In this lesson you will learn:
- the basic rules for healthy eating;
- what is real or whole food; and
- how to choose the best quality food for your health
Now let's get started!!
Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules (one of my favorite books), says there are three basic rules for eating:
1. Eat food: meaning eat real, whole food, not packaged, processed substances.
2. Not too much: meaning that you should eat less than you think you need or want. It is not necessary to get up from the table stuffed, one should aim to feel about 75-80% full.
3. Mostly plants: meaning that no matter what else you eat, the largest quantity of food should be grown in the ground or in trees.
These three rules capture the essence of healthy eating and are brilliant in their simplicity. However, it is not enough to know it, you’ve got to be able to implement it. And to do so, I believe you need to understand more specifically what each of these things mean and why.
• Is a food that comes in its own package from nature, such as an avocado that comes in its own skin, or an apple, banana, pineapple, lettuce, etc…
• It can be seeds, nuts, fruits and veggies as they come from nature, not opened up, manipulated and packaged with other man- made ingredients and chemicals.
Meat, Fish, Poultry, Dairy:
As much as I would love for you to minimize the quantity of animal products, even those can be healthy if they are free from too much processing. For years there had been an increase in the amount of human manipulation of naturally occurring foods in order to create cheaper, highly processed foods designed to feed the masses. But in recent years, there has been a backlash against the trend of unhealthy processed foods, and a return to healthier forms of food production. Which means that it is possible to purchase healthy animal products by sticking to a few basic buzzwords: look for those that are marked as cage free, grass fed, organic and antibiotic free.
• Ideally you want to choose meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products from animals that were raised as naturally as possible. At the very least this means they were not fed growth hormones or antibiotics, both of which have serious health implications for the people who eat them.
• You also want the animals to have roamed freely. Beyond the obvious humane reasons, it is unhealthy for animals to live in tight, closed-in quarters because if one animal gets sick, they all get sick.
• Finally, you want the animals to have been fed the diet that nature intended for them. A natural diet means the animals consume the key nutrients their bodies need and are more likely to maintain a healthy immune system.
Here are some guidelines for the best options when purchasing meat/poultry/dairy:
• Pasture-raised animals are raised on a pasture their entire lives, where they eat food provided by nature and can forage for worms, bugs or grass, as their instincts dictate. The animals may have access to shelter during bad weather, but are otherwise kept outdoors.
• Look for the words hormone-free, antibiotic-free or organic in addition to pasture-raised on the label (or menu).
• Animal Welfare Approved or Certified Humane means the animals were raised according to strict standards. These certifications cover the animals’ diet, living conditions, slaughter conditions and more.
• The healthiest-raised animals would include all these words on the label: Pasture-raised + Organic + Certified Humane or Animal Welfare Approved.