By Heather Wilkinson
This year, many of us started off with the go-to resolution… lose weight, get fit and begin our journey towards health and wellness. What approaches are the best when it comes to choosing the right diet? Wait. Strike that. What is the best approach when it comes to changing our lifestyle (diet is an evil four-letter word) ...?
The first step is educating ourselves and understanding that our food choices and our lifestyle choices are what shape our wellness experience. At Wild Idea Buffalo Company, we do our best to be informed on the nutritional benefits of our buffalo meat, however we are not nutritionists or doctors. With so many health-plans out there, we too were curious, so we decided to reach out to a couple of experts and tap into their wealth of knowledge.
Recently, I sat down with our go-to experts in Rapid City, Dr. Nancy Babbitt and Dr. Tim Watt to discuss health and wellness and the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Babbitt is a family practice doctor with a special interest in nutrition that owns an independent practice, Creekside Medical Clinic, which also houses The Lifestyle Wellness Center. Dr. Watt is Board certified in Neurosurgery and in Anti Aging Rejuvenative and Functional Medicine. He is Fellowship trained in Metabolic Medicine and Clinical Nutrition. He shares his passion for wellness in videos entitled It’s Not Brain Surgery on Instagram and YouTube.
Where to begin? How do you start this journey especially if you’ve been struggling all your life with health issues? I asked Dr. Babbitt, if it was even possible. Is there one universal diet? She explained, “There is a way to eat that will work for everybody – it’s just that everybody can’t wrap their head around eating that way. There is plenty of evidence now that shows that a lean protein, vegetable-rich diet will help prevent diabetes and obesity… no question.” Especially considering individuals who are suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. Dr. Watt adamantly addressed individuals who are suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, “This is virtually 100 percent a self-inflicted disease. We take in a huge amount of sugar in our diet and it’s not good for us, end of story.” Not to mention that an addiction to sugar is a real disease.
“The masses do not know about food that’s healthy. If you think of it from the point of view of someone that has no knowledge about nutrition that goes to the grocery store to shop for food that it must be fine,” states Dr. Babbitt. Think about it, we simply trust that the food we are buying is healthy for us. But as individuals, we need to take responsibility towards informing ourselves of what’s in the food we eat and not to succumb to those marketing ploys and “food packaging lies”. That means reading the nutrition labels, along with understanding where our food/meat comes from.
You need to know what the animals are fed. If they are not grass-fed and they are fed corn, that meat will be high in omega-6, which is pro-inflammatory. Dr. Watt spoke to this point and stated, “Where your meat comes from is very important, because what your meat ate, determines what you’re eating. There is no substitute for grass-fed/grass-finished animals when you’re eating meat in your diet. The animals that are eating a grass-based diet have a high omega-3 content (lower inflammatory) and a low omega-6 content.” He went on to further discuss other issues such as, antibiotics, hormones and pesticides and highlighted that, “We clearly know that Roundup, the glyphosates are horrible, they’re toxic as all get out. They disrupt hormones and suppress testosterone. These hormonal imbalances lead to obesity. Leads to cancer. Leads to Diabetes.”
But, what about the cost of food – how does this play a role in deciding our lifestyle habits? Dr. Babbitt remarks, “So we love cheap food, because we can eat so much of it.” She continues on with, “Cheap food is not a good deal, and that’s a conversation I have often with my patients.”
As I thought about it, we are a society (who overeats) and we think it’s okay to ‘Super Size’ that meal. It’s a good deal, right? No, it’s not a good deal for your pocketbook, or your health. As it turns out, this mentality lends itself to higher health care costs, but yet we can’t seem to steer ourselves away from this thinking. How about investing in yourself and in your health? Paying more (yes more!) for a healthier and more nutritious lifestyle will actually save you money in health care costs. Those five burgers for five bucks may save you short term, but in the long run, they will cost you more and your health will suffer alongside the health of the environment.
I came away with it all boiling down to this… we are what we eat. Our food choices are directly connected to our health... mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Feed your soul and your body. “Eat for life,” says Dr. Watt. It’s that simple and it applies to all of us.
Health, wellness and environmental stewardship are the drivers behind Wild Idea Buffalo Company. Our 100% grass-fed/grass-finished, humanely field harvested buffalo meat is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is a healthy red meat that you can feel good about eating. It’s a high-quality source of protein that’s not just good for you, but it’s also good for the environment and good for the animals. So, when thinking about a healthy way of life, and living naturally, do what our buffalo do, roam big and eat clean!