Me: “Part of optimizing your body’s ability to heal is fueling it with the best food sources. How many servings of vegetables are you eating each day?”
Patient: “Oh, I know. You are what you eat, right?” (Said with a chuckle and many times with a little eye roll.)
Me: “That’s the truth. How about you write out what you eat for the next three days – two work days and one weekend day. Bring it back to me and we’ll analyze it to see what we can do to tweak your nutrition to maximize your health.”
Patient: “Alright. But just for the record, I eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day”.
Lately we’ve been asking our patients to write out a food log or enter everything they eat into an app so we can see what might be missing or needed to allow their body to heal and function at 100%. It seems we’ve forgotten that we need good quality food to fuel our daily actions and have gotten swept up into convenience and empty calories. I don’t think that’s news or a shocking revelation to any of us. Right? Unfortunately, our daily lives look at little more like this:
- 25% of our daily calories are being consumed in our car
- Only 9.5% of American children get the proper amount of fruits and vegetables daily
- We spend more money in restaurants than in grocery stores
It is just me, or do those stats seem a little crazy? Nutrition. Diet. Lifestyle. However you want to label it, what our body requires does not need to be rocket science.
Let’s say you just won your dream car – a brand new Ferrari. The guy who gives it to you says it take premium gasoline and only premium gasoline. When you fill it up the first time, you notice that the price of regular unleaded is much more feasible for your pocketbook. Are you going to put regular in it instead? No. Of course not. You wouldn’t even think twice about it, right? Why? Because it’s a performance car and you want it to keep running at top end which means spending more for the right fuel.
Well, I’ve got news for you. YOUR BODY IS MORE FINELY TUNED THAN A SPORTS CAR. I’m yelling at you because if you’re like many of the people I talk to every day, you have no clue how incredible your body is and what it is capable of. People think that aches and pains, regular headaches and debilitating migraines, low back pain and many other symptoms are “just a part of life”. We’ve fed our body the wrong type of fuel, likely for decades, and because of that, we’ve conditioned ourselves to expect very little from our body.
Let’s take a look at what proper fuel for your body looks like. If you would like to know how good you can feel, what you can accomplish with high levels of energy and how amazing you innate healing potential is, start following these recommendations.
- Cut out white sugar and white flour. Do it now. You’ll thank me later.
- Eat at least 5 servings of veggies every day. And only one (maybe two) servings of fruit (which, by the way, everyone who gives me their diet log, is completely underestimating their daily servings of vegetables and typically way over eating fruit)
- Drink more water (aim for half of your body weight in ounces each day)
- Eat healthy fats (avocado, olive, coconut – more on those in an upcoming blog)
Seem a little overwhelming? If you’re like a typical American, I can only assume that it is. If you are the type of person who is all or nothing – get to it. Otherwise, pick one of the above recommendations to master and add on from there. Whatever route you choose, don’t delay. Your health and future are on the line. Make good choices every day to fuel yourself in a healthy direction. One thing I know for sure, I’m looking forward to the days when I ask for a dietary log and what I get back needs no improvement.