Today, I look into my fridge instead when I need a health boost, I go to the supermarket if I need additional nutrients (not the pharmacy), and if I’m lucky- I chance by a local, organic or farmers market for some “life medicine”.
Of course I have nothing against supplements or vitamins, we always have ample homeopathic remedies in the house. These are for times when we forget to eat healthy, when flu season comes along, or when we don’t get enough sleep (due to work, sickness or stress). Medicine is for times we’ve failed our bodies miserably, when we really have been negligent in how we eat, move and live, and we certainly pay the price for it and appreciate the immediate healing (for us its paracetamol for migraines, antihistamines and cortisone for allergy breakouts, decongestants for flus and colds, the list goes on). Of course for illnesses more serious/complicated, we go to specialists and professionals, and medicinal needs vary from person to person.
However none of the above, no matter how fast working, are long term solutions for our wider health. These are symptoms and ways our body is telling us that something is out of balance, and a wider problem needs to be addressed. In Holland we take vitamin D daily, as expats from tropical countries this is even more important as our system needs support to deal with the lower dose of daily sunshine. Side effects of low vitamin D include:
- low immunity
- back and bone pain
- slow wound healing
- hair loss
- muscle pain
This is just an example of looking at small symptoms in a holistic way, when you add up all your symptoms sometimes the geographic proximity and correlation of how your body is responding can ring a bell in your mind. Imagine, all of that was solved by daily stepping into the sun for 10 minutes during midday (on sunny days) or taking a vitamin D supplement!
Who knows better than you what you want to eat? There is a reason it’s you, and it’s because your cravings are from your own bio-individuality: what you are, where you come from, how you feel, where you live, what the weather is like, the list is endless but it is simply all about “YOU”. The idea of preventative health in Integrative Nutrition is learning to listen to yourself, teaching us not what to think, but how to think. Inherently, I believe everyone knows when they are eating and drinking things that are good for them (as they make us feel good), and when they are clearly not (let’s not talk about hangovers, indigestion and bloating).
So, why do we sometimes still feed bad even when we are trying our hardest to eat and drink all the rights things? Because feeding ourselves is not limited to just food and drink, it’s also about feeding our lives.
From relationships and activities, to careers and spirituality: we forget sometimes we can nourish our inner being just as we nourish our physical beings.