Thursday, September 6, 2012

What to eat, what not to eat...

THAT is the question I have been asking myself a lot lately. And I'm not talking about....It's 5pm and I should probably wander into the kitchen and see what I can scrape up for dinner. Although goodness  knows that definitely does happen. I am talking about what specific foods people should be eating.

I have an ever growing passion when it comes to eating well, knowing what we are putting into our bodies and how it effects us. I am still trying to figure out how to most effectively share with others what I have learned about healthy eating without sounding demeaning or judgemental. I am sure that I have at times, and that is not my motive. It saddens me, and quite honestly, sometimes angers me to see people eating what they may think is good for them, because that's what the food companies want them to think. I am grateful for what I have been able to learn, and I want all of you to desire to know about it too! I certainly do not have all the answers either.

Let's say you have decided to start eating better (Go you!). You have pledged to cut out the junk, and begin eating wholesome food. But what to eat now? You go online to do some research, and are completely overwhelmed. The health food world can be super frustrating and, yes, a bit crazy. I have had an interest in learning about healthy eating for a few years now. I have read so many books and articles about it, and I am still confused sometimes! It feels like every day there is some new fad diet telling you what REAL foods you should or shouldn't eat. There is so much information out there on what to eat/what not to eat, and most of it contradicts the other. And I'm not talking about, "Eat your vegetables/Don't eat candy." That should be a given. I'm talking about...

"Eat pasture raised, hormone free meat/ Don't eat pasture raised, hormone free meat."

"Drink organic milk/Organic (or all) dairy is of the devil."

"Eat properly prepared grains/Bread will kill you!"

Whaaa???

There is also a lot of kookie sounding stuff like kombucha  (Drink up!), eating fermented vegetables (Yeah baby!) and kefir (Slurp, slurp). But don't let it scare you away! 

Based on my personal research, here is what it comes down to for me...

I am trying to stop all the worrying about what kinds of food I should be eating and instead just focus on eating a balanced diet of REAL (good quality!) FOOD. 

I have a hard time believing that meat, dairy, grains, etc...foods that have been around forever shouldn't be eaten. That our bodies weren't made to eat them. Weren't made to eat bread. Weren't made to eat meat.

Side note: Yes, some people have legit allergies to certain foods (gluten, dairy, etc.). Which I believe often times stems  from how their mother ate when they were in the womb or what they were fed as an infant. I also believe that restraining from eating a certain food (say bread) for an extended period of time just because can create an "allergy" or more like an intolerance to that food once you finally do eat some.

I need to add that I have written before about my struggles with skin issues, here and here, and that cutting certain foods out of my diet for a period of time did help a little. It was a quick fix, but not a sustaining one. What I didn't talk about much was how stressful that was. Cutting out ALL grains, dairy, most fruits and sugars (even natural sugars like honey) was HARD. It took so much effort to prepare foods that I could eat, that I just wasn't eating enough. It was hard, physically and emotionally. At this time my skin is doing OK, and it does not seem to be primarily related to what I eat. As long as I am eating a mostly good quality, balanced diet, food doesn't seem to effect me.

This is dragging on too long now, and the last thing I want is a mile long post! I will have to do a part 2 and will talk about what qualifies as real food, and give some simple steps that I try and follow that can really change your diet for the better!

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