“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” – Michael Pollan
In recent times a number of people have come to appreciate the health benefits wholefoods provide, as a means to nutritionalise their body.
This article is not aimed at extolling the virtues of any one diet over another. Many of those are sprawled across the Internet and bookstore shelves and remain as confusing as a child making sense of a road map. It’s no secret consumers are inundated with an oversupply of information nowadays. Despite this, there are growing populations who continue to battle the bulge with very little end in sight.
You cannot deceive your genetic constitution. Like every get-rich-quick scheme that finds its way into the market place, there’s a similarly shady entrepreneur lurking behind the scenes waiting to capitalise on people’s misfortunes. It doesn’t have to be that way.
The point of this blog post is to help you make informed decisions as it relates to sound nutrition. I wish to outline two points in favour of consuming wholefoods, while the second point reasons against consuming packaged foods. It is worth noting the added health benefits of organic health food, though I prefer to address that in another article.
A caveat: I urge you not to take my word for what I am about to propose and thus conduct your due diligence instead. Research my statements by putting them to the test. Live and breathe the advice for three months or more to see if they resonate with your physical well-being The proof is always in the pudding.
1. Food Should Be Consumed As Close to Nature As Possible
As surprising as this may sound, your genes are not equipped to handle the level of manufacturing and processing that many modern foods undergo these days. Here’s an analogy to illustrate my point. Would you feed your pet the same food you consume day in day out? I have used this line of questioning with audiences to discover the shock and horror of such a proposition.
Yet these same people have no issue consuming convenience foods that are lacking in nutrients as much as a cardboard box!
Albeit, our genetic make-up is somewhat different to the animal kingdom, yet in many ways we still retain much of the same structural similarities, i.e. digestive systems which process food, thus turning it into energy and nutrients for vital bodily functions.
Eating as close to nature as possible means leaning toward foods that have had little H.I. (Human Interference) as possible. These days’ manufacturers add a host of additives to food in order to make it marketable and palatable to consumers. These include; additives, colours, flavours, enhancers, bulking agents, preservatives, fortifying agents and more. Commercial food has become big business, as evident via social media and television ads. We are being sold to at the expense of our health, increasing waistline and hard earned dollars.
As you make a shift toward wholefoods, you’ll begin to realise the immediate health benefits which include; increased energy, end to brain fog, clearer and radiant skin, improved cognitive function, enhanced and stable moods, a leaner fitter and healthier body and improved overall physique. There are much more advantages to list beyond the scope of this article.
2. Packaged Foods Are Convenience Foods
There is a story about Oprah Winfrey who invites Dr Phil to visit her at her home (via private jet of course) at a moment’s notice. Story has it she was having a gathering of her closest female friends and the topic invariably turned to weight loss. Interested to discover the underlying psychological truths, she invited Dr Phil to explain why she continually battled the bulge for much of her life.
His answer surprised Oprah and her guests – “You are overweight because you choose to be,” he replied. His reasoning hinged on the premise that given Oprah’s hectic work commitments, there was little time afforded to cooking or preparing healthy meals herself (as opposed to hiring a professional cook). In doing so, she chose to defer her health by trading it for CONVENIENCE.
Whether she was aware of it, she valued the convenience of fast food over wholefoods, which proved ineffectual in the long run. Her story is one that all too familiar for many of us. In our haste to manage life, we trade convenience and time for our health by making poor lifestyle and food choices. We hold steadfast to the belief that it won’t affect us, since there is always tomorrow to right the wrongs of yesterday.
As you know, tomorrow is the elusive promise that never arrives as we plan for, since life has a way of derailing our best intentions. Therefore every time you choose a convenience food you are sending two messages to your mind and body. The first is directed to the brain which equates convenience to shortcuts. Naturally your subconscious mind associates this behaviour as a learned program over time. It becomes increasingly challenging in the future to navigate your way out of this conflicting habit. I urge you to read, Succeed: How We can Reach Our Goals by Heidi Grant Halvorson to gain an insight into the power of the mind to direct willpower.
The second message is communicated to your body via the lack of essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals required for vital bodily functions. Convenience foods are lacking in all of these qualities, even if they are fortified with vitamins during manufacturing. Your DNA is not equipped to breakdown and assimilate the preservatives and additives I mentioned earlier. Therefore your body’s energy is devoted to processing such additives in order to draw whatever nutrients are left from the food.
Over time if the body is repeatedly exposed to convenience foods, it becomes nothing more than a junk processing factory. Healthy bodies on the other hand become efficient at assimilating nutrients and utilising them accordingly. That is why healthy people look and feel younger than those who consume convenience foods. Their cells have become accustomed to quality nutrients – “as within, so without.”
It is for this reason that a healthy body cannot tolerate convenience foods and will expel them as quick as possible. I often wonder what it would be like for a person from a primitive tribe like the Masai to consume convenience foods for a day. I dare say they would become equally sick and lack energy and stamina, given their cultural preference for traditional and wholefoods.
In an upcoming article I will discuss ways in which you can take ownership of your health through sound nutritional choices.