I recently returned from the Integrative Oncology Conference in Arizona with my mom. We had a great time at the conference (and at the Grand Canyon)!

I was fortunate to listen to a few of the general talks that were offered about healthy lifestyle. Here are some tools and topics that really spoke to me about how to stay healthy.

The Environment 

If we are working to keep our bodies healthy, while polluting our land, air, and waterways, then we are fighting a losing battle. Take care of the environment to take care of yourself.


Photo by Gem & Lauris RK

Culinary Medicine

Love foods that love you back. When it comes to enjoying food, don’t think about what you can’t have (sugar, processed foods, fast food), think about what you can have (veggies, fruits, whole grains!).

Learn cooking skills. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, raw foodie, etc… the skills and science behind cooking will apply to any diet that might serve you.

Native American Traditional Medicine

A person is more than just a body. We are also a mind, a spirit, and part of an environment. When looking for health we must look to all of these aspects of the individual.

For instance, if we surround ourselves with family and friends that are eating poorly, and we want to eat healthy, we will struggle. If we work with our community and our environment to to create support for healthy choices, it will be much easier.

Western Medicine vs. Eastern Medicine

When we use “medicine” to treat a problem, it is much more difficult than using “medicine” that treats a healthy individual. Sometimes prescriptions are necessary, of course, but if we expand the definition of medicine to our food and herbal remedies we can use herbs and foods that maintain health every day.

Some examples from Dr. Andrew Weil: Ginseng (Supports a healthy stress response), Milk thistle (supports a healthy liver), astragalus (used to ward off colds in China) , mushrooms (many benefits when used as food, teas, tinctures, or pills).