By: Dr. Amy Duong, ND (bio below)
For those who have been following my story and articles on this blog, you know that I have personally experienced eczema throughout my childhood and young adult years. With my training in naturopathic medical and acupuncture, I’ve healed my eczema and have been able to live free of eczema flare-ups by following certain dietary and lifestyle modifications.
Today, I wanted to write about the importance of knowing where your food comes from. To heal eczema or any chronic medical condition, having a nutrient dense diet is at the forefront of my naturopathic approach. Buying organic is a great start; however, organic farms still use “organic” or non-synthetic antibiotics and fungicides – chemicals that do affect your body especially your liver organ. We all do our best to put the freshest food on our table that fits our budget and busy lifestyles. Buying fruits and vegetables can be an unfathomable expense which can be very disheartening.
Living in Connecticut, I am fortunate for having several local sources of fresh fruits and vegetables. My dream is to one day have many acres of my own land on which I can grow bountiful vegetable and fruit gardens, but it’s not the case at this time, so I must look elsewhere. I recommend looking into the farmers’ markets and CSA programs mentioned below to support the movement of living closer to the earth and providing our bodies with the most vibrant, healthful food.
Here are four places where I source my food and you can too!
- Health Food Co-op – I have this type of market next to my home, which is where I buy my gluten-free packaged foods such as brown rice, quinoa and pasta. I will also grab the occasional Gala apple (my favorite!) to or from yoga class.
- Farmers Markets – We have many markets multiple days a week throughout the year so I can see what is growing at the local farms in Connecticut. I buy a variety of squash and zucchini here as well as fresh-baked gluten-free cookies and cold beet soup as my weekend treat.
- Friends! The most wonderful option for me right now is having a friend who has grown her own vegetable garden in a large farm that also has apple, Asian pear, and peach trees dotting the property. I visit once a week and pick kale, swiss chard, collard greens, ripe fruit off the vine, and different herbs, including white sage, holy basil, basil, and rosemary. This is a summer passion of mine so I don’t mind making the one hour drive each way to spend the afternoon harvesting and being close to the earth. This week, I plan to help pull elderberry off the vine to make elderberry herbal tincture, syrup and…wine! Everything I pick, I take home with no charge because there is just so much bounty and there is a joy in sharing. Perhaps you can speak with your local farmer or look into programs where you can volunteer your time or labor in exchange for fresh fruits and vegetables. This would be great for kids too in order to help them understand where their food comes from and what it takes to nourish our bodies from the inside, out.
- Buying into a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). In this case, you would pay the farmer upfront for a season to support the working at the farm, and in turn, you would receive a share of the bounty weekly and pick it up at the designated locations. I haven’t done this yet, but it’s a great option to receive a large amount of fruits and vegetables straight from the farm and explore new varieties of foods for some inspired cooking. Look into your local CSA with a simple Google search. It could be a great option for families feeding many mouths!
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Bio: Dr. Amy Duong completed her Naturopathic Doctorate at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona, where she also trained in Acupuncture. She offers general naturopathic care with a special focus on skin disorders including eczema, acne and psoriasis as well as anxiety, depression and digestive concerns. Currently, Dr. Duong is based in Connecticut where she sees many lovely patients of all ages with common skin conditions and other medical concerns in her naturopathic medical practice.
Please visit, www.naturalskindr.com to learn more about Dr. Amy Duong and her Skype/phone consultations to help you address your eczema or other medical condition.
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