The functional approach to weight loss and ultimately health begins with a shift in the paradigm. Conventional medicine focuses on medications and surgeries to solve common complaints or symptoms. The functional approach looks closely at what you eat, and other lifestyle factors like exercise, stress management, sleep patterns, and supportive relationships. It puts the onus on the individual to make important choices each day about their health and how they want to live their life.
The focus and conversation becomes what carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are you consuming today and how do they nourish your cells and soul? What quantities of each and when throughout the day do you consume them? What sort of variety do you include to insure optimal micronutrient levels?
Carbohydrates with high glycemic index cause spikes in blood sugar, stress the bodies insulin production, leading to inflammation. These foods include sugars, simple or highly processed carbohydrates like white rice and flour.
Carbohydrates to eat:
whole grain, minimally processed, with variety
loads of color to include blueberries, sweet potato, greens, beets, and red peppers
vegetables high in fiber like jicama, apples, raspberries, artichokes, beans, and brussel sprouts
fermented vegetables contain organic acids, which slow gastric emptying. Add fermented sauerkraut, kimchi and fermented vegetables (green beans, jalapeño, and radish) as a side dish to your meals.
Key micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients found in food and supplements):
Vitamin D (especially in winter when we spend less time outside and the days are shorter)
Magnesium (great for leg cramps, depression, migraines, and type 2 diabetes)
Digestive enzymes (help to breakdown nutrients to be assimilated into cellular processes, supports liver and stomach acids)
Fish oil (to help balance the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, most of us consume 20 x’s more omega 6 oils due to processed foods and dining out… restaurants choose cheap oils to manage costs)
Probiotics (can help modulate the gastrointestinal tract, help to stave off stomach bugs and distress associated with it)
Eat colorful, whole foods with lots of variety to ensure you get the needed vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. If you have leaky gut, inflammation, or genetic polymorphisms (modifications in gene function) then supplements maybe needed for your body to function optimally.
At your next doctor visit you can ask to get your Vitamin D and Magnesium levels tested, easily added to other blood work panels.
Eat a vegetable at eat meal, varying the color and texture.