Why I'm not eating salads...

You are never going to guess what my acupuncturist told me NOT to eat.


Yup. I'm not supposed to be eating the "healthiest" food out there.

Let me explain...

I spent the last few weeks out in California. It was my little escape from NYC winter and it was lovely! I soaked up the sun, ate ALL the fresh produce and really made an effort to take care of myself (not drinking much caffeine or alcohol, sleeping plenty and exercising regularly).

So I was shocked when, at the end of my trip, I started to get sick.

I never get sick!!! What was going on?

I did EVERYTHING to fight off this illness. I ate ALL the immune boosting foods, I took my sickness-fighting supplements and I let myself rest.

I didn't get better. My head felt like it was under water, I was tired and achy and SO BLOATED. Not just my belly, but my whole body felt puffy. After a few days of this, I decided I needed some outside help so I got a recommendation for a local acupuncturist and booked an appointment.

I love going to acupuncture because I feel like it's a great mix of traditional and holistic medicine. The acupuncturist asked me a whole slew of questions (do you drink coffee? what are your stress levels? what's your diet like? do your hands get cold easily?) and he also took my pulse and looked at my nails and tongue (which supposedly show a LOT about your overall health).

His conclusion? I wasn't sick, but my body was working too hard trying to digest all the raw (and oh so lovely and beautiful) foods that I was eating. Because approximately 80% of our immune systems are located in our guts, when something is off with our digestion we can show signs of sickness, even if we haven't got a cold or flu.

So, the very next day I switched from salads to stir fry and soups and other cooked foods. And guess what? I pretty much IMMEDIATELY felt better.

I wanted to share this story for two reasons:

1) Sometimes we need to ask for help. I'm a health coach and very in tune with my body, but that doesn't mean I ALWAYS have the answers. Sometimes it's easier for an outsider to see the situation as it is and point something out that we ourselves have missed.

2) You don't have to eat salads to be healthy!! This is still one of the biggest health myths out there - that raw salads are the only way to beat belly bloat, feel super energized and be your healthiest self. While raw veggies are WONDERFUL, they are not the only option, nor the best option for everyone. In fact, if you struggle from digestive issues like IBS (like me) consuming more cooked foods may help you tremendously.

Here are a few ways to still get your VEG on sans salad:

  • Warm 'em up - Did you know that you can heat up salad greens? Some hold up better than others but you can do a quick saute with pretty much ANY green.
  • Add 'em in - Stir greens into your soups and stir frys. LOTS and lots and lots of them.
  • Get blendy! I'm a huge fan of blender soups like this one.

Click the photos for cooked food recipes!

Do you eat a lot of raw veggies or mostly cooked ones? Do you notice one or the other is more easily digested? I'd love to hear from you.