I’ve recently had an onslaught of clients with serious health conditions that need to be addressed with strict dietary changes. Never has the phrase “we are what we eat” been more true than in an age when chronic diseases and food allergies are becoming more the norm, than not. While heredity, environment, and lifestyle certainly play a role, my suspiscion is that our food production practices are a major underlying culprit.
Call me crazy, but this rise in chronic diseases does correlate with the when we started industrializing our food supply. The use of pesticides and GM seeds to grow our produce, livestock fed those grains and then injected with antibiotics and hormones to boot. On top of that, we force our bodies to digest all those chemicals and high concentrations of sodium and sugar in the processed food we’ve become so dependent upon. Is it any wonder we’re paying the price with our health?
Preventative measures are always preferable, so it’s just common sense to eat healthier (opting for organic vs. conventionally grown produce, choosing hormone and antibiotic free proteins, and eating whole foods vs. processed ones), but what do you do once you have a serious condition? How does one adjust and adapt to a dietary regimen specific to their illness, to control, and in some cases reverse, a serious health condition?
1). Medical supervision – Before I work with clients who have serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, various forms of cancer, Celiac, diverticulitis, Crohns, and many food allergies etc., I insist they seek medical advice. Chances are they’ve already seen and been diagnosed by a doctor, but I wouldn’t stop there. Doctors diagnose and prescribe medicine (which you may well need in addition to dietary changes), but they do not necessarily know nutrition. Find a good registered dietician or nutritionist for advice.
3). Educate yourself – Take responsibility for your own recovery and research which foods will help heal your condition, and which ones may harm it. Knowledge is power, and you’ll need all you can get.
2). Repeating the same behavior and expecting different results is the definition of insanity – I had a consult recently with a perspective client who had been diagnosed with diabetes, but feigned vegetables and insisted he wanted a plate full of pasta or beef with every meal. I felt like asking him how old he was? Stop eating like you’re still a 4 year old. Illness is your body telling you need to change what you are putting into it. You have to be willing to try new things, and accept change to be committed to your own health and well being.
3). Break old habits – Understand that breaking habits can be emotional and take time to overcome, especially when it comes to food. Food is often how love and rewards are communicated – perhaps you got all A’s on your report card, so dad treated you (and the family) to banana splits at Dairy Queen; or you were under the weather, so mom made you your favorite fried chicken dinner to cheer you up – there are strong, yet often subconscious ties to how, what, when, and why we eat. Addiction can also play into the equation, and if you are an addict, the addiction needs to be treated as well.
4). Adjust the “tude” – Successful people focus on the positive. Don’t just eat that kale because you’re suppose to, make a decision to enjoy it. Work towards developing your palate. Find recipes that might make those health inducing foods more appealing to you. Plus, if you’re sticking to your new regimen, you should be feeling the benefits fairly quickly, so let that be your focus instead of what you shouldn’t be eating.
5). Eat smart – Plan ahead, shop wisely, cook the majority of your meals at home, and always have healthier choices readily available to assist you in making these changes. Think you lack the skills and time for all that? Then it’s time to give the Personal Chef Approach a whirl. Members simply click on the recipes that match their needs, and a the grocery list (and heat to eat instructions) automatically generate. You make one quick trip to the store, cook all your meals at once. Dinner is on the table faster than you could go through the drive-thru the rest of the week, so no more excuses.
Have you ever had to control or treat a health issue through diet? What tips can you share with us?
Please watch the video below for more about how the Personal Chef Approach works. Then “like us” on Facebook and get your FREE 1 month trial when you click TRY THE PCA. Our goal is to help you to spend less time worrying about dinner, and more time enjoying it in good health with the people who matter most.