When deciding on what to eat it is important to stay clear on why you are choosing a particular way of eating. If your energy is low and your health is suffering, your goal is vitality and health - not weight loss. If your joints are aching and your cholesterol is going up because you are carrying extra weight, weight loss may be the priority. However, being overweight can wreak havoc on your endocrine system, causing you to have not only high cholesterol but insulin resistence and altered estrogen regulation. If you are suffering from the consequences of an imbalanced endocrine system and you focus on rapid weight loss you will not be able to sustain your program and the consequences might be adrenal fatigue or depression. We can work together to develop a nutrition plan that focuses on maintaining vitality, eliminating foods that cause you health problems and creating a nutritional program that is sustainable. I do not to focus on weight loss programs or a one size fits all spa approach to food. I recognize and respect the power whole foods in healing but remember at all times that we must be moderate. The program that will work for you is individualized to suit your lifestyle, your financial situation your likes and dislikes and your health needs.
Every one disagrees about almost everything when it comes to nutrition. However there are a few "common denominators" - concepts everyone agrees on:
With all patients my first prescription is an Osteopathic treatment. For many patients this is all they need. However, to sustain health I find that regardless of a patients primary concern, addressing food patterns and choices can improve health and prevent recurrence. Food changes can help resolve or lessen many symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, mood swings, body pain, depression, anxiety, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, rashes, weight gain, and more. Any one or more of these symptoms can be caused by food but there are different mechanisms that may be responsible. The food prescription may result in resolution of symptoms or it may be diagnostic.
Here are some of the mechanisims that cause symptoms. I'll discuss these in more detail in the food blog (coming soon).
In developing a food prescription for my patients, I use a variety of resources depending on the situation. Often I find that a period of healing must happen before a clear food program can be established. Resources that are often used for healing food plans include GAPS, SCD, anti-candida diets and elimination diets. Once the body is able to absorb nutrients and the digestive and endocrine systems are functioning adequately, other goals such as improved energy, strength and weight loss can be addressed. The plans are not meant to be a quick fix and sometimes hard choices must be made. I never promise that you can eat whatever you want and never be hungry, or that you will lose 30 lbs in 30 days, or that you can look like a teenager. My hope is that you will learn to know your body, your limits and your needs and that you will make choices that are nurturing and create health. There are links in the resource section of this website if you would like to do more research on your own. You can also schedule an appointment specifically to focus on nutritional education and planning.
In a perfect world no one would need supplements. We would all get everything we need for health from eating whole foods mindfully. The reality is that many of us are under stress all the time. Stress takes the form of too much work, too much food, eating unhealthy foods, poor sleep habits, unresolved emotional issues and on and on. Additionally most people can't afford the time or cost of eating all organic, all locally grown, all home-cooked whole foods all the time. The result is that at time the nutritional value of our food is less than perfect. Supplements can help but it is critical to remember that they are not a replacement for changes in our food and our life. Taking an antioxidant doesn't counteract stress or oxidative processes, it simply helps some. Taking a multi-vitamin doesn't mean we don't need to eat vegetables, but it might help some. The truth is in most cases we just don't know how much supplements help but we do know that no supplement is a 100% sure fire cure for anything. Having said that, I will often recomend supplement support, tailored to your needs, sometimes based on lab tests other times based on symptoms or other information I have gathered. If changes in your life, changes in your food choices, and changes from your treatments aren't enough, I would choose a supplement first before a prescription medication. You may also be given a supplement or herbal support for a limited time period to support a part of your healing process.