Food as Medicine

Interesting concept:  Food as medicine.

I want to be healthy.

I talk to people about nutrition. I read about nutrition.  I watch DVDs about nutrition.  Some foods just make me happy.  I look at them and I feel good, like a luscious melon, a casaba.   As I chew each bite, I feel better and better and better.

Quite a few researchers believe that proper nutrition can “fix what ails ya.”  From cancer to diabetes to obesity to arthritis to autism, etc. etc., good nutrition can help prevent or curb the problem.  I wonder why we would want to pop a pill, eat junk food, when proper nutrition can ward off disease and keep us pretty healthy.   Many doctors have people with gastro intestinal problems simply stop eating foods with GMOs, and the patients get better on an organic diet.  The problem is finding out which foods contain GMOs because of the intense anti-labeling/ misinformation campaign: Proposition 37 was defeated in California by intense spending by the biotech industry. But we can guess—processed, boxed foods probably contain GMOs as well as products that contain soy, canola, or corn—to name only a few.  We ALL have a right to know to know what is in our food.  This is a fundamental right, I think.

If I grow my own food and shop at local organic markets, I know exactly what is in my food and where it came from.  This is important to me.

I want to be healthy.

On a regular basis, I have a green smoothie for breakfast. Brown rice and vegetables for lunch.  A green salad, kale and red onion stir fry and quinoa for dinner.  Takes a bit of time to prepare.

A good diet, exercise, laughter, meditation to help keep us balanced and healthy—it sounds so simple.  Is it?  I think so.  Why then is it so hard to accomplish?  Well, for one, I LOVE sugar:  chocolate chip cheesecake, cherry pie and ice cream, ginger cookies.  I have a very long list of desserts I adore.  White Death, my partner says.  I haven’t read that book.  And, when I get super busy, the first things to go are exercise and time for meditation.

So, I have to be vigilant, keeping my eye on the prize, so to speak:  great health. Some recent DVDs I have watched are Genetic RouletteEating, and Planeat.  What each of these films has in common is pure, clean food is the basis of health.  Food is the medicine we need.

I want to be healthy.

Check out the NuGenesis—Food as Medicine Farm website:  http://nugenesisfarm.org

Kathy Bero who started the farm is a cancer survivor and believes in “fighting disease through diet.”  Some of the top foods to eat are kale, collards, garlic, red onion, purple asparagus, red beets, leeks, blueberries, walnuts, almonds—ALL ORGANIC!  She believes in prevention, prevention, prevention.

My partner just picked some purple asparagus from our garden this morning.  It is beautiful.  This purple asparagus on a blue plate with rice, red chard and a yam.  Aesthetically pleasing as well as so tasty—and healthy!!

Shouldn’t it just be wrong for corporations to lobby Congress simply on the basis of profit—with little or no consideration for public health?  We know that corporate executives, lawyers and board members have been appointed to governmental departments, such as the FDA and the EPA as well as the Department of Agriculture.  When these corporate representatives finish their tenure for government, many return to their previous jobs, such as working for Monsanto. The revolving door. That just isn’t right.  This is not for the public’s benefit; this is for profit.

As a public we have the right to know what is in our food—if we want to make healthy choices.  We need to be educated truly in good nutrition—not what the meat, dairy, biotech, sugar industries, for example, would like us to believe as espoused in the old food pyramids—or new food pyramids for that matter.

I want to be healthy.

Therefore I do tons of research about food.  Do I have time to do this?  No, but, really, what is more important than one’s health?  Money?  Can’t eat it.  Well, that is not exactly true. I did hear on the news yesterday that a dog left in the front seat of car with 5 one hundred dollar bills, ate them.  That is an exception.

So, try a good kale stir fry in little organic olive oil with garlic.  (Be careful when frying foods because frying can release aldehydes.)  On second thought, let’s just eat that kale raw. Yep.

Pamela Spoto is an educator, poet, and lover of all living things.

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6 Responses

  1. Avatar Canda says:

    I enjoyed your article, Pamela. I recently purchased a Vitamix, and have been drinking 2 green smoothies a day, using various greens plus fruit. I wait about 40 minutes before eating some protein. Here's what I find amazing: I'm not craving sugar like I was before I started on green smoothies. A crisp carrot stick or piece of jicama feels like a sweet treat to me. We've got a freezer full of chocolate from grandson's Little League chocolate sales, and TCHO chocolate from our niece, plus there must be some Girl Scout thin mints hidden in there somewhere. In the past, that chocolate would talk to me-scream at me, until I would finally give in and eat just one, well ok, just a couple (or 3 or 4 pieces). Once I realized I couldn't fit into my jeans, I decided it was time to try another direction. Yes, I believe we should know exactly what's in the food we buy, but I now avoid anything in a bag or a box, purchase organic food as much as possible, and work out to my Leslie Sansone DVD's every day. Never felt better!

    • Avatar Pamela says:

      So, true, anything in a box or bag (processed) is best to avoid. I do have issues when I go into a grocery store: ALL those boxes and varieties and sugars and GMOs–so tempting!! "Walk on by. . ." as the old song goes. Thanks for writing, Canda.

  2. Jennifer Jewell Jennifer Jewell says:

    great article – great points. Thanks Pamela!

  3. Avatar D. Nethery says:

    Enjoyed your informative article. I too, have changed my eating habits. Survival instincts

    have kicked in, big time, since I have turned into an "elderly person." What an energy boost I get, when I drink one of my veggie smoothies!

    My 'NutriBullet" is by far, one of the best kitchen gadgets, I have bought over the years.

    Just found out that drinking 8 0z of beet juice a day, has been proven to reduce your blood pressure, up to 10 points.

    Also discovered that black strap molasses is full of vitamins….copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and selenium. Besides being so good for me, a small dash into a food, satisfies my sweet tooth.

    Still bought Girl Scout cookies. Just donate them to a food bank.

  4. Avatar Tamara Joy says:

    The father of medicine, Hippocrates stated this many years ago…

    "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food…" We forget the simple truths. Thank YOU for reminding us. Great article.

  5. Avatar Doug Bennett says:

    Thank you, Pamela for more words of wisdom. I have avoided GMOs for about 3 years now, and I fine that most of my arthritis and acid reflux have disappeared. The "White Death" still "has a hold on me", as the old song says, but I eat less and less of it. I am surprised that there aren't warnings of addiction on items with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Oops, that's right those government agencies don't work for us (the people) any more.

    Time for a healthy food revolution!