client Health Healthy Eating how to Menu planning motivation Professional resolutions strategy

Food “as” Medicine. Exercise “is” Medicine. Medicine is Medicine.

These three things all serve a purpose in our self care.

Updated 12/2020

When you work with diverse experts from the farm to the fork, and a topic comes up with all of them, it’s time to focus in on it. The “…as medicine” and “is medicine” phrases are coming in hot. What does “food as medicine” or “exercise is medicine” mean to people? Let’s discuss:

Food has the potential to support our health while we also honor personal preferences including culture, taste, budget, cooking skills, and other factors that are meaningful to us as we decide what to eat.

Medicine works better when you pay attention to (potential) food interactions.

Exercise works better when you also pay attention to your food.

When we say food and/or exercise is medicine, the positive intent of this (IMO) is that we must treat these topics with the same serious and dedicated attention that we do medicine. Not that we think of them as substitutes.

What we need is consistent self care to be our healthiest selves. This means using all the tools in our personal toolbox.

Bottom line: Treat each thing that you are doing for your health with the same respect and consistency, and learn how they can work together to help you even more.

Take medicine (if you have it) as prescribed.

Eat balanced meals with nutritious foods daily.

Move and be active daily.

Food is food. Exercise is exercise. Medicine is medicine. Treat them all with the same level of importance. Each of these aspects of care can be optimized to support you.

Words are powerful, as are analogies.  Let’s be happy and focused when we choose them. Especially when it comes to describing how we are going to care for ourselves.


By Kim Kirchherr

I am a dietitian working in food and fiber (agriculture) through retail, addressing opportunities to make things better for people and planet.

3 replies on “Food “as” Medicine. Exercise “is” Medicine. Medicine is Medicine.”

Comments are closed.