JUST EAT REAL FOOD PLEASE

Eat Real Food

Why you just need to eat real food

The first Foundation for Awesome Health is simple, but not easy. EAT REAL FOODS. Foods as close to their natural, freshest state as possible. This means severely limiting things that come in boxes, cans, and packages. Anything with a food label is processed food. Even if it is in the health aisle and organic, it is still processed will not be as nutrient-dense as real, whole food. 

Our bodies need the life force in food which means we want our food as alive as possible – fresh meats, just picked fruits and vegetables that are in season. This is a great reason to go to the farmers market. Even in the organic grocery store, those blueberries are probably flown in from Chile and have been picked weeks ago, reducing the vital vitamins and mineral content. 

Nutrient dense means we want brightly colored, organic, fresh vegetables and fruits. I know its more expensive to buy organic but having pesticides sprayed all over your nutritious food poisons that meal. Pesticides are toxins and stay in your body for a long, long time causing problems down the road. 

Also always choose the pasture raised meats and dairy. Not only was the animal treated much more humanely but the difference in nutrient density is huge. Grass-fed meat has a much higher ratio of Omega 3’s vs Omega 6’s than conventionally raised meat plus important vitamins like vitamin A, B, C, and E.

With grass-fed you don’t have to worry about those nasty antibiotics and other medications they give the animal that then you eat (gross). Not only that but these animals are given steroid hormones to fatten them up. What do you think they do to you? 

Also that grain they are being fed is often genetically modified corn. Oh and all the environmental toxins that accumulate in the fatty parts of the animal act as xenoestrogens in your body and can lead to estrogen dominance. Yikes. 

And all that above is just what conventionally raised meat does you your health. We also have to take into account the environmental impact that is significantly worse with the feed-lot big Ag animals. There is a vast difference between CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations) and sustainably raised animals. 

In fact, they shouldn’t be in the same category of effects on the planet or in your body. (Side note: all these studies that measure meat-eaters against plant-based diets DO NOT take into account the type of meat eaten, yet this makes a world of difference in what it does to your health.) Be very, very picky about the quality of the meat you eat.  We want to make sure we are eating well nourished, happy animals, free from disease, fear, and antibiotics. 

We also want to choose wild sustainable wild caught fish. Just like factory farmed meats, farm raised fish have higher omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, are fed antibiotics and genetically modified grains. There is also much higher levels of environmental toxins in farm raised fish. 

But sadly we all know our oceans are polluted and we have to be aware of where our wild caught fish comes from. Also be aware that wild caught Alaskan salmon season is generally April-September.

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“Be very, very picky about the quality of meat you eat. We want to make sure we are eating well nourished, happy animals, free from disease, fear, and antibiotics.”

We also need to make sure we are properly preparing our foods. This means soaking and sprouting nuts, seeds, legumes and grains. We do this to remove the phytic acid, which inhibits absorption of important nutrients like iron, calcium, and zinc. Plus soaking and sprouting make them much easier to digest.

Properly preparing our foods also means utilizing cooking methods that will yield the highest nutrient profile for foods. Not overcooking vegetables or boiling them in water, which leaches out vitamins and minerals. Also be aware that some vitamins are sensitive to heat, like Vitamin C, so lightly steaming or stir frying your broccoli will retain more Vitamin C than cooking it to death.

We also want to be aware that some foods are better cooked than raw. For example cruciferous vegetables like kale needs to be cooked to inhibit the goitrogentic factor that can block thyroid production. Putting raw kale in a smoothie is a thyroid disaster. 

And generally speaking some people do better with cooked foods versus raw. If you have digestive issues, it may be too hard to digest raw foods and gently cooked foods would be easier to digest. Find the right ratio of cooked vs. raw foods that is right for you. 

Properly preparing meats means slow and low cooking is best. Charing and grilling (no matter how delicious) create carcinogenic compounds and can completely undermine the health benefits of a grass fed steak. Also choosing meats on the bone will yield much higher micronutrient content, collagen and gelatin than solely eating muscle meat. 

Traditionally our ancestor would eat the whole animal, not just the chicken breast. We should do the same. Not over cooking meat is important to retain the nutrients, makes it taste better, and makes it easier to digest.

Kelleigh Kincaid

Kelleigh Kincaid

Kelleigh is a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner in Portland, Oregon. She loves all things wellness but definitely has an inner wild child. Equal parts street and spiritual, adventurer and homebody.

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