Today marks the two-year anniversary of my mother passing away. I thought it would be a fitting day to share this video, which talks a little bit about my own health journey, which began three years ago.
Most people associate sugar and processed foods with the current obesity epidemic, but I was shocked when I discovered that these inflammatory foods are at the root of all chronic illness. Thankfully I was able to change my diet to address the chronic inflammation I had been experiencing for years, but it was too late for my mom. I wish I had known what I know now when they were developing a treatment plan for her, but instead we let her eat whatever she wanted, usually choosing the cookies and sugar laden drinks that fed the same cancer cells we were attempting to treat with conventional medicine.
Recent studies on the microbiome have proved a connection between the food we eat and many chronic illnesses, including:
- autoimmune conditions
- heart disease
- and many more!
Unfortunately, it is easier to live in ignorant bliss about our choices and the long-term effects they have on our bodies. We would rather wait until we receive a diagnosis, blame our genetics or fate, and then take a pill in an attempt to “cure” or manage the disease we could have avoided all along. I lived with that mindset for a long time. I didn’t associate my symptoms with my diet at all, but I am so thankful I have seen the light, and I no longer need to play the victim. I am in charge of my health!
The best way to nourish the micro biome and reduce the risk of current or future health conditions is to eat fresh, local, organic foods. I love the Inland Northwest Food Network because they connect people to their food and to the farmers who work hard to grow it in a respectable way. They teach the lost arts of cooking and traditional food preparation techniques. They bring people together around the table, regardless of what brought them there—sometimes it is for environmental reasons, sometimes it’s because they love good food (and really, who doesn’t love good food?!) and sometimes it is people like me, who are working to better their health.
I am very thankful that my eyes were opened to the importance of making healthy daily choices before it was too late. Unfortunately my mom was not so lucky, but that loss has only instilled more of a passion in me to educate others and raise my own children on nourishing foods. I guess you could say it’s my own little tribute to my dear mama.
I’d love it if you joined me in this tribute. Here are some ideas for you to consider:
- Read a book on the correlation of diet and health. This is a great reading list, or I could give you a recommendation.
- Keep a food diary for a few weeks, noting which foods you eat and any health issues you experience. You will likely start to see patterns and correlations you’ve never noticed before.
- Make a commitment to reduce the amount of processed foods you eat.
- Invite your children into the kitchen with you. They will be more likely to eat the healthy foods if they are helping to prepare them.
- Give up soda and other sugary drinks. The artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas are even worse for you, so it is best to cut these out entirely. La Croix is a nice alternative for those still craving a sweet, bubbly drink.
- Switch from margarine and vegetable oils to real butter and olive or coconut oil.
- Try a sugar detox- my friend Emily has some great resources on her blog!
- Check out my 31 Day Introduction to Real Food series and Pinterest board.
- Ask me to help you develop a dietary plan to address specific issues. I love doing this!
- Join me for the January Whole30!
- Become a member of the INWFN and join us for an event in 2017, or consider a donation to help further this important work in the new year!
Let me know which step you decide to take. It can seem overwhelming at first, but baby steps make it very manageable!