Culinary Medicine © norikko – stock.adobe.com
One of our local news stations holds an annual health fair this time of year. During their morning broadcast, they dropped the term “Culinary Medicine.” I’ll confess, I hadn’t heard the phrase. As a Celiac on a strict gluten-free diet, I was intrigued. There is no cure for Celiac Sprue or gluten intolerance. My diet is used to counteract the symptoms of the disease as well as reduce my risk of developing certain types of cancer.
So, is western medicine moving away from a “pop this pill” philosophy and embracing a holistic approach? Answer: It depends on the doctor.
What is Culinary Medicine?
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and I am no expert in Culinary Medicine either. However, I am living proof of how a healthy diet can improve your energy, reduce illness and help with depression.
The healthcare industry, to combat rising obesity rates, is increasing its efforts to counsel patients on nutrition. Nutritious cooking to reduce illness is at the forefront.
Food as medicine? It makes sense if we remember the saying, “you are what you eat.”
How Choosing the Right Food Can Help in Stress Management
The perfect berry! © pilipphoto – stock.adobe.com
- Green Leafy Vegetables – Eat your spinach, because Popeye was right. Green leafy veggies produce dopamine – the feel-good chemical. They help to encourage calm and good moods
- Oatmeal – This hearty breakfast food is good for you on several levels. It will help to manage your stress by keeping your blood sugar level stable
- Yogurt – Take it from someone with food allergies. When your gut is sick, then your brain doesn’t work well either. We’ve seen the commercials about probiotics. Yogurt is a great way to increase these chemicals and calm brain functions which handle our emotions
- Salmon – Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatories which assist in reducing harmful stress hormones. Salmon isn’t as “fishy” as other fish. It doesn’t have to be in fancy dishes. Try it in tacos for a yummy new take on an old favorite
- Blueberries – “Calling Dr. Blueberry!” I eat these perfect little berries every day. They boost my mood and make me smile.
Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.
Worrying is a waste of your precious time
© pathdoc – Stock.adobe.com
I woke up at 2:30 in the morning with an email from my client stuck in my brain. The document I’d sent them was acting strangely. It was, for all intents and purposes, unusable. Confusion. Panic. Worry. They hit me like a bucket of ice water to the face. I couldn’t get back to sleep. What had happened to the document? Should I get out of bed and go into my office to fix it?
Life and Work Balance is vital for our health and happiness. Our society, however, is a demanding machine that never sleeps. We, as individuals, must schedule our personal time and stick with it. I broke this rule when I finally caved to my worry and worked Sunday morning (my prescheduled day off) to fix the problem. Lack of sleep, residual tension and no personal time left me feeling worn out. Did the client need my document on Sunday? No. They were content to wait until Monday morning. All my angst was a waste of time.
Avoid Worry with Healthy Choices:
Unplug from the Daily Grind– I had no business checking my email right before bedtime. Stop viewing work emails, texts, and social media at a set time each evening. A peaceful night’s sleep is essential. I need it and so do you. The work will be waiting in the morning
Set boundaries for your well-being– Stick to your personal plans. Don’t cancel fun activities with your friends, because you’re stressing over a work task. It’s tough when you run a business or are held accountable for a project. I get it. However, if you work too many weekends, your employer will come to expect it from you regularly. Then goodbye personal life!
Take care of YOU first! Approach the work or problem after you’ve rested and refreshed your mind. You’ll find the solution comes to you much faster.
Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.
Stress Awareness Month © Kaspars Grinvalds – stock.adobe.com
April is Stress Awareness Month (not that we need a reminder). Life can become overwhelming at times. We all feel the pressures from negative sources in our society. They are persistently vying for our attention, our emotion, our outrage, and our money. We, however, make the choice to listen or to ignore these messages.
Our brain is an amazing processor of information. It takes audio, visual and sensational (touch) data, figures out what it means to us and then transmits instructions to our body. Stress can induce our “fight or flight” reaction. We grow tense. Our adrenalin spikes as does our heart rate. This is perfect if you’re running from a charging bull. Staying stressed out for long periods, however, can do serious damage to your body.
Stress Triggers You Can Change
- Fear of Failure
- Fear of Being Judged
- Fear of Being Rejected
You’ll notice “FEAR” is in all three of the triggers. Hmmm. And aren’t they really all the same thing? Let me give you some advice about dealing with these triggers. Know that everybody fails. It’s how we learn. If you’re worried about people laughing at you for failing, then understand those people aren’t worth having in your life. Seek out people you will lift you up rather than tear you down. Remember: You had the courage to try!
Topsy-turvy Nonsense You Can’t Control
- Natural Disasters
- OTHER PEOPLE
I think the most profound advice I’ve ever been given was “Live your life.” Nobody can really control any of these stress triggers. Worrying about them is counterproductive. Focus on what makes you happy, because we are all headed to the grave. I’d prefer to go after having enjoyed a full life being who I am and doing what I want.
Manage stress to stay healthy. © Romolo Tavani – stock.adobe.com
Five Daily Practices to Reduce Your Stress
- Meditation – I know I harp on this quite a bit in my posts. Sitting in a quiet place and taking a few minutes to just breathe does help. Take it a bit further by letting your mind explore what lays beyond the space of your body. You will begin to understand your problems are merely a temporary blip in a grander Universal scheme
- Exercise – Sometimes, you’ve just gotta sweat it out. Daily exercise can boost your mood, give you more energy and help you to sleep better. Speaking of which…
- Get More Sleep – Your body and your mind need a good night’s sleep. Worrying about what’s happening during your waking hours leads to insomnia. Insomnia leads to more stress. It’s a nasty cycle you must break. Try taking a hot bath before bed to relax
- Aromatherapy – Your nose knows best. Healing herbs have been used for centuries to treat illness and “dis-ease.” Nature is the best healer and provides hundreds of plant-based solutions to our body’s health problems. Lavender, for instance, is very calming. I sprinkle a few drops of Lavender oil under my pillow or put it on my wrists each night before bed. It knocks me right out. I also grow a big barrel of it beside my front door to instill a sense of peace as visitors enter my home.
- Take Care of Your Temple – Software developers have a saying, “Garbage in, garbage out” meaning put junk food in your body and get lousy performance. Next time you eat a greasy hamburger, observe how it makes you feel. Maybe you’re satisfied at first, but don’t you feel a bit heavy a few hours later? Try a healthy meal of grilled fish and steamed veggies. I’ll be honest. It isn’t going to give you the same temporary rush, but it will make you feel lighter and more energetic throughout the day
Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.