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You Are What You Eat

When I was growing up, my mom asked me to make a poster about nutrition and its importance for your good health. With the number of people that are overweight increasing dramatically, the first thing to look at is diet and nutrition. "Diet" is a bad term because it signifies something that is done for a short time period. I like to use the term "lifestyle-change" for any changes in nutrition (the same goes for changes in exercise, supplementation and stress management too). By embracing a long-term commitment to your health, you will be able to sustain it over time, and thus create a solid foundation for wellness. Here are a few things to remember: 1. Drink water- Your body is primarily comprised of water and your cells function efficiently when they are well-hydrated. Add a sprinkle of lemon or lime to alkalize the water once it enters your system to give extra disease-prevention. You can easily monitor your state of hydration by paying attention to the color of your urine (bright yellow means it's time to drink more water!). If you don't urinate regularly throughout the day, this also means that you are not drinking enough. My top choice for water is a “reverse osmosis machine” and requires a unit to be installed in your house. All toxins are removed with this modality including heavy metals and pesticides. 2. Reduce/Eliminate white flour and processed foods- This, unfortunately, is the staple of the "Standard American Diet" and we are causing our own health problems by relying on this. There is minimal nutritional value in white flour. To make matters worse, inside our body, this is converted directly into fat and raises blood sugar. Foods to avoid include white, whole wheat bread and other “white foods” like pasta, white rice, white potatoes and most pastries. Instead, try to substitute “sprouted” bread at home and if you are out, look to get rye, pumpernickel or sourdough. Go for sweet potatoes over standard white potatoes due to their higher fiber content. Use veggie-based pasta as well. 3. Let protein be the centerpiece of your plate- Lean animal protein (grass-fed beef, white meat chicken, cage-free eggs, wild-caught fish) or plant-based protein (organic sprouts, beans, lentils, organic soy/tofu, nuts and seeds) will feed your brain and muscles and allow optimum body function. Try to incorporate non-animal protein often for optimum health and to slow down and potentially reverse heart disease. 4. Increase servings of fruits and vegetables- Fill your plate with veggies! Be careful of your quantity of fruit due to its high sugar content. Getting a blender or juicer is an easy way to have more daily servings. Remember that certain fruits and vegetables should be organic to reduce pesticide intake (refer to the "Dirty Dozen" list on ""). 5. Consider natural skin-care products- Pay attention to the ingredients in your soap, shampoo and skin lotions. These products get absorbed into your body and then become part of your body chemistry. It only takes one month for your skin surface to replenish itself, so getting natural or organic skin products into your regimen can pay quick dividends for your health. A simple one to start with is to use coconut oil as a skin moisturizer. In conclusion, the food that you eat becomes incorporated into you. Pay attention to food labels, try to stay away from preservatives and chemicals by eating organic and start to reap immediate health rewards. Climb aboard the “Wellness Wagon” and remember to "Start With Your Feet". Walk Strong…with orthotics, Doc Rick DPM


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