Heh heh, so this has become my new nickname amongst my lunch crew at work. It all started a few months ago when I came into the lunch room armed with my nutrient-infused spinach shake and my raw fruits and veggies. Oh, and “holistic crackers”, which my co-worker Martha says look like cardboard (but hey, I can identify all the ingredients on the package, and they’re actually quite good.)

My immediate family has never had a problem with weight management; however, we’ve all spent our lives “sicker than a dog” as the expression goes. I battled sinus infections for the better part of my adolescence and twenties. Whenever anyone in our house was sick, we passed the virus around like a communal loving cup.

For the past ten years or so I strived to be healthier and eat healthier. But as a high school teacher, I still ended up getting horrible viruses a lot, and it seemed as though if anyone around me got sick, I was sure to catch it.

Cut to this past summer. My husband and I frequent this lovely organic cafe in a neighboring town and the wonderful woman who runs it also operates a nutrition/natural healing practice. [I know what you’re thinking: that Seinfeld episode where George’s head turns purple.]

But seriously, it’s not like that. This is all about finding the healing benefits in food and in nature that have been “naturally” (pun intended) provided for us.

I’ve started applying these rules, using the organic supplements I’ve tagged below and, as a testimonial, about a month ago, three of the teachers I lunch with were deathly sick, hacking all over the lunch table, sneezing, feverish-where I eat!- and I didn’t get so much as a sniffle.

There’s an ancient Ayurvedic proverb that says, “When the diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” Speaking as someone who spent most of her life feeling unhealthy and constantly stressed over disease and feeling powerless to prevent it, I’m pleased to-hopefully-empower you to try these simple tactics (which, by the way, are not a “diet” but a way of viewing your food as a health tool and nourishment for your body) to better your body and your life.

#1 Rule: Acquire everything (i.e. your health) through food. This means what you eat and your supplements should be derived through natural foods and plants and not chemically made.

Here are the Essential 5 Things that Every Body Needs to be Healthy:

#1: Minerals: cayenne, turmeric, kale, spinach, collard greens

#2 Fiber: whole grains, “cruficorous ” vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus, onion, rutabega, parsnips, turnips, kale, squash

#3 Essential Fatty Acids: nuts, seeds, Brazil Nuts, fish, avacado

#4 Probioitcs (easiest in supplement form): fermented cabbage, pickles, squash, cambouca tea, yogurt (has to be organic and unsweetened).

#5 Enzymes: (Best taken in supplement form). These are what’s missing from over-processd food. They help your body rid itself of unwanted waste that gets stored as fat. Take them with any meal when you’re not in control of what goes into it: http://www.amazon.com/Allegany-Nutrit… (This is the link for what we use; can get them cheaper in Greencastle though. One bottle lasts you 270 meals; take only when needed).

Other health benefits to try:
Eating vegetables and fruits raw whenever you can; keep more of the nutrients that way.

Buy organic, “non-GMO” whenever you can.

Don’t be afraid of “Good Fats”!!!: This includes virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and 70% or darker chocolate. These fats are vital to your body’s health, will help you feel fuller longer, and will give your body time to break down essential nutrients without digesting your food too quickly.

Look at the ingredients lists on foods; if it’s a short list of ingredients that you can identify, it’s going to be better for you.

*Processed foods (i.e. “meals” that come in boxes) Alternative: (Try “Annie’s” mac & cheese, soups, and meals; they’re organic and are only made with natural, non-processed foods)

*White sugar (nature’s own killer!) Instead, try baking or sweetening with honey, agave, or stevia, which won’t spike your blood sugar or get stored as fat; sugar gets turned into more fat by the body than “fat” from foods does.

*Try to buy your meat from local farmers to avoid all the antibiotics and crap that gets put into commercially farmed livestock (which I know you guys already do).

-Since my author life is kind of at a lag (I’m writing novel #5, sitting on 4m re-editing and re-releasing #3), I’ll be posting more of the happy health knowledge I’ve gleaned. I hope it helps you feel like you’re not at the mercy of sickness and medial drugs (which can be a sickness in and of themselves). Happy living!