Sunday, January 3, 2010

Your food has history

rye bread from Alpine village down the street, fresh goat cheese and asparagus from the Farmer's market

Does it matter where your food comes from? If we step away from the traditional vegan/omnivore argument of harm vs non harm, more and more people are realizing that if you want to eat healthy and feel great, where your food comes is key.

natural vs processed foods argument

If your goal is health and fat loss eating natural foods is a no brainer. You get more satiety out of natural foods, they are more likely to stay in your system longer, they give you primary and secondary nutrients and calories your body knows how to use without creating metabolic drama. Natural foods that you find at the store would be better for you than canned juice made from the same source, agreed? Then, with natural foods, you rarely end up eating a ton of added sugar, salt, taste enhancers or preservatives. Unfortunately, you can see the word natural on many boxes and bottles at the supermarket, so please don't fool yourself that a can of cane sugar soda is anything close to a stick of cane. Shopping the perimeter of the store for more natural foods is a long tested strategy that works, since it takes you through the produce, dairy and meat sections and then straight out the door. Please note that a natural food diet may guarantee good health and spirits, but is no pass for fat loss, since calories still matter.

homemade vs storebought argument

Let's get a bit more esotheric here as we look at simple foods you can make at home or buy at the store. A piece of roasted chicken breast? A pasta salad? Cheesecake?

Assuming that the same basic healthy ingredients went int0 making those, the store would have added some sort of preservatie and taste enhancer and you really don't know who made that food. At home, you made it using your grandma's recipe, maybe while watching your favorite TV show, or you made it with someone you love who likes to cook, too. Maybe you made it for your family, or for your coworkers. The bottom line is that you put your soul into it, and part of the satisfaction that comes from eating food, was already experienced during the making process. Many people binge on foods they didn't make, like storebought cookies or bread or chocolate. Making your own and being aware of the preparation process starts filling an emotional gap that food that is just there in front of you, never will. It's hard to use food for self care and love and binge in unhealthy amounts, when you already experienced the love and self care in the aware process of making it. That's why your mom's chicken soup is more likely to cure a cold than any other you will ever make on your own.

commercial vs farmers market or homegrown argument

If you want fresh, non chemically treated and great tasting fruits and vegetables, your best bet is finding a close farmer's market where you can get to know the people. You will eat produce that's in season, thus providing your body with a wide variety of phytochemicals and enzymes. Farmer's market food is less likely to have pesticides or other harmful chemicals. You can learn about new foods all the time and sample various varieties of your favorite ones. Nowadays at farmer's markets you can get great milk, cheese, eggs, meats or even grain products and keep coming back to try the new tastes that farmers bring out.

Knowing that your lunch came from the farmer's market, where the Saratoga goats live and who grew your asparagus may be one more step in getting more out of every calorie. If you took the three years to grow your own asparagus, then more power to you.

1 comment:

  1. I feel that this was written just for me...
    The only difference is that I do my best to eat healthy most of the time and somehow STILL manage to binge with junk food...
    I'll crush it, though...I am as sure of that as I'm sure that I'm stubborn...


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