Proverbs often contradict one another, as any reader soon discovers. The sagacity that advises us to look before we leap promptly warns us that if we hesitate we are lost; that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but out of sight, out of mind. ~ Leo Rosten ~
This is one of my favorite quotes. It shows the dichotomy in all aspects of our lives. This is even true when it comes to what experts think the “best” diet is. Whole wheat is good for you! No! Wheat is evil! Meat protein is what’s best to give you energy! No! Meat rots in your colon.
While there is so much conflicting data out there I think we can all find middle ground everyone can implement to have more energy and feel better regardless of whether they are vegetarians, vegans, or omnivores.
SAD is a four-letter word.
The buzz-phrase today is “The Standard American Diet”. Fortunately, we are starting to hear more about how eating processed food is making this country sick and obese. We also hear how processed food is made to be addictive and can lead people into a vicious downward cycle of eating food that makes them sick and depletes their energy, hindering the ability to make the necessary changes to get healthy. The ease at which these food-like substances are available in relation to healthy alternatives makes it almost impossible to make wise food choices.
The first step for anyone who eats processed food is to learn how to cook for yourself. That means getting a good knife and learning how to use it.
The lies we are told.
I’m a firm believer that there are two prevailing lies being told to Americans. One, real food costs more than fake food. Even if that were the case, the costs that wouldn’t be paid out to doctors and for medication would more than make up the difference, but the truth is real food does not have to be expensive.
The second lie is that cooking takes too much effort. This is a little more true than the first lie but with the right information, making a meal, with real food, can be fast and convenient.
How to make the switch.
As a single person with a more than full-time job, I had the hardest time figuring out how to feed myself when I was weaning off processed food. Frozen vegetables worked the best for me. I would go through bouts where I would buy fresh veggies, but so much of it ended up in the compost because I didn’t use it before it went bad. By using frozen veggies, I was getting the nourishment I needed and didn’t have the waste that made me feel so bad. And, since the veggies were already chopped, making a meal was fast.
Not so silent killer.
We can also all agree soda is detrimental to your health. I think it should be treated as a controlled substance. There are 39 grams (9 1/3 teaspoons) of sugar in a regular coke. There is so much evidence that proves how poisonous sugar is to the human body. It leads to diabetes and chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a leading cause of so many lifestyle diseases.
The diet sodas don’t get a free pass either. Artificial sweeteners can alter your gut flora, which can change the way you digest and absorb food. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by turning to the “diet” version.
Doing good is better than missing at perfection
Even if you are off processed food you need to eat more of the green stuff. Even I know I should have plenty of vegetables throughout the day and I find it hard to get as many of the greens I think I should because I spend so much time at work. I’m lucky to live in San Francisco, so on days I feel like I’m not meeting my goals I can go down the block to get a fresh squeezed veggie juice.
Not everyone can get fresh juice so easily so I also supplement with green powder at home. This is fast and easy. I’ll add the green powder to a fruit smoothie or to protein powder or just mix it up in a blender bottle. I know it’s not as perfect as the real thing, but in my life it makes for a good add-in.
I believe our bodies are our own experiment. We are the n=1. There is a base of general knowledge out there that so many people can agree on. Let’s focus on that then let the individual decide the details that work for them.
Avoid dairy if you are sensitive to it, the same with gluten. Eliminate meat if you’re morally opposed or keep it in your diet if you like and get the best sourced you can afford. Try eliminating the most highly allergenic foods and see what works for you. As much as we human beings are all the same we are each very specific individuals.
How do you tailor your food choices for optimal health? Share in the comments below and if you think someone you know will benefit from this information please share this post .
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