naturopa-TMIPosted: February 5, 2011
Hellooo. Has your week-end started yet? Mine began last night, with friends and food. A little bit of wine, too, but we’re french, we can’t help it!
A lifetime ago, or so it seems, I promised naturopathy talk. According to this article by Rebecca J.Frey, “naturopathic medicine, or naturopathy, is an alternative approach to health care that emphasizes preventive measures to maintain health; patient education and active participation in therapy; and noninterference with the body’s natural healing processes. […] Naturopathy is not a distinctive or unique tradition of alternative medicine. It is best described as a collection of therapies or treatment methods that share a common philosophy of health care and draw upon a variety of alternative traditions ranging from traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic thought to Greek medicine and European homeopathy.“
I find naturopathy fascinating — wait, scratch that, I find it exciting. I mean, everybody wants to be healthy. But naturopathy goes way beyond that; it is deeply empowering, making you responsible for your own health. If you’re vegetarian, vegan, raw, or simply eating with cautious, for health reasons, you’re actually giving naturopathy a go! Indeed, of all the ‘methods’ a naturopathic practitioner can use to help you achieve what you’re after, be it optimal health, weight loss or relief from a diagnosed medical condition, food is one of the most important — whole, natural food. Other therapeutic methods include helping relationship, relaxation, exercise, hydrotherapy, physical therapies, breathing techniques, herbal medicine and energy balancing techniques.
I can only speak for myself, but what I love about naturopathy is that you get to know yourself in the healing process. If you have a cold and go to a doctor, you’ll be prescribed pills — which is great! thank goodness for the progress conventional medicine has made over the last centuries. Diseases that were once deadly can now be cured quite easily (if you’re lucky enough to live in a rich country, but that’s another story). But if you keep catching the same cold again and again and again, then something’s off. The naturopathic practitioner should help you step back and take a good look at yourself. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating “properly”? (whatever that means… though if you ingest your own weight in sugar on a regular basis, you’re probably doing it wrong) Are you getting enough exercise? How do you deal with stress? etc. As for me, I still have a lot to work on, but I get sick less often. And when I do, it’s usually after a long streak of short nights and crappy days at work. While conventional medicine makes you all better in no time, there isn’t much room for diet questioning. “What could I do to prevent this from happening again? – Not much.” So much for patient education… Bear with me here, I’m not saying all doctors are lazy bastards, nor all naturopathic practitioners selfless heroes; but swallowing pills as a way of getting better, without changing anything to your diet, is pretty much useless. You are what you eat, you are also what you think and what you feel. Keep stuffing dirt in your mouth while resenting the whole world — see where that gets you.
I’m curious; have you ever had an appointment with a naturopathic practitioner? Care to share why? Did it help?
Me, well, stress made me do it. Can’t say why for sure, but grown-up life came as a bit of a kick in the gut. I’ve blamed it on work, food, family history and the world… but I’ve come to realize that I’m just suffering from anxiety. Simple as that. And why it wasn’t naturopathy alone that brought this realization, the regular meetings with my practitioner certainly made a difference. Also, she’s been a great help with the vegetarian switch. Anyone living near Paris interested in naturopathic counseling, get in touch now!
But I did say I still have a lot to work on. Even though I try to live by the rules of of Digestion-Friendly Eating 101, my belly has a life of its own, and a funky life at that. We’ve ruled out some of the possible causes (candida, parasitic disease), so now we’re looking into food intolerances. And this is where the gluten-free, dairy-free diets mentioned in my previous post come in. My appointment is two weeks from now, so until then I’m stuffing my face with wheat, dairy, or worse… both at the same time! like these beloved store-bought crackers: spelt flour + milk protein. What exactly is the use of the milk protein here, I wonder? In any case, I won’t be eating them for a whole month, maybe more, so I’m enjoying them while I can. Besides, there’s no use cutting on dairy or gluten right now; it would just make an existing intolerance harder to detect.
Now that I’m done TMIing, shall we food porn?
Remember my banana sushi streak? Once I’d stripped the lettuce of all its leaves, I decided it was time for a change. So for the past week, I’ve had corn cakes spread with nut butter (almond or peanut) and banana slices. Nummers!
On Wednesday morning, I packed lunch for work. I had no leftovers, so I turned to my failsafe, lazy morning-friendly recipe: pre-heat oven to 400°, bake sliced sweet potato and shoyu-drizzled tofu for 30 minutes. The potatoes come out tender and super tasty, while the tofu’s crispy on the outside and chewy inside. While the taters and tofu were baking, I threw together a quick salad: purslane, lettuce stalk, yellow bell pepper, sprouts, lemon juice and sesame oil. And for dessert: nuts and dried fruits.
As mentioned in this post’s introduction, some friends came over last night. The home-made goods were 100% immersion blender-friendly: I made baba ganoush (again!), carrots and red kuri squash soup (recipe coming soon), and banana soft serve. Everybody cleaned up their plate. Score! But then you can’t go wrong with the Beatles as a cooking soundtrack.