Monday, June 20, 2011

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real

It's simple. It really is.

Eating well is very simple. One doesn't need to spend countless hours watching grams of fat, weighing food, counting calories, evaluating what's good for you or not, looking at a pyramid or a plate. Too much information can truly confuse one as to what types of foods they should consume. It's sad.

I see people talking about eating healthy because they buy low fat "x" or they eat only whole wheat pasta, without regard to the fact that it's loaded with sugar, or processed carbohydrates that turn to sugar in the body. The media, the marketers, all tend to give us half the story. They're allowed to call something healthy without any regard to whether or not it's truly healthy. And unfortunately, most of society sees that and jumps right on it, because it's what they're told. The results? Rampant obesity, skyrocketing numbers of diabetes in children, heart disease, removal of organs (the gall bladder is the most popular these days), and in general fewer and fewer people that are truly healthy.

It's a shame. It really is very simple, and the title of this post says it all: Eat real, eat raw. Real food, as I've said over and over, grows or had eyes at some point. That would mean vegetables, fruits, and meat. For veggies and fruit, it's best to eat organic, and for meat it's best to have range fed wild animal meat. This is what our ancestors ate for years, and studies done on their remains have shown nowhere near the episodes of these diseases of lifestyle that are so prevalent in our western culture. Our ancestors also moved a whole lot more than we do. They walked places, they spent time outdoors playing, they worked hard in the fields, they had no TV to spend countless hours in front of. I'd guess they probably didn't work til all hours of the night since communication was limited, which meant they tended to rest well. In short, they lived innately, the way we were designed to live.

I just had this conversation with a patient this morning. The problem we have in our culture is the desire/felt need for convenience. If we didn't always look for convenience in our eating habits we'd be better off. Yes it takes a bit more effort to eat innately. It's not always convenient. However, it's not convenient to be sick either, it's not convenient to have heart surgery, or take insulin daily, or be stuck in a hospital for days. And that is the result of eating conveniently. It's also MUCH more costly in the long run to eat conveniently when you count the days lost due to illness, the cost of medicine, doctors visits, surgery and the wear and tear of those procedures/meds on our body.

So, instead of making it so complicated, think of it the way I do. Make it simple. It will take some extra work, specifically it will take planning. At the start of each week, look at your schedule, plan out meals for the week. I know sometimes you can't affect your meals. Many times I have meetings where they supply food. Sometimes it's a good choice, sometimes not. But when I look at my schedule and see opportunities to eat well, I plan those out. A basic meal needs some protein (meat/chicken/eggs/nuts/seeds), and about 2 different vegetables of varying colors or a good salad and/or fruit. Snack on things such as raw veggies/fruit/nuts/seeds. Purchase lots of healthy snacks for the times when you can't prepare a full meal, but you can put together several healthy ready to eat snacks to make up a meal. Eat throughout the day, avoiding the typical huge meals that are common. I like to use the concept of grazing vs. gorging to make this point clear. If you eat out, realize their portions are way too big, so plan on taking some home. You can even request a to go box when your meal is delivered and then separate out part of it immediately. Sharing a meal is another option when huge portions come your way.

Keep it simple, overcomplicating things makes us less likely to follow through. It can be done, and I am around to help people work through this via our wellness consultations. Call me if you want to work on your plan for wellness, and we'll evaluate your eating, exercising, thinking, and resting habits to help you attain your wellness goals.

Until next time...Be Well!
Dr. Bruce

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