Helpful wisdom, compassion and care for you

If you eat a healthy meal, you’re healthier

Sometime during the decade I managed Food As Medicine, a nutrition training program for physicians and other health professionals, I came up with this saying, and I’m sticking with it: If you eat a healthy meal, you’re healthier.

Listening to talks by the most brilliant people in the field — researchers, clinicians, functional medicine experts, public health advocates, innovators, culinary giants, authors, cooks, community food folks — one thing that stood out clearly was that no matter how much nutrition knowledge we have, we have to translate it to the plate. We have to EAT healthy to BE healthy.

And eating healthy makes a huge difference. Let me repeat that: huge.

Both the science and clinical experience/anecdotal evidence show that after switching to a whole foods diet, avoiding processed foods and eating mostly fresh vegetables and fruits, along with legumes, nuts and seeds, many people experience a difference in DAYS, not weeks or months or years. As Michael Pollan puts in on the cover of his terrific book, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, “Eat food — not too much — mostly plants.” An excellent recipe for health.

At Food As Medicine, we served gloriously colorful, delicious, delectable, healthy buffet lunches (designed by brilliant chef/author Rebecca Katz) for the four days of the program. Participants routinely exclaimed about how marvelous they felt, after only four days. They weren’t drowsy after lunch, they were sleeping better, they were (forgive me) pooping better, feeling better energy, and even feeling… happier. Lots of studies reflect such remarkably felicitous and rapid transformations. So why don’t more of us try this?

Well, there are lots of reasons not to, plenty of blocks we can throw in our own way. I don’t know how to cook this stuff. I can pick up pizza on the way home. I’m too tired. Healthy food doesn’t taste good. It doesn’t fill you up. My friends don’t eat that way. My kids won’t like it. My husband won’t eat it. It’s too expensive. It takes too long… There are plenty more objections where these came from. And there are counterpoints for each one.

I suggest we are looking at self-sabotage. We know we should do better, we know we can make eating healthy a priority. So here’s the thing: just eat a healthy meal. One step at a time, no judgement, no self-flagellation. Don’t beat yourself up. Choose a beautiful salad, or whatever lovely, fresh, healthy food looks good to you. Try it! Savor it. Enjoy! If you’ve fallen off the wagon, same thing. Choose a healthy meal next time. If you eat a healthy meal, you’re healthier 🙂

Note: the salad above is comprised of mixed baby greens, purple carrots and cabbage, black olives, crunchy sunflower seeds, blueberries and one gorgeous avocado. I spritzed fresh lemon, drizzled olive oil and sprinkled on sea salt before eating. Probably took me 7 minutes. A little culinary music. #yum


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  1. You know that I love eating lovely healthy food! It is so fun. It is one of the ways that I create a sweet life. If anyone wants more ideas for eating healthy they can try my free video course 5 quick and healthy meals for busy people on

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