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Food as Medicine

by Lauren Branson

Local Food as Medicine

We caught up with Cheree Sheldon a Naturopath from CK health recently to dive a bit deeper into the age old saying of you are what you eat. It seems like you won’t wake up looking like an apple but the quality of the life you live is quite simply determined largely by what you’re eating. Here’s what Cheree had to say.


What you put into your body, quite literally becomes you!


You utilise all of the nutrients you get from your diet for energy, muscles, bones, brain function and to support gut health and mental health. To say it’s important that we all eat a nutritious diet is an understatement!

 Nutritious Meal at Your Food Collective

If you want to improve your diet there’s 3 easy ways to do this.

  • Eat a rainbow
  • Eat more plants
  • Eat less processed foods

 Rainbow Carrots at Your Food Collective

By focusing on these three simple guidelines, you can improve your nutrient intake dramatically and your health.

If you eat a broad range of colours and ingredients, you will be getting a very wide range of vitamins, mineral and plant nutrients (otherwise known as phytochemicals) that can help you meet your nutritional needs every day and reduce your risk of health issues. Cody from CK Health recommends hitting 40 different plant foods per week.


How many do you think you’d eat it a week? Set yourself a goal and see how you go!


Sadly, chronic diseases in Australia are on the rise, and most are lifestyle driven diseases. Type II diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are all diseases of choice. You can choose not to go down that path and you can also choose to put the gears in reverse if you ever end up there. All by focusing on your diet.


Antioxidants and other beneficial food compounds are critical for reversing poor health and are magical at preventing health issues.


One example is lycopene. This is what gives tomatoes their luscious red colour. It’s also a plant chemical that supports heart function and can improve cholesterol levels and reduce cancer risk.

Local Tomatoes at Your Food Collective

If you took lycopene in a supplement you might get a benefit, but the real magic happens when you eat it from foods. Mother nature has packaged us exactly what we need in terms of nutrition and health in abundance, however, most of us have turned away from fresh foods in favour of pre-packaged convenience foods.

 Its such a simple question…

 Would you prefer to cook and prepare a meal from scratch or grab something pre-made and be contributing directly to your health issues?

 Your fatigue, tummy issues, allergies, autoimmunity, the list goes on. There is a myriad of health conditions that can be altered by changing the foods we eat.


Knowing where your food comes from can help you feel a strong connection to the earth and your community. The exciting thing about getting a seasonal box of fruit and veggies, is that it will always be providing you with the nutrients your body needs more of during that season!

 Local Broccoli at YOur Food Collective

Winter foods like cauliflower and broccoli are really high in vitamin C, turnip is really high in Vitamin A, and silver beet is high in folate. All of which support immune function, which is very important at this time of year. Mushrooms are another fabulous winter food that contain a good amount of vitamin D, and since we aren’t seeing as much sunlight in winter, its mother nature providing what we need!

We’re so excited about what Your Food Collective are doing because they work with local producers that grow food with love and respect.

This care is often reflected in the phytochemicals of foods! Naturally grown foods have about 50% more plant chemicals than food grown artificially. This translates into more bang for your buck in terms of what food is doing to benefit your body. When it comes to your health it really does matter where your food comes from!!


At CK Health, Cody and Cheree are Newcastle naturopaths who use nutrition as a key way to help you optimise your health.A lot of people, however, don’t understand what it is that naturopaths actually do.

CK Health at Your Food Collective 

Naturopathic medicine is a complete system of health care. When you see a naturopath at CK Health, you are visiting an evidence based practitioner who supports wellness through natural medicine. Naturopaths have a variety of modalities that they use, including herbal medicine, nutritional medicine, homeopathy, diet and lifestyle advice. It is a very science driven field that includes using traditional remedies made from nature as well as utilising current research. Training includes biochemistry, counselling, biology, and pathology. Often naturopaths dive deeper into specific areas and choose to do further study to focus their skills in that field. For example, at CK Health and Wellbeing, Cody has a lot of experience in treating autoimmune, Lyme and gut health. Cheree is passionate about preconception, pregnancy and children’s health.

Ck health at Your Food Collective

 So, what can we as naturopaths help with?

 Pretty much anything when it comes to health!

 From allergies, anxiety, depression, cancer support, through to worms, yeast infections and zinc deficiency. We can support you through diagnosed illnesses, work to prevent genetic predispositions, and assist you getting to the bottom of chronic conditions.

 Many people come to us feeling unsupported. We often see people who come as their “last chance”, they feel like they have tried everything and not gotten any better. It’s so rewarding when we can make a difference in the lives of chronically ill people, but what we’d love to see, is a shift in thinking and make a visit to us as naturopaths, the first port of call when you don’t feel yourself! Naturopathic medicine is preventative medicine at its best!

 CK health at YOur Food Collective

When you visit us at CK Health it is all about you:your goals, your history and your needs. We may ask a tonne of questions to get to the bottom of an issue, utilise tests like blood tests, DNA, stool tests or hair analysis. We might look at your diet and see if it is the best one for you. Lifestyle factors such as stress, environmental influences, and exercise are all discussed and tweaked if they are needed to so you can hit your health goals.

 Ck health at Your Food Collective

Our goal is to support you to meet your goal. We are not one size fits all, and loath excessive use of supplements or protocols that aren’t unique to you. Long term we want you to feel empowered in your knowledge of how to support your own health, and throughout our journey with you, we aim to give you the tools and education you need to do just that.


Just remember it all starts with food. So grab a box from Your Food Collective, and watch your health flourish. Eating locally and seasonally is so important and no one else really provides that!"

  Local Box of Fruit and Veg at Your Food Collective

About Cheree

Cheree Sheldon wants to support couples become the parents they dream of being. Having gone through the heart aches of repeated miscarriage and a stillborn baby, Cheree’s focus as a nutritionist and naturopath is primarily on fertility issues, prenatal planning, and pregnancy support. She loves supporting the health needs of babies and children, and wants to empower parents to be in charge of their health journey. When she’s not in clinic, she’s often exploring nature with her two beautiful girls.





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Lauren Branson

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