November 04, 2011

Real Food Only

In the past, I have applied the same philosophy to nutrition that I use for environmental friendliness and exercise: "Do what you can, when you can." Lately, however, my views are changing.

This may have to do with motherhood and the fact that James' health is primarily the responsibility of Lane and I. But it may also be that I see and personally know more and more people becoming sick with diseases that may have been preventable through better nutrition. I studied (for six long years) the things we put into our bodies- what food is made of and what it does to us. If I cannot be a role model for good health, how can someone who has less knowledge on the subject be expected to eat healthfully? If I truthfully believe that what we will get out of our bodies-how they function and how they stay healthy- relies on what we put in, then why am I not doing all I can to make sure that what my family and I put in our bodies is completely good for us? I have always made the excuse that I feed my family healthy food... mostly. 

But right now I am pledging to feed them healthy food always
By "healthy" I do not mean fat-free or low-carb. I mean that I want my family to eat food, and not the chemicals and additives that are filling the shelves of our grocery stores. My definition of healthy includes (but is certainly not limited to!) the following:
- real food only
- balanced meals
- non-packaged foods (mostly, see next bullet) 
- if packaged: less than five ingredients, and all ingredients are real foods
- foods that would be found in nature
- nothing that was made in a plant

These may seem like obvious guidelines to abide by, but I think we would all be surprised to really look at our diets and see how many foods we eat each day that are opposite from the attributes listed above. 
Some of the hardest things for our family to give up will be:
- cheerios
- crackers
- granola bars
- pre- packaged bread
- tortillas and tortilla chips
So carbs, mainly. I can make bread and granola bars at home, and hopefully find some good cracker recipes. The cheerios will be greatly missed by the whole family. 

I have started carrying out my new philosophy this week, a little bit. We have been eating a lot of roasted veggies, salad, and seasoned proteins (lentils, chicken, etc). This evening was no exception. We had lemon-oregano salmon (thanks to a co-worker of Lane who brings it in fresh), inspired by this recipe, and red potatoes and brussel sprouts roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary. 

Something tells me that this won't be a hard as it seems, and we will benefit greatly.... stay tuned. 

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