If you listen to media or look through any magazine, you would think we Americans are obsessed with our weight. And you are probably right. All the popular diet books preach that they have the answer to long-term weight loss, but they don’t emphasize the need to eat healthy. They do make billions of dollars every year selling the newest diet craze! Even Weight Watcher’s, who has been around for years, makes most of their money selling their own brand of diet food. It comes in a box. Food in a box is not healthy, at least long-term. Any so-called nutrients are removed through processing and artificially re-added in some laboratory. Artificial anything cannot hold a candle to the real deal, Mother Nature.
These days our food not only contains chemicals, there are genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) we have to contend with and WE DO NOT EVEN KNOW WHICH FOODS CONTAIN THEM! (But we have a rough idea) That is because the chemical companies (like Monsanto) lobbied our government officials to prevent them from passing laws to get those foods labeled. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (like Kellogg’s, Pepsi, Con Agra) is guilty of this as well. However, they are willing to put information on their packaging that adds up to diddly squat and ends up confusing consumers even more. My recommendation is: don’t eat any of that crap. If you make your own: salad dressing, granola, etc. you at least know what’s in it. If you insist buying packaged foods, at least go for organic or NON GMO verified. Organic doesn’t mean there isn’t a bunch of sugar or salt added though.
We humans come in all shapes and sizes. I have been naturally slim most of my life but I still got cancer. I called my self a vegetarian for eight years prior to my cancer diagnosis. Eighty percent of my calories came from processed foods (made from GMO corn and soy). I ate cheese and yogurt and drank milk (with added rBGH) by the gallons. I love milk but now I know it is bad for my health so I stopped. I don’t even miss it anymore.
I was like you, the average American. I went to the store, picked out what I wanted and ate it. I never thought about it. If it was sitting on the grocery shelf, it had to be safe to eat right? After all, we have government agencies like the USDA and FDA that made sure our food was not only safe but is healthy. Boy was I wrong!
It took a cancer diagnosis to wake me up and inspire me to find out why I got sick. Colon cancer does not run in my family. Heart disease does so I figured I was eating the right foods to make sure my ticker kept ticking (my dad died of cardiomyopathy at fifty-three). My radiologist told me to keep eating and it didn’t matter what I ate, just so I ate something (weight loss is the number one side effect for cancer patients. Chemotherapy and radiation can make food taste bad and some patients just doesn’t feel hungry). My doctor’s advice didn’t sound right to me so I went to my go to place when I need to verify information to be correct. All the cancer survivors I found ate healthy, organic, plant-based diets. That’s all I needed to convince me. If you want to be successful at something, find someone who already is and do what they do.
I now understand it isn’t all about being skinny. The majority of us will never look like the models on magazines covers and we now know that even their photos are air-brushed! The main thing to be healthy and feel good. It’s important to love ourselves enough to eat foods that keep our bodies running at their optimum best.
I came across a post by Dr. Lipman, integrative doctor and author, who calls himself a Health Evangelist (I love that!). He writes about the importance of eating healthy and forgetting about counting calories. Here’s a snippet of his article:
If you think that a calorie is a calorie – and it doesn’t matter if it comes from kale or cookies, then it’s time to rethink what you think you know about calories. Contrary to what your Momma, track coach or even Doctor led you to believe, all calories are NOT created equal, and thinking you’ll lose weight simply by counting them or cutting them will likely leave you hungry, irritable, malnourished and not much lighter than you were when you started. So instead of slashing and burning the caloric field, let’s level it with the following food for thought: read more here.
So throw away the scale and fill up your pantry and refrigerator with nutrient-rich foods. Your body will thank you.
Eat Your Veggies!