How do we respect real food? What is real food? Everyone has their own definition but I have to lean on Michael Pollen for this one! I love his take on “real food”. So, here it is in a nut shell. Real food is found in the whole natural state. Real food does not come in a box; through a window; at a gas station; and it does not have a long self-life. Real food is mainly in the parameter of your grocery store; at your local dairy store; and at your local farm. Real food is something your great grandparents would recognize as food. Real food is not processed with preservatives, food colorings, and artificial sweeteners. (Michael Pollen, 2008)
I understand media, science, health care providers, and educators can turn the simple task of eating into something very hard and even confusing for consumers. Science is constantly changing health claims. What and who do we trust? One day it is safe to eat something and then the next week it is not. I can see how it can be confusing and misleading. I hear it every day from my clients.
Why does food and eating have to be so difficult? Something so simple and a natural. Eating has been an everyday activity since the beginning of time! Sometimes I think we make things harder than it should be. If I say it once, I will say it a hundred times: Just go back to basics and embrace your culture! Pull your grandmother’s and great grandmother’s recipes out of the box and cook with them!
Tips to Respect Food:
- Start respecting food by taking small steps. Look in your pantry or cooler and replace one staple processed item with something new whole, real and pure.
- Toss out the sodium drenched foods and replace with nutrient dense food.
- Plan, Plan, Plan
- Dust off the crock pot and cook while you work.
- Give yourself permission to eat but eat well!
- Never forbid a food or you will want it and you will eat it.
- Always eat at the table. Get the food off the couch, out of the car, and away from the desk.
- Consciously think about each bite as you chew. Enjoy the taste and stop inhaling food. Eat with your mind.
- Know when and what food is seasonal.
- Don’t over purchase your food.
- Be flexible with food.
- Learn a new cooking technique (oven roast your veggies)
- Replace fast food with nature’s natural fast food (fruits and veggies).
- Meet and shake the hand of your local farmer.
- Visit the animals on the farm and watch them live freely.
- Eat 5-6 meals per day but eat small meals. Don’t confuse with eating more calories.
- Always carry food for you and you children to prevent the “convenience of fast food”
- Try a new food once per week.
- Take the fear out of cooking! Cooking is easy. Just combine ingredients you like and I am sure it will turn out great!
- If you are a novice chef, start with recipes of only 5 ingredients.
Respect food so your child will too!
“In Defense of Food An Eater’s Manifesto” (Penguin Books, 2008)