Today, let’s hash out a less confounding chicken/egg question: What did the chickens who produced the eggs you ate for breakfast this morning have for breakfast before they made your eggs?

Often Nutrition Response Testing patients learn they’re sensitive to certain grains common in our diets and chemicals found in our environment. After they’ve been careful to avoid those foods and chemicals, sometimes the same things will show up at the root of a new issue (like congestion that feels like allergies or a cold, for example.) When this happens, they indignant. “I haven’t had any ____” they declare, and it’s true, they’ve avoided it like the plague.  Except…sometimes they’re consuming foods that, prior to being food, were living in an environment in which they consumed the patients’ no-no items. At this point it’s tempting to retreat to fetal position and rock back and forth on the floor, declaring you’ll just never eat anything again and everything will be fine. That won’t be necessary, and everything will be fine, just stick with me here.

Now you’re wondering what, exactly, has gone into the meal you thought was perfectly healthy when you gleefully shoveled into your pie hole. Good! You should. When animals are fed foods that aren’t part of their natural diets, and are exposed to chemicals their own immune systems aren’t necessarily designed to combat, what resides in  their bodies are the same things that aren’t great for humans. When plants are grown in soil that is less than optimal, and exposed to chemicals intended to protect them from pests and other plants that would rob them of their nutrients, those are the things humans are eating when we make a salad. The good news is, there are more  sources for excellent eats than we’ve had in decades. Whether you know there are foods and chemicals you should avoid or not, there are many reasons to opt for the highest quality food you can find, not the least of which is to give your body its best nourishment so you can feel fantastic. On to the fun stuff – how and where do we get the good food?

Lotus of Life Chiropractic is in Decatur, Georgia, and here we have an embarrassment of riches when it come to excellent sources for food. We’ve already talked at length to our locals about where to buy the best food. The Environmental Working Group does a fantastic job of keeping us updated on “clean” foods; we recommend checking out their consumer guides. Also at shared purpose here is the ASPCA, helping us know how to select meats that come from farms on which the animals are treated well and lead happy lives. Their site is brimming with great information about where to get your groceries.

Budget is a consideration for everyone, and when it comes to what we eat and feed our loved ones, we should be budgeting a sizable chunk. What we eat determines our health, our mental capacity, our mood, our energy level…our ability to function on every level. When any of those things goes awry, it can end up costing not just more than we’d hoped, but more than we even earn, to correct them. So yes, sometimes high quality food feels like a big expense, but in the long run it saves us money, time, and hardship. As more people demand higher quality foods, more farmers are heeding the call, making it not only more available, but with each passing year, more affordable. You may not be able to buy only humane-certified, pasture-raised, organic ingredients and meals 100% of the time, but striving for that by adding more in each week is a great start!