What the BLEEP to eat?!

Diet is by far the most complex discussion in today’s information-overloaded world. I’ve heard it all. And everyone seems to be the expert. It’s confusing as HECK to say the least. I’m tired thinking about it to be quite frank. But that doesn’t get us anywhere, so…

Where do we start? Who do we trust? Who is RIGHT?!

I don’t claim to have all of the answers in any respect, but what I do know is that I have dedicated copious amounts of time and energy (and experience!) into researching and understanding different diets from a physiological and disease projection standpoint. Evidence-based, concrete studies are my thing, but you know what else is? Experiencing and seeing change first hand. Proof’s in the pudding, as they say ๐Ÿ˜‰

We’ve heard it all. Keto, paleo, FODMAP, vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, plant-based, and on and on. Books, podcasts, documentaries – they all offer great insights into how the food industry operates and more significantly just how much it has changed in recent years, leading to various severities of health decline. Which is critical for us as consumers who have the RIGHT to know what we are eating. However, is it possible that TOO MUCH information is harmful? Does it create obsessions, restrictions and shame? Absolutely. And as I always say, the worst thing you can eat is …guilt. So it’s time to shift this food culture craze, guys!

How do we do this? Is there one way – THE way? Nope. Does it have to be complicated? Nope. Does it have to consume you? Nope. (And if it does, you’re not quite there). Here’s what I do know (my opinion based off of research and experience);) :

  1. Eat REAL food! Alive, fresh, homemade. Then you know what’s in it, simple as that. If you can buy more locally-sourced foods, even better. Shop around the periphery of the markets, avoiding all the boxed, processed junk in the middle aisles. (Easy, ’cause real food tastes better anyways, right?!)
  2. Eat as many fruits and vegetables (organic) as humanly possible! Literally. Can’t eat enough. New research is even treating diabetes – Type 1 and 2 with a fruit focused/plant based diet – see : www.masteringdiabetes.org – its fascinating. Fruit is alkalizing, anti-inflammatory and fuel for your body and brain, simply put. Ditch those pesticides – they’re cancer causing and I do see a future without them, but for now, we’ve got to play it safe. Check out the dirty dozen if you’re financially concerned, but a great tip is to soak produce in baking soda (a tsp or two in a large bowl of water) and rinse well. There are also great products out now to help rinse the pesticides, fumes etc off of our produce.
  3. If you choose to eat meat, eat pasture raised, organic. I do believe plant based diets hold great benefit for healing chronic illnesses, however as I said there is, in my opinion, not ONE diet for all.
  4. Avoid processed sugars and foods. They’re inflammatory. Swap your sugar for pure maple syrup or raw, unpasturized honey (avoid the processing of pasturized honey as it loses so many of it healing properties). White sugar, in my opinion, is as bad as smoking. Sorry ! (If you know me you know I have the biggest sweet tooth on the planet so I get this!!) – Am I perfect? Nope, not one bit. But I try o be conscious of this and get my sweets from more natural sources. (Are Brooksides considered real fruit? ๐Ÿ˜‰ – Ha! (you’ve gotta know me to get this one). Point is, we are all human.
  5. Ok this one sucks, but I do believe dairy and eggs are inflammatory. I’ve seen some pretty incredible healing with removal of these categories alone. This is a whole other post, but let’s just keep it brief and say the Canada Food Guide (which is normally a pretty terrible example of healthy eating but has come far!) has removed dairy. There are so many incredible alternatives to dairy now, this part actually isn’t hard. And if cheese is your thing, goat’s cheeses are easier to digest and less inflammatory than cows.
  6. GLUTEN… you knew it was coming ! ๐Ÿ˜‰ OK here’s my two second take on this guy who’s getting a bad rep these days! Do I think gluten is the main problem? No. I think the glyphosate (toxic pesticide residue in wheat processing) is the problem more than anything. We are reacting to gluten in ways we never have in history. And its RARE to see celiac or gluten intolerance in Europe. Why? Because their processing is so different. Their product is different. So, I do suggest people who are healing from illness avoid Gluten products during this time. Or, move to Spain. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Sidenote: organic sourdough bread is a great alternative as the fermentation process helps to eliminate a lot of the glyphosate residue and gluten load).
  7. Increase awareness of your current relationship with food. If it consumes you, there is more internal work to be done. Eating isn’t supposed to cause stress! I don’t care if you eat cucumbers only every day for a year, if you’re feeling deprived and obsessed, you’re no healthier than when you started. It is IMPERATIVE to have a healthy relationship with your diet. To use it as medicine to keep you healthy and vibrant and full of life, but also to FREE you. Not to constrain you. It’s a process, and it often causes us to face some hidden beliefs when we really take a hard, deep look at what we eat (and often what we react to). Food is literally the best thing on this planet (Ok, well a close second to love and family) ๐Ÿ˜‰ – but enjoy it! Don’t fear it. Find your way. Find what works for YOU.

This is kind of the tip of the iceberg on my thoughts around diet, but its a great start. Bottom line. Lots of options, but ultimately let’s just eat real food and feel good. K? xo

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What defines chronic illness and why is it so complex to treat?

One of the most common questions I am asked when people are inquiring about potential treatment is, “Do I fit into the category of being chronically ill?”

Chronic illness is a large umbrella term and accompanies a host of physical and mental/emotional components, so I have yet to turn anyone away. The healing process is similar regardless of what type and duration of illnesses people bring forward, however, the vital component is understanding the layered, multifaceted approach to treatment. An unraveling, of sorts. The key to healing illness – whether acute (short term symptoms) or chronic (long term symptoms) is redirecting the body back towards homeostasis (its original, natural state) in order to eradicate disease.

With that being said, it is certainly more complex treating chronic illness and often requires a more detailed and lengthy treatment approach. With chronic health issues we tend to see an intertwined presentation of symptomatology. Layers of disease are added as the body is living in a constant state of inflammation and weakened immunity (due to invading offenders – in whatever form that may be). This combination makes the patient more susceptible to diseases that they may have otherwise been able to avoid. As a result, I find that a lot of chronically ill people have a hard time even defining their most common or bothersome symptoms due to their interchangeability.

Simply stated, they just feel, “not quite right.”

The most common chronic conditions that I see in clinic are: Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Mold Toxicity, Post Concussion Syndrome, Parasitic Infections, Allergies, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Arthritis, Autoimmunity. The list goes on.

To make it simple – I focus on conditions that fit any or all of these categories:

  • Symptoms for a minimum of 6 months with little to no improvement. Most patients have had symptoms for an average of 5 years or more.
  • Symptoms that have labels but are not improved by their current treatment plan
  • Symptoms that have no formal label by medical professionals
  • Symptoms that seem to impede on a person’s quality of life
  • Symptoms that are only mildly improved by pharmaceuticals
  • Persons who wish to find the CAUSE of their ‘disease’, rather than bandaid with medications

Keep in mind that the body is always working to reach its natural state of functioning. It does not enjoy the symptoms you are experiencing. It is a constant battle to attempt to rid the body of invaders (bacteria, viral loads, neurotoxins, mycotoxins, parasitic infections, etc). The immune system is taxed. It’s attempting to fight for you at all times, with little to no success due to the inability of the body to rid disease once it is overloaded and burdened with toxicity.

It is easy to see how someone who is sick over a longer period of time is not only exhausted, but continues to get more sick as time goes on.

The cycle needs to be stopped. There comes a time when they body needs help. 
And that’s where I come in.

It’s your time to heal. 

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