I’ve always taken a strong approach toward preventative healthcare. As an undergraduate student in Nutrition at McGill University in Montreal, I studied nutrient composition, physiology and biology but it wasn’t until I became a physician that I truly saw the effects that food could have on the body. Food can harm, but food can also heal.
In medical school I learned a lot about disease and treatment. It was overwhelming at times to remember all of our detailed body systems, and the fundamentals I learned in my nutrition degree got replaced by learning about antibiotics, high blood pressure medications and heart medications.
As I enter my 15th year of practice as a physician, I return again to the fundamentals. Health is not the absence of disease. Health is Wellness. Wellness of mind, body and spirit. Our bodies are not merely machines where energy in = energy out. Stress, our environment, our community, our families all have a great role to play in the Well Being of an individual. There are many things in life that we cannot control. The one thing we do have control over is what we put into our mouths.
Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Many people are searching for the latest quick fix to health. They want pills that can help them lose weight, pills that can control their blood sugar, pills that can put them in a better mood. I challenge us all to begin by looking within. Ask yourself, what first step can I take today to improve my health? Think about nutrition to start. Give yourself a moment to pause as you sit at the table and be thankful for the food that will enter your body and nourish it.
In the upcoming months, I will be working in the community on Health and Wellness Initiatives.