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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