A Return to Real…Real Food - Real Health (info and encouragement on the way we eat)
By Teri GentesWith a love for fabulous foods that nourish the body, fuel the energy stores, sate the cravings, impress the best (you and your loved ones), and feed the passion for creativity – the foods I eat, the recipes I create, are with all of this in mind and mouth. In my view, preparing and consuming food is about fueling our physical self, massaging our mental state, stimulating our senses, embracing our emotional moments, nourishing our nutritional needs, easing our environmental concerns, and soaring our spirits.
When you choose healthy natural foods designed to flex when you do, mellow you out when you need to, sate those starved feelings that occasionally overwhelm, comfort cravings that creep in and provide wholesome nourishment, you will fuel your mind, body and spirit.
Developing and, or re-training yourself and your family about healthy eating habits begins in your mind rather then in your mouth. One must decide they will ‘make the time’ and ‘take the time’ required to educate them-selves, then shop for, clean, prepare and healthfully consume nourishing foods. We can no longer rely upon, nor can we trust the market place to inform and direct us with our approach to food – the information we have been conditioned with tells us most ‘self serving’ news about our dietary needs and the best sources for this. When one takes the time to delve deeper, to listen more attentively to the opposing information regarding this brainwashing, and then to research the controversial issues with some conviction, the information obtained is alarming. The real truth about such largely consumed foods – meat and dairy in particular, is often withheld from us or misconstrued in the name of sustaining the livelihood of the industrial giants. They are interested in serving their own highest good (think profit margin) and not yours.
I say this with the hopes you will seek your own information from numerous sources and then make decisions about your dietary approach based upon this. My advice is for you to use both common sense and scientific study (from reliable non-government influenced or industry subsidized studies or short-term research statistics and testimonials from marketing experts seeking to sell their products, diets or books). Do your homework and use your own common sense. Your body is always talking to you with information you need to consider for your own health. Listen closely to what it is saying.
It is important to clarify, I am not a scientist, nor do I have the desire to view food and eating strictly as a scientific exercise. My approach is based upon gathering info from numerous sources (mainly the naturopathic and vegetarian approaches to healthy eating), thinking this through, testing it first hand, and assessing the present situation resulting from our current eating habits.
Consider the dietary related health issues, the battles with obesity, type two diabetes and the numerous re-occurring health scares and diseases associated with our dairy/beef/chicken/pork – all animal source foods. Sugar, man-made fats, white carbs, over processed, prepackaged, genetically modified foods and preservative laden non-organic items are also related to a myriad of health issues.
This has been enough of a wake up call for me and influences the changes I have made and continue to make with my own eating habits. The more I learn (and there is always something to learn or new info that more accurately informs us of the benefits or burdens associated with certain foods), the more I continue to adapt my dietary approach. What is this approach? I choose as much and as close to natural – unrefined, unprocessed, uncontaminated, foods as possible with minimal processing and packaging, organic whenever possible and mainly plant based foods. In addition to it making sense to eat this way, the ‘do it and see for yourself’ approach is what sold me. I feel so much better, rarely get ill, have super energy stores, look healthy, youthful and alive with strong bones, teeth, good skin, stable moods, no PMS issues whatsoever, a happy disposition and a most positive outlook on life.
Does the food I eat affect all of this? – Absolutely. The direct influence of the foods we eat upon our health and moods is scientifically proven. In addition to diet related disease/dis-ease, many of us have likely experienced the lethargic feeling after a turkey dinner or the brain drain after a sugar rush has worn off, and the passion inhibiting, indigestion inducing results of eating a high fat, high calorie, heavy meal.
All of this may sound like such an earful and seem overwhelming yet when we tap into the messages of our body and those from Mother Nature herself, the warnings are screaming at us. With dietary allergies, lactose intolerance, dietary influenced diseases, salmonella poisonings, Ecoli fears, meat industry disasters such as the mad cow disease, the foot and mouth fiasco, the flesh eating disease and many other health issues, it is time for us to wake up and determine the cause of this havoc. What will it take for us and most importantly our governing bodies, to finally face up to the obvious?
There is neglect, environmental abuse, selective vision, complacency, and money hungry concerns, reeking havoc upon all aspects of humanity and Mother Earth. We have monstrous challenges within our health care system, (and poor dietary habits that contribute to this). We typically embrace the ‘take a pill, bury the symptoms and ignore the cause’ pharmaceutical answers to most physical, mental, nutritional and emotional maladies. This approach has negative impact on our environment – the place we call home, so it truly results in a losing scenario for us all.
Why this when we have – at least I like to think that we have, an intrinsic, under lying knowing that what we are doing does not work? We justify our actions, claim we are too busy, and place trust in leaders that we know are self serving. We turn a blind eye or exercise excuses as we order take out for lunch, munch on a coffee chain bagel or donut while guzzling Mokachinos or Latte’s, then rush to the super market for a well marketed, popular, ‘low fat’ frozen entree for dinner. It says it is good for us we proclaim, sure it’s low fat, it’s quick and easy, so we can ‘just relax’ while it bakes.
Maybe we so desperately need a break because our energy levels are down, mood swings high, emotions fragile, and stress levels off the chart as a result of all the processed, chemical laden, toxic, dead, pre-packaged foods that are severely lacking in essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. It is no wonder we can’t think straight – we aren’t meant to – those foods are addictive and for a reason. Just follow the pack, be part of the tribe and support the successes of the industrial giants who sacrifice what means most to us, our own health, that of our loved ones and the very place we plant our roots - Mother Earth.
I often wonder what it will take to wake us up, then remind myself that we are waking up and more and more people are paying attention, seeking alternative ways, making changes and supporting the growth and success of the natural approach. Growth within the health and wellness industry is on the rise. Organic farmers are continually increasing their production and complementary health care is becoming more widely accepted and actively sought out. Health food stores are expanding, increasing in numbers, and making their way into large grocery store chains.
It is a blessing for us all – one I am so grateful for. It is a win win for everyone – we will all benefit with healthy food consumption, healthier people, happier people, less drain on our health (sick) system, less toxic waste and abuse of Mother Nature, and on and on – the benefits are huge.
I pray for us all – I pray we begin with changes for ourselves and steadily influence the world around us. Your grocer will stock what sells, so be a proactive naturalist – ask for the products that you want, educate others on their merits so that they too will purchase these and know you are part of the solution to save yourself – save the (your) world.
I pray God and Mother Nature bless us with infinite wisdom, insight and commitment to do all we can. You will be doing yourself wonders and I feel, together we make a difference as a collective force with our united energies focused on the longevity and vitality of our selves, our loved ones and our world. Hope to see you at your local health food store or in the organic aisles of the super market. Healthy blessings all around.
Teri is an international presenter, educator and practitioner in wholistic lifestyle wellness with passion for writing, and teaching all kinds of classes including group exercise, nutritional gourmet cooking, and NRG living. She integrates over 20 years of experience in health and wellness with her desire to positively affect the lives of all she encounters. An open-minded student herself she is ever embracing ongoing learning. Her education is a compilation of formal, informal, trade specific and continual self-taught/practiced formats. With her engaging heart-ful radiance, enthusiasm and energy, Teri is known for her ability to motivate, inspire and empower others to make and sustain life-enhancing habits. www.terigentes.com email@example.com