The Importance of Conscious Eating — You Are What You Eat

I remember tuning into an episode of Oprah, as I was curious to find out what she was going to teach the world about eating. The name of the episode was called “Food 101”. She got the inspiration for producing the show after watching the documentary “Food Inc” with Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma). In my opinion, this documentary shows an amazingly enlightening perspective on where our food is coming from in the United States. As a naturopathic doctor my job constantly entails teaching my patients how to eat and after the new year, I made it my goal to get as many patients as possible to watch the documentary.

I started by getting as many patients as possible to do my cleanse|detoxification protocol. This would allow me to give a talk on the benefits of doing a cleanse while reminding my patients the importance of food and the kinds of food that they should be eating every day.

Oprah mentioned several times the importance of eating consciously. Essentially being aware of what we are putting into our body and more importantly knowing what is in the foods and the source of the ingredients/food  we consume from the super market and the restaurants we frequent. This is key. Understanding the food available on super market shelves, meat/produce/dairy departments, and fast food restaurants, sadly is void of essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins, but rather latent with chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. Once an individual fully grasps the concept to eat by being fully aware of what they consume has an origin, the sooner maintaining healthy habits and good health can be attained.

The beauty of doing a cleanse is that not only will it benefit the detoxification pathways in the body, and as a result you’ll feel better, but you’ll also find that eating whole food, organic food during the cleanse will soon become (and desired) a lifetime commitment.

I encourage my patients to eat as much whole food, organic fruits, vegetables grains, and food in it’s most natural state. Consuming less packaged foods or preservative-filled foods, and eliminating anything with high fructose corn syrup. And to be sure to use these guidelines when purchasing produce, it is called “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean Fifteen”:

Dirty Dozen — Foods You Should Consume Organic

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Celery
  7. Grapes
  8. Pears
  9. Cherries
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet bell peppers
  12. Potatoes

Clean Fifteen — Food Lowest in Pesticides

  1. Sweet corn
  2. Avocados
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Frozen sweet peas
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangoes
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew
  12. Kiwifruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit

Once you become connected with the concept that “what you are is what you eat” the sooner you will find yourself on the path to better health and wellness. It is not just a mantra I use in my practice, but I also believe simply enough, a system of living that will greatly improve your quality of life.

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What is Discover Health SF?

I will take an integrative medical approach to your health. My philosophy in practice is to merge naturopathic and conventional medicine — it is truly about holistic health care. My treatment plans carefully blend natural therapies and evidence-based, medical science, to treat and prevent chronic disease.

Dr. Youngren is a graduate of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.

She completed a two-year clinical internship that included all naturopathic modalities and a one-year specialty residency in General & Environmental Medicine.