What do you think of when you think of food? When our grandparents thought of food years ago, what came to their minds was a lot different then what probably popped into your head.
Food, until just the past 50 or 60 years, was harvested from the ground or sourced from fairly local suppliers. You didn’t buy a lot at one time because the shelf life was short, and in some cases, you didn’t have the storage, refrigeration or otherwise, to keep it fresh for more than a day or two. Real food decomposes quickly, so you needed to eat it when you picked it. Coincidentally, this is when it has the most flavor and nutrition.
So, your vegetables were fresh picked and eaten, the excess were canned for eating during the months when things wouldn’t grow. Your meat came from the local butcher or from your own hunting success. That limited the amount you ate, as it too needed to be acquired in smaller quantities and eaten quickly.
Sweets were quite a treat as sugar was a high priced commodity. If you wanted something sweet, you generally had fruit. You looked forward to special days and holidays because, as it does now, it meant gathering with family and eating special dishes that you did not have the rest of the year. Food was a necessity and at times a celebration, and our taste buds were attuned to the unadulterated tastes of real food.
Medicine was not as advanced. When people became ill, home remedies were the first line of defense. The doctor called only when it was very serious. No one ran to the doctor for pills and antibiotics every time they got sick. Yes, people died of things that are unheard of now due to modern medicines, but they did not linger for years with chronic illnesses. Until they got sick, they felt pretty darn good.
There is something wrong with the new picture.
Food and Medicine today:
Now you talk to most people and a majority of people just simply ‘don’t feel great’. They eat their fill of the food they buy at will at the store and have houses full of every imaginable edible treat. We have supermarkets filled with tens of thousands of ‘food’ products that were unknown to our grandparents. A variety that is overwhelming to our senses, and ingredients that are overwhelming our bodies. Restaurants line the streets offering every conceivable, mouthwatering variety of food at any time of the day.
We are so well fed that a majority of our population is overweight. A majority of people are on ‘diets’ to stop themselves from ‘over-indulging’ and feel guilty about what they eat. We sit mindlessly in front of our TV sets with bowls of snacks, or bags of chips and then we wonder why we can’t lose weight. We reach for high sugar snacks mid-afternoon as our energy is crashing.
The stuff that fills our stores comes in boxes, cans, plastic bags, foil packs, waxed cartons, jars, shrink wrap, etc.. You can buy a tomato and it will sit on your counter for a week and still look great. A loaf of bread might last two weeks. Some of the packages you buy, have expiration dates literally YEARS out from when you buy them.
As we age, we quickly lose our stamina and youthful shape. We blame it on kids, jobs, overburdened schedules, no time to cook, no time to fuss as we rush here or there. We have been conditioned to set our priorities on things, that while important, will not matter much if we lose our health.
We have thousands of new medicines to help us feel ‘good’. To cure the illnesses that plague us. And yet as a whole, we are sicker than we have ever been.
Definitely, there is something wrong with this picture.
Our world is full of toxins. They are in the air we breathe, in the water we drink (LINK TO ARTICLE), and the food we eat.
We can work to help clean up the environment, we can filter our water to help remove some of the toxins, but the most control we have over what goes into our bodies and how we feel is through our food.
When you look at the list of ingredients on most of the ‘stuff’ in the grocery store, many of them are only nominally actually ‘food’. There is a little natural food substance in the product and the rest comes out of industrial plants where chemicals and things you can’t pronounce are mixed into the original food to enhance it, stretch it, change it, make it more appealing and make it more profitable for the company selling it. After all, that is how they survive, by getting you to buy their product.
The Turkey Sandwich on the Left for instance. How many ingredients does a turkey sandwich need?? How many of those things are chemicals that may be harmful to your health?
You buy the food like substances and eat them and you are ingesting all that ‘stuff’. Do you know what it is? No? Guess what, neither does your body.
Your body is awesome. It was designed to efficiently process food into every nutrient that you need to survive and live with optimal health. When you clog up the system with things that are not recognized as food, it doesn’t know what to do with them, but it tries. It processes them the best it can. Your liver gets overloaded with toxins, your body produces fat to encapsulate and store things your body cannot use and can’t get rid of. Next your gut breaks down and you end up with digestive issues, and new studies show that gut health is critical to everything, including brain health. Bottom line – you end you end up fat and sick because of all the toxic stuff in your system. At best, you simply don’t feel good.
Too much of this for too long and you end up with a chronic illness. Your body is an amazing biological machine, but everything has a breaking point. If you ask too much of it, or ask it to do things it simply cannot do for too long, it will break.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!!!!
Gramma (and Grampa) knew best!
Eat real food. Eat it fresh, as close to natural as possible. Stay away from things that are processed. Cut back on your meat consumption and try to only eat fresh, grass-fed meats (more expensive yes, but if you are only eating it now and then and less of it, it works out the same) to avoid the antibiotics and chemicals that conventional meat is laced with.
Fill your plate with things that have come out of the ground! If you are having digestive issues, try avoiding gluten for a while and see what happens. Try avoiding dairy for a few weeks, see how you feel.
Each person is different, so the complete solution for each will be slightly different, but the overall solution is to eat REAL FOOD. Our bodies were not designed to ingest chemicals and if you read any package of food, you are likely to find at least one thing in it that should not be in your body.
But It’s Hard to Change. Overwhelming Even. How Do I Get Started?
If you feel lost at how to go about this, there are people who can help. Not necessarily your doctor as they don’t receive much in the way of nutritional training, but as more and more information comes to light about the condition of our food system and what it is doing to us, there are more people who are working to help others gain better health through eating better food.
Be careful, there are a lot of people trying to cash in on this who really don’t know what they are talking about. Look for someone who perhaps has turned their own life around, or someone who has worked with others successfully. Don’t jump at ‘instant’ solutions and remember that ‘dieting’ is almost always a losing proposition.
Eating real food is a lifestyle change. It’s not as hard as you might imagine, and when you start getting those chemicals out of your body and start feeling so much better, you will be inspired to keep going. It becomes easy!!! That’s not like any diet I’ve ever tried!
Stay in touch on this site, leave comments with your questions below and I will help you find solutions. I do work one on one with a few people, but my time is limited, however, I will always answer questions here and that will also help others who may have the same questions as you do.
If you are uncomfortable leaving a public message, know that all comments are moderated, just tell me in your comment that you want a private answer!
I know that you can make the changes. I know because I did it and before I did, I would have bet you everything I had that it was impossible. Now I couldn’t imagine living any other way!
Give it a try. You have nothing to lose but excess weight and that daily sluggish feeling and a lifetime of energy and good health!