I love food. And when I say “love,” I mean the earth-shattering, chow-down kind of love.
Because of my excessive adoration, I treat the object of my affection with honor and integrity. Anything else would be less than what real food so lustily deserves. I truly love to eat food, the right way.
So why do I tell you this? Because throughout our lengthy courtship, I have learned a lot about what is truly food, and whom is the imposter attempting to take me on a date.
Reinventing your relationship with food? Here are a few lessons that I have learned along the way.
Things I Learned That Totally Changed The Way I Eat
1. Gluten-free isn’t “just a trend.”
In fact, it may just be necessary! More and more studies are beginning to show that a significant percentage of the population may have sensitivity to today’s wheat.
Gluten allergies are likely becoming more commonplace due to the modification of the modern wheat plant. Our current wheat is no longer the amber waves of grain we once consumed.
In recent decades, hybridization began modifying the wheat plant resulting in less digestible gluten. Coupled with chemicals sprayed, such as Glyphosate, much wheat contains a potentially damaging combination that many bodies just don’t like.
However, just because it is “gluten-free” doesn’t mean it is good for you. Many gluten free items are full of sugar and processed carbohydrates. Read the labels carefully and make wise decisions.
2. Pasteurized is not always pleasant.
The pasteurization process is designed to kill potentially dangerous germs. Unfortunately, it is frequently used in excess and also eliminates the healthful properties inherent in the food.
Take, for example, honey. Raw honey has amazing health benefits. Those little bees are brilliant! Their honey, in its natural state, is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and full of fabulous vitamins and minerals.
Related: 10 Health Benefits Of Honey
Unfortunately, once heated to the recommended pasteurized levels, the nutrients vanish, resulting in a non-nutritious sugary substitute. Eating raw honey is safe, tasty, and full of the nutrition your body loves. I adore raw honey. We have a date later with a cookie.
3. GMO?! Oh no!
GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. The genetic modification results from the transfer of genes between two unrelated species.
GMO’s were first introduced into our food supplies in the mid 90’s by biotech companies and have served the monetary purpose of increased crop herbicide and pesticide tolerance.
The question is, at what price? Genetic modification has been linked to major health issues. In most parts of the world, GMO’s are either banned, or require labeling. In the US, the majority of our processed food are GMO’s, derived from such ingredients, as corn, soy, canola, and cotton.
What are a few things you can you do to avoid GMO’s? Eat organic. Shop at your local farmers market. Stop eating processed food. Have some fun and plant a few veggies of your own.
4. Rule of thumb: if it has more than three syllables, don’t eat it.
This one is pretty simple. If your grandparents would not have recognized the ingredient, you may wish to pass it by.
Grandma knew the word carrot, yet likely wasn’t up to speed on butylated hydroxyanisole, potassium bromate, or ammonium sulfate. Smart grandma!
Before you eat food, look at the ingredients.
Added tip…natural flavorings usually equal chemical flavorings. Yep, this would have made grandpa pretty ornery.
5. There are many different words for MSG, and they all mean “yuck.”
Speaking of multiple syllable words, monosodium glutamate can act as a neurotoxin and is one of those “additives” you may just want to avoid.
MSG is often labeled as autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed protein, and many other tricky labels. MSG is definitely one of those imposter dates, so you may want to block that message and save your favorite dancing shoes for the real thing.
6. Organic just means real food.
Speaking of real, organic is the way to go. Back in the day (ya know, that grandma thing again), organic food was just “food”…meaning chemicals weren’t the norm. Gardens were grown in mineral rich soil and cows wandered around grass fields.
Related: 5 Reasons To Buy Organic Food
I have an idea! Let’s just start calling organic food “food” and label everything else “food-like substance.” Ta da! Solved.
7. Food is, indeed, medicine.
Remember that saying “you are what you eat”? Well, it’s true. Mama Earth has created the perfect combination of nutrients in all her abundance.
Garlic? A natural antibiotic. Coconut? Anti-viral. Kale? Full of calcium. Fish? High in Omegas. Eggs? Full of vitamin B. You get the idea! Eat, eat, eat, and be well. Remember: food can either heal you or hurt you. Go with the healing route.
8. Healthy is yummy.
This one is my favorite! Imagine plates of brightly colored decadence, tantalizing spices, and happy herbs.
Can you picture it? Does it seem like a heavenly dream? Oh, but it is reality, my friends. We can choose to eat it everyday.
And guess what? This food loves you back!
Eat food that makes you and your body healthy. That’s the biggest lesson to learn!
Rachel Kahn is the Founder of LoveSelf, a gluten-free wellness company dedicated to inspiring self-love through real earth empowered food. Rachel began studying holistic health and nutrition over a decade ago and attributes her own healing to lessons in body nurturing choices. Rachel has recently set off on a heart felt cross-country journey highlighting those making a positive difference in our food communities. Be sure to participate in the journey by liking LoveSelf on Facebook.
Photo by ilikegranola.com