When we are talking about changing things like metabolic rate and fitting in all those nutrients we just learned about, we need to decode the trendy term clean eating. I’m here to help! I’ve made this my mission, so use me!
What is the first habit you feel is just too hard to change in this day and age? Something you give in to too often, even though you know it’s not a good choice. Your morning Starbucks run or that glass of wine with dinner to ease the stress of the day. That’s what everyone else does, right?
Unfortunately, we are set up to fail. Sad, but true! In our modern day, the system we’re in causes us to become overweight and unhealthy. The way our bodies were designed to work and the way our society now functions are complete opposites.
Think about it. High-stress jobs that have us sitting all day, meals prepared by people other than ourselves, and constant environmental toxins are just a few of the reasons the rate of heart disease, cancer, obesity, mental illness, and most other diseases has skyrocketed over the past few decades in America.
The great news is, there are way more quality food and drink options today than when I first entered nutrition school. I had to go to small, family-owned health food stores in Midtown Manhattan to buy kombucha and quinoa. So I’m giving the USA some credit, but we are still very far from where we need to be before my colleagues and I consider us a well-functioning, healthy country.
A few examples of needed change that come to mind:
Purposely confusing packaging at grocery stores
Say we are told by a doctor or encouraged by a health coach to go gluten-free. We go to the store and buy the boxes that scream gluten-free. Ah, we did it! This food must be healthy! There is no gluten, and my practitioner said no gluten!
But guess what? Whenever one ingredient is taken out, others are put in to replace it. Are we looking at what they are? Probably not. And if we did, what would we find? More sugar or toxic oils? Is this food really any better than the original? Most likely not, but the manufacturers know gluten-free is trendy, so that is what they advertise. Don’t let them trick you any longer! Try eating real food that is naturally gluten-free! To do that, though, we must learn what gluten is, what it is in, and how to avoid it. When we are armed with education, we take our power back.
Kids food choices
Are we kidding ourselves here? The same five foods are put on every restaurant menu. Unhealthy fats, refined carbs, and sugar. Why is it that cafeterias and restaurants feel that ages ten and under will only eat hot dogs or buttered pasta? Shouldn’t the foods we suggest be the same for both adults and children? We are teaching them from a very young age, “This is what you will like to taste,” and therefore setting them up for diet failure from the very beginning. Kids should be eating broccoli and fish and wild rice along with us at dinner, not fried nuggets with ketchup.
Sugar. In. Everything.
Seriously! Not just in desserts. A few years ago, my husband decided to cut out sugar and learned a lot. He went to the premiere grocery stores and came home ready to roll. But he found sugar in his organic bacon, all-natural sausage, vegan dressings, condiments, nut butters, and more! He was looking for these “healthy foods” and failed with good intentions. What about those of us who don’t pay attention? More details on this overlooked drug problem in the next section.
Sisters, I have a strong mission in front of me that I will not tire of. I want to help mamas (all people really, but in most cases I’ve seen, it is the woman who runs the health of the home) ditch mainstream and live in a world where it’s okay to say no to candy at church. Let’s reward our kids with something besides sugar. Teach them how to cook. Be ingredient detectives for our families and share our findings with them. We cannot be well in mind, body, and spirit if we do not treat our bodies with respect all the time. More than just when we participate in a cleanse. More than just after the holidays. All. The. Time.
Jes Royston | Green Mama Tribe