed foods are the backbone of the sedentary lifestyle that we are increasingly seeing in adults and children today. A good way to start eating seasonally is by researching where produce is grown. Don’t have time to read ALL the books, hit up your local farmers markets you will notice that you cannot buy every type of vegetable all year round, but only what is growing in that particular season. This is an example of proper seasonal eating. By giving you awareness around how you’re eating and where it’s coming from, you will not only be able to eat more healthfully, but you will feel better during the process. People commonly buy foods they are familiar with and know how to prepare. But how will they ever learn to make healthier choices unless they try new foods and new recipes? And where exactly should they start to make these new, healthier food choices? This is where we as practitioners can make a difference, integrating healthier dietary changes as a part of our patient’s treatment plans. Have more questions? We are working on integrating some nutrition consultations into our list of services offered and we can’t wait to help you, help yourself.
Lisa Salerno is a practitioner of Chinese medicine focused on providing her patients with thorough, individualized, and comprehensive care treating a variety of specific conditions and symptoms. She provides acupuncture at Inspired Wellness Center to the Denver, Arvada, Westminster, Golden and Lakewood communities. In addition to treating diseases, Lisa promotes preventative health, wellness and patient empowerment utilizing a combination of techniques that may include acupuncture, bodywork, cupping, moxibustion, Chinese herbs, dietary and self-care recommendations. Her recommendations are based on her current knowledge and clinical experience.