Food

Food.  Glorious, food.

Sharing healthy food with friends and family is one of life's greatest joys.  It has been a celebration of life and community for centuries.

As a medical doctor, I see many instances where simple diet changes completely enhance a patient's life. And, while I appreciate 'food as medicine'--on a deeper level, it's the memories of sitting down to a family dinner, setting up a picnic, or celebrating special occasions that inspire me most as a guide to eating yourself super.

 

Superfoods

Dr. Todd's Superfoods PyramidAs evidenced by our longest-lived elders, the latest scientific research, and clinical practice in disease prevention and reversal, the Superfoods diet, and accompanying lifestyle, is key to optimal health.

Superfoods are plant-based, nutrient-dense, calorie-sparse, health-empowering foods. Your health is never stagnant, it is either getting better or worse based on your habits. With the Superfood 21-Day Boost you'll discover how easy, fun, and delicious it is to eat healthfully via Superfoods.

By eating a diet rich in Superfoods, you provide yourself with plenty of good carbohydrates, balanced proteins, good fats, bioavailable vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, plant pigments, enzymes, antioxidants, hormone precursors and other phytonutrients and phytochemicals, including biophotons and other essentials.

In this day and age, with depleted soil, altered microbiota, as well as toxins and stressors, we can't be too careful about the foods we choose for our family. Sometimes we need to help ourselves out a little. The top of our Superfoods pyramid features foods to help us bridge to optimal health and wellness—Functional Foods. Three very important ones are: Maca, Cat’s Claw, and Matcha.

 

Earth Juice

photo of woman quenching thirst50 - 70% of our total body weight is water. So vital to our life. And yet, we often deprive our body of this essential source. I advise my patients to know their local water source. A handy way to do this is through the Environmental Working Group's National Tap Water Atlas.

Water is a natural detoxifier. Drink it all day and feel the vitality of life. 

 

Greens

Photo of greens

Green is the color of health. Our ancestors ate about six to seven pounds of green leaves per day in season. That's approximately a grocery bag full!

There are so many amazing nutrients in leafy greens. The real superstar in greens is Vitamin K. Here's it's role in your health:

- Helps protect your bones.

- Helps your blood to naturally clot.

- Helps prevent artierial diseasse/atherosclerosis by reducting plaques.

- Helps protect us from inflammatory diseases, including arthritis.

- Helps prevent diabetes. 

Your body will love you for increasing leafy greens into your diet.  Leafy greens serve as the ultimate cleanser-- like a brush from your mouth all the way through your digestive tract.  What a delicious way to stay clean.

 

Rainbow

Rainbow of vegetablesAdd more color to your life! Eating the rainbow provides pigments that are essential to your health. They provide you with chlorophylls- which appear green and capture the sun, carotenoids appear yellow and red and serve as antioxidants, anthocyanins are found in a wide range of colors and also serve as antioxidants.

The big idea is to go for a variety of colors---along with your greens, go for yellows, oranges, reds, purples, and the whites of cauliflower, garlic and onions.

Explore the beauty of colorful food. Prepare meals that look beautiful on your plate and reflect in your lovely smile.

 

 

Omegas

photo of walnutsWalking up the pyramid past proteins and fruits, we come to fats--the good ones! As you may know, there are good fats, and there are bad fats. Often, it's a matter of perspective and balance. The key to healthful fat intake is consuming the good or essential fatty acids-- which you need-- and, eliminating the ubiquitous bad one.

There is no question in science: the best fats are plant fats consumed in their natural form as plants. You need to get healthy fats from your food since our bodies do not generate them.

For optimal health, you must eat more omega-3's and try to avoid over-consumption of omega-6's and omega-9's. Further, they should be consumed in food, not highly refined oil.

When you begin your Superfoods diet, you notice rich quantities of omega-3's, the best source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which keeps you and your heart happy.

Why do we love omega-3's, let me count the ways:

  • Reduces the risk of arterial disease. People who eat loads of omega-3's are less likely to have high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
  • Protect from insulin resistance and diabetes.
  • Protect from oxidative stressors and cancer.
  • Are anti-inflammatory and help balance the pro-inflammatory omega-6's.
  • Improve mild menopause symptoms.
  • Are essential for eye, brain and mental health.
  • Help with mental focus and clarity.

Where do we find omega-3's? Leafy greens, brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale, and spinach.  Omega-3 Superstars are walnuts, (brain food!), flaxseeds and chia seeds.

Remember, get your good fats from food, not bottles of oil.

 

Functional Foods

photo of superfoods supplementsTop of the Superfoods pyramid features supplements that help us bridge gaps when we may not be eating everything we should when we should. It can support us when we don't, and it can also maximize our efforts when we do.

I first recommend regularly taking a raw, whole-foods based multivitamin to everyone including family, friends and patients. I am not the type of doctor that recommends you become a slave to a zillion vitamins. I will, however, tell you that you do have basic requirements that must be met, one way or another. If we don't meet these requirements in our food, they must be met through supplements.

Let's say you didn't eat your leafy greens yet today--- don't sweat it. Fix yourself a green power smoothie, when you get home from the walk in the woods, yoga or tai chi. While you're at it, toss in some chia seeds and thank yourself for taking care of that wonderful active body of yours.

What we don't get here, we must get there--- supplements assist us in this regard. The trick is listening to what your body is craving. I don't care how great your doctor may be, there is no way they know your body better than you. How you feel when you take the Superfoods path is what matters most.

Supplementation Pyramid

Simple Pleasures

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
― Linda Grayson -

The medicinal uses for chocolate stem back the Incas who considered it the drink of the Gods.  The cocao tree:  Theobroma cacao comes from the Greek words theo (God) and broma (drink).

Chocolate contains phytochemicals that provide protective antioxidant properties in the human body.  In fact, cocoa and chocolate have the highest concentration flavonoids, plant based pigments that act as antioxidants, in commonly consumed foods. The predominant flavonoids in chocolate are called epicatechin and catechin.

photo of chocolateThese flavonoids combat free radicals, which protects the body from cardiovascular disease. They have also been shown to help the body use insulin more efficiently to aid in controlling blood sugars, and lower bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. Rough translation: chocolate is good for your heart.

It is important to keep in mind that not all chocolates are created equal in terms of their flavonoid content. The darker the chocolate, the better.  If organic, and high in cocoa %, even better!  I'm not suggesting you go hog wild on eating chocolate-- eating too much can add calories, sugar, and fat may negate the health benefits so moderation is key.

A little organic dark chocolate goes a long way in making the day better.