Food As Medicine

mandarins-food as medicine

Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.

-Hippocrates, father of medicine, 431 B.C.

There are many ways to consider food as your medicine. For starters, in today’s day in age, we are bombarded by toxic, fake processed ingredients including refined sugar and chemicals no one can even pronounce. So as a first measure, removing or greatly reducing the amount of processed food you come into contact with, the better off your health will be.

Secondly, the foods you do choose to eat can make all the difference. It’s not all just about what you remove. Figuring out what food sensitivities you have by keeping a food journal as you remove certain foods you suspect are causing reactions is an easy, free way to improve your health.

If you have digestive issues, chronic conditions, autoimmune diseases or overall hormonal imbalances you’re aware of — there are many diets to try that can greatly reduce symptoms and help support your body’s natural healing process.

By crowding out “the bad” with more of “the good”, you’ll start to make gains and see transformation without feeling completely deprived. Getting your head in the game before trying these is also an important first step to take; remembering why you are trying this in the first place, to take care of yourself through self-love and care.

Below are the diets I design recipes for in order to promote healing and balance, though there are many out there. These I can speak to personally and professionally. *ALL RECIPES ON THE BLOG ARE GLUTEN-FREE*

PALEO (gluten-, grain-, dairy-free)

Ideal for: Anyone looking to improve their health, increase energy, cut out processed foods and eat in a more “traditional” style.

The premise: Eat the way our ancestors ate. That means no refined sugar, processed foods, refined carbohydrates, fake sweeteners, grains, gluten, dairy, etc. The idea is to eat with nature, consuming animal protein, nutrient-dense foods, fresh vegetables and fruit, and tends to be lower in carb than the average Standard American Diet. Eating this way helps with keeping inflammation down, improving digestion and overall energy/performance and focus as a few benefits.

More resources here and here.

AIP (Paleo Autoimmune Protocol)

Ideal for: Anyone with an autoimmune disease or anyone pre-disposed to one, exhibiting symptoms or wanting to take preventative measures. 

The premise: Paleo diet with further restrictions. There is a removal and re-introduction period of at least 30-days of common allergens: eggs, nightshades, nuts, seeds, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, legumes, certain spices.

*This diet can seem daunting and highly restrictive at first. If you are considering trying this or are already in the midst of it, I highly recommend everyone read The Loving Diet by Jessica Flanigan.

More resources are here and here.

Low FODMAP

Ideal for: Anyone with digestive issues such as Leaky Gut, SIBO, bacterial infections, IBS, symptoms of bloating (especially after each meal or at night), gas, irregularity, etc.

The premise: “FODMAPs” is an acronym referring to Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. These are complex names for a collection of molecules found in common foods, mainly fruits, and vegetables. They can be poorly absorbed by some people and cause gastrointestinal distress and feed overgrown bacteria as in the case with SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). In these foods, the amount each person can tolerate varies, so starting small and working up is best. You may also not react to some, and react to others… it’s not a perfect science but is a very comprehensive way to start to figure out what foods at which quantities can cause distress. This diet doesn’t necessarily heal SIBO or other illnesses, but it GREATLY reduces symptoms.

For those with Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune diseases, SIBO is commonly present. For this, I do have many AIP & Low FODMAP recipes that overlap so that both can be managed.

*The list on low FODMAP can be overwhelming, but approach it openly as an experiment to see what helps you. Again, quantities are everything in this diet and it’s a great way to control symptoms. I suggest starting this diet when you aren’t traveling, as it’s difficult to follow while eating out. I’d also recommend using this diet as just one of the tools in your toolkit, with also working on healing the gut through bone broths and possibly supplementation or medication if needed – be sure to get tested to confirm if an infection or overgrowth is present so you can address it.

Food Lists here.

For SIBO specifically – Food List Here.

SIBO Phone App to download and reference.

Whole30

Ideal for: Everyone and anyone looking for a crash course at removing processed foods, excess sugars and eating and living a healthier lifestyle. It’s a 30-day program that I often recommend to anyone who needs guidelines and a community with a start-date.

The premise: There is a lot of overlap between Whole30 and Paleo, except desserts are not really a thing on Whole30 no matter how healthy. Mindset is a big component of Whole30 and breaking out of rewarding yourself with sweets is a part of that. Coffee is allowed, but additives like certain gums, etc. aren’t so it’s best to make your own nut/seed milks. Legumes, Dairy, Sugar, Gluten, and Grains are not allowed. And if you slip up, it’s okay… but you have to start allover again to do a full 30 days.

There’s a huge community, a ton of resources, and delicious recipes available EVERYWHERE! It’s a great way to commit to a healthier lifestyle for a month while feeling well-supported. Enlist friends, family, co-workers and anyone else you know to make it more fun. I know people who’s lives have changed for the better after going through these 30 days and feeling how great they can actually feel on whole foods through eliminating the junk.

See full program rules here.

Follow the Recipes IG Account for daily inspo.