While listening to NPR on my way back to Austin this past Sunday, I heard the Splendid Table. They were talking about regional candies and how they are disappearing. The point of the story, though they used candies specifically as the example, was that we don’t eat regionally anymore. We eat the same foods (chain restaurants, processed items, imported foods) all over the country.
It made me think that, in general, we don’t eat what’s natural anymore. Why do we need all these boxed foods, fast foods and sugar? Shouldn’t fresh fruit be sweet enough? If we ate enough greens, would we need all the fiber bars out there? Why do we need fortified everything? Shouldn’t we be able to get all we need through the foods we eat?
Also this week my husband (Jensen) was telling of a friend of his boss who beat terminal cancer by eating a raw food diet and having a kale/spinach and fruit concoction every morning with breakfast (blog world vocabulary: green monster). In J. Robert Hatherill’s book ‘Eat to beat cancer” he discusses the idea that substances in natural foods can be powerful weapons against cancer and heart disease. His 8 Super Food Groups are…
- 1. Onion Group – onion, garlic, asparagus
2. Cruciferous Group – broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower
3. Nuts and Seeds – pumpkin seed, sesame seeds, walnuts
4. Grass Group – corn, oats, rice, wheat
5. Legume Group – soybeans (tofu), green and wax beans, peas
6. Fruit – citrus fruits, berries
7. Solanace Group – tomatoes, potatoes
8. Umbelliferous Group – carrots, celery
I’ve been inspired to limit processed foods and try to focus on fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. I had conversation the other day with a dietician that I ran into in my professional life. She told me about a sorta detox where you clean out your system by eliminating processed foods for a short period of time.
The detox eliminates refined sugar, processed foods including condiments, alcohol, yeast, wheat, gluten, peanuts, vinegar, red meat, dairy, and caffeine. CAFFEINE?! As in COFFEE?! Seriously not sure that’s going to work for me or Jensen who has to live with me.
I’m more into Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean lifestyle where you eat whole foods and limit over-processed, package items. You simply eat things as close to nature as possible. I will be drinking coffee and I will be eating dairy as I think it is a good source of protein and calcium. I also think red wine and dark chocolate are ok as Tosca herself will enjoy a glass and they have both been shown to have health benefits.
Limiting or not “allowing” foods can be dangerous for me, so rather than food rules, I’m basically just going to try to eat “real” food. That’s typically how I eat anyway, but with all the traveling, flying, eating at restaurants, being off routine, and relying on packaged quick fix and easy grab foods, I have noticed a difference in my skin and energy level. I also like the idea of natural sweeteners like fruit, honey, and agave instead of fake sugar.
1. Limit processed foods (don’t eat it if my great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food/make sure I can recognize and pronounce all ingredients)
2. Limit refined sugar
3. At least one green monster everyday
Green Monsters will play a large role. I ran across Oh She Glows and her Green Monster Movement while researching whole foods and their effects on overall health. She and others that have joined the “movement” swear by their positive effects on skin and energy. The goal is to get one in everyday.
Green Monster Day 1 – Great Start!
We have a family tour of the wine country on the weekend of the 24-25th. I have a full 3 weeks before the next vacaywhere I will probably partake in copious amounts of wine and fun food 🙂 The overall plan would be to return back to Clean Eating after such a weekend though, as it is a lifestyle, although the green monster challenge is only for the 21 days. I may not get one in everyday after that.
Do you think foods can be therapeutic?/ Do you believe certain diets can have an effect on skin, energy, or disease?