If you would have asked me what’s my food philosophy a few years ago, I would have said, “are you joking?”
I never used to equate food with health.
I knew I needed food to survive, like putting gas in a car. And I knew that fruits and vegetables were good for you. I also would have said, “everything in moderation.”
I still believe in those principles today, in addition to others. My philosophy on food has definitely evolved over the past few years.
I used to think a diet was something that you went on to lose weight. Since I’ve always been relatively thin, I never thought it applied to me. I didn’t realize that in addition to losing weight, your “diet” could mean so much more.
They Call It Junk Food For A Reason!
Little did I know at the time, but I grew up on the Standard American Diet. Yes, the acronym is SAD and so is the diet.
Fortunately, my parents had a big garden, so I ate fresh vegetables when I lived with them. We also ate some processed foods though – soups in casseroles, enriched pasta, even “fake” mashed potatoes instead of real ones sometimes.
When I moved out on my own, I continued with the processed foods and didn’t eat as many vegetables. I was in college and a young adult in corporate America – busy and stressed. I didn’t have much time to cook, nor did I enjoy it. It was easier to throw a Hot Pocket in a microwave or crack open a can of Spaghetti O’s.
My lunch typically consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, maybe a sweet treat for dessert and diet pop for lunch, or a trip to a fast food joint (preferably Taco Bell).
If I was in a rush, my dinner was something microwaved, or out of a can. If I cooked, I had chicken or beef, bread, rice or pasta, and some canned vegetables.
In addition to my 2 daily meals (I rarely ate breakfast), I might have had some snacks from time to time like – Doritos, M&Ms, granola bars, or cheese and crackers – they call it junk food for a reason!
Health Symptoms Might Be Related to Food
When I began getting chest pains, a rapid heart rate, and daily headaches (in addition to all of the other symptoms I was experiencing), I just took a daily aspirin. Never once did I think to take a look at my “diet”.
Instead of looking at my diet, or having a doctor recommend that I look at my diet, I progressively got worse.
My Eyes Were Opened!
Fast forward to a few years ago. I was seeing a Naturopathic doctor who wanted me to journal the food I was eating daily. That was when I seriously began to equate food with health.
I remember the first few times when I walked into a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. I saw food I had never heard of – chia, flax, quinoa along with brands I didn’t recognize. I had a friend initially go with me to explain some of the items.
While everything at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s isn’t healthy, at least they began to introduce me to another way of eating.
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So What Is My Food Philosophy?
In addition to education about food, my philosophy includes some of the food allergies and health issues I’ve developed later in life. I believe that food can not only sustain us but it can also give us vibrant health.
Here are some of the things I try to follow when it comes to food:
- A healthy dose of organic vegetables
- Eat organic. I want to avoid GMOs and pesticides. I try to buy as much organic as possible. If I can’t find an organic option, I follow the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list from the Environmental Working Group
- Avoid GMOs
- Eat whole foods
- Eliminate as much processed food as possible. If I eat processed food, it’s organic
- Ditch pop/soda altogether
- No fast food (except for Chipotle — they may not be perfect, but they are at least trying to provide healthy options. They are my restaurant of choice when I’m in a hurry)
- Some sort of protein for breakfast – I need this for my adrenals
- GrassFed Beef – good source of Omega 3 and CLA
- Limit sweets and avoid refined sugar
- No wheat, or gluten – I have a wheat allergy, but processed wheat isn’t so good anyway. Neither is gluten
- Snack on raw seeds and nuts
- Limit grains – they cause inflammation
- Above all else – try to eat what God has provided for us. I have always felt that God has given us everything we need to be healthy and man shouldn’t mess with it.
So I try to eat like this at home as much as possible.
I still eat out from time to time because my husband enjoys it and I also enjoy the break. However, since I know I’m exposing myself to GMOs and pesticides at restaurants, I try my best to control the foods I bring into our house.
It took my health, but I’m thankful that my eyes were finally opened to the importance of a good diet! I have already seen improvements in my health and am excited to put my money towards healthy food in the future instead of towards visits to the doctor!
Do you have a food philosophy? Do you think you would follow some of my philosophy when it comes to food? Let me know in the comments below.
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Hi! My story is similar to yours. Parts of my story are on my site. I can give you the link if you are interested. I have healed from alot. I am still working on food sensitivities. I was diagnosed with a mild case of SIBO. I was told by this doctor that candida wasn’t a problem, but I wonder if it still is because my other doctor said so and because candida and mercury usually are found together. I had my fillings removed with the proper safety protocols. And that helped me heal alot! I am unsure of how to go about healing the gut because I sometimes feel pretty bad when I try to kill things off with antimicrobials. And I seem to be sensitive to fermented foods, and long simmered broths. Probiotics can be very tricky with SIBO. I have been interested in trying the Beyond Organic Amasai for gut healing but my testing 4 years ago showed an allergy to milk (no other allergies showed up on that testing). I went dairy free and soon after I went gluten free. My diet is very limited because of trying to nail down sensitivities. Sometimes I will eat and have bloating, indigestion, fatigue, insomnia and I feel cold. I was curious what your opinion is on how to heal food sensitivities. Thank you!
Hi Kristie – Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your story. You’re right – it is similar to mine! For me, I haven’t been told SIBO, but I’m actually going in for some testing soon so I’ll be sure to ask my doctor about it. If you’d like, please email me your email address at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be glad to share more with you without getting into all of it on here. I definitely think we could learn from each other since there are so many similarities! Also, I don’t consume typical dairy, but I do enjoy Beyond Organic Amasai. I have a dairy sensitivity too, but this doesn’t seem to bother me. Actually, I believe it’s helped me in many ways. It’s from Beta A2 cows. Most cows in the U.S. are Beta A1: https://www.livingnaturaltoday.com/2012/10/todays-milk-doesnt-do-a-body-good/. Hope to hear from you so we can share our experiences of what’s worked and what hasn’t!
Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families says
It is hard to find organic food on a strict budget. I walk into the store and spend over 100 a week on groceries to feed our family of 5. I do try to buy healthy stuff but it is expensive. I too have eating the standard american diet and will probably continue unless I become instantly rich. 😉
Thanks for stopping by Christy! Organic can cost a little more, but I found that the money I saved when I began cutting out some of the processed unhealthy “junk” food could go towards organic. I’d also recommend following the clean 15 and dirty dozen for fruits & vegetables (http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php). Hopefully in the future, as more people continue to demand organic, the prices will eventually decrease. For now, I can just attest to how eating healthier has helped my health. I’m also thankful to be paying less for a doctor!