THE WAY I SEE FOOD
By Stephanie Colo Manning
Falling Back in Love with Food
We’re so fortunate to live where fresh, real, whole food abounds, readily available to nourish our bodies. Access to real food is a privilege often neglected.
When we make real food a priority, we fall back in love with the beautiful flavors and textures Mother Nature intended. We give our bodies tools for healing, growing, aging gracefully, thriving. When we eat delicious nutrient-dense meals, we feel full without feeling deprived or counting calories. We notice how bad the other stuff tastes and makes us look and feel. When we make real food a priority, our bodies love us for it.
Even the simplest dietary changes can improve one’s wellness with improved sleep, mood, energy, and weight. On this journey, one can experience the most amazing results, even to the extent of resolving chronic symptoms.
Convenience Over Health?
Our busy lives can lead us to turn a blind eye to what we know to be true: We are what we eat. We slip into habits of convenience over health. Food-on-the-run, processed food, wheat at every meal, fake-healthy foods, and ‘things’ with eternal shelf-life. These are cheap fillers, full of gluten, sugar, GMOs, antibiotics, bad fats, additives, preservatives, flavorings, colorings and chemicals. They trigger inflammation and they harm us.
Inflammation: Our Bodies are Speaking to Us
Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response, creating swelling and pain to protect us and telling us something’s wrong. But when the body is under constant assault, chronic inflammation becomes the root cause of disease: GI problems, auto-immunity, arthritis, thyroid, allergies, food sensitivities, asthma, eczema, heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, depression, ADHD, autism, anxiety, migraines, Alzheimer’s… Chronic inflammation underlies almost every chronic health issue plaguing our society today. It appears at younger and younger ages or lies quietly for years before “suddenly” manifesting anywhere in the body.
Food as a Major Contributor
Over the past generation (the “TV Dinner” years), the industrialization of food, convenience foods, and our over-scheduled society have pushed real, whole food aside. We’re now seeing the long-term effects of the Standard American Diet that many of us were raised on and learned to feed our own families. Though we have eradicated most of the epidemic infectious diseases of yesterday, today’s epidemic chronic diseases are born within our own bodies.
Turning to Real Food
Though we cannot control every toxic burden contributing to inflammation, we have much control over a most dominating influence: The food we eat. Few choices we make have as powerful an effect on our health as what we choose to eat. Eating real food boosts the immune system, supports the gut microbiome, reduces inflammation, and enhances gene expression.
The body is a healing machine – when given excellent nutrition, even after decades of damage, its natural tendencies to heal take over. As Hippocrates said, “Let Food Be Thy Medicine.”