Thursday, June 25, 2009

Real Food

Real Food

So, I thought I'd start off my first blog by talking about the books Real Food and Real Food for Mothers and Babies by Nina Planck and the impact these books have had on my thinking.

I, like most Americans, grew up eating a lot of industrialized food. Butter is bad, so you cook with margarine. Low-fat is best. Steer clear of fatty meats. I always struggled with my weight. I would say that I was somewhat of a slim person (not currently, however, because I'm still trying to lose the baby weight!), but I seemed to gain weight easily and quickly. I loved carbs in every form, especially from sugar. I have a major sweet tooth. I also didn't eat a lot of fruits and veggies. In fact, I didn't even like salads until my senior year of high school, and most vegetables I didn't try until I got married.

When I was pregnant with my son, I started thinking about nutrition more. I want him to get the nutrition he needs from food. I don't want him to struggle with weight. I want him to like fruits and veggies. And, I really wanted to eat well while pregnant and nursing. I started drinking way more milk (2% of course, because everyone knows that whole milk is bad for you, right?) and trying to get at least one serving of fruits and veggies in a day (way more than I had tried to before). My nutritional habits were starting to improve!

Around the time my son Owen was born, I ordered Real Food. I couldn't put it down. Nina Planck believes that our industrialized food is what is making us sick. Eating "real", traditional foods are healthy and what our body needs. These are foods found as they are in nature without being "improved" by the food companies, and they are also foods that we have been eating a long time. Some healthy "real" foods are obvious - vegetables and fruits, nuts, fish, etc. But others have been slammed culturally for a while - butter, whole milk (preferably raw), cheese, eggs, etc. These haven't been tampered with. They are easier for our body to digest and packed with easily digestible nutrients. Industrialized food should be avoided. These are things that have been "improved" like refined sugar, white flour, 2% or skim milk, margarine, all of the corn products that aren't actually corn.

This book revolutionized my thinking, and for the past several weeks, I've been trying to put this into practice for my family. Since I'm a total newb at this, I thought it'd be interesting to chronicle my journey away from industrialized food and towards healthy traditional foods.

FYI - I'd love suggestions and recipes!

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