We sat down with our founder Dr. Jonathan Wiggins to discuss the impact mental outlook has on health, specifically weight loss. His unexpected answer clarified just how important the mind-body connection is. Trust us, you don’t want to skip over this.
I had a few mental breakthroughs a couple years back that changed the way I thought about food, eating and overall health.
The quote from Hippocrates, “let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine” popped in my head one morning as I was leaving Robeks, my favorite local smoothie shop. I created a custom smoothie with friend and owner Julie Chastain. It was packed full of vegetable juice and fresh ground fruit. As I drank it, I literally felt the nutritious goodness reviving my body. And then it hit me, “this is the way God intended every meal to be!”
Our food sources should provide us with energy, nutrition and chemical compounds that heal our bodies. It’s not easy living in modern society; we experience daily stressors in higher doses than ever before and our bodies need specific nutrients to combat this lifestyle. Unfortunately, we’ve adapted a convenience-based mentality that put nutritious foods on the back burner. As a result, more people are experiencing inflammation, imbalances and immune disorders. Our nation has succumbed to the idea that prescription medications are a part of ordinary life, when in fact, they’re not.
Most diseases are a direct reflection of our food consumption. And our health care system has created a symptom-based approach that fails to treat the root cause- poor diet and lifestyle choices. As a result, it is commonplace to medicate ourselves after we eat, because of the way we eat. Whether it’s heart disease, type II diabetes, joint inflammation, leaky gut, low energy or hormone imbalance (the list goes on), most of these diseases stem from a poor diet. However, changing the way we eat can cure most, if not all disease.
Fully grasping that idea, that food is medicine, changed my relationship with food. And it came full circle after listening to a presentation (for the third time). The presenter said, “We have one body, that’s it.” That’s when it really sunk in, food is the determining factor of the quality of life I live in this body. What I eat has the power to heal, restore and fuel or generate the opposite effect.
Think about a brand new, luxury racecar. To keep it in mint condition, it has to be fueled properly and requires a high-quality mixture. Well, you’re not going to stop at your average gas station and fill it with a few gallons of regular. That would cause all kinds of expensive problems and ultimately trash the car. Your body is much like the racecar. It also is a high-quality machine that requires high-quality fuel. Yet we’ll stop at the most convenient fast food joint we can find and throw whatever into the tank. Just like a car, we can’t expect our bodies to stay in mint condition if we’re giving it the wrong fuel.
Luckily, our bodies are far more intelligent than cars. Even when we ingest refined fats, salts, sugars and carbohydrates, somehow our bodies continue to grow and develop. They work overtime to keep up with our hazardous lifestyles, which leads us to believe that all is well. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. We begin experiencing a lower quality of life without even realizing that’s our body’s way of signaling to us, something’s wrong.
Imagine you’re given a set of directions written in a different language and no one can properly translate them, but nonetheless, you’re expected to arrive at the end destination on time. This would send most of us into a state of panic and frustration. Often times our bodies are trying to communicate with us, but we don’t understand its language, which leads to frustration, panic and overall discouragement.
Understanding the language our bodies’ use to communicate is crucial to the success of any health journey. Have you ever eaten a meal and felt lethargic afterwards? That’s your body’s way of telling you, “Hey, that’s not good for me, please don’t eat it!” Our bodies’ response to foods, tells a lot about what’s happening inside. If you experience lethargy, bloating, cramping, mental fog, headaches, regular sickness and muscle aches, your body is trying to tell you something. Those are not symptoms we should be living with day-to-day.
Once you understand your body’s language, eating becomes a whole lot easier. Your body will tell you what’s good and bad. No one has the same genetic makeup so there’s no “perfect diet.” Allow your body to be your doctor. It will tell you when something is wrong and signal you to make the right choices.
Ultimately, you have to decide to love the body you’ve been given. There’s not three more hanging in the closet. You’ve got one body that determines your quality of life. So allow your food to fuel and heal it. Your body is “fearfully and wonderfully made” if you simply change what you put into it, it will thrive exactly as it’s supposed to.
I have three thoughts I want to leave you with, that I hope will completely change the way you address food: One- you were created to be healthy. Two- any uncomfortable symptom you experience is your body’s way of communicating something is wrong. Three- no one is perfect; there will be moments when you eat something that isn’t nutritious, just make sure that’s the exception, not the day-to-day and don’t let it ruin your next meal choice.
Continue along our six part series as we discuss: how to determine what foods are toxic for your body, the best way to detox to ensure your body is sending the right signals, the importance of eating foods that nourish your body and your palate and what supplements are the right supplements.