Healthy Eating – Yes, It Matters

You’ve probably heard it for years – first from your parents, then from TV talk show doctors, and now, today, from your physical therapist – good, nutritious food is really and truly good for you. And it’s not just about vanity and losing weight – what you put into your body can absolutely have an effect on your physical health.

Food provides the fuel that makes our bodies live, grow and function properly, just like the type of gas you put in your car can help extend the life, lower the maintenance issues, and increase gas mileage. Try putting diesel into your car that requires unleaded and see how it performs (and what it costs to repair it).

There is a lot of passionate debate on what type of diet is best – are artificial sweeteners okay or cancer causing? Low calorie versus less processed – which is better for you? Are cleanses effective? Gluten free, dairy free….one can research until you’re starving for ANY type of food and you’ll find many valid arguments on each side. In general, I recommend eating as much “real” food as possible – fresh fruits and vegetables, raw nuts, and recipes that involve ingredients you can pronounce and add yourself, rather than pre-packaged foods that are full of hidden components that don’t really fill you up or enhance the food much.

Healthy eating is based on conscious choices you make every day. Just as you plan your week’s activities and plan how you’re going to spend your money, plan your meals as well.  Our family has found that menu planning – sitting down each week and deciding on a menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, is super helpful in our goal to eat healthier. Instead of just grabbing an unhealthy snack whenever we’re hungry, or waiting until dinner to think about what we’re eating that night, we know what’s coming up and are prepared with the right groceries and knowledge of how much time it’s going to take to make.

Even if you live alone or don’t cook as often, you can still plan meals and stock your cupboards with healthy foods that will help you feel better, give your more energy, and might even assist on your road to recovery in physical therapy.

Feel free to ask any of the therapists at Nantahala Physical Therapy about foods they recommend, tips they follow themselves or websites they visit to find healthy recipes. We are here to help you!