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Does healthy food need to be complicated? It seems like everyday there is a new study about food, or a new diet. Can we make eating healthy food uncomplicated? The Food Revolution brings together some of the top experts and speakers to give us to most useful and relevant news once a year. Eating healthy food shouldn’t have to be complicated right? Here are some insights and tidbits I learned to help to make things a little more clear.
Blue zones are places or communities in the world where people live the longest. By studying the healthy food diet and lifestyle habits of these people we can learn something.
Example #1 Beans – We notice that people in the blue zone have a diet high in beans. Our new goal should be to learn how to prepare beans so they taste really good and we will want to make a staple in our own diets.
Example #2 Soy – Soy is very confusing because one day a study shows that soy is bad for us and the next day it’s a super food. By looking at the diet of people in blue zones we notice that soy is a staple in 2 of the blue zones (they eat two servings per day). Just keep in mind that we should be eating quality organic soy in reasonable amounts.
Example #3 The western diet is not ideal – see what happened to the Okinawan in just a few generations once the western diet was introduced.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that todays epidemic conditions like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s are linked to the modern diet and lifestyle. What is a typical “modern” diet? A diet that consists of highly processed packaged food and little fresh or whole healthy foods. Compare this to the caveman or an Indian who lives directly off the land hunting and gathering food from nature.
- Diabetes can be reversed in as little as 4 days with a plant based diet.
- So if the cure is that simple then why doesn’t every doctor recommend it? A few reasons could be that your doctor hasn’t learned about it yet, or they assume that patients won’t be willing to change their diet. This could very well be true, but how can you make a choice when you don’t have all the options.
A fact stressed during the Food Revolution Summit is that Cancer does NOT have to be a death sentence. There are many stories of people who reversed cancer with the hard work of lifestyle and diet changes. Of course prevention is key. Taking care of yourself with a healthy food diet and lifestyle in the first place is always much preferable to being on the verge of death.
What We Choose to Eat
The fact is that not everyone reacts the same way to food. Some people are more susceptible to food addictions than others. One thing we can count on is that the food industry is CREATIVE in trying to addict us. They have entire laboratories just to figure out the perfect combination of salt, sugar and fat to make us come back for more.
Remember it’s not all about WILLPOWER : You can tell a person they will get $100,000 if they can hold their breath for 2 minutes. The problem is that unless we are trained to hold our breath the typical brain won’t let us deprive ourselves of oxygen no matter how much we want to. The brain does not want us to die, it will force us to breathe to get oxygen. Did you know that similar to this situation the bacteria in our gut microbiome can influence what we crave? These bacteria send cravings to our brain so they get what they need to survive
What we choose to eat doesn’t need to include counting calories (which aren’t a good measurement of energy these days) or following the latest fad diet. All you need to do is pay attention to the types of foods you eat on a daily basis (a food journal can be extremely helpful).
Eat More Healthy Food
Eat more COLORFUL foods. Think Leafy Greens, Apples, Strawberries, Blueberries, Beets, Carrots, Yellow Squashes. Eat more legumes and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat foods that are unprocessed and can be harvested from a plant or the ground.
- Eating a handful of berries every other day can slow your brains aging by 2 years.
- Tomatoes are much more bio-available slow simmered with olive oil.
- Spices like cinnamon have anti-cancer benefits
- Did you know that a human eye can spot a carrot over 200 feet away!
Sugar is the new tobacco and some people haven’t put the pieces together yet. Sugar is comparable to alcohol. When a liver is autopsied it looks the same for both soda drinkers and alcoholics. Studies show that eating a lot of sugar leads to obesity and other chronic diseases. Sugar is the biggest epidemic on the planet, it is not a healthy food.
Sugar releases dopamine which makes us feel good. We all want to feel good, this is one of the reasons its so addictive. The facts are there, but common sense usually doesn’t win in an addiction. Did you know that some people are low in dopamine receptors so this makes it even harder for them to stay away from sugar?
When trying to eat less sugar aim for natural dopamine sources such as exercise, social support, and music.
Before you get weird on me and say you LOVE your meat and won’t give it up. I’m not saying you need to give up meat and become a vegan, just become aware that the quality of meat matters in multiple ways.
- Factory farmed meat is absolutely horrible. These animals are crowded into spaces where they can’t move, fed an unnatural diet causing them to be sick and stressed all the time.
- Factory farms have a 100% turnover rate every year. Yes, give that a second thought. EVERY single person working on a factory farm will quit before the year is over and new people will be hired. Factory farm workers get post traumatic stress syndrome PTSD.
- Factory farms are an absolute disaster for the environment. All of that concentrated manure has to go somewhere and it works it’s way into our food and water supply. (food grown with sewer sludge anyone?)
- Sustainable pasture-raised meat can be a healthy food when eaten in moderation.
- If you prefer not to give up meat, then for your health and for the plant consider switching to pasture raised humanely treated meat.
- Consdier sourcing your meat from a service like Butcherbox. You get 100% grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and/or pork delivered to your door with free shipping. Sign up here and get 2lbs of Ground Beef FREE in every box for the life of your membership!
How to Eat
- The more you chew your food the better. Think about the purpose of our teeth and saliva, to start breaking down the food so that our digestion system can get more nutrients out of it. How often do you practically inhale your food and barely chew it? Even a few extra chews per bite helps. The slower you eat and the more intentionally you chew your food the more satisfied you will be after your meal. Give it a try.
- What you are doing when you eat matters. If you are sitting down and having a relaxing meal with friendly company you will digest your food easier and feel better. COMPARE this to when you are running around trying to get 10 things done while eating and your body is in flight or fight mode.
- Timing is everything, if you eat at all different times of the day your body can’t find any pattern. If you eat meals around the same time everyday your body will be able to predict eating times and prepare itself appropriately.
Major Impact Stuff
- What if we DON’T target ads towards children? Food companies want to get customers for life so they target small children. When Children become addicted to processed food early they will continue to eat this way. I’m sorry to say that a diet that consists of junk food and little fresh wholesome healthy food will affect a child’s IQ. Lowering the IQ of today’s kids will COST the economy of the future.
- Why do we subsidize mono-culture crops? Billions of tax payer dollars in the US are used to subsidize corn, wheat and soy which go toward making processed junk food, or towards the feeding the factory farm animals we consume. Couldn’t that money be used better elsewhere?
- Factory farms use copious amounts of antibiotics for livestock. Lets face it, if you’re going to put animals in conditions so horrific they WILL get sick and need antibiotics just stay alive then you should rethink you strategy. Antibiotic-resistance is fast on the rise and days of antibiotic’s are coming to an end, soon they won’t work for anyone and that is a scary thought.
- Big companies have deep pockets, but if we can get educated we can stop giving them our money and instead support more healthy and sustainable practices.
Uncomplicated Take Aways
- Check out research on the blue zones.
- Be aware of the sneaky tactics of the food industry. The first step is knowledge
- The more COLORFUL and whole plant based healthy foods you can eat the better!
- Take a look at your daily consumption of processed, packaged foods and the quality of your meat. Can you make it a habit to eat less of the bad stuff?
- Pay attention to how you eat. Try to change your relationship with your food.
- Food policies MATTER. Make it a point to care about them and be an advocate!
What we eat DOES matter, it can affect our longevity. It’s no longer prudent to live in a bubble where ignorance is bliss. We are living in a world where we are bombarded by toxins and a lot of those toxins can come from what we choose to eat. If we ignore the facts then we may come across a low quality of life, chronic disease and or an early death. The current statistics say 1/2 of people who reach age 85 have Alzheimer’s. Not a very promising statistic is it? If you start paying more attention and turn towards healthy food then you will be more likely to live the healthy vibrant life that you were meant to live. Go for progress not perfection!
Speakers from the 2017 Food Revolution Summit
Kris Carr – Cancer Survivor and Thriver
Mercy For Animals
Eat To Beat
Bright Line Eating