Good food can heal. This is something we are all aware of instinctively, though we may not be able to describe how or why. The definitions of good food can vary as well, over time, across cultures, or dependent on mood and situation. What is even less clear, is what is bad food? What in our diet is making us ill, or at least contributing to the illness process. These answers are rarely simple, but newer developments in medical science are leading us in the right direction. According to recent, well-documented, medical reports, Stress and Inflammation, are the real culprits when looking at disease process. From diabetes, to stroke, heart attack and cancer, diseases attack the parts of the body damaged by stress and inflammation. Diet can exacerbate or even cause these bodily stresses, and lead to overall poor health, ruining our quality of life. And while an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, dietary changes, and a focus on our food philosophy, can help reverse years of unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices. These changes aren’t miraculous, though the results might seem to be. Like most lifestyle changes the results add up slowly overtime, and are proven by a long and healthy life.
A healing food philosophy starts with the realization that some parts of our food systems, and therefore our own diets are sick. Identifying individual culprits is difficult, so making small changes regularly towards the long term goal of health, is easier than a radical food revolution in your own kitchen. Think about foods, that you know are healthy for you personally, and try to include more of them in your diet. Start cutting out obvious problem foods as you can, but a positive focus on enjoyable meals helps reinforce good choices. Food production and preparation affect the food before you eat it. Despite all the media confusion about gmo’s and pesticides/fertilizers etc… it doesn’t make sense to put any more poison in your body than you have to. Whether these are small traces or not, why buy pre-poisoned food if organic is available? Add fresh foods and whole foods. Fresh foods taste better, are more vital, and force you to know what you are eating. They don’t have long lists of unpronounceable “ingredients,” and are generally what separates a good meal from a mediocre one. A big step for most of us is…Start Cooking More Often. It’s hard to wean oneself from convenience, but home cooked food is easier to control, at least, and may become the foundation of a whole healthy lifestyle. Eat with loved ones. Have family meals, throw potlucks, have dinner parties. Wholesome food prepared lovingly is one of the greatest gifts we can give to people we care about. Healing with food is a social endeavor. A positive social environment lowers stress, and increases the enjoyment of the food prepared. Have fun with it. Epicurus, the philosopher pictured above noted that enjoyment of food was inherently hedonistic, and yet necessary for the preservation of life. The enjoyment of good food, even fatty/high calorie/or otherwise “naughty” foods, can contribute to health in myriad ways, if part of a conscious lifestyle of wellness and positive choices.