Nature is perfect. Each food is perfectly designed. It contains within it the exact things needed to break down and digest and to absorb its nutrients properly. The problem is NOT with any specific foods. The problem lies within what is done to foods. Nature is perfect. The problem lies into what is done to food – from start to finish.
The genetic modification of foods creates a lack of balance & digestibility. The soil foods are grown in often has been leeched of nutrients which leads to foods low in nutrients. The chemicals foods are treated with, including the ones that the animals we eat are ingesting, contaminate them. The plastic foods are stored in absorb into the foods and are toxic. The way we process foods becomes harmful to our bodies.
Eating healthy is not about extreme restrictions or eliminating types of foods from your diet. It is instead finding healthy (natural and nature made) clean sources of foods and consume them as whole and unprocessed as possible. Foods that from start to finish are grown, treated, fed, harvested, packaged, transported, prepared & stored by you in ways that optimize, and honor nature and the natural food cycle. This promotes balance and health.
If you live is the US you may not be able to eat grains or grain-based foods without feeling bloated, putting on weight & experiencing stomach discomfort BUT you find that if you travel to Paris, you can eat all those tasty croissants. Or if you travel to Italy, you can enjoy bowls full of delicious pasta and experience NO symptoms. This is because of not only the highly processed grain-based products in the US that rob nutrients your body needs to effectively process them, it also has to do with US grains being genetically modified to be higher in protein. Between the processing and the genetic modification US grains no longer have the perfect natural balance and high levels of fiber that the body needs to properly digest, absorb, and put to work (effectively) the food as energy. This is not the case in European grown grains.
Similarly, the soils that food are grown in are often barren of nutrients, they have been over-used and under nurtured. They have been treated with chemicals or had environmental toxin exposure. Beyond this, once foods are harvested, they are often treated with chemicals and preservatives to enable them to stay ‘fresh’ longer and therefore travel across the country or even the world before being sold and consumed. Some of these preservatives and chemicals are applied AFTER harvest enabling them to still be sold and labeled as organic. Additionally, foods are stored and transported in plastics and containers that have chemicals within them that can completely disrupt the human endocrine system, gut health, and build toxic levels of elements that cause illness, disease, and systemic inflammation.
We would hope that our governments and the companies around the world would put people over profit and tighten both regulation and internal policy that would lead to safe foods, but this is not the case. We each must become educated, aware, and proactive in protecting our health and this means proper sourcing, storage and preparation of foods that leads towards wellness versus illness. But HOW? This sounds like a full-time job AND a VERY expensive feat to accomplish. Here are a few simpler steps that will help ease this burden. I do also want to communicate clearly that maintaining health and wellbeing is work! There is no way around that. We must be intentional and engaged. However, we can each find a way to do our best through a balanced approach that is both achievable and maintainable. We can’t live in a controlled bubble or create so many restrictions that it leads us deep down the rabbit hole of chronic stress. It’s about balance and what is balanced for one person may not be for another. So when seeking to create your own game plan consider time, energy, resources, accessibility and what feels achievable to sustain long terms
- Store food and water in glass containers whenever possible. Work towards sourcing items that come in plastic free, glass or paper containers
- Eat whole foods that are grown organically in season. Source them from farms within the region you live in if possible
- Do not buy things that seem to have a long shelf life! You may get frustrated that produce goes bad quickly if it is fresh and organic, however fruits and veggies treated with chemicals will last longer. Try to shop weekly and us up smaller amounts of food at a time. The best way to do this is by shopping at a local farmers market or subscribing to a CSA
- Avoid heavily processed foods. Do your best to eat minimally processed foods
- Cook your own meals – reduce eating out (you can never know where ingredients are sourced from or what they contain)
- Read food labels and don’t hesitate to contact companies to inquire about ingredients or where they are sourced. Most labels give company information that with a quick internet search will guide you how to contact them
- Do your research!!! Research food sources and different countries, states and regions approach and production. Research soil, pesticides and microplastics. Learn what to be on the lookout for.
- With internet access came a more globalized market. Source cleaner options from other countries (example: Manuka Honey and lamb from New Zealand, Olive oil from Italy or Greece, grains from France)
- Try to align with nature and natural cycles when possible (example: Eat things grown within their natural seasons locally, try to source things that are not processed – meaning the way they come is the way nature produced them)