1) Just because its organic doesn’t mean its good for you.
2) Gluten free often ends up being high carb-but it doesn’t have to! (Gluten free diets often consist of tapioca and rice flour for baking; and rice, corn and potatos in several different varieties of food). Choose low carb & gluten free flours such as: almond, coconut, hazelnut, chestnut, etc. for baking and avoid the hidden sugars such as agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, etc.). Because excess carbs eventually contribute to the most common diseases that we face-it is important to keep carbs in check. The good news is, it is possible to do gluten free and low carb
3) There are no shortcuts to a lifetime of wellness.
4) Food can be healthy and delcious! Try 1 new recipe each week to slowly “kick out the old-and bring in the new”.
5) “One should eat to live, not live to eat” -Benjamin Franklin
We tend to focus on our strongest areas of health and shy away from the others. Your health is only as strong as the weakest link. For me, it’s the exercise thing. I know that exercise is important and vital to good health (I preach it every single day in the office!!). But… I would not miss my 8 hours of sleep per night. It is much easier for me to tweak our menus and simplify our outside commitments to reduce stress than to exercise.
I have seen hundreds of patients who do great with the diet, supplements, and even exercise but have trouble reducing stress or getting enough sleep. Some spend hundreds of dollars on supplements each month but can’t afford “real, whole” foods and still purchase processed snacks.
Now.. I do think there are certainly areas that carry more weight than others, but all of the links are important. I have patients who run marathons but can’t lose weight because their insulin levels are so high and their body is in storage mode. We work to drive down insulin levels through their food choices.
out supplement (or medicate) a bad diet
out diet lack of sleep
out sleep too much stress
out exercise a bad diet
out supplement too much stress
out exercise too much stress (although it does reduce stress:)
out supplement (or medicate) too much stress
….. you get the point! :)
For the next 90 days, challenge yourself to focus on your weakest link and set goals and work to improve it. This could mean making the jump to a real food, low carb diet as appropriate, regular exercise, scheduling your complete physical exam and having your Vitamin D levels checked, evaluating your priorities and saying “no” to reduce stress, making an appointment with our biblical counselors, or committing to an 15-30 minute earlier bed time or a “screen free zone” in your bedroom.
Kelly Dorfman’s recent book What’s Eating Your Child? is an exploration of how food affects the physical and emotion health of children. She uses anecdotal pseudo-case studies to demonstrate how particular children had improvement focusing on particular nutritional changes.
Throughout her book she helps parents and practitioners alike understand better ways to involve their children in meal time decisions and allow them to buy-in on health food choices. Her E.A.T program to make health food changes I think will be particularly helpful in my practice.
I have three main problems with her book. First, each chapter is focused around a particular problem in a child in which the answer is an addition or subtraction of a nutrient. I think the best quote that sums up what is lacking in these chapters is from one of my former residency attendings who said “The eye cannot see what the mind doesn’t know.” Mrs Dorfman’s training lacks the depth and breadth necessary to take into account a fuller understanding of the health of these children. Don’t get me wrong some of the points she makes are very insightful from having investigated many different children but her differential diagnosis only includes food treatable illnesses.
The second point of contention is the use of physician ad hominem arguments throughout. Too many of her chapters base her success on the fact that so many physicians have ‘failed’ before her. If a therapy or treatment is true and right and valid for children it is true and right and valid all the time not just when it helps show the perceived failures of other medical professionals. True medical therapy doesn’t require this type of argument.
The last and most problematic issue of her book is the lack of evidence on which to base her claims. She uses reasoning such as milk produces mucus in the respiratory track. This child doesn’t have a runny nose any more, therefore the mucus must be someone were else like the lungs. There is no commentary on evidence supporting that milk does or does not produce mucus nor that it can change where it produces mucus over time. Likewise there is no evidence to support her therapy options. No trials, no studies, not even a peer reviewed journal in which to point. She uses a long bibliography in the back of the book but never correlates these references to particular points of evidence within the book. For the medical professional this is just unacceptable. I can in no way go to my patients and tell them to pursue a course of therapy where there is no evidence that it is beneficial let alone safe. We need science to lead us to the next step in medical therapies not false logic and trial and error. Let’s take the next step with nutrition therapy and perform blinded trials of nutrient intervention on particular well defined disease states. With that we can then guide our patients into better health with clear evidence.
Recently at the Univeristy of Alabama, Birmingham, Dr Collin Campbell, author of The China Study, and Dr Eric Westman, author of The New Atkins for A New You, presented their respective viewpoints on diet and health and then fielded questions from the audience and from each other.
It is a very good summary of the two dietary approaches both of which focus on avoiding processed food and concentrating on eating quality whole food. Dr Campbell recommends eating wholly plants and Dr Westman would recommend eating the whole animal too. The debate is about 90mins in duration and very well worth the time if you are interested in a clear presentation of the two methodologies.