31 Oct The Real (Hard-to-Find) Food Truth
There are hundreds of diets circulating in our world right now. Every day that we sign onto our social media accounts, we are bombarded with ads, promos, promises, and hype about the best way for you to be your healthiest you. And let me tell you, girlfriend, I have fallen for the traps way too many times. All of it. After years of researching and experimenting, I realized that the best diet for all bodies begins with REAL FOOD. Hear me out. Every person is a bio-individual. Some people can’t tolerate dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts, etc while others can. But the thing that every single one of us has in common is that our bodies were never designed or created to eat fake, processed, enriched, and chemically enhanced foods.
Many of us find it overwhelming to even think about changing or shifting our diet from the one we’ve had our whole lives. However, what if I told you that just by beginning to eat REAL food that your body would begin to change? Not only would you begin to normalize in your weight, but you’d also begin to heal. . While you may not be experiencing symptoms that may be serious (yet) or super noticeable (you know, you’ve just had excessive gas for 20 years), your body may be giving you multiple signs that it needs a serious real-food reboot. Here are some common symptoms that we often medicate before we try to HEAL what’s out of whack:
-IBS, indigestion, acid reflux, constipation, or regular diarrhea
-PMS (that’s right, ladies. PMS is actually not normal. )
-Acne (your skin is like a map–you can actually track what organs are not functioning well based on where your pimples pop up!)
-Irregular menstrual cycle or pain during your period
-Hair loss, dandruff and brittle nails
-Achy joints & muscles after eating
-Malnutrition symptoms (twitchy eyes, strong body odor)
-Regular yeast infections and/or fungal/bacterial infections (it can be anywhere)
-Low immune function
-Adrenal or thyroid function issues (fatigue, exhaustion)
-Auto-immune disease (many auto-immune diseases can be controlled with a real-food diet)
See? If I’m honest, this isn’t all of them. Maybe you’ve been living with the same symptoms your entire life with no answers from the doc and basically living on an IV drip of Motrin. Maybe you’ve bought every cream in the world, but you’ve just “managed” the flare-ups and called it “normal.” Your body is an amazing thing. It’s actually a bio-computer. When things come into it, that it does not recognize it has to try to bypass it and figure it out. It can only do that for so long until things begin malfunctioning. Unfortunately, long-term it’s not a good thing. Inflammation is one of the largest issues with our generation eating fake food. Studies have shown, inflammation may be a reason for increased cancer, autoimmune disease, and lots of other awful things happen to the body. Whew. That got real.
So here’s the good news. It’s never too late to heal the body, girlfriend. C’mon! Your body works hard for you…don’t you think it deserves real-food-fuel? Also, would you stick spaghetti into your laptop? No. (That’s absurd.) Then why in the world would you put junk food into your precious body?
Girl. We can help you.
Here’s a basic overview of the things you can do tomorrow (let’s be honest, START TODAY!) to begin working toward a more whole-foods, clean-eating way of living.
1) Don’t Eat Ingredients You Can’t Pronounce, Spell, or Identify
What sounds more appetizing? Green Beans in Water—or—Green Beans, sodium benzoate, and potassium sorbate.
I really hope you passed that test.
READ YOUR LABLES. If it doesn’t just say FOOD, then don’t buy it. There’s another option out there.
2) Cook Food at Home
Even if you can only cook a chicken breast with a side of steamed broccoli, you are better off eating at home than at a restaurant as much as possible. Restaurants use lots of icky ingredients and additives to make our food. Even if they are “healthy” they probably aren’t clean. Also, cooking at home is proven to make people WAY happier overall.
3) Shop with the Dirty Dozen List for your Produce
Currently there is a list called the Dirty Dozen that gives you the 12 dirtiest produce items. These items are things that even with a good scrubbing you won’t get the chemicals off of them. Check out this website for the updated list each year. It will also give you the Clean 15 which are items that are generally safe to buy non-organic. Otherwise, especially women, you need to be aware that some of these chemicals have hormonal toxins and high amounts of carcinogens in them that are linked to breast and ovarian cancer. It’s serious stuff! They are really nasty!
4) Purchase from Transparent Companies
If you need to buy boxed goods, make sure you see the NON-GMO label. Also, reputable companies are very open about their ingredients. They don’t cover up preservatives and low-nutrient food additives with false advertising. If you ever need to get a list, just ask one of our on-staff health coaches! They can point you in the right direction.
5) Buy Local, Humanely Raised Meat
I can give you about a thousand reasons why you should eat meat from a local farmer. Chickens that don’t have fresh air and cows that don’t have grass to eat in a pasture might have a higher price point at the butcher…but they are carrying the promise of quality. Both poultry and beef are pumped with antibiotics, hormones, and if you’re not careful you’ll be cooking those up at home for your entire family to eat at dinner. Grass fed beef (Earl’s Meats in Holland carries it for $5.99 a lb) and Organic, Free Range Poultry and Eggs. Find a local farmer or join a CSA in our area to get the best prices and highest quality.
6) Stop Eating REFINED Sugar
I will be writing another blog on sugar. But, I want to just say that sneaky sugar is in everything and it’s causing a lot of problems in our world. Whenever possible try to eat unrefined sugar sources like: coconut sugar, maple syrup and honey. They are great options that can usually be subbed out 1:1 in recipes. Did you know that even marinara sauces have sugar in them? Again, read your labels!
7) Shop the Perimeter
Have you ever noticed that everything on the INSIDE of the grocery store is processed foods? Try shopping for the majority of your foods on the outside walls of your grocery store. Produce, refrigerated goods, and butcher are all on those. It’s a helpful tip!
8) Do Research. Advocate for YOU.
Even the best doctor isn’t going to do what’s best for YOU and your body. The research you do is important. If you are new to this health journey and need support, we are here to help you! Girlfriends Fit Club now has two trained Integrated Nutrition Health Coaches on staff!