WE ARE WHAT WE EAT
It is a scientifically proven fact that our food choices affect our heath. The old saying, we are what we eat, is true. Every cell in our body was created from the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. In addition to nourishing our bodies, food also affects the quality of our lives, our appearance, moods, weight, energy, the aging process and our overall health and well-being. I truly believe that most of the chronic diseases plaguing North Americans today can be drastically reduced with better nutrition and lifestyle changes. But so much of what we are eating today is actually taking away from our heath. It is devoid of nutrients and filled with empty calories. We are walking around overweight, bloated, and inflamed, but we are actually starving for nutrients. For me the best way to fill ourselves up and stay healthy is with nutient-dense, whole foods. They provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals we need to combat most diseases at the same time create balance and optimum health. Whole foods are in the state they are found in nature — fresh and unrefined. They contain all the ingredients and tastes nature intended. Nothing is removed. Nothing is added. They are more nutrient-dense, are more flavourful and have none of the chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, fungicides, artificial flavors, colours and additives that are typically used to increase shelf life of processed foods. The processed foods are filled with salt, sugar, fat, and chemicals that are actually harming us and making us sick. These are the ones with long lists of ingredients we can’t pronounce, that come in fancy packaging and were produced by food scientists in huge manufacturing plants. Pretty far removed from nature and your local family farm. A whole foods lifestyle is simply a balanced way of eating that promotes a healthy life. For me the components of a whole foods lifestyle include organic vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, grass-fed, pasture-raised animal products, and unrefined oils fresh herbs and spices and sea vegetables to enhance the flavour of meals. Some approaches include whole grains, beans and legumes in their definition of whole foods. So what is the difference between a whole food and a processed food? A whole food would be a fresh crisp apple versus canned apple juice. A chicken breast raised by your local farmer versus processed chicken nuggets. And a handful of raw almonds versus a packaged granola bar. And eating whole foods can be quite simple. If you’re shopping at the local farmers market and eating the whole foods as nature intended, you don't really need to worry about counting calories or portion sizes, because everything you’re eating is nutrient dense and beneficial to your health. You can relax and simply enjoy preparing delicious meals that are great tasting and great for you.