HOLLY CARLING: Accidentally eating our way into oblivion

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Our diets are becoming increasingly more difficult. What we used to “know” about foods turned out to be false. Many are eating themselves into oblivion, believing they’re doing the right thing. But if we are, why are obesity, heart disease, blood sugar disorders, cancer and other diet-related diseases skyrocketing? How can we make sense of the hundreds, or millions, of people who are “right” about their dietary approaches? These include so-called experts, as well as the lay public with good “advice.” Of course, here I am, yet one more expert!

Let’s take a look at diet from a multi-faceted viewpoint. First and foremost, we have to ask ourselves, “Why do we eat?” The answer to that will help narrow down some answers. If you are eating for social reasons, to satisfy your tongue only, or simply because you think you’re supposed to, then by all means, eat to your heart’s content! But I warn you, your health will certainly suffer. You may be making it for now, but eventually it will catch up!

If you’re simply eating to survive — you don’t like feeling hungry, it’s just a habit to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and maybe a snack or two in between, or you just eat because you like food, you have a different goal, with likely a different result.

However, if you are like the increasing folds of people eating, not to just survive, but to thrive, this is where the rubber meets the road. If you are eating because you know that every morsel or liquid that passes your lips is either going to nourish you or stress your body physiologically, now we can really narrow the game down.

If you’re eating so that your body can function by trying not to eat things that are stressful to the body or eating in order to heal a disease in your body (likely caused by negligent nutrition), now you are meeting with increasingly huge numbers of philosophies and diets. My advice? Keep it simple.

Simple doesn’t mean boring. Simple means meats, vegetables, fruits and some grains if your body tolerates it. Simple foods can be made flavorfully; not so simple you get bored quickly. Fast foods are replete with flavor and flavor enhancers, but many of their nutrients have been processed out of them. Avoid them when possible. Stick with real foods — the way they came off the plant or tree.

Keep simple principles in mind. “My body has fat as an energy reserve — to protect it, repair it and provide function. Therefore, it makes sense that I need fat. Real fat, not man-made fat.” You need protein to build, repair and function. Eat good, plenteous protein. You need minerals found mostly in meats and veggies, and vitamins found in fruits. The tiny bits found in fast food barely count.

Eating well protects you, builds you and helps you function. Keeping balance is critical. Learn more by attending our upcoming health class, Demystifying Diets, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 13 at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene. Fee: $10. RSVP: 208-765-1994 or register here: http://bit.ly/VHDemystifying DietsClass.

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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. VisitCarling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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