Balanced Living for Creatives

Balanced Living for Creatives

March 28, 2014

Food As Medicine

We are lucky to live in a world where there are many options for health care and self care. Allopathic medicine or the conventional medical world of insurance companies. Homeopathic medicine, the opposite branch, that is holistically concerned. Herbalism that is the most traditional of medical concerns. And many other alternative medicine techniques that are becoming better recognized and appreciated. It is a good idea to choose the health care system that most suits you, and to pick and choose from all the systems for specific issues. Self-care is the way that we take on the responsibility for our own health. When we think of "medicine," our first thoughts might be about drugs and drug therapy, second we might think of herbs and herbal medicine preparations. But I also like to approach self-care by thinking of food as medicine.
     We all know that nutrition is important, that eating right is essential to good health. High quality, organic foods, make a difference as well. "Food as medicine" considers what we eat and how specific foods can affect our health issues. Some foods are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients that are preventative for problems such as cancer. (10 Foods that Fight Cancer). Some specific foods, such as honey or garlic, have antibacterial properties and can be eaten or even used topically for health issues. (Honey as Medicine) Adding, or subtracting, particular foods from the diet is done in response to issues as they arrive. That is how to think of "Food as Medicine," and not just something to fill the belly and delight the taste buds.
     Food is health. The foods we choose to eat make us what we are. We can choose health-based diets (nutrition), and we can choose particular foods for specific health issues (food as medicine). Whenever I think about healthy approaches to life, I always end up back at the big three: Eat right, Exercise, Rest. And I always consider Michael Pollan's statement: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. A good idea.
For more information, see the SimpleTens articles at Food As Medicine.

March 9, 2014

The Signature of All Things

     For those of you readers who enjoy novels about science and/or art, here is an excellent book. "The Signature of All Things," is a well-researched book about botany and early botanical art. The author is Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote the book "Eat, Pray, Love," that so many of us read or watched on film. The Signature of All Things taps into the questing nature of nineteenth century naturalists. This is a time when naturalists have moved beyond the medieval mind and have started to observe and explore the world as the newly coined word, "science."
     The book explores the early sixteenth century writings of Jacob Boehme and the medieval connection between religion and all of nature. Writers and philosophers looked at items of the natural world as though the hand of God touched them all. They strove to discover this connected "signature" in all things. Seventeenth century naturalists, like Newton, began to focus more on observation of facts. Philosophers, naturalists were still often theologians by scholarship and nature. But by the early to mid 1800s, the world of information exploded to the point where one person, through study, could no longer learn it all. Individuals began to specialize in areas such as botany, geology, etc. Writers such as Goethe began to be interested in this new area of science. And forward thinkers, such as Darwin began to make connections and observations ushering in the brave new world of science.
     In her book, Gilbert follows the life and career of a Alma Whittaker, a woman caught up in the center of the botany world, and her relationship to an eccentric Ambrose Pike, extraordinary botanical artist of orchids. Taking place in settings around the world, this book is substantial and thought provoking. It is a sweet read.
Ah, Nature and art...could there be a sweeter combination?