A Different Approach Towards Eating Healthy!

Eating healthy is easy when we use simple, realistic strategies to help us identify truly healthy foods that fight disease and improves our overall health. This approach reflects an old-fashioned attitude towards eating healthy.

In simpler times, we prepared homemade meals using healthy foods that contained a high nutritional value. Families communicated with one another as we developed important social skills and acceptable manners. Eating was a pleasurable experience that nurtured our bodies and kept us healthy.

Today, eating has dramatically changed. We live fast pace lives and eat mostly processed, packaged foods on the run. Lost, is the family communicating with one another, enjoying a healthy homemade meal. Lost, are the healthy vital nutrients from our food that our bodies desperately need to prevent disease and maintain good health. Lost, is eating healthy.

In simpler times, we ate healthy foods free from harmful chemicals and loaded with healthy vital nutrients. Unfortunately, today’s food is introduced to a large amount of harmful chemicals. Our once healthy food has been stripped of all its’ vital nutrients and replaced with harmful chemicals that directly affects our health.

These harmful chemicals are directly associated to the cause of many serious diseases. Additionally, these chemicals have damaging effects on our environment.

When we digest large amounts of harmful chemicals, our bodies become overloaded and overworked desperately trying to break these chemicals down and eliminate them. Worse yet, some chemicals are so foreign to our body; our body can’t break them down so it simply stores them.

When our bodies are this distracted, it does not run efficiently and has difficulty concentrating on important responsibilities such as preventing disease and maintaining good health.

The solution is simply to reduce the amount of harmful chemicals entering our bodies, which can easily be done by adapting a simple attitude towards eating healthy and identifying healthy foods.

When determining if we are eating healthy foods full of healthy vital nutrients, we must consider the following issues.

How was the food grown or raised?

In simpler times, farms produced food without the use of harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, as the demand for food increased, many small family farms couldn't keep up or they were forced into becoming large farming corporations. These changes initiated the use of harmful chemicals.

Many livestock farms feed their animals with growth hormones and antibiotics through a high corn-based diet to increase their growth and to decrease sickness. Many crop farms spray their food with pesticides, herbicides, growth stimulating additives, fungicides and fertilizers to increase growth and ward off pests and weeds.

Since we digest these harmful chemicals, we are not eating healthy.

How far has the food traveled?

In simpler times, it was rare if food traveled long distances. Very often food was grown and raised locally. Unlike today, food is shipped half way across the world. The same food we can easily grow in our own backyards. However, the fact does remain that food will be shipped long distances, so now it must undergo even more modern intervention.

Chances are the food has already been exposed to many harmful chemicals during its growing stage, now it is picked well before it is ripe, and upon its’ arrival, it is sprayed with gases as an attempt to ripen the food and develop its’ natural colour.

Suddenly, eating that tomato shipped from a far destination doesn’t seem very appetizing or healthy any longer.

How is the food stored and packaged?

Storing and packaging food for long periods of time has become a modern practice. We can be fairly certain that if food comes in a box, jar, bag or can, it is heavily preserved and processed to sustain long shelf life, long shipments and long storage periods. When foods are heavily preserved and processed their healthy vital nutrients are stripped and replaced with harmful chemicals.

Our bodies rely on these vital nutrients to maintain good health, instead we receive preservatives, artificial flavourings, harsh chemicals, large amounts of sugar, salt, corn, soy and many other additives that are difficult to pronounce.

No wonder so many individuals are unable to eat healthy.

TIP: Beware of certain advertising health claims on food labels. There’s good reason many food products now claim their product is fortified with a specific vitamin or mineral. Since the food was stripped of all its’ original healthy vital nutrients during the processing stage, the food company is now making a feeble attempt to add it back in. Nice try!

Is the food a “whole food”?

Whole foods represent food we most often ate in simpler times. One of the biggest reasons many of us have difficulty eating healthy is because we do not eat enough whole foods. Whole foods are unrefined and unprocessed food with very little modern intervention. Whole food closely resembles the foods’ natural state.

Whole foods are loaded with healthy vital nutrients that our bodies need for survival and good health. Examples of whole foods are whole grains, fruits and vegetables and unprocessed meat, chicken and fish. When we eat whole foods, we eat a chicken breast that looks like a chicken breast, a potato that looks like a potato and bread that is made with whole grains and limited ingredients.

Although, we must still consider if the food product was exposed to harmful chemicals during its’ growing stage, eating whole foods definitely contributes to eating healthy and healthy living.

Consider the ingredients on the label?

Reading the ingredients label on food packages is an absolute must if we want to eat healthy. These labels tell us important information about what’s in our food. There are three simple rules to follow when we read a label that will help us determine whether the food product is truly healthy.

  • We must recognize the ingredients on the list as healthy items.
  • We should be able to pronounce the ingredients listed. Ingredients with long and hard to pronounce names are most likely harmful chemicals.
  • Considering the food product; in most cases there should be approximately 5 ingredients listed for each food item, lesser is best.

TIP: Food companies are allowed to hide certain additives under general terms such as spices and flavourings. Be suspicious of these terms for the actual additives may in fact be harmful chemicals.

Finding "Real" Healthy Foods!

We begin to realize many food products in a typical grocery store are filled with harmful chemicals with little or no nutritional value. Thankfully, there are truly healthy foods available at various locations.

Healthy organic food

Some farms are concerned about keeping our food healthy and they have acquired an organic certification which requires them to follow strict guidelines with regards to their food production. They use very limited or no amounts of synthetic additives, which means their food maintains its’ healthy vital nutrients. These farms follow the same practices as farms in simpler times.

Organic farmers are dedicated to the health of the soil, the health of the ecosystem and the health of the people. When we select organic food, we can be confident knowing we are eating healthy food that significantly reduces the amount of harmful chemicals entering our bodies and our environment.

Farmers Markets/Local Food Markets:

These intimate markets are pleasurable and personable small venues that offer many healthy food products. In most cases, local farms supply food to these venues, so the selection may vary depending on the location; however, usually the selection is quite extensive.

Many of these local farms may not necessarily hold an organic certification, but their food resembles organic food in every way, for they follow the same strict guidelines. We can ask a few simple questions to easily determine if in fact their food is truly healthy food and free from harmful chemicals.

Gluten Free Diet

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye and many individuals have difficulty digesting it, for it is toxic to their body. These individuals must follow a strict gluten-free diet for survival. Some individuals with celiac disease (gluten intolerance) are properly diagnosed; however, there are many individuals who suffer from symptoms associated with gluten-intolerance and have no idea gluten is the culprit. Recent studies have shown that 1 in 133 North Americans are gluten intolerant, yet only 1 in 4700 is ever diagnosed.

If symptoms, often associated with celiac disease, are present we could follow a gluten free diet for a couple of weeks and monitor the way we feel, or we can seek health advice from a health professional. It’s very possible we may feel healthier once gluten is removed from our diet.

Healthy Eating Recipes

In simpler times, we ate healthy homemade meals made from fresh ingredients. We were certain our meals were free from harmful chemicals. Today, most of us live fast paced lives and simply do not have the time to make healthy homemade meals every day. And on the days we do, we most often start our food preparation with cooking staples that are processed and stored in a jar, can, box or bag and contains many harmful additives. We aren't eating as healthy as we hoped.

To eat healthy meals we must start our homemade meals with healthy cooking staples. There are many simple solutions and great ideas that help us stock our pantries, freezers and refrigerators with healthy cooking essentials. Whipping up a healthy homemade meal can be done in little time, even on those really busy days we can still provide healthy food to our families and be sure we are all eating healthy.

Healthy Drinks

Healthy drinks are equally as important, after all, harmful chemicals also hide in many of these products. Properly hydrating our bodies with healthy drinks is extremely important in maintaining good health. We should avoid or limit drinks that are not as healthy and select healthy drink alternatives.

We are now armed with valuable information regarding eating healthy. We understand where and why harmful chemicals hide in our food and we understand the affects it has on our bodies and environment. We understand how to identify harmful chemicals in our food and most importantly, how we can reduce them from entering our bodies.

We’ve acquired the "simpler times" approach to food. Taking these small steps toward eating healthy will influence our health greatly by helping to prevent disease and maintain good health.

Here’s to eating healthy and healthy foods.

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