Our food system is broken. We eat food that comes from packages, boxes, and cans containing ingredients that even someone with a doctorate cannot pronounce or identify each part. If our conscious mind cannot conceptualize these foods, well then how is our body supposed to make sense of them.
No wonder why your gut is mad at you! It is because it does not have the machinery needed to breakdown the lab experiment that you are putting into it. Autoimmune, digestive health and obesity are on the rise in America. Although your food is not the only culprit. It is part of the puzzle.
Right, now I would like you to go to your pantry or freezer and look around. Pull out a container and look at the ingredients. Is there something on the back you are not familiar with? If so why are you putting it in your body?!? If someone you didn’t know came up to your door and wanted to come to your house and they may do something great or may do something horrible to your place, would you let them in? NO, YOU Wouldn’t! So why are you letting this unknown garbage into the one thing that is 100% yours…your body?
Even products advertised as healthy or “low cal.” Usually are loaded with terrible substances, most of which can damage your body. If your goal is to be healthy then you need to make a change and eat REAL FOOD.
What is real food? Well, if you look at it and can tell what it is made of, you should eat it. If you read the package it comes in and can pronounce and identify the ingredients, then you can eat it. If it looks like my Biology lab methods section from school, then put it back down.
HOW TO FIND REAL FOOD
It sounds like an easy task, but I would break this journey down into levels.
Shop on the outside of the grocery store, not the aisles.
Have you ever tried this? Or at least paid attention to what is on the outside of the aisles and inside the aisles. Generally, on the outside of the store aisles are the produce section, dairy and eggs, and meat. Pretty basic. These foods are more often REAL meaning comes from nature and not a lab.
Spend a lot of time in the produce section, as roughly half of your plate should be veggies
In the aisles are the canned soups, cereals, chips, etc. that are made of god knows what. Delicious, but remember our unwanted house guest, don’t let them in or you will trash your body.
Exceptions to this rule are preserved or frozen vegetables and fruits. During the winter months, canning or canned organic foods (without added salt/sugar) can be a supplement if local, and frozen organic foods are another way to go. Frozen organic foods are almost always flash-frozen at their maximal level of freshness and can even be better for you than foods sitting in the produce section, which have traveled from elsewhere, allowing for the nutritional content to breakdown.
AN ADDED BONUS with frozen veggies is that you open the package, heat or thaw them and put them in your mouth, making food prep (SEE STEP1, STEP 2 and STEP 3) easier and your weekly food choices more nutritious.
Stick to the perimeter of the store and you will be on the way to eating real food.
Organic, farm-raised, grass-fed, wild-caught
Alright, next level here. This can be complicated at times, but bear with me.
Other languages to look for includes the word “organic.” Organic means that the food was raised via the process that nature intended. In the case of grains/vegetables, this means no synthetic pesticides, additives or coatings. For animals, they were allowed to move in their natural environment, eat natural foods and were not given hormones or antibiotics. A complete list of the FDA rules and definitions can be found here.
Labels will often also specify pasture-raised, or free-range for meat/poultry, further illuminating this principle that the animal was allowed to move around. For fish, this means wild-caught and not farm-raised (meaning in a fish tank).
Why am I telling you this???
THESE FOODS ARE DELICIOUS
THEY ARE BETTER FOR YOU
If you have ever had a steak that was allowed to roam free, fed grass rather than feed, it will change your perception of a good steak. I get most meats from our farm share or our local butcher shop and it is SO TASTY. Changed my life. That is how steak is supposed to taste!?! I have been missing out!
Organic, free-range foods taste better and often look different. This is largely due to the increased nutritional value of the meat, fish, etc itself. There are often high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which have excellent properties for much chronic health issues, bone and joint health, improving your cholesterol and brain health. Farm-raised fish may often even lack omega 3 fatty acids completely, thus negating the health effects of these wonderful natural resources.
But Buyers BEWARE. Many foods advertised as organic, are not 100% organic. Those animals are returned to their trough or to eat feed at times. Unless you know the animal or its’ owner you can never be 100% sure, but do your best.
As stated above you should look for food that is raised the way nature intended them to. The next level in your process is to source seasonal foods.
An example of this would be here in Ohio toward the end of summer we get corn, tomato, and apple startup. Eating foods that are grown locally and exist presently are at their maximal level of nutritional value, thus it is the best for you. They have not had the chance to sit in a truck from say Mexico to arrive on your dinner plate amongst many other rotting vegetables. Instead, eat what is around in your environment and those foods will be picked from the tree and arrive at your home.
It is optimal if you can obtain your food directly from the farm, or be a part of a farm share. However, if you only have grocery store access, look on the label for where the food came from and that will steer you in the right direction. Get it..steer??
Grow your own
If you own or live on a farm, wow…I am jealous. However, urban dwellers can dabble in the farming world. Easy starter home farms include growing herbs and spices. You can even attempt garlic carrots or other ground-dwelling veggies in a pot, flower bed, etc. The difficulty progresses from there, but you get the picture. The food you make is 100% controlled by you. You know what was given to it, and assuming you don’t add pesticides, will be high in quality.
I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING…@maximalbeing…all these foods above are too pricey. Well, they can be. If you can go to the farm, they are SOOOO cheap. If you shop for sales, it also can be cheap.
Ultimately the cost/benefit decision is up to you and that is why we created levels to allow you a gradient toward your GOALS. Armed with this information and sound budget, your nutritional house will be in order with no unwanted guests.