Despite my reluctance to believe I’d learn something applicable to my food future in my science prerequisites—especially in my first week of class—I connected the dots week 1 (and developed left eye wrinkles) while admiring an algae cell stuffed under a microscope. Yes, algae. The stuff I swam in all summer celebrating my last free days before this arduous chapter of my life. And now here it is (algae)… mounted on a slide, magnified 400 times and revealing some rawness about life (biology!) and nutrition where and when I least expected.
It moved…it was alive. It was healthy and green. Loch Ness.
I actually said: “This is SO cool!” but my lab partner did not think that I was. Sure this was a 5-point lab assignment, but this also was an elementary lesson on food, nutrients and life. How revealing!
Cells—the smallest forms of life—are made up of essential elements. Elements that come from food. That’s right. YOU are made up of food. There’s no other way to say it (I’ve tried), but, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. You hear it, but what does it mean? Come along….
The human body is remarkable, yet most of us don’t treat it this way. We are not feeding our bodies high-quality (or even mediocre-quality) food. When our cells—bodies—don’t get the essential elements they need for energy or repair, it’s only a matter of time before they sputter out. If we don’t feed our bodies the full range of nutrients they need—the building blocks of our cells—how can we expect to stay in good health… or function!? Everything in your life is a result of the fuel you put in your body—mood, health, beauty, athletic performance and so on. If you’re diet is deficient, so are your cells, thus, your biology… your life.
Common sense, yet this concept has been debunked by the glooming Western Diet.
We’ve replaced foods from Earth with foods from factories. Why? Convenience… time. People rely on Pop Tarts® and Rice-A-Roni® because they are “great on-the-go foods” that save time (Thank you industrial revolution! Now I can sleep in and ingest sugar crusted death pockets filled with diabetes-inducing strawberry lava on the go!). While Rice-A-Roni might be the San Francisco treat, it’s really not a treat at all.
The reality is: these time-saving “foods” we mistakenly eat are the very “foods” that will shrink our years on Earth. Sure they may save us time now, but what’s that worth in 30 years when our bodies fail us because we failed to fuel them?
The lesson? Processed foods are a digestive disaster.
Before I start to unleash Huckleberry Thinn recipes, we need to re-write our grocery lists. This isn’t about counting calories or cutting carbs. This is about eating real, wholesome food. Here’s 3 black-and-white food rules that will save you time in the grocery store and add years to your life.
- Read ingredient labels—if you can’t read it, neither can your body.
- Do the majority (or all!) of your grocery shopping on the perimeter of the grocery store—the hyper-processed crap populates the inner aisles.
- Eat food from plants, not made in a plant—if a machine made your food, it’s not food (Thank you Michael Pollan).