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Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT – Perspectives – REAL Health

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Road to Wellness, Part 1. Are You A Foodie?

By Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT

A “foodie” is a person who has a refined interest in food. A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger, says wikipedia.org. Agreed Wikipedia, I am a foodie! I have a refined interest in food to supply me with the right nutritional content and chose to eat out of a need for those reasons rather than convenience. And so should you!

With summer on its way, many people are looking forward to upcoming bikini beach days and have dieting in mind. What I have learned over the years from being in the healthcare field and managing personal health issues is that sometimes you need to follow a routine developed by you personally versus trying to fit yourself into someone else’s form. It can be very hard to stick to someone’s version of normal levels or average portion size on a particular diet because you are your own unique person with your own level of nutrient need. A plan based upon percentages of someone else’s normal won’t work for you. There are also those diets that will tout being healthy and natural yet they set you up on a routine where you are taking supplements to supply you with the nutrients you need. Such drastic changes or restrictions can set you up for failure before you even begin.

Someone once told me, You can do anything you want, you just have to take the time to “Learn it”. I feel the need to add, and you have to “Live It”. Get educated on what you eat and why you are putting something into your body. Incorporate it into your life so that it is a daily occurrence. With practice comes skill and ease.

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One of the first things to do is to see where your nutritional needs are by getting blood work. Before making any significant food changes you should always work with your doctor (I prefer an Integrative medical practitioner) and get detailed blood work drawn. You are going to want to ask your doctor about a comprehensive blood draw vs routine and one that includes a complete vitamin and thyroid panel. Annual or routine tests may not provide all the information you may need to successfully manage your specific deficiencies. You will also need to become educated on what these values will mean for you and your symptoms. I included a thorough thyroid test because it can be THE piece to the puzzle for many, women particularly, as the values for this test are in controversy. Labs appear to state higher normal values than most specialists will agree with. In my instance, at least 4 years had gone by before anyone fully addressed it. Thyroid testing usually consists of measuring TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland. It tells the thyroid gland when it needs to make and release thyroid hormones into the blood. This does not tell you the level of the thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. Asking to check these levels is how you will know your thyroid is working well.

Based on the blood work and vitamin panel you will be able to see what your body is lacking. Usually the foods that you crave, minus the gluten and over cooking, are the foods that would have provided the nutrients your body is lacking. For example craving salmon could mean a deficiency in selenium or B12 which could be related to hypothyroidism. Don’t just go by what a labs “normal” value is. Always look at the high and low values and how they interrelate with other values. Also, go by how you are feeling and what deficiencies could be contributing to those feelings. When starting to add supplements or food changes, be aware of reaction between nutrients. Vitamins and minerals work together so sometimes if there is a deficiency in areas like magnesium and calcium, just by adding magnesium, you may increase your calcium supply. If you weren’t aware of that, you may end up adding too much calcium to your diet. And did you know lack of magnesium mimics a host of health problems such as fibromyalgia, back pain, tendonitis, osteoporosis and many other health problems? Learning and attention, as usual, is key. Finding your way to a nutrient based food style can feel like a miracle cure once it is blended into your life. Got anemia? Boost your red blood cell count with Beets and Blackberry juiced by you or as a smoothie helps build red blood cells! Go Organic!

Check out next month’s Part 2: Finding Nutrients. Strategies to take the next step towards a nutrient based food style!

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Kimberly BurnsKimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT, is an Occupational Therapist with over 14 years’ experience working with clients ranging from infants to the elderly. She has always had passion for wellness and what she could do at home for herself to manage pain and delay disease processes. Her recent certification in Lymphedema Therapy has provided her further incentive to focus her business around preventing disease and halting its progression. Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT – (215) 499.0444 – Kim.Burns@SensoryIntuition.comwww.SensoryIntuition.com.

Copyright © 2016 REAL Exclusive Magazine www.getrealexclusive.com
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