Dr. Erica Whitlock writes: Looking back, I remember phrases such as “Eat your green beans. They make you strong!” or “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” How many times does a child hear this and actually understand the absolute importance of “eating your vegetables?” From birth to the late teen years, immense changes are occurring within the body from brain development to bone growth and it is so important to capture this time of development and help advance it in the best way possible. On a biological level, eating fruits and vegetables can decrease inflammation, boost the immune system and improve brain function and these are just a fraction of the benefits! With the knowledge and experience I have now, I would have eaten more fruits and vegetables.
Through post-graduate nutrition courses and similar seminars, my eyes began to slowly open and realize the life-changing importance of healthy eating. Reaching for processed foods on the shelves of supermarkets was no longer appealing, as I realized I was only robbing my body of sustaining minerals and nutrients. With this, I decided to make a drastic change. I decided to implement a purification program that consisted of consuming only fruits and vegetables for 21 days. Which, in essence, means no ranch dressing, no bread, and no pasta, etc. etc. This program is not about being a vegetarian, it’s more than that. It’s about removing any food that may be causing stress or toxicity in your body. The first 3-4 days of the program was both challenging and difficult, as I was constantly tempted to reach for a bag of chips or a slice of bread. But, without cheating, I prevailed, and by day 21, I was feeling more energetic, rejuvenated, and healthier than I had ever before.
The results to me, spoke louder than any nutrition course I could have ever taken. After the program, I knew I needed to make a more permanent change, but I wanted more than just fruits and vegetables. So currently, my meals consist mainly of fruits and vegetables, and then I add other foods to my plate. In return, I have gained a healthy balance and am grateful for the education and experience that directed me along the healthier path. My husband and I do not have any children of our own yet, but we are very active in the lives of our 2 nieces. When we spend time with them, we only make healthy options available. So, instead of the question “Would you like fruit or crackers?; “we instead ask “Would you like an apple or an orange?” This tactic has been very effective, and as they continue to grow, I look forward to teaching them more about the benefits of healthy choices. I wish I had understood them better as a child!
– Dr. Whitlock is the director of physical therapy at SpineCARE Therapy, a division of Minimally Invasive SpineCARE. Dr. Whitlock specializes in the evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of the neck, back and extremities, with a particular expertise in prenatal and pediatric chiropractics.