Why Eat a Real Food Diet

Here in the US over the last few decades, there has been a significant increase in consumption of packaged and processed foods. These foods have been refined so much that often they lack nutrient content and cannot supply the body with the nutrients that it needs to function properly. Often, food companies attempt to fix this problem by enriching the product with synthetic vitamins and minerals….which the body simply isn’t designed to absorb as easily as natural, food based nutrients. Add too this problem the numerous chemical additives, preservatives, artificial colorings, artificial flavorings, MSG, high fructose corn syrup and GMO (genetically modified organisms) and you end up with food that really isn’t food. And for most Americans, they are eating far more of this artificial food, than the whole foods that our bodies were designed to consume. As a result, the consumption of all of these chemical additives and the resulting nutrient deficiencies create overwhelming stress on the body.  This ultimately results in diseases such as cancer, heart disease, auto-immune disorders, mood disorders, addiction and obesity.
We weigh more than ever and have more disease because our bodies are malnourished and are not being fed the tools they need to maintain perfect health. Several generations ago, they did not have a diet of processed and refined foods. They ate whole foods…foods that were designed to fill the body with the proper nutrients. And they had far less of the disease that we face today.  We have the power to take back control of our own health! And food is by far the best medicine that we have to accomplish that. Real, whole foods have far higher nutrient content than conventional store bought foods. Animal protein from pasture raised animals contains a balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, unless factory farmed animal protein, which is high in omega 6. Our bodies need that balance of fatty acids to thrive. Seed, nuts and grains are prepared in a way that makes them far more digestible and increases the nutrient content of the grain. Fermented and cultured foods help to heal the gut, restore the immune system and improve moods. These foods remove the stress burden on the body and allow it to heal….on it’s own. Eating a nourishing, real food diet is not as convenient as eating the standard American diet….but it is far more satisfying! And the foods are so much more delicious than anything you can get in a fast food restaurant or convenience store!So, how do you begin making the transition to a real, whole food way of eating?

Here are some guidelines:

  1. Eat whole, unprocessed foods. If your food was made in a factory or a laboratory, then you shouldn’t eat it!
  2. Choose meat that grazes! Eat beef, lamb, poultry, wild game and eggs from pasture raised animals.
  3. Don’t get your fish from the farm! Eat wild, pole caught fish and shellfish from unpolluted waters.
  4. Skip the low fat milk!-full fat, whole milk (preferably raw, straight from the cow) is the best bet. Also choose other whole dairy products as well!
  5. Eat good quality fats like organic pastured butter, non-homogenized lard, extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, expeller pressed sesame and flax oils. And don’t hold back! Your body needs the good fats to function!
  6. Eat fresh or frozen organic fruits and veggies, either raw or lightly steamed with a little butter. If you can get your produce from local organic farmers…even better!
  7. Make sure to eat grains, nuts, seed and legumes that have been soaked or sprouted. This neutralizes chemicals that prevent a number of nutrients from being absorbed by the body and makes digestion much easier! If you currently experience digestive issues or chronic health problems, particularly auto-immune related issues, you may want to consider going either gluten or even grain free for awhile to see if the grains are contributing to your issues. Since a majority of our immune system is located in the gut when the gut is compromised by foods that we don’t tolerate well, you will begin to experience health issues.
  8. Include lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, condiments and beverages (like kefir and kombucha) a part of your diet daily. They are rich in enzymes and probiotics!
  9. Use filtered water for cooking and drinking (spring water and distilled)
  10. Use Himalayan or Celtic sea salt and plenty of other herbs to give your dishes some flavor interest!
  11. Use natural sweeteners like Sucanat, Stevia, Coconut/Palm sugar, raw honey, and pure maple syrup. Just make sure you use them in moderation! If you are having blood sugar or hormonal issues, opt for organic Stevia or coconut sugar which will not raise blood sugar levels and are safe for diabetics.
  12. Use only natural, food based supplements. No synthetic vitamins! The body cannot process them effectively and so they add to the stress burden, not help to remove it!
  13. Move away from no stick cookware and use stainless steel, cast iron, glass and high quality enamel.

Moving away from the processed, packaged and fast foods, will significantly cut down the amount of toxic chemicals that you are exposed to….many that cause cancer, reproductive problems and can also further strip vital nutrients from your body. This reduces the toxic stress on the body. Although it can be challenging to make the switch to whole foods that are nourishing, you will find after awhile that you enjoy the food so much more! The flavors are much better and your meals will keep you full much longer!

 

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