Nutrition is a crucial component of a health transformation. The classic adage “You are what you eat” continues to hold true. The nutritional quality and density of food today is more important than ever. For anyone seeking to encourage the body’s own healing capacities, an honest and thorough evaluation of food choices is a mandatory endeavor. It is not possible to recover health without first having the nutritional foundation for the body to heal.
As simple as this concept is, too many individuals today are still imagining that health can be restored through some external means. Far too often this belief results in an invasive and potentially detrimental first approach. Individuals are looking to surgery and pharmaceutical options before looking in the mirror or in the refrigerator. Breaking out of the external solution paradigm is vital for healing. I try to discourage patients from coming to see me if they are hoping I have something that can “fix” their issue. There isn’t an herb, homeopathic remedy, or supplement that can magically undo the cumulative effects of poor dietary and lifestyle practices. There isn’t a pharmaceutical drug or surgical procedure that can undo it either.
This realization is the first step to the lifestyle and diet modifications that can restart the body’s own healing. Nutrition is vital for health, and every food consumed can help to move the body towards or away from health. This should not imply that food is the only or even most important factor for our healing journey. It is a piece of the much larger puzzle. Sticking with the puzzle analogy, the nutritional components are the corner pieces. The puzzle isn’t complete with the corners alone, although the corners help to define the perimeter and allow the whole picture to come into focus. The other puzzle pieces include exercise, hydration, adequate sleep, stress management, and in some instances supplementation.
When we look down onto the path of our potential health journey, the nutritional components mark the way. To begin to heal holistically, one must be willing to honestly evaluate the choices made up to that point and change the things that are not working. Our health progress is measured not only through the improvement of our symptom picture, but also with the gained control in our day to day life choices. The nutritional piece at first may seem daunting – “How can I possibly change the way I eat? I don’t have time to shop for or cook healthy food.” In practice, the nutritional piece becomes automatic as new habits are formed. And health practices are cumulative, one often leads to and supports another. Very quickly, the new becomes the norm and the health improvements reinforce more healthy practices.
There is no quick fix or easy solution to restoring health. The effort required to cultivate health is not automatic and the changes we seek aren’t instantaneous. The transformation begins with the self and once we accept this, the end result is always worth the efforts.