What is “real food”?
Food: something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies.
Real: true and actual; not artificial.
Brought to the public via marketing.
What is marketing? The act or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
Which has landed us in a state of confusion.
Confusion. The state of being bewildered or unclear in one’s mind about something.
Resulting in the overconsumption of frankenfood.
Frankenfood: genetically modified food.
Found in grocery stores and food deserts across America.
Food Deserts you ask? These are rural towns and urban neighborhoods that have limited access to fresh, affordable, healthy food. This is exactly where 2015 has landed us. A society confused, spinning its wheels to try and get a grip on health but unsure where to begin. We have been taught over and over again to read labels, but never the correct ones. Cheeky marketing has told us that food labels like“ALL NATURAL!, FRESH!, WHOLE GRAIN! LOADED WITH NUTRIENTS! STRAIGHT FROM THE GARDEN!, LOW IN CALORIES!, NEW RECIPE!,” are truths, and so we continue to believe. Do we stop reading after buzz words switch the green lights on in our heads that we’ve made the ‘right decision’? We certainly do.
Working with clients on a day to day basis as a personal trainer, this conversation is a broken record spinning round and round the needle. When asked “how is your eating?” clients respond with buzz words, “low fat, lean proteins, whole grains.” What does that even mean?
Let’s take a stab at it. It means that we have been steered so far away from knowing what food is. You look around the world at other cultures and they are talking about food. When they make a dish, they tell you what whole foods are in it. In America, we tell you what the caloric break down is. Or that it contains good fats, carbohydrates, maybe we call it a sassy meal because we know it’s not going to help our figure once consumed. You will find us in the restaurants tracking meals in our handy dandy calorie tracking applications to make sure we aren’t going above our calories, and on the same token, taking seconds of the crème brulee that Frank ordered. We are that same person that will no longer eat fruit because of the high sugar content. In the words of my Grandpa, that’s poppycock.
So we’ve gotten ridiculously good at regurgitating information, (kudos to us-don’t eat those either) and yet, what do we have to show for it? Record breaking statistics of obesity, chronic diseases, brains that are becoming the mashed potatoes we consume for dinner. We are troubleshooting in a reverse order, waiting until there is panic and shock to show that everything can be reversed and, wait for it, a v o i d e d if we were to simply eat in the natural defaulted way our bodies and nature intended. It takes shocking statistical evidence for us even being to think about changing something. and if we are pushed enough because of diminishing health we are the first ones to read a cancer survivors biography or watch a documentary about ‘how juicing saved my life,’ and gawk. Confusion.
Real foods are the foods that don’t need labels. They are the foods that line the perimeter of the grocery store. These are the building blocks to life, the whole foods that can be found in nature, grown, harvested, picked, consumed without changing their natural state. Think apples, bananas, broccoli, asparagus -basically any type of fruit or vegetable. Next time you go to the grocery story, try to find a food label on your fresh produce. If you do, I want you to look at the “ingredients,” just for the fun of it. There should be one ingredient. I challenge you to figure out what it should be.
Money is not spent on the marketing of real foods. This is another surefire way to find them in the grocery store. These foods do all of their own marketing with their brilliantly vibrant colors, plethora of shapes and sizes, and perfectly imperfect way to grow exactly the way they should, banana, after banana, after banana.
It shouldn’t take us until someone we love is in a health crisis to try and find a solution. We should be doing everything in our power to educate ourselves, and our children, grandparents and any other soul we come into contact with on how to eat for our bodies, our souls, and our minds benefit. It shouldn’t be a thing that we look at that one girl or that one guy who can eat anything and everything and ‘still look amazing.’ Well guess what, they’re setting up the foundations to deteriorate in years to come. We should be able to catch onto paradigms by now and realize that nothing is going to change overnight. The way we have been eating for ages has landed us here in 2015. The way that girl or guy eats will have them a changed figure in the years to come. Just keep in contact, I promise you. Let’s stop thinking that just because someone is eating organic or doesn’t want dessert that they are being snooty or trying to prove something. Why don’t we join their band wagon and know they we want to put our bodies, our health and our minds first alongside them!
Here are just a few foods for thought as you transition into the realm of whole foods:
60% of our bodies are made of water. It would only make sense that we need to replenish that above and beyond, day in and day out. It is a vital nutrient to the life of every cell, literally the building block of everything in our bodies. Not a single nutrient would get to where they should in the body if it was not for water in the body carrying it there in the blood stream. If there wasn’t a hefty supply of water on this earth, there would be no you.
Studies on rats consuming blueberries on a regular basis have outperformed the balance and coordination of rats fed regular chow. Compounds in blueberries mitigate inflammation and oxidative damage, which are associated with age-related deficits in memory and motor function.
Have you ever heard of something you can clean with, consume, use on your skin, your hair, use as a disinfectant, a tooth whitener, cooking aid, key ingredient to some amazing desserts, boost your immune system, improve bone health, regulate metabolism, provide relief pain from kidney problems, heart disease and cancer? Meet coconut oil. This stuff is nuts.
Properties in green tea rev up metabolism, help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, reduce the risk of breast cancer, to name a few benefits. According to Amy Yee, PhD, a professor of biochemistry at Tufts University, “Green tea is an amazing compound in terms of blocking the signaling network that is linked with the progression of cancer.”
There is no frank-in these foods. And frankly, they’re where it’s at. Let’s get real.