We all know we live in a very different world than our ancestors, even just our parents and their parents. So much has changed; technology, food, medicine, cleaning supplies and on and on we can go.
While we can all likely come up with a lot of positive aspects for some of these changes, there are some hidden dangers that come with the territory that may be quietly disrupting your ability to THRIVE and be the healthiest it can be.
Let’s start with our FOOD this week.
Have you ever noticed that foods that aren’t exactly “good” for you seem to taste amazing? THIS, is by design!
So, let’s look at a few reasons why bad foods taste so good:
- Many “crave-worthy” foods are loaded with sugar, salt, the bad fats, and plain old empty calories that are nutrient deficient.
- Manufacturers spend a LOT of time and money making these foods as delicious as possible (in the form of highly processed toxins) – and also on ads to entice us. It’s no surprise that some of these foods are hard to resist!
- Our brains are hardwired to crave tasty, high-energy (aka high-calorie) foods because they help us survive when food is scarce. (Except for most of us, food isn’t scarce anymore — so we have to be careful not to overeat these foods.)
This is important because knowledge is power and keeping in mind that these massive corporations want you to keep buying their toxic-laden, addictive foods for their financial bottom line and NOT your health. For many, just sharing that alone offers some resolution in choice.
With many of our foods being highly addictive, people eat too many calories, saturated fats, trans fats, and added sugars; too much sodium; and not enough vitamin D, calcium, potassium, or fiber.
AND, guess what? The top causes of death (heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancer, etc.) are strongly associated with our food choices or really anything we put IN or on our body!
So, what can you do about it?
You can EAT REAL FOOD! If it doesn’t have an ingredient label, it’s REAL, just like our ancestors used to eat. Real food = food that is as close to its natural state as possible.
Real foods are:
- Free of chemical additives,
- Don’t contain added sugars,
- Are rich in nutrients,
- From the earth and have always been what our ancestors ate.
Quick tips for identifying REAL Foods vs PROCESSED Foods…
Most real foods (except whole grains and some healthy fats) don’t:
- Come from a box, bag, or sealed container
- Include an ingredient list
Think Beef, Chicken, Vegetables, Fruit, Nuts, etc. (From the earth, untouched by man). Whole grains as well, if you choose to eat them but many also are altered, contain many other ingredients and our bodies cannot process them.
- If you’re having something with an ingredient list, it should have less than 5 ingredients and contain no ingredients you don’t know or can’t pronounce.
Unfortunately, this takes the option of about 90% of the Isles at our grocery store away, so it’s a very difficult change for a lot of people, however, the health benefits are incredible.
Eating a special treat every once in a while is fine, (80%-90% healthy foods, 10%-20% “extras”), But on a regular basis, it can get in the way of your results (not to mention your health).
Here’s a few pointers to help you slay those junk food cravings and take back control!
- Don’t let yourself get hungry. Eat a fist size of protein with each meal and as many veggies as you want to load on with it. You’ll be less likely to go for the addictive, toxic foods.
- Make sure you’re Hydrated: It’s important to drink enough water throughout the day to allow you to absorb the nutrients from the good food as well as flush out toxins.
- Plan ahead. Have healthier options on hand: fruits, cut-up veggies, nuts, etc. (PS: I know you already know this — but do you actually DO it? 🙂 )
- Hide or remove the TOXIC FOODS. If you have foods in the house that bring on cravings, keep them out of sight or better, get them out of the house!
- Eat it (without guilt & shame, but understanding there are consequences to your health). Allow yourself to snack on your favorites every once in a while. This way they don’t become “forbidden foods” that make you crave them even more.
- Try mindful eating. When you do indulge, make eating that food your only activity. Turn off the TV, get off your phone, and savor every bite, noticing its taste, texture, temperature, etc. Be thankful for where the food came from, the people that worked to bring you this food and the effort our ancestors went through to bring a meal like this to the table. This can help you feel more satisfied with a smaller portion.
AND it can help you decide whether you’re eating because you’re actually hungry… or because of something else (entertainment, to relax, bored, etc.).
AND if you’re addicted to a food – Yes, ADDICTION to food IS A THING, then reach out to someone who can help you stop the self-sabotage.
Habits can be changed — they just take time! AND YOUR HEALTH is worthit!
If you apply the same principle to your beauty supplies, toothpaste, cleaning supplies, medicine cabinet and anything you can sift through in your house, you’ll reap the benefits long term.