Food Comes First: Shifting Our Vision and Making Food Our Medicine
Guest post by Dr. Margrit Mikulis
I enjoy being in the business of food, and I have been blessed with an incredible desire to help others incorporate a new way of thinking about their nutrition. I do not own a grocery store, nor a restaurant, but I am in the business of food because I use food as medicine. Over the years, my experience as a clinician has allowed me to witness the application of using food as a primary and foundational tool to help generate optimal wellness with my patients. By incorporating these simple principles which have proven to be extraordinarily helpful for everyone, I have been able to develop a sustainable approach to figuring out which individual foods are the best for each client.
Are you tired of wondering what foods are ideal for you?
We are bombarded with so many diets and nutritional fads, and frankly, I am so bored with hearing all the jargon. I want people to understand that finding the optimal foods for you, actually does exist. All you need to do is to figure out your constitutional type. For some people this isn’t so clear, but let me break it down further; you would probably agree that you, as an individual, have many different qualities. What if I told you that each of your qualities could actually be broken down further? The reality is that we can assign an “elemental” perspective to these qualities and understand them and compare them to the elemental aspects of our food. And Voila, we are already closer to having a better understanding of who we are and what we can eat.
So, the first and most basic rule is to understand that food is the foundation for your health. Regardless of what anyone tells you, I am asking you to adopt this belief and accept this as truth. This is the pulse of the program I have developed through the Food First Project, where I emphasize that digestion is at the heart of good health! If you take my lead on this, I can promise you will have success.
Another key principle to understand is that everyone is an individual. Because of this, learning what individual foods match best with you is an integral component to achieving your health goals. When your body is given a near perfect source of fuel, the end result is healing and good health. I have witnessed phenomenal changes in my patients when they follow my protocol and learn which foods work best for them.
My experience as a clinician is not that unique considering ancient systems of medicine like Ayurveda have always emphasized that the imbalances in the body are directly related to inappropriate food intake. Utilizing basic elemental principles, the ancients were able to develop a unique process of integrating dietary guidelines with the qualitative process of assessing a human being’s constitution. This formula still works today, and as a bonus we can now combine a western scientific model with ancient perspectives in order to maximize the benefits of our approach to nutrition.
Five years ago, I began using a test which employs unique methods detecting both IgG antibody and complement antigen yielding more complete profiles and resulting in incredible success in my clinical practice. Blending this state of the art testing and emphasizing the individual, I have developed a program which allows people to get back to basics.
My process is simple, I identify which foods are causing a problem, I gather key aspects about the individual and in combination execute a very specific program for each person. When we remove the foods that have become obstacles to our health, we give the digestive tract a chance to repair. Furthermore, when we understand the qualities that are represented in our foods, we can match those with who we are as individuals and determine which foods are best for us.
A very clear example can be illustrated in this way: Imagine a person who has a very strong burning sensation in their stomach which also radiates up into their throat causing them to feel more acidic and inflamed. We could guess that even if this person did not have food sensitivities or allergies to chili peppers or any hot pepper, that those types of foods could aggravate their symptoms. To most people this would seem very obvious. The food quality is hot, and the person has a burning sensation, so it could easily be deduced that this food should be off limits to someone with these symptoms. Additionally, it is possible that this same person could have sensitivities to a food which could also be contributing to their burning symptoms, and this may or may not be obvious. Having a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of how we respond to food is the best way to get closer to connecting with those foods that can actually be used as medicine.
We can utilize this same template when we analyze the multifactorial aspects with a syndrome like PCOS. Think of a woman who has a sluggish/hypo-functioning thyroid, challenges with weight gain and regulating their blood sugar and cystic ovaries. We might be able to guess that sugar and heavy foods like heavy grains may not be the best foods for this person. The woman with PCOS as a whole has a “heavier” and colder quality to her physique. Heavier and colder foods are not optimal to help her optimize her metabolism, and from a constitutional perspective we can understand why we should eliminate the quantity of foods that will continue to perpetuate this quality in her body.
As we know, a very common understanding is that women with PCOS do better when they are able to manage the insulin in the blood. When insulin in the blood is increased, it stimulates androgen secretion by the ovary, and causes a cascade of events which includes the reduction of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) which leads to increased levels of free testosterone. Because of this increased androgen the maturing follicle in the ovary is affected, and it results in anovulation. All of these hormonal networks in the body work by producing positive and negative feedback to other endocrine glands including the hypothalamus in the brain. This is one of the many reasons that so many of the systems in the body are affected by PCOS.
The ancients believed that the heavier quality of the food with an individual who did not have proper strength within their digestive tract resulted in a slower digestive process and eventually would have a negative effect on other tissues in the body including the blood, the lymph and plasma, adipose tissue and the female reproductive tract. The Vedic understanding has allowed me to integrate the parallels with the western science perspective of this syndrome and has given me a very clear and simple explanation as to how the wrong food becomes the root cause of PCOS.
I believe that accepting the fact that your digestion plays a key role in determining how much success you have with your overall health is the only path to achieving your health goals. Food comes first, it is just that simple.
The way to win is to get started now! I encourage you to work with a naturopathic physician in your area who offers the kind of specialized testing I have outlined and use in my own Food First Project. If you’d like more information about food allergy testing or the Food First Project, please feel free to contact me at Living Natural Inc. or email me at [email protected]. I would be happy to answer any of your questions and look forward to hearing about your success!