Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.
I'm sure you're sitting there trying to figure out what exactly I'm going to talk about today and what 'eating real food' is supposed to mean. OR maybe you know exactly what I mean and can relate...
I read a few really great books over the summer by investigative reporter and journalism professor Michael Pollan. The two books, "Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals" and "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto", really turned my world upside when it comes to truly understanding what I'm eating - where it came from, how it's grown, and what's put in it or on it. The food on the shelves of our supermarkets isn't as innocent as it may look. Foods today are processed + enhanced and chemically altered. Just like I mentioned in my Homemade Cleaners post a few weeks ago, it makes me nervous to look at a food label and have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what's in it. The never ending list of "ingredients" in our pre-packaged foods make it hard [for me at least] to call them food - Pollan refers to them as 'food products'. So that's what I mean by 'real food'...the food that comes from the earth, has ingredient labels that make sense, and are in their natural states. Real Food! Vegetables and fruits grown without harmful pesticides and fertilizers. Meats that were raised on natural diets and in natural environments. Real food!
In each book, Pollan follows food chains from start to finish (corn fields > processing > animal farms > grocery store > table - for one simplified example) and analyzes the implications of each step to our diets and health. I won't get into the nitty gritty of everything he discusses because, well, that would take an entire book! Instead, I wanted to share with you some of the tips, tricks, and takeaways he offers to ensure you're eating real food. These aren't step by step rules for eathing healthy, but rather, guidelines to ensure you know what you're eating. Here's being good to ourselves and being knowledgeable about our food!
Eat foods that your great grandparents would recognize.
Avoid foods with unpronounceable or unrecognizable ingredients.
Shop the periphery of the grocery store...center aisles typically contain processed foods.
Shop at local co-ops or farmers markets whenever you can.
Eat mostly plants - avoiding seeds.
Eat like an omnivore by diversifying your food choices.
Eat well grown foods from healthy soils.
Not Too Much
Pay more, eat less - pay for QUALITY and you won't need to eat as much.
Eat meals...with people, at a table.
Consult your gut...eat slower.
Cook whenever you can and grow a garden.
*The phrase 'Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.' is from "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan.