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Nature's Pharmacy

Posted: Wednesday August 6, 2008
By "Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food." Hippocrates Good nutrition is one of the most important factors in determining your health, vitality and longevity. Yet these days we are bombarded with so much information that it's hard to decipher fact from fiction. The truth of the matter is, it doesn't have to be that hard. Nature has already done the work for us and provides us with everything we need to be healthy. We need to learn how to choose the most nutritious foods, eat with the seasons and meet our individual needs. Of course there are lots of foods in the world and all of them contain some nutrients. But to get the most out of your food you want to focus on the ones that are the most nutrient dense. This means we want to choose foods with a higher number of nutrients versus calories. Think leafy green vegetables, vibrant colors of red, yellow, green and purple fruits and veggies...a colorful assortment of the rainbow will do you just fine. The nutrients in these foods cannot be manufactured by our bodies, therefore it is best to get them from whole, fresh produce. Fresh food provides us with the nutrients, fiber and enzymes that are essential for energy, proper elimination and the maintenance of our bodies tissues and cells. You know, all the things that make us look and feel better and help prevent disease. How do you do this you may ask? It's easy. You can find most of these foods at your local market, natural foods store or farmers market. It is best to look for the organically grown varieties. The produce that goes to large markets are often sprayed with pesticides that contain nitrogen, which causes the fruit or vegetable to absorb water, so it looks nice and plump, but lacks flavor. These foods are also often picked before they're ripe and shipped a long way, rather than vine- ripened and freshly picked just before they're sold. So feel and smell them first to assess their freshness or ask someone for assistance. I find the workers at the natural food stores and farmer's markets extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Secondly, to make the produce that you buy more affordable and better tasting, your best choice is to buy what is in season, particularly at your local farmers market. Lastly, we are all individuals and our needs vary greatly, especially as it relates to our body type, age, ethnicity and activity level. So what works for one person might not work for another. Recipe of the month: Visit Your Local Farmer's Market Check out where the closest farmers market is to you. m . Interior Garden's Prescription The irony of all this is that you can be a healthy person by eating all the right foods but still be unhealthy if you are not happy. While it is very important to eat well, it is also very important to take inventory of what is working and not working in your personal life. Because everything we participate in and absorb through our senses is food. We metabolize the experience of life through our relationships, careers, exercise, spirituality, finances, creativity, thoughts etc. So a good question to ask yourself is what am I am eating, and what's eating me? As a recovered anorexic and bulimic, I have first-hand experience of my personal life being completely out of balance and using food to assuage the pain. Besides having to relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food again, I had to clean up my personal life, what was not working, which created this imbalance. I found my greatest source of healing came from working on myself. As I cleaned up my life, I started to understand myself better. The more I understood myself, the more I accepted myself. And from that place of acceptance came a whole new level of self-love, peace and healing that catapulted me forward and from which all good things come! 1) Visit and stock up at your local farmer's market with summer's fresh and local produce 2) Keep hydrated with plenty of water 3) Add to that a healthy dose of exercise in the great outdoors 4) Wear sunscreen 5) Plan and accept times to socialize and connect with others 6) Be honest with yourself about what's not working. Refuse to practice self-delusion or to hope for the best 7) Visualize how you want things to be and take baby steps 8) Don't be afraid to get support or ask for help. No man is an island and we can't always do it ourselves 8) Find time to play and laugh until it hurts 9) Practice good self care: light a candle, get a massage, treat yourself to something nice 10) Open your heart and clear your mind 11) Find someone or something you can give your love to for a day, month, years or a lifetime Interior Gardens improves both physical and mental health. Call me to experience a complimentary health history. Amy Coughlin is a Certified Wellness Coach whose practice is designed to educate and empower individuals to take significant and preventative steps in their long-term health and wellness. Ultimately, her education, coupled with her expertise in corporate training and recruitment, has inspired her to coach individuals and corporate groups in wellness education programs. If you want to improve your food, mood, and life, call me to experience a complimentary health history. You will be glad you did! Article Source: