Back in April I joined Pinterest (yeah!) and repinned some recipes for healthy unprocessed snacks. Always looking for a way to decrease the amount of cheetos my kids are eating, I scoured this website for ideas. Lisa Leake decided she would eliminate all processed foods from her family's diet for 100 days and then blogged about it. I read her blog and then started reading other blogs of people who were doing similar things. Little did I know this casual browsing would turn into an obsession!
I had a pretty good idea (so I thought) of what a processed food was and why I should probably stay away from it. Then I saw that sugar was considered a processed food. One need only look at half of my posts to discover that I consider sugar to be one of my main food groups (not proud). But sugar is natural, right?? I experienced its sweet goodness while sucking on a sugar cane in Australia. It comes from a plant, so how bad can it be? Raw sugar cane actually contains some minerals and isn't necessarily a bad thing, when consumed in moderation. But sugar in its raw form goes through a refining process that results in a less-than-ideal product (more on this later...).
So being the "researcher" that I am (BA in Biology, and always had a casual interest in diet and nutrition), I started looking into processed foods and feel like my eyes started to open for the first time. I have had my nose in one book after another since April, have bored my husband to death with all that I'm learning, have upset my children for taking away all of their favorite snacks (which they have already forgotten about), have completely changed where I shop for food, and have thrown away my baking staples...... (white sugar, white flour, vegetable oil, Crisco....)
Then I soon realized that this small action was just the beginning of a new journey that I'm on to go back to preparing and eating REAL food. And you know what? It's delicious.
To quote Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions:
"...modern food choices and preparation techniques constitute a radical change from the way man has nourished himself for thousands of years and, from the perspective of history, represent a fad that not only has severely compromised his health and vitality but may well destroy him; and that the culinary traditions of our ancestors, and the food choices and preparation techniques of healthy nonindustrialized peoples, should serve as the model for contemporary eating habits, even and especially during this modern technological age."
Our bodies are not biologically adapted to eat processed and genetically modified food yet. We are getting very sick as a nation and it's only getting worse. And eating baked goods and treats all the time was not helping my health at all. I ended up with gestational diabetes during my last pregnancy which opened my eyes to how much sugar (in all forms) I was putting in my body. I was addicted to sugar. And my body wasn't able to adapt.
Everyone has their own journey in life, new things they discover and experience. This is the start of an exciting journey to health for me. A journey that has already awakened my taste buds to the natural goodness and flavors of plants and animals that God put on this earth to sustain us. I hope you join me in discovering the delicious, natural and extremely nutritional foods that our bodies are meant to eat!
Ian at the farmer's market, posing with brussel sprouts