When looking at all the choices out there with nutrition, there are so many misconceptions of what is “healthy” and what is “unhealthy.” There is so much information out there in the nutrition and “dieting” world (I hate the “D” word!).
Low fat diets were in?
And then it was low carb?
Breakfast was the most important meal of the day?
And then eating after 8pm made you fat?
Eating 6 small meals a day “stoked the metabolism?”
And now intermittent fasting is all the rage?
Honestly, who has the time or energy to move through all of this misguided information? My goal in this 5-part series “5 food rules to live by” is to make eating good food no longer negative experience, and to have a positive and impactful relationship with yourself and with the food that you eat.
I want to start with how we got to where we are first. Food marketing, social media and everything around us has made a huge impact on what we and our families end up eating. Not knowing any better, we tend to believe many of the things we read regarding the “health benefits” and claims that marketers place on food products.
I hate to say it, but we have been lied to for many, many years. All of the marketing is built to sell products, and almost always products that are unhealthy for us and our family. This is a multi-billion dollar industry, and we keep buying what the food marketers are selling!
Let us cut out all the noise and start with how to move past all the lies and misconceptions we have been told.
Let’s get started on food rule #1…
Food Rule #1 – Eat REAL Food
There you have it, I know what you are thinking. Easier said than done. Well, that is where we come in to help. First, we need to distinguish what real food is and what that means. I will offer these two distinctions:
- There is real food – defined as an edible substance that was at one time alive and growing.
- Then there is “edible food-like substances” as author of “Food Rules” Michael Pollen points out. These are highly processed concoctions designed by food scientists, consisting mostly of ingredients derived from corn and soy, and they contain chemical additives with which the human body has not long been acquainted.
Now that we have those 2 distinctions established, ask yourself this one question: Where is the majority of the food you are currently eating come from? If 90% of your food comes from “edible food-like substances” then we will want to start making some small habit changes. The first step is identifying how much real food you are getting in your day versus not real food, then making very small “bite-size” changes to bring that percentage down 1% at a time.
We understand that everyone has certain emotional ties to certain foods. Honestly, we all have these emotional ties and they usually started at a very, very young age for all of us (we can blame our parents here!). If you threw a package of Red Vines in front of me, I would have a very hard time just looking at the package without eating them!
Here are some ideas for bringing back real food into your life. The closer you can get to the growing source, the better. Try to get your food from these sources, in this order:
Fresh foods are all of those great items that you come home from the grocery store with and usually need to immediately place in your fridge, and not in your pantry.
There are many frozen options that are great for vegetables, meats, and much more, and this would be the second-best option to choose from.
Canned foods are also a great option. Some things to look out for are sodium content, as well as other “added” ingredients that you may not be able to pronounce! Check the label to make sure not much else is added besides the intended food that is supposed to be in the darn can!
Stay tuned for Rule #2, that has to do all with how to enjoy all of these amazing REAL foods once you start to eat them!