Saturday, June 1, 2019

Is It A Diet Or A Lifestyle Change?

The word diet seems to be thrown around in ways that most people cringe when they hear the word. Sadly most people choose to go on a diet, instead of change their lifestyle, in order to have better long term health.


The word diet, an English word from the 13th century, means the habit of taking food and drink on a regular basis. However the word diet that we know today is taken from the Greek word Diaita. It is a noun that means a way of living, and also has a more specific meaning, signifying a way of living as advised by a physician, which could include a food and other daily habits.

Today the word diet is associated with restrictionsdeprivation, and hardship. This is because most people see it as not having what they want or restricting themselves from what they think they should be able to have. This is why the term lifestyle change has come into play in recent years, as a way of educating people on the differences between a restriction of food for a small period of time and a way of life.

So today the word diet is used much too often. In truth a diet is something you do for a designated period of time to heal your body. For example, if you are on the verge of developing diabetes you will be placed on a diet for a certain about of time specific to lowering your blood sugar levels. After which, you will learn how to create a lifestyle by adding some things back into your diet that will not affect your pancreas in the same way. Or lets say you have IBS or some other gut related disorder or disease. In order to heal the gut (lining of the large intestine) you may be put on a LOW FODMAP diet by your doctor for up to 8 weeks. Once your have determined your gut is not longer flaring and has had ample time to heal (i.e. you may feel relief in the first week, but you need several more weeks for your gut lining to heal), then you will begin adding back in foods that are MODERATE or even HIGH in FODMAPs one at a time in order to determine if there is a food you should just completely avoid.

So once you have been on a diet you have found what works and what doesn't. That's the purpose of the diet in itself. However, a lifestyle change is so much more!

The idea of a lifestyle change can mean anything, not just the foods you eat. For example someone eats no animal products or byproducts is called a vegan. However there are many different types of vegans. Their are those who changed the food they eat to help their health and well being and the change stops there. However, down the road they eventually learn more about the vegan movement and stop making purchases that affect animals, is tested on animals, and so on.

Perhaps your doctor has prescribed you eat a mostly vegetarian diet with fish (pescatarian), but you never really thought about fish beyond the Friday fish fry at your local church. This can open the door for you to learn more about the sea, sea life, different types of edible food from the sea (including sea vegetables), as well as different types of fish and how to prepare them. Just this one thing can open your eyes and change your eating, and possibly recreational life (fishing anyone?!), for the unforeseeable future.

So you see, in today's reality there is a Middle Path. The idea of a food lifestyle change isn't just about changing the way you eat, it's about changing the way you see the things you eat. And every person is different, and every person needs something different.

The Middle Path is about looking at your entire body and seeing it for what it really is, connected. Every part of your body is connected, so it stands to reason that just because your gut might be bothering you doesn't mean you skin won't show a reaction as well. Or your brain (attention, fog), or joints (swelling/pain), ears (tone, pitch, itching, water), or even your eyes (vision, floaters, retina tearing). This is because your body is incredibly smart and will go to the areas of the body where it can show you obvious signs (skin) or where it has been damaged in the past.

Unfortunately, oftentimes we tend to brush aside all those signs, telling ourselves that it's really nothing.

It will go away, eventually...
I don't have the time for this...
I have to have my (insert your food/beverage addiction here) or I can't function...
Well my father had this problem, so I guess I will too...
Nothing you can do about it...

You get the idea. We brainwash ourselves into thinking that this is all how it's supposed to be, and that we just have grin and bear it. Sadly you would be mistaken, and it is my hope that you will be someone who breaks the chain of repeated behavior in your small corner of the world. We don't accept cruel behavior from others, even if your father was like that, so why are you accepting your own abusive behavior to your own body?

Ignorance?

Think again. For the world we live in is full of information and some of it's good and will head you in the right direction, if you would only look. If you would only listen to your  body, see the signs the universe keeps putting in front of you, and decide that you deserve to have a better way of living. Remember, changing your relationship with food is only one small step forward. I can guarantee you it will change many other aspects of your health and well being without your even trying to.

Hippocrates said let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. Implying that what we put in (or on) our bodies will either heal or harm us. Staying with natural sources to keep our body strong, stable, and healthy.

If you've never heard of him, or have and didn't know, he is the father of modern medicine; but not modern medicine as you might know of it today. Modern medicine as in the beginning of medicine (460-370 BCE) because in his books, (more than 70), he described in a scientific manner, many diseases and their treatment after detailed observation.

So while you may know you need to change your lifestyle, will you?

And there in lies the problem. If you can't be bothered, or just don't care enough about life itself to make yours more livable, then you have to have a huge problem. Now your body will deteriorate further and eventually knock you down and put you in the hospital or have you almost die, before you decide to change your ways. And then again, you might not...

As for me, I will be here in my little corner of the world waiting to help you when you are ready.

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About This Site

My work fluctuates between human and animal, discerning the best means of healing for each. I use my medical intuitive gifts for both, my naturopathic knowledge for humans, my ability to communicate with and lay hands on animals, and all so both can live harmoniously together with great health and well being. The articles on this site are for reference only. Please consult your physician, mental health professional, or veterinarian before making any changes to you or your pets wellness routine.

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Information shared on this site is not intended for use without first consulting your personal physician, mental health professional, or veterinarian. In shamanic cultures naturopathic means are used first because patients are taught to be in tune with their own body's needs from childhood. If you are on conventional medicine, be sure to learn about the side effects that they can create when adding naturopathic herbs to your wellness program, before adding them to your routine.