In the beginning, I was just like most of you. Eating the “Standard American Diet” (SAD). I had a strong affinity for a certain soft drink and enjoyed a sweet treat every now and then. I thought I was eating fairly healthy and feeding my family a pretty well rounded diet. We only ate drive through dinners one night a week, I ate a low salt diet, and I tried to limit the amount of sweets we had in the house. Dinners were comprised of a meat, at least one vegetable, sometimes two and a starchy food. Nothing was made with artificial sweeteners or colors. I avoided MSG, to much caffeine and stopped eating all the fried foods that are so popular in southern cooking. But as I later learned, it wasn’t really a healthy diet at all. I’d been duped into thinking I was doing the right thing. I trusted the food pyramid and the latest news regarding healthy options. Learn the truth about the food pyramid and why it’s so wrong.
The food we eat everyday resembles nothing like the food our grandparents and great grandparents ate. Have you read the ingredients of your favorite foods? They learned what to eat from their parents and each generation passed down the knowledge of what to grow, prepare and eat to stay healthy. Now we only know how to read a package, operate a microwave and get an extra bite at a stop light. Do you know what each of those ingredients are that you are eating? Can you pronounce them? Didn’t think so….neither could I when I first took a good, long, hard look at the food I had been eating and feeding my family.
The first stage I experienced was denial. I thought, the government wouldn’t let this stuff be for sale for us to eat if it wasn’t safe. All these years I had assumed that the FDA, the USDA and the EPA were doing their jobs to protect the American public. I started to do internet searches on the ingredients I found listed only to learn these “foods” we’re eating are anything but appetizing.
The fat free diet craze that started in the 1990’s has lead many Americans down the wrong road. We’ve been tricked into thinking that fat equals heart attacks, but it’s not true. Not all fats are created equal. We need certain fats to survive. When the fat was removed or reduced, something had to be added or it tastes like crap or no one would eat it. So they replaced the fat with sugar, mostly high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) made from GMO corn. Heart disease has not been eradicated since the fat free and low fat diets were introduced, in fact quite the opposite is true. Heart disease is now considered the number one killer. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that heart disease kills one in four people.¹ So why didn’t the low fat diets reverse heart disease? New science destroys the saturated fat myth.²
So what did the fat free diet craze bring us? Other than more heart attacks and bigger waist lines? If you guessed diabetes, you are spot on. “More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, up from the previous estimate of 26 million in 2010, according to a report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” ³
So enough of the statistics and grim news….what’s a person supposed to do? Eat REAL food. Not processed crap that is disguised as food. If it has a bar code on the package, it’s not real food, it’s processed. Shop the perimeters of the grocery store where it comes from nature, not from a factory. If it doesn’t have a list of ingredients (because it IS an ingredient) then it’s real food. If it doesn’t have a commercial, then it’s real food. Some things you have to buy already made, and if that’s the case, look for items with no more than 5 ingredients and ones that you can pronounce.
Eat organic food as much as possible. Avoid conventionally grown produce, meat, dairy and grains that are not organically grown to minimize the amount of pesticides and other agricultural chemical residues on your food. The human body was not designed to be a waste dump. Be kind to your liver and kidneys that work to keep your body free of cancer causing chemicals. Some people, like me, with MTHFR are comprimised already and aren’t able to efficiently detoxify. Eventually a toxic overload can become deadly.
Learn to cook from scratch. Like grandma or great grandma used to do. Ditch the microwave cooking or frozen processed meals. There are cooking classes in your area to teach you what you need to know or you can find videos online. Start with the basics and don’t be afraid….it’s easier and cheaper than you think.
Top Three Ways to Eat Healthier
- Eat REAL food. Avoid processed foods.
- Eat ORGANIC. Avoid toxic chemicals.
- Learn to cook from scratch. Avoid microwaves.
Two great resources to get you started are the YouTube videos by Barbara Mendez, that teaches you which foods are good for what ails you.
Another suggestion is “The Daniel Plan Cookbook” which features a ton of educational information in the book as well as lots of delicious recipes that anyone can cook and are approved by two medical doctors, Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Daniel Amen. Take a sneak peek inside the cookbook using the link provided. Check out the index of all the great recipes included and they don’t feature hard to find ingredients or require special cooking skills.