A couple months ago I read a book called Why Women Need Fat
by William D Lassek, MD and Steven Gaulin.
I was skeptical that it would just be another gimmicky thing about weight loss, but instead I read things that made my entire struggle with weight and food choices make sense.
While the book had a LOT more to say, the thing that kept smacking me in the face was that our bodies were not built to eat food that has to be manufactured and altered in order to actually BE food.
I knew this about stuff like Diet Coke and other crap that I consume from time to time with known chemicals in it, but the book really brought to my attention almost everything that is packaged (especially stuff that says “low fat” or “fat free”) is, in fact, fake.
To learn more about eating “real food”, I went to my friend, Melissa of the blog Read Food Eater, who started switching her family to only real foods once her oldest showed signs of having issues with wheat. The mega health benefits she saw for her whole family was enough to put her on the track to switching completely over to Real Food for good.
“As we made the changes, I was even more motivated as I saw the health of our family improve – less digestive issues, less bumpy and eczema-like skin rashes, less mood swings, less sicknesses and an improved ability to fight off sicknesses. It was enough for me to stay on the straight-and-narrow Real Food path.”
I asked her for a few tips for newbies like myself who might want to start the switch to Real Food. Here were her top tips:
- Have a “why”. You need motivating factor to start changing the way you feed yourself/your family. It may be to improve your health, relieve a food allergy/sensitivity, strengthen your immune system, or even having more of a connection to the sources of your food (farmers, local producers, etc). After you decide what motivates you,
- Start slowly. Change one thing at a time (or more, if you are able).
- Connect with other like-minded individuals and join a buying club.
- Start going to a local farmer’s market – that is a perfect place to make connections not only with people who are likely trying to eat healthier and more locally, but also to meat the people who grow and raise your food!
- Make a plan. Just like any habit, planning is key. Meal-planning is something I did early on to prevent the last-minute decision to order pizza or eat out or get fast food. I also believe meal planning is a great way not only to eat healthier, but also to save money while eating more nourishing foods. My “30 Days of Dinners” outlines how I make an efficient monthly dinner plan.
- Read and inform yourself. Join me in “My 7 Real Food Reads for 2012”. I am convinced that when you start reading the WHY behind eating Real Food and learning about the way our processed foods are made, you will be eager to start a Real Food journey! Watch “Food, Inc.” and other documentaries about food in our culture. Read articles like “Dirty Secrets of The Food Processing Industry”. Take pride in your body – know that it isn’t all about what you look like on the outside, but that what you are putting on the INSIDE can have drastic effects on your health and well-being (good or bad). You really are what you eat.
I have to admit that I read the book and started discussing real vs. fake with Melissa when I was about 6 months pregnant. Since then I have been making a very conscious effort to eat fewer “fake” ingredients and foods.
I’ve definitely noticed that I have more energy and my skin is clearer. Plus I have hardly gained weight with this pregnancy. Oh, the baby has…but because I had extra to begin with, I truly believe my new eating habits are helping the rest of my body save only the “right” fats.
Melissa is right…you ARE what you EAT.