Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Get in my belly!

The word Diet has been getting a bad reputation in last couple of decades. The word originally and should still be used as a way to describe one's eating habits and regular food lifestyle. However, now the word is used to describe a deprivation meal plan that one embarks on in order to loose weight, and can cause fear and hate in many. There are so many "Diet" plans out there that guarantee people to loose weight. Atkins, South Beach, Mediterranean, Zone, Jenny Craig, No sugar, 5-day Meal plan, Low-fat, Fat Free, and those are only the diets I can name off the top of my head!

The truth is the longer society engages in these diets, the more obese and unhealthy society becomes. The more processed food becomes to be low-fat or fat free, the more chemicals are put in to still make it flavorful. Recently, I learned a lot of hard facts about Splenda, first, it's an irritant to the human bladder (this one I learned the tough way and from my doctor), which is probably caused by its chemical ingredients which include Chlorine! Finding this out was a shock for me, since I was using it and consuming products with its logo slapped on the front on a daily basis. I can't imagine what the future repercussions would be if I was already facing side effects from consumption.

I think its time to realize that as natural beings we need to get back to eating and drinking natural foods. For hundreds of years food from the Earth was all our body knew how to digest and now in the last 60 years food companies are causing the change. After reading Michael Pollan's book "Food Rules" (his other more indepth books are in my reading list), I know there are easy ways to cut the crap out of my food. The rules are extremely basic, and were actually submitted by some of his readers. One rule I really try to follow is "Don't eat food products that contain more than 5 ingredients." Luckily for me, store-bought tortilla chips barely makes the cut!

I made my own rule that applies to even more food products:

Don't eat anything that has ingredients that you couldn't find in a household kitchen.

This rule makes it easy to go grocery shopping, because if I haven't heard of one of the ingredients on the package, chances are its not NATURAL!

The easiest way to make sure the food I am eating is natural is to cook and eat mostly from home. And a year ago I quit shopping at Supermarkets, because grocery shopping for just myself could take up to an hour, since I was reading all the labels of everything I was buying to make sure it didn't have unwanted ingredients. Now I do my staple shopping at Trader Joe's and local Farmer's Markets, and I hardly have to think about what I put in my basket. I am still a work in progress though, I know I can be getting my diet from better sources, but this fits my budget now.

I think with any diet, like my natural food diet, its easy to slip up, especially in a world of processed foods. Yet now that I have changed my habits, when I slip up I can actually feel how hard it is for my body to process the junk I eat and leaves me laying on my stomach for an hour.

I am not necessarily advocating that organic "USDA" produce and products are the only way to go either, but at least being conscious of the chemicals that are in products that you wouldn't expect will help to be healthy in general.

Nothing is more natural than produce that is dug from the earth or picked off trees or vines.

Natural eating = Healthy Living


  1. Very informative, I'm about to rethink my own diet plans =/

    good post!

  2. Your comments on each weeks entry are very informative and thought provoking. I really enjoy and look forward to your next posting!

  3. Great blog and great approach to eating!

  4. The problem with this is that a lot of people don't have a convenient all-natural market nearby, nor do they have time to visit one every week and make home-cooked meals 3 times a day. For a girl with no money and busy days, it seems almost overwhelming to start eating all natural. Is this a legit viewpoint, or am I missing something? It just seems like the kind of diet that would require a complete lifestyle change, and not many people can pull that off.

  5. Meg,
    A lifestyle change is the exact point! No one can live a perfect life, but the point of attempting all natural eating will at least make us conscious of what we are putting in our bodies. I think its important to start the day off by making that choice before we are starving and trying to get a quick bite at lunch. If we take the time to make a sandwich, salad, or even have leftovers in the morning or night before, then its cheaper, more convenient, and definitely more healthy than buying lunch every day. Cooking from home can be a challenge but easy recipe books are out there. Like this 5-ingredient cookbook: http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Light-Ingredient-Minute-Cookbook/dp/0848718526.

    But mostly I want to say, its okay to still enjoy meals out of the home. I still go to my favorite Chinese restaurants, even though I am unknowing if they use MSG, but try not to go there more than twice a month. Its important to also get a night off and let someone else cook for, but I think everything in moderation!
    Happy living,