Tag Archives: Dr. Terry Wahls

What Shall I Fix for Dinner? Phytos First!

14 Nov
by Deanne

Photo of Greens on the Grill

Phytos First is my new mantra.   Phytos is short for phytochemicals.  Here is an explanation from the American Cancer Society:

Phytochemicals are a wide variety of compounds made by plants, that may affect human health. They are found in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains. Scientists have identified thousands of phytochemicals, although only a small fraction have been studied closely. Some of the better-known phytochemicals include beta carotene and other carotenoids, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), folic acid, and vitamin E.

The mantra, Phytos First, came to me after reading countless stories of people who were cured or nearly cured from medical conditions by changing the focus of their diet.  Just one of many examples is the story of Dr. Terry Wahls, an Iowa City based doctor and patient diagnosed with with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis in 2000.  By 2003 she had used chemotherapy in an attempt to slow the disease and began using a tilt-recline wheelchair because of weakness of her back muscles.   The story of her recovery is shared on a TedX talk

My brain has been trained to think about proteins first, usually in the form of meats. Now, I’d like to remind myself that proteins can come from plants too and filling my meals with plants first is something I choose to do. If you adhere to a Paleo diet, you still need to think about what fruits and veggies to add to your day, which is probably a little harder than to think about if one has been on a mostly processed food regime of eating.

A few weeks ago I picked up a book called The Plant-Powered Diet by Sharon Palmer, RD. When I heard the author speak at  the Women Food and Ag Network conference, I was excited.  Knowing how hard it is to change our diet, I looked through the book and saw recipes, and lots of charts that would be helpful in learning about the plants that might show up in my CSA box or plants that we might decide to plant in our garden.

Will you join me as I learn how to move from asking myself, what shall I fix for dinner, to asking, how can I add my phytochemicals first?  Now days, I strive to stand at the fridge full of chopped greens, cut cabbage, and a bin full of apples and I can easily put together a soup or a salad.  In the past, if I was hungry while I was cooking, I would eat crackers and cheese.  Now, I will cut an apple and spread on a little nut butter to munch on while cooking.

If you are a blogger who also wants to fill our day with Phytos First please use this hashtag to promote your posts that have veggie recipes or tips for preparing plants based foods fast:  #PhytosFirst   I will re-tweet them.

Top photo creditAmanda Petersen Photography

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