I’ve come to the realization that we all need to take our individual health into our own hands. I love the way that Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. and renowned integrative specialist, describes our medical system today: The Western medical system is like a plumber - it does a great job at finding a problem and fixing it immediately, but not getting to the root cause.
I've personally experienced this tension. Often, going to a traditional doctor leads to a long list of prescriptions instead of figuring out the root cause of the problem. And what I’m learning more and more about – is that the root cause of ongoing health issues is very often lifestyle habits – the food we eat, our sleep patterns, the way we manage stress, etc. It wasn't until I started seeing my health holistically, and seeking out functional medicine doctors that I was able to really take my health into my own hands.
Dr. Weil, the "founder" of integrative medicine in the West, describes this type of medical practice as a gardener, instead. He says: Functional medicine views your body in the way a gardener sees their garden; they are constantly tending to weeds, watering and feeding plants so they can grow, and creating a holistic system that thrives.
So, what if we viewed our health like a garden? What if we applied the same rigor used in managing our work schedules to managing our personal health? We would really treat it like a full-time "job" - feeding our bodies with nutritious foods, proactively and consistently monitoring our bodies instead of letting issues fester, and seeing our entire lives as an interweaved system connected to our health, happiness and longevity.
My one suggestion for our community for the coming new year is to find and begin to see a functional medicine doctor. A functional medicine doctor will do in-depth blood work and gut health testing and they will ask you many questions about your diet and lifestyle to get a view of your overall health. They will help you prevent future health issues and can optimize your health, mood, sleep and more. I recommend Parsley Health but there are many functional medicine doctors across the country who can provide this type of care. Many functional medicine doctors are not covered by insurance unfortunately but if you can budget for it, I would prioritize this type of care.
How do you take your health into your own hands? Have you had any experience with functional or integrative medicine? Respond to this note or tag us on Instagram @kosterina with your thoughts!
Peace, love & EVOO, Katerina
Olive Oil Sommelier, Katerina Mountanos, is the Founder & CEO of Kosterina. Katerina is very passionate about olive oil, the Mediterranean lifestyle and eating for health and longevity.
Some of my favorite moments in life are the times after a meal where conversations continue and a second drink is served. I often feel a ping of disappointment in that moment where someone gets up and starts to pick up the dishes. I try not to be that person.