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Introduction to Food as Medicine

In a world where the latest health trends seem to revolve around new supplements or the next revolutionary diet, a timeless concept is making a significant comeback: food as medicine. This idea, though ancient, feels refreshingly relevant in today’s fast-paced, often nutritionally disconnected society. It’s not merely about dieting or losing weight; it’s a holistic approach to wellness, emphasizing that what we eat significantly impacts our health and well-being. But why is "food as medicine" becoming such a buzzword now, and how does meal prep play into this healthful equation? Let’s dive into this delicious discussion.

What is Food as Medicine and Why Is It Such a Big Deal Now?

The concept of food as medicine is simple yet profound: the belief that the food you consume can do more than just provide energy. It can act as a preventative and, in some cases, as a healing agent for various health conditions. This isn’t a new fad or a marketing gimmick. It’s a principle deeply rooted in many cultures and medicinal practices throughout history, from the ancient Greeks to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda.

But why the resurgence? In an era dominated by quick fixes and a pharmaceutical approach to health, many are seeking more sustainable, natural ways to improve their well-being. The rise in chronic diseases, many of which are diet-related, has also steered the spotlight back onto our plates. With growing research supporting the link between diet and health outcomes, "food as medicine" is moving from the periphery of alternative wellness right into the mainstream conversation.

I think it’s fantastic that people are holding big name corporations accountable for the ultra-processed food that has been on the shelves of grocery stores for decades. I see more and more people speaking up and demanding that these corporations do better. What does “do better” look like? Perhaps we can dive into my perspective on that in the next post.

Implementing a Food as Medicine Lifestyle

Adopting a food as medicine lifestyle means making conscious choices about what you eat, with an emphasis on consuming whole, nutrient-rich foods that nourish and support our bodies. In my opinion this is a long-term play that has no instant gratification attached to it. But in my opinion, those things are the most rewarding. Here’s how you can start:

1. Educate Yourself: Understand which foods offer medicinal benefits, and which ingredients are extremely harmful. That Gatorade might get your electrolytes, but that blue food colouring - yikes. For instance, leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which support heart health, while berries are antioxidant powerhouses that can help reduce inflammation.

2. Listen to Your Body: Everyone’s body responds differently to foods. What works for one person may not work for another, and it’s worth taking some time to reflect on what this looks like for you. This approach is also not about restriction.

It’s about saying wow, I get to eat delicious nutrient dense food, not oh sad for me, I have to eat delicious nutrient dense food.

Paying attention to how your body reacts to different foods can help you tailor a diet that supports your personal health.

3. Incorporate Variety: While some people can get away with eating the same thing multiple times a week, others might not. Hence, the previous tip and listening to your body, others might need more variety in their ingredients and their meals throughout the week. Aim for a wide range of colors on your plate. It not only makes meals more appealing but ensures you’re getting a diverse array of nutrients. Each color represents different health benefits, so aim for a rainbow!

4. Think Holistic: Remember, food as medicine isn’t just about individual ingredients; it’s about your entire lifestyle. Again, this is not about restriction or punishment! Take small steps to your goal to ensure success. Incorporate things like regular physical activity, stress management, and good sleep because they play equally important roles.

Meal Prep: A Tool for Success

Meal prep, the practice of planning and preparing meals in advance, is a fantastic strategy to adopt a food as medicine lifestyle. Here’s why:

1. Ensures Nutrient-Diverse Meals: By planning ahead and using a meal prep service like Nutrimeals, you can ensure your meals are balanced and packed with a variety of nutrients. We didn’t name our business Nutrimeals for no reason. Think Nutritious Meals when you think of our name. We take the guesswork out of what your next meal will be and keep you on track with your health goals.

2. Saves Time and Reduces Stress: If you’ve made it this far in the blog, rock on to you. We just touched on stress management and it’s important to reflect on the stressors you experience and decide how you can automate some of your tasks. Knowing your meals are ready to go can significantly reduce mealtime stress and help you avoid the temptation of less healthy, convenience food options.

3. Portion Control: One of the great perks about either doing your own meal prep or using a Calgary meal prep service, is that the portion control is already dealt with. Stay with me though, we are not restricting or punishing with portion control. If you are swapping some ultra-processed ingredients for nutrient dense ones, of course this will take some time to adjust to, but you’ll be fueling your body with great ingredients instead of overeating on bad ones.

4. Customization: At Nutrimeals you can completely customize a meal plan based on your specific health needs, preferences, and goals. Check it out for yourself! Whether it’s incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods or managing dietary restrictions, having control over what goes into your meals is empowering.

Getting Started with Meal Prep

Starting with meal prep can be as simple as planning your meals for the week ahead and doing some basic chopping and cooking in advance. It could also mean you work with a Calgary meal prep company like us! Consider preparing versatile ingredients that can be mixed and matched throughout the week. Roasted vegetables, cooked grains, and lean proteins can be combined in different ways to keep meals interesting and nutritious.

Invest in some quality containers to keep your meals fresh and portable. And remember, variety is the spice of life! Try new recipes to keep your meal prep exciting and explore the wide world of nutritious, healing foods.

Wrapping Up

As we reconnect with the age-old wisdom of food as medicine, it's clear that our meals hold remarkable power over our health and well-being. This isn’t about dieting or deprivation but about celebrating food's natural, delicious, and nourishing bounty. With meal prep as your ally, embarking on this wholesome journey becomes not just feasible but truly enjoyable.

So, next time you sit down to meal plan or prep, remember that each ingredient is not just a part of your diet but a crucial component of your health toolkit. Here’s to health, happiness, and deliciously healing meals!

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