“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ~Hippocrates
What is Food Therapy?
is the process of using food as medicine to contribute to a patient’s health and wellness. At Gainesville Holistic Healthcare, we believe that food can either make us healthy or it can make us sick, depending on what we are eating. As part of our food treatment strategy
, each patient is given a food evaluation and prescribed specific foods that will be helpful for treating his or her particular diagnosis and maximizing his or her overall wellness. We also offer prescribed diets for weight loss
, candida and fungal elimination, inflammation, digestive disorders
, and anxiety and depression
Making huge changes to your diet can seem daunting and difficult. It is best to start slowly and add new foods as replacements for the foods you are eliminating. We understand that food is often linked to many emotional factors and we will help you change not only your eating habits, but the thoughts that go along with the way you eat. Once you begin to see food as medicine and as nourishment rather than as comfort, distraction, or reward, you will experience increased health and wellness. We are here to support an overall transformation in the way you relate to food.
One big shift we can all make is to move away from the idea that food should be fast, cheap, and easy. It shouldn’t be those things at all. In our convenience-driven culture, we’ve moved away from what is important, like slow-cooked, nutritious meals, prepared with love in our own kitchens with wholesome ingredients. When we eat, we’re not only feeding ourselves the nutritional value of the foods, we’re also ingesting the energy that went into the meal preparation. This is one reason why choosing humanely raised animal products is so important. When we eat meat from animals that have been kept in torturous conditions, we are literally taking in the stress hormones that were circulating in these animals’ bodies with every bite.
Similarly, when we eat packaged, processed foods, we are taking in preservatives and chemicals that have been proven to be harmful to our bodies. One of the greatest acts of self-love and love for others is to prepare, eat, and share high quality, nutritious foods. This sends a strong message to our bodies that we value ourselves enough to eat foods that nourish us rather than foods that hurt us. This is a powerful statement to make to ourselves and one that very directly leads to increased health and wellness.
There are a number of documentaries that explore the food industry, many of which are available on Netflix. Our favorite is Michael Pollen’s four-part Netflix series called “Cooked.”
While food therapy is a customized process, there are some general questions that we frequently encounter.
We recommend drinking to your level of thirst. However, in some instances the thirst response isn’t functioning optimally and isn’t a reliable indicator. In these cases, we recommend drinking at least 2 liters of water daily. Remember that fruits such as watermelon and cucumber are also excellent sources of hydration!
Yes, you should be concerned. We strongly recommend against microwaving food. There is enough evidence to support the position that the risks of microwaved food far outweigh the convenience. For more information, please refer to this article about the ban of microwaves in Russia
No, it really isn’t. Fast food is linked to increased risk of cancer, heart disease, and other serious illness. At a minimum, fast food wrecks havoc on your digestive system and causes constipation, bloating, and gas. It isn’t that hamburgers are bad for you; it’s the poor quality of the beef fast food restaurants serve. There is nothing wrong with a nice grass-fed burger – try buffalo for extra goodness!
For most patients, we do not recommend a vegetarian diet. The human body needs animal fats and protein to function optimally. It is very important, however, that animal products are antibiotic and hormone free, grass fed, and pasture raised.
Yes, absolutely. Organically produced foods do not have pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified ingredients, all of which have been linked to disease.
Read the label. If it is more than 5 ingredients long or has words you can’t pronounce, put it back on the shelf.
We recommend Amy’s canned soups and frozen foods, Applegate Farms lunchmeat, sausage, and bacon, and Stonyfield Farms dairy products. For grocery shopping, we like Earth Fare, Earth Origins, and Ward’s Supermarket. And don’t forget our fabulous local farmer’s markets!
For most patients, we strongly recommend against a raw food diet. Raw foods are harder to break down and extract nutrients from and can significantly weaken the digestive system. We advise our patients to focus more on soups and steamed veggies and less on salads.
Juicing can be beneficial for many people. Because the vegetables are juiced, the nutrients are more readily available and therefore not as taxing on the digestive system.
Yes, it is. Sugar produces inflammation in the body, which can lead to a whole host of disease processes and painful conditions. Sugar is also the food of choice for candida, which can quickly overgrow in the body and contribute to a number of health problems. Diabetes and weight gain are of course two more reasons to watch your sugar intake. At Gainesville Holistic Healthcare, we have a 6-week plan to help you kick the sugar habit!
Olive oil is best for use without heat – salads, dips, etc. Coconut oil is best for cooking (try the refined version, which does not have any coconut smell or flavor). As always, be sure it’s organic!
Yes! “Cage-free” is a marketing term that means almost nothing at all. The chickens are still kept locked inside dark overheated buildings in crowded conditions that contribute to disease. Pasture raised eggs come from chickens that are allowed to roam freely about sunlit areas outside. The best eggs are ones that come from backyard chickens! These are available at the farmer’s market or perhaps one of your neighbors!