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from the publisher

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from the publisher

Pam Gallina

Food as Medicine!

The phrase “we are what we eat,” is true—the food we eat contributes to our mood, our weight, hormones, our ability to think clearly, energy levels, quality of sleep and more. A closer look and we see the connection to our inflammation levels, which can lead to chronic illness.

In our feature “Food as Medicine,” by Julie Peterson we learn that even though poor diets may cause 45 percent of America’s deaths from heart disease, stroke and diabetes, the Standard American Diet turns out to be a hard habit to break. But with research building that documents the critical nature of a healthy, largely plant-based diet, the medical community is taking nutrition more seriously. Consumers are learning to eat the rainbow in produce and to choose foods that nurture gut microorganisms. It includes sidebars on shifts in the medical field and the impact of food choices on the planet.

Being sleep-deprived makes us not only crabby but also prone to obesity, depression and heart disease, which is why it makes sense to strategically structure our bedtime routines. This month’s article “Sweet Slumber,” by Ronica O’Hara helps us find natural solutions to the problem like munching on doze-inducing foods, wearing amber glasses to block out blue light, writing out a to-do list for the next day, snuggling into a weighted blanket and taking a melatonin pill are all study-proven approaches to obtaining deeper, better slumber. Sidebars discuss soporific essential oils and sounds to fall asleep by, including meditations, music and narrated stories.

For a lot of Americans, especially in cities, healthy food is scarce. In Laura Paisley Beck’s article “Growing Food Security,” we find people have been inspired in part by the pandemic and creative solutions are emerging, with gardens popping up everywhere from spare rooms to rooftops to empty warehouses. Front-yard gardeners are offering their produce to family, friends and passersby, and some communities are organizing websites in which farmers and community gardens can upload their offerings.

In this month’s Eco Tip “Composting Made Easy,” we find that food waste rotting in landfills accounts for almost a quarter of U.S. methane emissions, but with planning and a little effort, uneaten food can be composted into “black gold” that enriches garden soil. It requires a bucket in the kitchen, a bin or pile in the yard and the practice of alternating green layers of food waste and grass clippings with brown layers of dried leaves and shredded cardboard.

I talk about detoxing at the change of each season. This can be as mild or aggressive as you choose by adding in various supplements. An alternative is to simply cut out alcohol, dairy, sugar, non-organic animal protein, anything processed, white flour based or fried, for anywhere between 1 and 3 weeks, and see what happens. Better yet, feel the difference and let us know how you fared! Remember, if you have never detoxed before, it’s always recommended that you do so under guidance of a doctor, dietician or certified health coach.

To conscious living,
Pamela Gallina, Publisher

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