I have hesitated to put into words what my food philosophy is for two reasons: 1.) to declare your ideals means you better stand by them and I fear the first time one of my “readers” recognizes my van at a drive thru window and 2.) food is a matter that ignites debate, defensiveness and detriment faster than anything save religion and politics. Then again maybe it is the fastest; I think it is easier to say “I am Mormon and unaffiliated” than it is to tell you what I eat and won’t eat! Gulp, here I go…
I’m sharing my ideals. I am striving to elevate my actions to match. Hopefully, putting this in words will help me!
I believe our bodies are divinely designed to do miraculous things, that they are built with healing mechanisms and can withstand, heal and/or defend from illness, injury, abuse, or deterioration IF we give them the fuel they need. Likewise, if we spare our bodies the barrage of toxins so abundant in today’s culture, we free ourselves to perform rather than suffer. I believe few of us fully cash in on the potential powers our bodies have to offer. I, for one, am insatiably curious to see what my body can do if I stop getting in the way!!
We are–feel, think, act, and live–what we eat (and what we eat eats). Figure that one out! I think that statement comes with enormous responsibility to unravel the food riddle.
Some of my greatest influences are the great folks at Food Matters and Nourishing Traditions. I also consider Max Gerson to be a hero and recommend this book: Dr Max Gerson Healing the Hopeless. It’s the story of a humble physician who essentially cured cancer by courageously and compassionately treating people with real foods, essentially performing miracles against the greatest of odds.
Excuse me if I ramble, but here I go: 12 of my foodisms:
1. Eat Food
Eat Food, Not too much. Mostly plants.
I would first eleborate on Food to say CLEAN food.
Clean for me means raised sustainably and humanely, free of harmful chemicals, and local if possible.
2. Know your No’s:
the more I learn, the more foods fall off my plate. To be fair, the general “whole foods” rule takes the guesswork out of eating, but I find it easier to stick to my guns if I know WHY a food is bad. Here are some I try to avoid altogether:
- High fructose corn syrup (or any corn syrup, really)
- Artificial sugar substitutes, especially aspartame!
- Artificial colors and flavors
- Monosodium Glutamate by any other name
- Processed wheat, soy and corn
- Hydrogenated oils
- Refined Carbohydrates and overly processed anything
I love eating from farmers markets and even better, my own yard. Local is by far the best thing you can do for your body and your community. BUT there are times you can’t source locally and then, I try to eat mindfully. For example, sustainably raised cacao is one of my most supreme pleasures! I love coconut anything. I “collect” superfoods and most of them just don’t grow here in our lovely Deseret. But if it is sustainably farmed, there is joy in knowing you are connecting with someone on the other side of the planet, even if it’s just through your seaweed!
4. If it’s Alive, you will be too!
- Enzymes: Green Smoothie Girl identified the #1 nutritional deficiency in our day as enzymes. Live, active enzymes. These are practically the fountain of youth because if you aid digestion, you aid your entire body! They are found most abundantly in raw foods. Green smoothies and raw, fresh juices are an awesome way to get yours in!
- Probiotics: experiment with yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and other fermented foods. I struggle with the flavor of some, but keep going back for more! To date my most successful venture is water kefir–the kids think it is better than soda pop!–and yogurt. (Not made with goat milk because Goatgurt has a weird taste to us.)
I believe in juice cleanses. I try to do at least 2 consecutive days a month. True, your body is equipped with filters and cleansing processes. But with the horrific barrage of environmental and dietary toxins we take in and the stress of modern life, I believe helping out is a huge benefit. Gold Water can be used to increase the effectiveness of a cleanse and for an even bigger boost, try a coffee enema. *gasp!* what did she say? You heard me!
6. Grain on the Brain:
I haven’t entirely figured out what grains I am friends with and which to forgo. I do believe soaked and sprouted grains are best and try to do that when possible. My kids have helped me make sprouted flours. Ideally ancient grains are best, as wheat, soy and corn are so hybridized and mutated your body doesn’t recognize them anymore. I realize those aren’t all grains, but you get the idea. I try to be mindful of what grains we eat and how they are prepared.
Once milk is pasteurized it is a different substance entirely! We have loved our raw, fresh milk. We even had it tested in a lab and found it had less than 1% of the contaminates legally allowed in milk sold at the grocery store. ew!
Clean and ethical. I’m opposed to factory farming in every way. It is disgusting, exploitative and a gross violation of nature. People think we are horrible for butchering our own meat, but I find it far more responsible and humane. Not to get all Avatar on you, but if you are going to take a life to sustain your own, at least make sure it had a meaningful, fulfilling life first! Joel Salatin is my champion in this field, “honor the chickenness of the chicken!”
given point #8, some would wonder why I am not vegan. In concert with the tenants taught by the Weston Price Foundation, I believe meat has a place in our diet. I do believe eating meat is a privilege that comes with great responsibility and is meant to be done with respect and gratitude. This is detailed in Pollan’s book “the Omnivore’s dilemma.” I do enjoy vegan and vegetarian cuisine and cooking. The more diversity, the better!
I loved reading an article about how a public vegan health coach came out to her audience and bravely admitted “I am not a vegan anymore.” She was met with fierce backlash but she detailed how her body deeply craved meat and eggs and functioned so much better when she honored that. I am not advocating her choice, I am advocating her method. LISTEN.
It’s okay to change: my dietary regimen is constantly evolving as I learn more. Five years ago, I thought lean cuisines and slim fasts were healthy eating! I learn and try new techniques all the time.
Food for thought; I just finished a book called Intuitive Eating that was eye-opening and essentially about trusting yourself to know what and how much to eat. Worth a read!
Although I believe there are some choices that should be universally applied (e.g. Industrial Ag has got to go, and nothing good for you starts with Mc) I don’t think any one regimen is for everyone. Some people absolutely thrive on a vegan diet, while others struggle to maintain energy levels. My mom can’t tolerate green smoothies because of a vitamin K sensitivity, go figure!
There is a lot of conflicting information out there. Deciphering it can be the quest of a lifetime. Considering that food is one of the few universal constants we share with everyone, everyday…it seems worth it, right?