Integrative nutrition is a type of approach that focuses on the whole person, is patient/team centered, and health/healing oriented. Here are the top 5 ingredients I use to help my clients understand, identify, and manage their conditions using food as medicine.
1. Listen to your body: By the time people come to me they have tried 50 thousand things they found on the internet and often times these don’t help them achieve their goals nor make them feel any happier. I try to be the acupuncture needle that presses on questions like, is what I am eating making me feel good? What am I doing to manage my stress? These questions must be answered before they start making changes in diet and lifestyle.
2. Journal symptoms and feelings in conjunction with your diet: When clients come to me with bloating and 10 other wellness conundrum, it can be very difficult to map out a roadmap. This is a signal that your gut is telling you that something is off. Journaling can help identify physiological implications such as imbalance of bacteria, food intolerances and sensitivities, or just telling us that we are eating too quickly or waiting too long to eat.
Journaling also makes us identify how is our relationship with food.
3. Assess your metabolic activity: I perform a quick assessment to get an idea of how your body has been using food as energy, to help formulate an appropriate plan. Studies show that metabolic activity can be altered through diet, hormonal changes, exercise, medications, and supplements.
4. Start with low sugar, not low carb: For gut health, having too much fructose can feed on the wrong bacteria. For diabetes, it can make you more insulin resistant. This is especially true of refined sugar because unlike sugar you get from fruit, it’s been shown to affect the way your gut works. And I absolutely do not recommend artificial sweeteners. Fake sugar is a chemical that has been strongly associated with gut imbalance and more sugar cravings.
5. Eat plants, lots of them! There is no doubt that all healthy diet patterns start with plant-based foods. Plants are vital for health and can be used for prevention or treatment of diseases.
I always encourage people to go herbal for healing many common things such as constipation or headache. Try eating some ginger or magnesium-rich foods before flooding your body with prescription drugs.
P.S. I am accepting patients online on a limited basis. For in person nutrition/diabetes counseling contact my office at Elmhurst Digestive and Liver Diseases located in Elmhurst, NY.