How are you feeling today? Happy, sad, depressed, anxious, tired, stressed, content, indifferent...?  What have you fed your body today in order to make certain that every cell gets the best nourishment possible so you can function at an optimal level?  What if I told you that the food you eat plays a major role in the way you feel.  Unfortunately, we have become a country dependent on convenience and speed, but even the local fast food joint is not fast enough in its service for our fast-paced lifestyles.  When we depend on quick, highly processed foods to give us nourishment we are giving away our health and wellness to an industry only interested in making money, not making sure you get nourishing foods.  If you sacrifice your health for a few extra minutes in the day you must consider if the so-called extra time is really worth the risk of fueling yourself with dead food; food you spend hard-earned dollars on. 

Take a minute and think about what you have had to eat today, what you have you fed your family?  An even better question, what is food? According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, food is "material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy; also : such food together with supplementary substances (as minerals, vitamins, and condiments)."  That is simple enough, right?  It is something you consume in order to nourish the body and to give the body energy and necessary nutrients it requires to live.  So, a fast-food burger with fries and a soda is the same as a spinach salad topped with fresh organic veggies, with organic baked chicken breast, olive oil and lemon juice as a dressing, with some yummy organic blueberries and a water, right? They are both providing the body with proteins, carbs, and fat, so either way you are food.  Good, but one I would consider dead food and the other living and nourishing food. 

Let me shine some light on the matter, shall I.  So, the hamburger from a fast food joint (I chose the best fast food place I could, and no it was definitely not McDonalds) will have about 390 calories, 19 grams of fat, 16 grams of protein, 650 mg sodium, some vitamins and minerals like A, C, iron, and calcium.  "Do you want fries with that? If your answer is yes, and you get a small order of french fries you add 400 calories, 18 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, 54 carbs, 245 mg sodium, some calcium and iron, and NO vitamins!  Then to top it off you want a cola, right? Of course!  The large cola (32 fl ounces) will not add fat directly, but you will end up drinking 65 grams of sugar, 267 calories, 69 carbs, some sodium, potassium, phosphorus, fluoride, and no vitamins. 

  • You get a grand total of 37 grams of fat, 1,057 calories, and 23 grams of protein, and 162 carbs, plus over 900mg of sodium, in one meal. 

OK, so what about the salad with baked chicken, olive oil and blueberries?  One cup of spinach has 0 fat, 7 calories, Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, Bs, and calcium and iron (Popeye was not lying), selenium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.  1/2 a chicken breast (baked, no skin) has 1 gram of fat, 27 grams of protein, 130 calories, and no carbs, as well as iron, vitamin C, folate, niacin, calcium, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus.  A tablespoon of olive oil offers healthy fats, omega 6 mainly, but some omega 3 fatty acids. It has 14 grams of fat, 119 calories, 0 carbs, is mildly anti-inflammatory, and has vitamins E and K. A cup of blueberries (organic is best) offers 0 fat, 84 calories, 21 carbs, 4 grams of fiber, vitamins A, C, Bs, E, K, folate, as well as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, copper, and a small amount of sodium.  I could go on and on comparing, but you get the idea. 

  • This nourishing meal offers a total of 15 grams of fat (healthy fats from the olive oil, not corn-fed meat and fried potatoes), 340 calories, 27 grams of protein, and 25 carbs, and 102 mg of sodium (77mg from the chicken, 1mg from the blueberries, and 24mg of sodium from the spinach).   It seems to me that we have everything backwards and upside down.

So, you can chose to eat something that gives the body beautiful nourishment with more than 1/2 the fat, 1/3 of the calories, and comparable protein for those of you Paleo followers.  OK, you get the idea, right? The salad choice is a better choice.  We have to change the way we think about food.  Our bodies are starving for nutrients that whole foods have to offer. We might be eating enough to make obesity an epidemic, but the foods we are choosing are not nutrient-rich choices.  We do not just have an obesity epidemic due to the foods we are consuming and the lack of physical movement we get, but we have a major mental epidemic concerning what real food is.  If you eat a salad people call you a rabbit, if you eat seeds or nuts some might say you are eating bird food. If you chose to drink water instead of soda you must be on a diet. If you just say no to eating out at certain restaurants you get made fun of by your friends, and heaven forbid you start losing a little weight and your skin starts glowing, because then a family member will tell you to eat something, you look too thin....AHHHH!!! People, wake up, choosing to eat healthy, organic, whole foods is not weird! What is weird is choosing to eat dead food that has been manipulated, injected with hormones and antibiotics, genetically modified, and processed to the point you cannot even recognize any of the ingredients.  Not to mention, all the preservatives added, the food coloring to make it "pretty" and "fun", the flavors added, and so on.  And then they put the food in a box, wrap it in plastic, or place it in a can (deplete of nutrients, in most cases).  They make it easy and convenient for you. All you have to do it open it, squeeze it, drink it, microwave it, mix it, and all in the name of convenience, and all with a price tag.  The price tag is your health, the health of your family, and all those you care about. 

Convenience is great, but how long does it take to make a salad at night so it is ready to take to work in the morning?  How difficult is it to wash off some berries or an apple?  What about grabbing a handful of walnuts or almonds?  By the time you leave work to get to the fast food joint and back you could have made a salad for every day of the week.  Not to mention, how much extra money would you have in your pocket by choosing to not eat out?  We have to change the way we think about food.  We spend more time researching the next car we are going to purchase or the next home we are going to live in or which school to send our children to than we spend researching the food we eat.  The food that gives you the nourishment you need for your brain to function to make all these important decisions in life, the food that keeps you alive and vibrant so you have the energy to keep up with your kids and are there to watch their kids grow up.  We have to change the way we think about the importance of food.  We should be more concerned about our food budget than our entertainment budgets.  We are spending less money on food now then we did back in 1949, according to one report from Huffington Post.  We spend less money, why, because we have manipulated the food in such a way to make it as cheap and convenient as possible.  Keep in mind, cheaper is not always better, we are spending less on food but getting fatter!  Yes, the same report from Huffington Post said that in 1959 28% of adults were overweight and in 2009 it increased to 64% of adults!  Spend less money on crappy food, so you can supersize it and eat more, and gain weight! Awesome! 

Lets change the way we think about food.  Food is to nourish the body.  Look at food in its most natural and organic state; it is beautiful, colorful, vibrant, and full of mouth-watering flavors that dance on the taste buds.  Not to mention the amazing health benefits of whole foods!  Do you ever wonder why we are a nation of obesity, sickness, autoimmune disorders, cancer, gastrointestinal issues, etc..?  Could it be the food?  What if eating whole foods and super foods is the answer to optimal wellness? What if what you eat does matter?  What if it is that easy?  Think about it.  If food does not bring nourishment, energy, and life-long wellness to the body, one must wonder, what purpose is it serving?

Respect the food; respect yourself!

More to come....

Also, If you have not been on Jamie Oliver's Food revolution website, what are you waiting for?

Posted on 9/12/2011 12:00 AM
Tags: health | revolution | food
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