As proud as I am that the advice I give about healthy living is based on my voracious appetite for reading and reading research, much of it comes from personal experience. Sure, not everything is generalizable but most of it is applicable to many. Here a few that changed my life for the better. Hope they help you too!
- Don’t eat it if it didn’t grow somewhere (a.k.a. eating from the earth) The singular experience that started it all (the advice giving and general know-it-allness) was seeing my body and life change after emigrating to the United States. I blame the newfound love for all foods packaged and deliverable upon my arrival. The first thing I noticed was the extra movement happening in my backside as it grew larger…and larger…and larger. Back in Jamaica I was eating rice, yams, bananas, vegetables, fish and meats from the market and there was no room in the budget for cookies as a dietary staple, only as treats. Clearly factory food was putting the jiggle in my wiggle.
- Move it or lose it: Another thing I noticed with my new food choices was how much more I preferred sitting in front of the TV watching American cartoons. This from a girl who loved to climb, chase and unravel things! Suddenly I was a veritable couch potato with no energy. My assessment was that the equation of pizza + hot pockets + pancakes = coma.
- Real food is not good or bad, it’s just food: The biggest difference I have noticed between “American” food culture and everywhere else is how obsessed everyone is with eating or not eating. The processed food that is the hallmark of America has so much to say on its labels and usually self congratulatory things like “All Natural!”, ” Whole Grain”, “Gluten Free”, “Good for you”. Meanwhile, real food doesn’t talk, doesn’t need commercials or a spokesperson because it is neutral fuel for the human body. Real food talks to you from the inside out by making you feel energized, satisfied and becomes a part of you, as it should.
My take is that , faux food HAS to talk on its labels but its real message is in the cravings it creates. Like a drug, fake food compels you to eat it and creates customers why real food propels you forward and doesn’t ask anything of you. If you do nothing else, learn to appreciate the value of real food in your life and try as you might to choose it above all other kinds of “food”. Your body will be more grateful than you will ever know.