The father of medicine, Hippocrates’ said:
let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food
and really, have there been wiser words spoken. A simple, grounded, real philosophy that not many could argue against. Yet, centuries later, we have removed ourselves so far from this statement that we have made ourselves sick. The modern day health epidemic is reveling. The food we eat is barely recognizable from its original state and has little, if any, nutritional value left. We eat empty calories daily and wonder why our bodies respond the way they do. Sure things like stress, lack of movement, sleeplessness, modern day pressures all play a part but our diets are the platform to true health. Nourishment starts at home, and nourishment starts within.
Changing the way I approached food was key to my body starting to heal. Educating myself about food was critical. I wasn’t someone who ate ‘poorly’. I didn’t drink coffee, I rarely visited a fast food outlet, I cooked at home. I thought I was doing well. You might say I typified the mainstream ‘healthy’ diet. Sure I partied hard, and could drink alcohol like a fish, but for the most part I had no idea that what I was putting in my body wasn’t doing me any favours.
Since my journey with food began, I have been vegan, raw, paleo, vegetarian, weaved Ayurvedic in (vata dosha – mmmm yes, the raw approach threw this dosha way out!) and whatever other label you’d like to throw at this but mostly I eat a wholefoods diet that is free of nasties and is dictated by an intuitive knowing while standing at the fridge. Loosely I would say I’m a vegetarian paleo with a love for all things Ayurveda but that is only when someone really needs an answer so that they can wrap their head around the fact that food exists that I can eat. I assure you there is food in truckloads.
Changing my diet hasn’t been easy by any means. Change is hard. Change is confronting. Change takes so much strength and bravery but change can also be magical. It can offer us a new view, a view full of knowledge and empowerment. Afterall, knowledge is power, and for most of us we have very little knowledge of what we’re actually putting into our bodies, or what our bodies actually need. If you’re looking to make dietary changes then congratulations, you have taken the first step and that’s the biggest step of all. Sure, there’ll be times that you may make a choice that doesn’t serve you as best as another choice would have. There’ll be a thousand times that you do this (I know it well) but that’s ok. We do the best we can and as long as we are actively trying to serve ourselves more often than not then our bodies will invariably serve us.
Throughout these pages you will find recipes that taste great while being free of:
- processed food
- refined sugar
- high fructose (at times you will see a little fruit that is higher in fructose but mostly I eat a low fructose diet)
- dairy (you may find goats dairy pop up now and then but never cows)
- refined oils
- night shade vegetables (I eat very little but they do crop up now and then)
- red meat (you can find a word on my approach to meat in general here)
- and probably other things I can’t think of right now!
Everything is interchangeable however. Something that you might not like, that I love, switch out. If your body does tolerate dairy then cook with organic butter over coconut oil. If you can’t go without your oats then make the porridge on oats rather than quinoa. This is a guide only. It is here to offer you tools for your situation.
Food is meant to be enjoyed. We should not feel like we’re missing out. Make the changes that you’re ready for. Approach things slowly. One food group at a time. Whatever feels right for you. If you throw everything out at once you may scare your body and, emotionally, you will feel deprived. That is not sustainable. This is not a diet, this is a lifestyle choice. And choices are our greatest gift.