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  • Dr. Tamara Kung, ND

The Slow Food Movement: Let Food be Thy Medicine


I love food.

It's a simple statement, but don't underestimate how big this love is! For me, loving food is not just eating it (although, when you see me eat a delicious meal, you may seriously think otherwise), it's about choices, the inspired creations, the preparation (often accompanied with music and a glass of wine), and most importantly about sharing.


You've heard the phrase, "What we put in is what we get out.", but more specifically, what we put in is what impacts function, performance, and outcome.

So, it's no wonder that the very foundation of our health depends on the foods we are put into our crazy complexly beautiful selves!

This is why I want to share the know-how, love, excitement, and serious importance of eating well. It ties in my two big passions, helping others lead a healthy life, and food :)

I believe that the way to do this is through adopting the slow food perspective.

The slow food movement acts to counter this current mainstream culture of fast food and fast lives where there's been a disappearance of tradition and interest for the food we consume, where it comes from and how it's made. With our removal from food, we've become reliably less able to use our senses to make the healthiest choices. Many of us often rely on brand marketing, professionals, and people in the health and fitness industry to tell us what we should and should not eat.

How can we regenerate our own sense of food knowledge again?

We can do this by reversing our perspective on food. We must appreciate the fact that food is not meant to be slotted into our day in the most convenient time (many healthful cultures present and past allotted much of their day, time and resources and lead lives that was centralized on food). Food is meant to take time because it is a deliberate activity. And the more time we spend on anything, we become better at it. The same applies here.

*Of course, life can get hectic and busy, and we aren't suggesting you do this all the time, but start with an one of these ideas and build up on it over time. Once it becomes a second nature (and anything will with practice), you can bring on the next one!*


  1. Cooking at home. This is pivotal starting point for this movement. If you are new to cooking, or mostly eat out, try building your way up to this surprisingly fun and feel-good habit, starting with a couple meals a week. Try some of these ideas I've used to encourage me to expand my own repertoire: Sprouting bubble - I've delved into sprouting mung beans and have put them on almost everything - some of my favorites are on top of oatmeal (adds a nutty crunch), on top of my avocado, almond butter, cucumber and dill toast, in smoothies, on smoothies, on pasta, on soup... you get it. They're cool little creatures you can add to literally anything! Next up - Alfalfa! Sourdough bread - trying something completely new can seem daunting. I've used Chad Robertson's book Tartine Bread, based off their famous bakery in San Francisco, fostered a huge leap in my culinary abilities. It takes time to get good, but when it gets good, you'll give the time to enjoy it - trust.

  2. Growing food at home. This is by very definition a slow food process. You get to watch your food grow from little baby seedlings to gourmet all-stars on your plate! It's honestly the most satisfying and rewarding feeling to eat what you grow. Not sure how to get started? Do you live in a space where you don't have access to gardening in the ground? Check out some of the tools I use to overcome these simple obstacles - there's no excuse! Check out this amazing video on growing so much lettuce in a container! Check out this site on getting your on vertical hydroponics garden started - they've got an awesome design, are Toronto based to boot AND grew the yummiest kale I've ever tasted!

  1. Revitalize rituals. There's no magic formula for a ritual, and its never too late to start one! They come unexpectedly, or are inherited, and can be adjusted until they fit. Make meals a social event! After all, a ritual repeated becomes tradition! Many of us do this already for special events, so take it up a notch and integrate it into your daily/ weekly routine. Try hosting dinner parties and alternate homes amongst your group. Have lunch with a co-worker/ friend.

We need to know that no matter what we do for our health, if we are not eating to complement our actions and goals, then we are putting up a big obstacle in our success towards awesome health.

I love to teach people that they don't have to stress out about food, that we can have a great time, exploring, creating, and sharing in the whole experience, which sets up the stage for building new, and deepening old relationships with our loved ones. Our relationships, the state and our perception of them, play a huge role in our mental health as well.


Resources

Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook by Alice Waters

Slow Food Toronto http://slowfood.to/about.html


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the  Eternal Dreamers.

Disclaimer: Any information on this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to be used in place of professional medical advice.

Always seek the advice of a qualified health care practitioner with any questions or health concerns you may have.

 

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