If you have a strain or injury to your knee, you’ll likely seek out physical therapy for a while. But eventually the therapy will be over and you’ll return to your normal activities.
Diet can also act as a therapy of its own.
Like physical therapy, nutritional therapy should have an end-date and a return back to a sustainable way of eating.
The problem is, some people try and prolong the therapy, call it a “lifestyle” and create all sorts of stress and internal pressure.
Today I’m sharing varying degrees of nutritional therapy, which styles in particular do well with an end date and which ones integrate nicely into your everyday style of eating…
Adding in Medicinal Foods:
Adding in medicinal foods is by far the simplest way to work with nutritional therapy. It requires little initial change to your current diet and encourages a little experimenting. For example, adding fresh ginger or turmeric to your cooking, eating fermented foods like yogurt or a raw kraut, eating wild blueberries, or making or buying fresh bone broth are all examples of ways to integrate medicine into your eating. Another easy way is the additional of fresh and dried herbs.
Unfortunately fasting (a la Intermittent Fasting) is gaining popularity as a weight loss strategy primarily (over a nutritional/body therapy). Fortunately we have people like Mark Mattson, professor of neuroscience at the John Hopkins School of Medicine, pointing to the benefits of fasting for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s while at the same time improving memory and mood. (Source) I am very careful with my clients who take an interest in intermittent fasting as a weight loss strategy alone (due to the pain of their on again off again diet patterns) and instead look to a reasonable eating window which allows the body time to rest and rejuvenate. Fasting when done in certain user-friendly ways, can feel more natural than trying to reduce caloric intake to 500 calories a couple days a week. (I’ll be teaching a bit more about this during an Ayurvedic workshop in March in Grand Rapids. Join me here.)
Specific Diets and Protocols:
Anything that falls under the category of a cleanse or detox, a therapy for a certain organ of the body whether with diet or the use of herbs (or both), or a protocol like an elimination diet, all are therapies that do very well to have an agreed upon end date as well as a plan for a smooth enough transition. Examples include ayurvedic cleanses and therapies, raw foods diets, even popular and trendy programs like the Whole 30.
If the call for some nutritional therapy resonates with you or you feel the feminine tug to re-align with seasonal wisdom and rhythms as the season shifts, the coming 8 weeks are a good time to consider committing to a little nutritional therapy, whether a short-term practice or for longer term shifts.
Until next time, take wonderful care…