Eating healthy in America is a strange thing. There is so much marketing that we often are down right deceived into thinking something is healthy when it indeed is not. Even our health care system promotes junk food as health food, for instance when a doctor suggests eating yogurt to keep yeast at bay. Commercial yogurt is full of sugar-which yeast feeds on--so it actually can make the problem worse.
So what are we to do?
I'd like to start talking more about healthy lifestyle choices here, but first we have to go over some fundamentals.
While we think our main goal is to get our bodies in great shape by eating well, that's not really the main priority. No, our first objective is to not offend. I've been the obnoxious dieter telling everyone in sight how fattening their food choice is. Not pretty. I don't want someone to be afraid of what to serve me when I dine at their home. To do this, we must balance our eating goals with love to our neighbors. So, rule #1, don't be offensive with what you learn! Don't freak out if your in laws give your kids red koolaid when you're trying to cut it out of your kids' diets.
Next, you need to develop a strong distrust in all you currently know about food. We've been marketed to our entire lives. Don't be naive-our country's food sources are heavily influenced by big business, politics, and the glorious dollar. The Food Guide Pyramid was changed several times--not because expert nutritionists tweaked it. No, no, no-after big (agri-)business lobbied! So, forget all you know and don't assume anything is healthy. Especially if it's in a package or a commercial told you so.
Stop thinking organic food is for yuppies. If this is true, then the inverse is also true: herbicides and pesticides are for the rest of us. No thanks, I'm not buying into that.
Look at your food closely. Can you identify where it came from? There are no marshmallow trees in nature, no hot dog plants, and no soda streams. If you can't identify it's source, then it's probably not healthy. Along similar lines, the more ingredients on the packaging, or if there are several you can't pronounce, skip it. This goes for all those fun items in the health food store, too. Just because it's in that store does not mean it's not 100% junk. Who cares if it's organic junk, it's still junk.
Okay, for some of you that was overwhelming so we'll stop here for the day, class. Next time we'll talk about what specific items to avoid and what better alternatives are out there.