How to focus on quality of life before it’s too late, Part 1: FOOD

Consider the impact food you like more might have on your quality of life (or that of a loved one).

Yesterday I shared the last days of my grandfather’s life and his frailty going into a devastating injury. Today I want to talk about the first opportunity that modern medicine misses in order to focus on quality of life: food.

It’s hard to find a healthy person who isn’t dialed into their nutrition. You simply can’t exercise, meditate, or REM sleep your way out of the contribution food has on health.

To me, the goal isn’t the people on joyless restrictive diets. I celebrate people who “eat whatever they want,” because they want what makes them feel good. They have found the immense pleasure of nourishing foods: the foods that fill them up, energize them, and keep them satisfied. They also have a healthy relationship with treating themselves!

The medical community has really failed people with nonsensical, contradictory, and depressing edicts. First low fat, then low carb, then low sodium. Always low fun. We know from the history of the human species how much wonderful diversity in style and details can still be compatible with health and longevity, so why be so prescriptive and closed-minded?

It’s because nutrition is complicated and takes a lot of 1:1 time and personal experimentation. Honoring 1:1 time and personal experimentation, for anyone who hasn’t been to the doctor’s office recently, is basically the antithesis of modern medicine.

Food is arguably the most direct way we experience our surroundings. We literally choose which parts of the environment to allow to enter us and become part of us. And what I like about it as a starting point with patients is that there is just infinite depth: there is always more to learn about what works well and why, what might be added or subtracted, how to make something sit better.

Food is totally having a moment now: there are countless products, books, and retreats to dig into eating well. It’s curing people of diabetes and high blood pressure, it’s taking people off of seizure meds. Entry costs are lower. The technological process is stunning.

Parting thought: consider the impact food you like more might have on your quality of life (or that of a loved one). Decide how many minutes over how much time (5 minutes a week for a month, for example) you can put into the exploration. Happy to help you think about where to get started from there!

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