Sounds like a “duh” comment, right? I mean, what else are we going to eat? Jello? I don’t really consider jello a food. It’s one of those in between things, like plasma. I love jello, don’t get me wrong.
But when Michael Pollan said in his famous quote “Eat food”, he was referring to real, whole food. The stuff that grew in the field or had a momma. The stuff you can recognize. Take a look at this list below. It compares heavily processed foods with more natural whole foods. Should you run out right now and buy everything on this list? Probably not. But I bet there are a few suggestions here that you already use or could easily incorporate. Changes take time and each small step adds up to bigger health gains for our families. I know it’s not realistic for everyone to turn into granola-eating leaf-collecting health freaks who live in yurts on the plains of Mongolia. But I do know in my case, some of these small changes have directly impacted my ability to control my blood sugar which will let me live longer should I ever decide to have a yurt-warming party.
There is no way I could use regular peanut butter with all the added sugar. 4 years ago, if you told me I had to give up my Jiff, I would have yanked the jar out of your hand and gave you a piece of my mind after I finished licking the spoon. Today, the idea of eating a spoonful of regular (sugar loaded) peanut butter makes my toes curl and not in a good way.
Heavily processed v. less processed/whole food.
Strawberry toaster pastry
Whole-grain toast with 100 percent strawberry jam
Artificially sweetened berry flavored yogurt
Plain yogurt with fresh berries
Cold cereals (with enriched flour, artificial coloring and high-fructose corn syrup)
Oatmeal with honey
Processed luncheon meat, hot dogs
Sliced chicken/turkey breast, steak, tuna
100 percent maple syrup
Smoothies made of low-fat milk and chopped fruit
Diet snack/protein bars
Nuts and dried fruit
Chocolate-flavored packaged cakes and cookies
Fat-free salad dressing
Olive oil and vinegar
Boxed flavored rice mixes
Brown rice with fresh herbs
Enriched wheat breads, rolls, English muffins
Whole-wheat breads, rolls, English muffins
Peanut butter (with hydrogenated oils)
Natural peanut butter
See anything that looks better than what you’re currently eating or feeding your family? Any room for small changes?
And yes, this is from the girl who likes a cupcake on the weekends and a plate of fried fish from the river down the road. But after the crumbs are gone, I’m back to a good green smoothie and some good protein to flush out the extra carbs and sugar. Life is too short to be fat. Life is too short to be unhealthy. Life is also too short to be miserable without some treats.