Diet. Trend. Fad. Shakes. Pills. Meal replacement bars. Counting calories. Weighing food. Counting carbs. Figuring fat grams. Low-sodium. Low-fat. Fat-free.
These are all familiar terms we hear and see everyday of our lives when it comes to food and eating. It can also become an invisible prison cell for many. It is because of this that I began my journey to teach people how to live in the reality of “Health Made Easy.”
I do not believe that something as vital and necessary as eating should be an all consuming factor - every minute of everyday. It’s a time waster, a stress factor, a money eater, not to mention confusing, overwhelming and many times, frustrating. At least when you’re perspective is coming from the wrong angle. Our modern society has made eating so complicated, many people don’t even try anymore to ‘eat healthy’. I don’t blame them.
Health food stores, for the most part, are filled with a lot of ‘healthy’ processed foods. In reality, these foods are still processed and hard for your body to recognize. You have organic and non-organic produce and meats. Grass-fed or grain-fed beef. Wild caught and farm raised fish. GMO and non-gmo foods. Why do there have to be so many options? I always think that my grandparents had it easy. Everything was organic. They ate meat from cattle who ate grass and roamed the pasture their entire life, eggs from chickens that walked around, ate insects and pecked at the ground. They’d pick their fruit off the trees, their berries off the bush and root veggies from their garden. Their milk was raw and eating sugary treats was a special occasion. When you think about it - there was no thought process in any of that. Labor, maybe, but nothing to work out or comprehend. It was a part of their everyday routine. Like breathing, sitting or walking.
So, saying all that, if there is one thing I can say to everyone about eating and living healthy, it would be this: Don’t make it so hard. Stick to the basics. Fresh, living, organic, chemical free, whole - real.
I realize that if you are switching over from the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) into eating whole foods that are living, fresh and nourishing - there may be a lot of info coming at you. This is a season where you are being educated in this area and it may seem like a lot, but stay with it. I think the learning part is so vital and valuable, it will be what keeps you from going back. If you don’t understand why you should eat certain foods and avoid others - then you won’t stick with any routine you set out to give you or your family. When you are educated about how conventional beef will throw hormones out of balance in a big way due to all the hormones and chemicals injected into these cattle - then it’s easier to spend the extra money on grass-fed beef. When you understand that skim and fat-free milk spikes insulin levels, is void of vital healthy fats needed for hormone production and function and it’s molecular structure has been changed in pasteurization and homogenization so much that your body has a hard time digesting it and arteries get clogged - you probably won’t be in such a hurry to feed it to your kids.
Education is powerful and will be the launching pad to your success.
I will tell you this, though, once you know more about the ‘why’ of everything, eating healthy is….simple.
You eliminate so many ‘bad foods’ from your day to day eating and shopping becomes simple. Fresh fruit, vegetables, cultured dairy (think yogurt and kefir), real butter, clean meat (grass-fed and pasture raised), whole grains (best if soured, soaked or sprouted), pasture-raised eggs, healthy nuts and healthy oils. Your body gets accustomed to these items (sometimes it may take a while if this is new to you), so you won’t be craving bright orange Cheetos, fluorescent blue beverages or Oreo cookies. Once your taste buds are used to eating real food - the other ‘food products’ will not be palatable anymore. Trust me - I used to live off of that kind of food and now it has no appeal to me.
Once you stop eating all the prepackaged and processed foods - you won’t need to watch your sodium levels. You’ll get to season your foods without worrying about salt overload. You won’t have to check for food dyes or synthetic chemicals (yes, you can even find these in the health food store products sitting on the shelves). You can make a batch of home made chocolate chip cookies without feeling like you’re overloading on sugar (try my favorite recipe found in my cookbook "Real Food. Real Kitche. So Good!"- you’ll never make another chocolate chip cookie, I promise).
BUT the important thing is that you don’t drive yourself nuts with this. If you go to someone’s home and they are grilling some hamburgers, don’t freak out because it’s most likely conventional, feedlot beef. Be thankful and appreciative, eat and enjoy your meal. If you are at a wedding - you don’t need to pass on the amazing wedding cake (unless of course you are allergic to something), just because it’s made with white flour. Enjoy the cake and enjoy the celebration. I have learned over the years that in these times when we are not in control of what we eat, we don’t have to flip out, be rude and look like food snobs. I feed my family an amazingly healthy array of foods on a day to day basis - so having a cookie at grandma’s house doesn’t bother me. In fact, I may have two.
I went through a time where I was so concerned with the food I ate, I wouldn’t eat anywhere and I had a hard time eating at other people’s homes. This was wrong and terrible. It can be offensive to others and it also takes the enjoyment out of life’s many celebrations and memorable times. I put an end to that quickly. Many people call it the 80/20 rule - although I’m not a huge fan of stuff like that. As long as you eat good 80% of the time, you can eat bad 20% of the time. I don’t necessarily like looking at eating bad as a reward, but I know what they are saying. Of course, always listen to your body. If certain foods make you sick, cause discomfort or pain or bad reactions - then stay away from them! The point is, if you eat good the majority of the time, give yourself those allowances when your hands may be tied, when you’re traveling or when it’s a once in a lifetime celebration.
My challenge to you - eat healthy. Period. Make your day to day as healthy as you can, so when you go out to dinner with a group of friends, eating that enchilada dinner won’t send you over the deep end. Stop weighing your food and counting calories. Besides when you are eating real food, you won’t need to do that. You won’t have a problem with eating too many avocados. Your body will tell you, probably after the first one, “Okay, that’s enough.” When you’re eating wheat farina or oatmeal made with full-fat milk and some real butter - you won’t go back for five more bowls. Eating will become simple again. Just part of your day - as it should be. In doing this, you can begin to enjoy everyday of your life without being so consumed with eating - and eating healthy at that!
I truly believe in my company’s motto: Health Made Easy! Just take a look at many of the recipes posted on here. Simple, good ingredients, but most importantly, good food! Enjoy life. Enjoy your food. Stop thinking of eating healthy as a ‘diet’ and begin looking at it as a ‘lifestyle’. The mental aspect of that alone will change so many things for you and bring stress levels down! That’s wonderful for you health. I’m passionate about teaching people this way of living. I hope you will become passionate about living this way too.
Now, I’m going to eat some lunch - eggs with cheese and avocado-then I’m going to have some dessert with my son. Some leftover Pot de Creme from Whole Foods that is so amazingly delish and has only 2-3 ingredients - it should be illegal. And I’m going to enjoy every bite!
*This is a great article for those who may have put themselves into bondage with eating healthy. Share this article with your friends on facebook, twitter or via email. It really can set someone free in this area!
As always - Live on Purpose!