Want better health, more energy and more even moods? The formula is surprisingly simple: eat real food and minimize processed and refined foods and drinks. Good food underpins good health but for some reason people think they need apps and databases to guide them or must consult the latest trendy list of “superfoods” and supplements. There’s an easier, better way. Here are 5 easy rules for good health when it comes to what we eat and drink.
#1 – Ditch the Junk
When it comes to our food, we’re a culture that depends on convenience and chases after excess – both of which revolve around nutritionally deficient or down right poisonous foods and beverages. We must have our daily snacks, desserts and sugary breakfasts, our heat and serve meals, and our staples of nutritiously devoid refined flour, sugar and hydrogenated oils. That’s a recipe for sickness, not health.
We can’t be healthy if we continuously shovel toxic or nutritiously empty food and drinks into our mouths. Popping a vitamin supplement or having a shake or salad once a day simply won’t cut it either. That’s like having 5 shots of toquilla and thinking the lime chasers will prevent us getting drunk.
There are no shortcuts to good health. We need a constant delivery across the day of fiber, minerals, water content, antioxidants, vitamins and so much more to operate properly. We’re also host to trillions of bacteria – the beneficial ones depend on these nutrients to thrive and produce the enzymes and other chemicals that make us function properly. Take that away and they die and our bodies suffer. Additionally, detrimental bacteria can take their place and wreak havoc on us.
We are chemical beings. We get necessary chemicals from our food and drink. They build, maintain and repair us – not just our bodies are impacted but our brains, moods and emotions too.
Ditch the junk.
#2 – Eat Whole Foods
The healthiest cultures with the greatest longevity eat diets that revolve around whole, real foods. These consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and pulses, root vegetables, nuts and seeds – and only a little meat if at all.
These healthy cultures don’t eat microwaveable meals or junk food. They prize freshly prepared produce and go light on the sugar. By contrast, only 12% of the typical American diet contains whole foods and half of that is French fries. No wonder we’re so sick!
Want to be energetic and healthy? Make whole foods the base of every meal.
#3 – The 1801 Grandma Test
Wondering if something is safe to eat? Here’s an easy rule:
If your great-grandma back in 1801 wouldn’t recognize the food or its ingredients or couldn’t make it in her kitchen without a lab kit, it’s not food so don’t eat it.
Honestly you could probably just live by this one rule and have a healthy diet.
Why 1801? Real food ruled the world. Back then sugar wasn’t a staple commodity. It was a spice. People ate less than 3 pounds of it a YEAR compared to our current 3 pounds a WEEK. In 1801, the main preservative was salt. Processed foods couldn’t be made due to a lack of technological mechanization. The world also didn’t have the insanity of the engineered foods that we do today.
Want to know if that product you just picked off the grocery shelf might be safe? Turn it over to the ingredients list. Would that 1801 grandma recognize them? Would she be able to make that product in her 1801 kitchen? If not, put it down and walk on by. It’s not real food.
#4 – Get in the Kitchen
You can’t take control of your health if you’re not even in control of your plate. If all you’re doing is opening boxes, popping lids, boiling water or using a microwave, you have outsourced your meals to Big Food. They are looking for your dollar, not to protect your health. Very little they produce is dense with needed nutrition. At best you’ll get calories and chemical fortification of a handful of vitamins. At worst you’ll get a toxic brew of chemicals, bad carbs and who knows what else that will give you a selection of compromised immune health, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and more.
Real food is fresh and it’s what we should be eating. That means ditching the convenience foods and box kits for preparing real meals in the kitchen. The fresher the foods the healthier since vitamins and nutrients break down as soon as any food is picked (another reason convenience foods and their shelf lives are so nutritionally empty). How fresh is your food?
Cooking doesn’t have to be a time consuming ordeal. Instapots, crock pots and rice cookers make great time savers in that you can set them and leave them. Simple but delicious one pan recipes can average 15-20 minutes. You definitely don’t have to slave away. For many, cooking is a fun hobby and relaxing chore.
Don’t outsource your plate to Big Food corporations, restaurants, and fast food junk pushers. Take back your plate by reconquering your kitchen and reconnecting with your food.
#5 – Treat Your Tastebuds
Good health doesn’t have to mean bland, unappetizing meals. Real food tastes amazing! Right now most people’s tastebuds have gotten hijacked by sugar, salt and fat. The food companies are out to addict us and wow have they perfected the formula. They’ve also accustomed us to poor quality taste. Once you start eating ripe produce though your tastebuds begin rejecting the convenience foods as subpar.
Healthy food isn’t salads and weird juice smoothies. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel at all when it comes to your cooking. Many cultures have a plethora of traditional dishes that are outstandingly delicious. Real Italian, French, Indian, Thai, Ethiopian and Japanese foods are culinary marvels – and fantastically healthy too!
Toss the Hamburger Helper and start experimenting with new recipes that will treat your tastebuds to sublime but healthy meals while also fortifying your mind and body.
Real Food for Real Health
We are chemical beings and what we eat matters. Real health isn’t a protein shake and a multivitamin. Instead, focusing on whole foods across most meals will serve you better. Use these 5 rules to regain control over your plate. Your body, mind and health will thank you.
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