An important factor in the long-term success of switching from a standard modern diet to a healthy, whole foods, plant-based diet is understanding what real food really is and what to do with it. What is real food? Do you really know your food? Is it nourishing your body or poisoning it? Ann Wigmore, a holistic health practitioner and whole foods advocate, is credited with this truth: “The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
There are countless products out there labeled as “natural” or “organic” that will do little to nothing to nourish your body, and quite often will actually cause some harm due to the processing they have gone through and the “natural” additives and preservatives. For example, the grains in boxed cereals have been heated to extreme temperatures, subjected to a very high pressure extrusion process, and then coated with oil, sugar, and most often preservatives in one form or another to give the product a longer shelf life. Whatever nutrients and enzymes that existed in the grains prior to the process are destroyed. The proteins are so altered in the resulting “food” that they actually resemble a neurotoxin in the way they affect the unsuspecting consumer.
To prepare real food, you must begin with fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds in their unadulterated form. I believe some animal products could also be considered real food, but for me there are enough reasons not to include those in the regular diet, even if they are deemed suitable for occasional consumption. Now of course living in a modern world, it is easy to make exceptions (e.g., canned foods) and still call them real foods. But we must draw the line between convenience and health somewhere. Any time we start food preparation with a product that has been prepared elsewhere and stored for a long period of time, we not only compromise the nutrition the fresh product had to offer, we also lose control over exactly what goes into its preparation and preservation. Most people will tell you to read ingredient labels to decide whether or not a product is “good food.” I say if it has an ingredient label on it, it probably isn’t the best thing for you.
Real food does not have to take a lot of time, but it does take time. We all have to decide what to make time for. Through life.unlabeled. I’d like to reintroduce you to food and teach you how to use it to nourish and strengthen your body through simple preparation methods. Look for upcoming posts in the know your food. series for food facts and great recipes to start making real food for your family!