Modern Day Healthcare, Week 2: Nutrition, Food is Medicine


I was the child that ate sugary, marshmallow-based cereals that had bright colors. Sugar was never the enemy, but vegetables were essential. Even in my 20’s, this was the same pattern of eating I knew. A friend of mine who was an acupuncturist encouraged me to switch to less sugary cereal and eat brown instead of white rice. I started to make small changes, but they became far more significant when my husband and I listened to the audio book In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.
We now see food as fuel and realize that we don’t need to regularly eat the modern processed food. Our breakfasts consist of egg, sausage and vegetable based food, lunch is typically an animal protein, vegetable and fruit, and dinner is often stir fry. We eat organic food that is sourced as locally as possible (which helps us ensure the humane treatment of the animals and proper farming for nutrient maintenance).
In Pilates, we focus on our form and would not stand for mindless movement that would involve poor alignment, sloppy joint support and low energy. The same should be associated with what we put in our bodies. If we know that sugar causes inflammation in the body that can lead to autoimmune responses, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, why would we make that a regular choice in our diet?
Joseph Pilates believed that proper diet was part of whole body health:

Accordingly, it is earnestly suggested that you guide your eating habits with all due respect to the required amount of food and kind you need to keep yourself physically fit, always indicated by your occupation, or lack of it. –Joseph Pilates Return to Life through Contrology

Food is fuel and the type of fuel we use in our bodies matters. As remarkable as the human body is at adapting, we can find more energy, less pain, and improved vitality when approaching our meals like we do our workouts!


Noelle Dowma, DPT, PMA® – CPT
POLESTAR® Educator

Noelle began Pilates in 1992 when rehabilitating a dance injury. While acquiring her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Oklahoma, Noelle received her first Pilates certification through the PhysicalMind Institute. She then started to work for Polestar Pilates Center while attending the University of Miami School of Medicine where she earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. As a Polestar Pilates Educator, Noelle has taught courses across the USA, presented at conferences and was the featured Pilates teacher on the Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise. She currently lives near Kansas City and works as a Pilates, manual therapy, and dance specialized physical therapist and is on the faculty at the Kansas City Ballet School. Noelle is Pilates Method Alliance Certified.

This is part of a 12-week series about Modern Healthcare. To see previous posts, click here.