Food Matters: Revisiting Foundational Topics

Food matters

Food Matters : How I Eat to Live, Rather than Live to Eat


By no means am I a Doctor. I advise you to take what I say here with a grain of salt: mineral rich salt that is. Health is literally my full time hobby and paramount to my quality of life.

I am personally extremely dedicated to consuming the best food, the best nutrients, and the best fuel I can acquire to feed my body, mind and friendly bacteria.

Doing so, supports me in a high level of physical performance, abundant daily energy levels and what I intend to be a lifetime practice of preventative medicine.

I have removed numerous net-negative substances from my food protocol. Sugar, flour, trans-fats, and iodized salts to name the most important.

Yes, I consider food to be medicine.

In my personal opinion, food is the most relevant health factor that we all need to consider.

If something that I eat is not fuel for my body, then I first question my Self as to why I am eating it; and second I question if this reason is a good enough reason for me to continue eating it. Most of the time this self-questioning results in my removing non-fuel, non-medicinal foods, out of my food protocol.

A few facts about who I am physically:

  • I just received the highest health score possible through my life insurance policy.

  • My recent blood test results look like a teenager’s blood.

  • I am approaching my forties.

  • I am a mother of a, now, toddler. (Now, nearly five year old.)

  • I am a sport rock climber.

  • I cross train with high intensity work outs.

  • I am 5′ 9 3/4″ and 137lbs or 177cm and 62kg.

  • I live medication free for nearly two decades.
  • I am a snow board instructor.

Some of my physical history:

  • I was born with an autoimmune disease.

  • I have lived with depression and anxiety. I now know how to prevent and self-manage.

  • I have many food allergies, less now than previously.

  • I had severe eczema and asthma as a kid. I no longer have either!

  • My extended family has a few of the common modern day diseases requiring pacemakers; dementia is also present in my family.

Med School?

I originally went to university at the age of eighteen to study nutrition. After only a few weeks of classes, I understood that I completely disagreed with what my nutrition degree would teach me. The first disagreement I had was with the food guide pyramid. If I had known, at that time, about Naturopathic Medicine, then I probably would have gone that route. (Instead, I earned a degree in Graphic Design.)

Unfortunately, western doctors have not been taught how to address diet. Today, research is showing that most of our modern-day disease is diet-related. Preventative medicine, food as medicine and lifestyle medicine will become the future’s medicine.

I’m just ahead of the mainstream.

Health Became My Full Time Hobby:

I have come to see science as an ever-evolving set of theories and facts. Much of the practices that I manage my health with today were far-out ideas two decades ago and only recently science is coming out with evidence into much of what I have personally experimented with and found works for me.

Unfortunately, much of what I have found to be the basics of healthy food and a healthy lifestyle has little to no funding for research. The large industrial companies of our country fund most of the food and health research. Food-based medicine is tricky to get funding for because big companies do not fund this type of research and often fund counter research.

Medicine is a business in the USA. Not a public service.


There is only emerging science to back most of my healthy habits. Much of the information I studied for my health concepts come from Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. These traditional medicines are extraordinary avenues that I recommend to anyone wanting to truly heal their ailments and diseases.

As I look around at my country, eating the way that we are told to eat by the government, I see a mass health crisis.

Food can heal most of today’s diseases, not pills.


Strangers whom I meet in the elevator or on airplanes or in random places brave the question to me…

  • “How do you do it?”

  • “How do you stay so skinny?”

  • “Why do you look so healthy?”

  • …”Especially after having a kid?”

The truth is that I have lost fifty pounds three times in my life, once after having my baby. When I share this with strangers they only want to know more.

I do not have any super genes that keep me thin.

What I do have is a way of living, I have a food lifestyle that keeps my hormones, my weight, and my energy levels balanced.



My Food Lifestyle in a Nutshell

My ‘Yes’ Foods

  • I focus the majority of my food portions to vegetables. (All the colors, in season, roasted, steamed and cooked in healthy fats.)

  • I eat one meal a day with a majority of greens (arugula, kale, collards or spinach).

  • I eat a lot of fat. (Coconut oil, ghee, grass-fed butter, avocado oil, olive oil, organic animal fats, etc.).

  • I eat some fresh fruits and some dried fruits. (I aim for local and in season).

  • I occasionally eat organic cheeses. (I really enjoy goat and sheep cheese, un-pasteurized).

  • I occasionally eat whole grains like rice or quinoa.

  • I eat sea salt, mountain salt, and river salt.

  • I eat meat protein a couple of times a week, organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised, antibiotic and hormone-free.

  • I often eat eggs. (When I can find organic eggs).

  • I eat nuts and seeds. I buy raw and often organic. If I want them roasted then I roast them myself.

My ‘No’ Foods

  • I mostly avoid all foods with flour. (Flour is a concentrated food that our body does not know how to process, it raises insulin and causes weight gain).

  • I mostly avoid dairy. (Occasionally, I will have a little dairy if it is organic).

  • I avoid trans-fats like the plague. (Canola oil, hydrogenated oils, vegetable oil, margarine, etc. These oils are toxic and harmful to our bodies.)

  • I avoid iodized or table salt like the plague. (We need mineral rich salts for the cells in our bodies to function properly. Iodized salts require pulling minerals from our body in order to digest it).

  • I completely avoid sugar. (Sugar is highly addictive and has no health benefits. Sugar feeds everything bad in our body from cancer to yeasts, to infections as well as completely messes with our hormones such as insulin).

Cultural and Emotional Beliefs regarding Food.

Many people look at my food lifestyle and imagine that I am deprived of the pleasures of food.

I look around and imagine the physical, mental and emotional suffering that people endure when they eat foods that cause disease, hormone imbalances and addictive emotional sugar rollercoasters. (I know because I have been there.)


It is true that to make a change towards a food lifestyle like mine there is an uncomfortable withdrawal period from sugars and a pretty big shift in lifestyle food and social habits.

The most challenging shifts I went though included social events and family gatherings.

We all have belief systems around food, whether we are aware of them or not.

I questioned my belief systems and then decided on which ones I wanted to live by.

  • My dad always said, “Eat to live, do not live to eat.” I have come to adopt this as a way of life for myself.

  • I also believe that food is meant to serve our body as fuel.

  • I approach food as medicine and decided two decades ago to have a practically limitless budget when it comes to high-quality organic food. (My man and I have decided to forgo spending money on alcohol and restaurants to offset our food costs.) I see this as a long term investment in my health and long term quality of life.

Cultural ‘Food’ Belief Systems

As I looked at belief systems, I had to look at some of our collective belief systems.

  • We have come to believe that indulging in food is one of the main pleasures of life.

  • We collectively have bought into the idea that we ‘deserve’ sugar or alcohol or whatever your ‘treat’ of choice is.

  • We think that feeling deprived of a pleasure food is a negative thing.

  • We, as good consumers, value quantity over quality.

  • We believe the doctor when they say that pills will help our poor food habits.

What is the big deal about organic vs non-organic?

Twenty years ago, during my freshman year of university, I did a series of speeches on organic. What I learned while researching for these speeches shaped my food future.

Here is my reasoning for forking over the extra bucks for organic.

Animal Products: Meat and Dairy

Factory farmed animals are relatively low on the healthy scale. Animals being raised for food in industrialized environments are not living their natural lives. They don’t eat their normal diet, instead, they are fed specific foods to fatten them up, they are crowded and do not have room to move or ‘exercise’ and because of these factors, they are given medications and antibiotics to keep from getting ‘sick’.

When we eat animals and animal products we are also consuming what they consumed: the trace amounts of the medications and metro chemicals, the unhealthy fattening grain molecules, and their general low health physical bodies.


The difference

Organic, grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free animals; not only do these animals have a higher quality of life because they are in pastures and ‘free-range’ but their health is relatively much higher. They are comparatively smaller because they are eating closer to their natural diet (not pumped full of grains), and they need little to no medications because they are healthy.

On top of that their body actually contains more nutrients.

I eat organic animal products because they are less toxic and more nutritious for my body (…and for the planet, but that is a whole other conversation).


I also eat animal products less frequently than the average American, a few times a week is plenty..

The environment where animals are raised matters to each of our health.


Fats and Oils

I eat a lot of fats and oils.

One of the biggest shifts I see in people I coach is regarding fats. We need to eat a lot of them; the trick is the right kind.


Our brains need oil and fat.

The cellular, and eventually disease problem, we face when eating fats comes from eating man-made fats: vegetable oil, canola oil, margarine… any and all man-made fats.

Produce: Fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, legumes

When pesticides and herbicides are sprayed onto produce it kills all of the bugs, the big bugs and the micro-bugs.

When we eat trace amounts of these pesticides and herbicides (petro-chemicals) then this kills the micro-bugs in our body, aka the friendly bacteria we all need to maintain health in our gut, skin and immune system.

The soil and farm practices that produce is grown in matters to each of our gut health.

Organic produce is also generally found to have higher levels of vitamins and minerals. The soil that organic produce is grown in ranges in quality but is higher quality than mass non-organic farms.

Our produce is mineral deficient because our farmed soil is mineral deficient.

Most USA citizens are mineral deficient.

Science is finding the extreme importance in trace mineral’s role of cellular communication

Note: organic and non-organic factors vary greatly from country to country. The USA, along with a few other industrialized countries have the lowest grade non-organic quality. The USA government has one of the lowest food standards in the world.

Quick Re-Cap:

All of the above food commentaries is fundamental to physical health, which also affects mental health and emotional health.

My main goal: Eat nutrient-dense foods with as little petro-chemicals as possible. (aka Organic).

Now to my personal favorite part…

Gut Microbiome, Gut Flora, Gut Health

The other crucial piece to quality health is having a healthy amount of friendly bacteria.

Science is discovering how the microscopic organisms in our body have an effect on many systems in our body including digestive health, skin health, immune system and mood.

The detriment of antibiotics has become mainstream awareness; next up is the importance of ‘friendly bacteria’.

Here is my take:

Ferments or Fermented Foods

  • Eating fermented foods is an ancient tradition which I consider a modern medicine. I regularly eat kraut, drink kombucha and when I travel I take probiotics.

  • Properly fermented pickles, jun, kfir, kvass, kim-chi are also great sources of friendly bacteria. Just keep your eye on the label for sugar and vinegar: if it contains these ingredients then avoid them because they are not actually fermented.

  • Yogurt is a case by case decision for me. Pasteurized dairy has more downsides for me than the probiotics it contains. I do give my little one coconut and cashew yogurt when I can find them in stores.

Fermented foods, with live cultures and live bacteria, are important to supporting the friendly bacteria in our body.


‘Sterile’ used to be the motto in science when it came to bacteria in our body. But more recent research has shown that in order to keep ‘the problem bacteria’ in check in our body we need constant consumption of friendly bacteria such as fermented foods and probiotics. And we need friendly bacteria in varying strains.

Supporting friendly bacteria is just as important, if not more important, than avoiding problem bacteria. Without good bacteria, the bad bacteria quickly grow into levels that wreak havoc in our body.

Prescription medications feed problem bacteria and yeasts in our bodies.

Craving sweet is normal and healthy.

Feeding your, and mine, sweet cravings with fermented foods is the best option. Once you have processed sugar out of your system then fermented foods actually taste sweet.

Superfoods and salad toppings that I eat regularly:

LINK to Amazon shopping list with these below items

  • Seaweed- wakame, dulse, and nori.

  • Bone broth

  • Collagen

  • Fermented Miso

  • Nutritional Yeast

  • Tahini

  • Flaxseed

  • Kale flakes

  • PestoPesto (dairy-free)

  • MCT Coconut oil

  • Bone Broth Soup Recipe LINK on Amazon

Highly Recommended Reading Sources which Inspired Me Along My Food Path:

  • Gut and Psychology Syndrome: GAPS Diet

  • The Body Ecology Diet

  • Nourishing Traditions (two books: one for adults and another for children)

  • The Gerson Therapy Way

  • Nutritional Healing

  • Sugar Blues

  • The Magic Pill – (movie you can find on youtube that shows how impactful food is on five different humans with health issues)

Are You Thinking of Making a Food Change?

As I see it there are two main parts to changing your relationship to food.

One: There are the physical components of learning how to cook and shop differently.

Two: And there is learning how to think and feel about food differently.

Three: The recalibration of tastebuds and neural pathways for foods.

I can guide you through both…

(**This article was originally created and posted early 2020 and is being re-posted with some small updates beginning 2023)

Ps: If you are wanting to make health changes rooted in love, I have a new live 6 Step Course that teaches how to fall in love with healthy you. Click here to sign up for the free course.


For 14 day food reset challenge- go to my app in Google or apple and download “Zen Odyssey” and then select “14 day food challenge” it’s free and a great time of year to feel better!


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