Nutrition is a foundation of naturopathic medicine. The food we put into our bodies either supports or hinders life processes. The more processed, refined and chemical filled the food the more damage it does to the body. Whole foods contain a beautiful balance of macronutrients and micronutrients, which help to fuel the body and support healthy functions.

Below is a wonderful list of guidelines for eating. As a culture, many of us have lost the importance of meal time. I know in the midst of a busy day, I will shove food into myself at lunch time, but do not take the time to allow it to nourish me. And I have seen it become all too common to sit in front of the TV with dinners. We need to remember that as important as the food is to the body, so is the process of eating. Many, if not all of us need to slow down, savor and enjoy the food we are eating.

Look at your own eating habits and see how you can implement these simple nutritional guidelines into your daily life.

• Appreciate the nourishment process.
• Recognize the essentiality of food and make room for it in your life.
• Take a moment to relax before eating. Let the tension of the day go. Open yourself to receiving nourishment from the food you are eating. Just as you prepare your food, so must you prepare yourself for eating.
• Chew. Eat slowly. Take smaller bites. Put your eating utensil down after taking a bite.
• Choose the freshest, least processed foods.
• Choose seasonal foods which are locally grown. This choice will support your community.
• Recognize the relationship between food and the world around you. Assume responsibility for your environment by choosing organically-grown foods which promote sustainability. Also choose non-packaged products and products with recyclable packaging.
• Make the preponderance of your foods plant foods.
• Choose whole foods, including whole grains and whole grain products.
• Choose fresh, unprocessed vegetables and fruits on a daily basis.
• Balance your food choices. Don't allow your diet to focus too exclusively on a single food or food category.
• Explore the world of cuisine: spices, seasoning, food traditions in other countries rich in understanding and nourishment.

Allow yourself to experience and experiment in the kitchen. Some of the best foods I have had were not recipes found in a cookbook, but were made of a combination of foods, seasoning and love that I had in the kitchen. Get your kids involved with cooking; make it a family time of sharing and laughing.

I wish you all a very safe and Happy 4th of July.