Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted a blog on this site. I’ll try to be a bit more faithful with my posts in 2015. Let me know if you have a topic you’d like me to cover – and I’ll see what the experts have to say about it. My thoughts for today have to do with holiday eating.
As we head into a season of celebration with traditions centered around food preparation and consumption, I thought you might be interested in the experiences of a family who stopped eating processed food for 100 days. Lisa Leake writes in a McClatchy-Tribune News Service article titled “Eight Things My Family Learned by Giving Up Processed Foods” that many of the foods she thought were healthy were actually highly processed.
A good definition of processed food comes from livestrong.com: “Food that has had anything done to it is processed. This means frozen fruits, bagged salad greens, chopped apples and ground beef are all technically processed foods, not just foods like crackers, chips, frozen dinners and cookies.” http://www.livestrong.com/article/217812-diet-with-no-processed-foods/
Another source says, “The term ‘whole foods’ refers to eating food that is closer to its original form than much of the food we see being advertised and on the shelves nowadays. It is in fact sort of a return to the way things used to be. Whole foods are foods that know where they came from. For example, if a vegetable still look exactly like it did when it was picked, then it’s a whole food. If it comes in a can with an ingredient label, it’s not quite so whole anymore.”http://blaminternetmarketing.com/health-benefits-of-a-whole-foods-diet-no-processed-food/
The idea behind healthy eating, according to livestrong.com, is to “Eat mainly whole foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy products, seafood, skinless chicken and lean meat.” I appreciate the inclusion of the word “mainly” because few, if any, individuals have access to whole foods all the time, especially in the winter.
Here are the eight lessons Leake shared with readers. For more about their experience, see www.100DaysofRealFood.com.
- Eating real food is easier than it looks.
- Her family is healthier since they stopped ingesting processed foods.
- “Reading the ingredient list (as opposed to the nutrition facts) is the only way to truly know what’s in your food.”
- Purchasing real food doesn’t have to break the bank.
- Real food tastes better.
- They occasionally indulge in junk food but prefer the homemade variety.
- Planning ahead is key. “Always think through your next meal and have a plan.”
- Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t keep junk food in the house.
My family has had the same experience. Real food can be simple to prepare and is tastier than boxed or canned. In fact, the longer I avoid fake food, the worse it tastes when I have it—and the worse I feel. I’ve heard people say consumption of processed foods, which often contain an overload of carbs, salt, sugar and chemicals, causes them to have fuzzy thinking. Along with a muddled brain, I experience headaches plus sinus and digestive problems.
I know some of you are thinking you’ll save healthy eating for January 2, 2015, when you plan to start that diet you’ve been thinking about. But you and your body and your family members and their bodies are valuable and worthy of tender, loving care. Treat yourselves to real food this holiday season. Try it, you’ll like it!
Wishing you a joyous Christmas Season, Becky