Holistic Living Blog
By Rachelle Tetreault, L,Ac
The famous cliché of eating to live not living to eat is true indeed. Food therapy in Eastern Medicine is very individualized based on one’s own pattern of deficiency or genetic constitution. However, there are some general ways of eating clean and reaping benefits of vitality and health. These benefits are plentiful and start with a notable increase in both energy and increased mental focus. Other more long-term effects include a healthy immune system with reduced inflammation overall. Cardiovascular and diabetic risks are greatly reduced, and weight is better managed naturally without seesawing back and forth in weight fluctuations. Eating clean also provides less exposure to many chemicals and genetically modified foods as well as less food sensitivities.
The best choices are always locally grown produce that is in season. These may be found directly from a local farmer, or grocer, farmer’s market or even a type of community support agricultural crop sharing. By using these resources around us, we are not only introducing better health for ourselves but also less impact on our greatly affected environment. It helps maintain crop diversity and ignites less dependence on genetically modified foods. This eventually creates a sustainable food system with helps maintain local foods, less waste, and less waste. Also, less overproduction of corn and soy will be positive outcomes.
When choosing certain foods that are high in nutrients and overall healthy choices to live by, we can categorize in food groups. Whole grain choices which serve as staples to have on hand are wild rice, quinoa, whole or rolled oats, brown rice, barley, cornmeal, millet, and amaranth. Complex carbohydrates which are great for improving metabolism consist of tofu, sesame seeds, beans, and brown rice but in a reduced portion. It is good to eat more frequent smaller meals throughout the day instead of larger portions. Eat slowly, and chew adequately. If watching the waistline, substitute quinoa and amaranth for all other grains. Spelt and oat bran cereals are good choices as well and eliminating all refined starch from the diet.
Some of the best flours to eating clean and healthy are almond meal, teff flour, tapioca, chickpea, and arrowroot. To forgo sugar is one of the best ways to cleanse out body and in replacement substitute with applesauce, maple syrup, molasses, or brown rice syrup for recipes.
Legumes and beans are a great source of fiber and protein. They also have multiple vitamins and minerals. They are naturally cholesterol free and low in fat. They provide sustaining energy for the body, brain, and the nervous system. They both also contain a chock full of antioxidants which help prevent cellular damage and prevent disease. Some of the ones associated with the best nutritional research are the red aduki beans also call adzuki, black beans, pinto, kidney, cannellini, great northern, navy, and a variety of lentils.
Good oils for adding to foods to ensure good omegas especially 6’s include grapeseed oil, sesame, extra virgin olive oil, and coconut oil. Avocado and grapeseed oil have a high heat index for cooking. Good omega 3’s include fish, walnuts, purslane, brussel sprouts, chia, flax, egg yolks, seaweed, berries, wild rice, squash, oysters, and spinach. The goal for balancing the best omega ratio is to eat 1 gram of omega 3’s for every 4 grams of omega-6.
There are many benefits for incorporating vinegar into our daily diets. During the vinegar process, alcohol is transformed into acetic acid. This compound is shown to provide heart health, lower blood glucose, and even combat cancer. One to two tablespoons daily is sufficient to reap the benefits. Some of my favorite choices are ume plum vinegar, red wine, brown rice, balsamic, and apple cider. Ume plum is one of the most alkaline foods available and has amazing health benefits.
As far as spices go, tamari is a wonderful substitute for regular soy sauce. It is a natural wheat-free choice. Choose a baking powder that is aluminum and gluten-free. Miso paste is a wonderful, fermented soybean paste which is rich in many vitamins and minerals. Miso is also very high in probiotics, so it helps the gut maintain healthy bacteria levels.
Nut butters are a great source of fiber, protein and various vitamins like zinc, phosphorous, and both B and E vitamins as well. They also may help reduce heart disease or Type 2 diabetes compared to those who do not use them in their diet. Some of the best ones include almond, cashew, and sunflower. Nuts and seeds in general which have some major health benefits not only include flax and chia but also pumpkin seeds, sesame, and walnuts.
These are some wonderful selections to start with and many reasons why we should stock our kitchen with good sustainable food choices to enrich our health and have on hand. Let’s begin your journey to optimal health today. Please call 772-353-1397 to book your appointment.