Seven Questions for YOU – Please Help!

November 17, 2011 · 24 comments

A reader friend, Sarah, asked me to answer a few questions for a paper she’s writing, so I’m turning it into a post.  However, I don’t want to be the only one answering because you hear enough from me, so please share from your experiences, too.  :)

1. Why is it so important to make the switch to healthier foods, such as local, grass-fed, cage/range-free, sprouted grains, etc?  Why are these better for us?

My simple answer is this:  Local foods that have been grown, raised and prepared in traditional, sustainable ways are loaded with nutrients to nourish us, and they blow away their fake counterparts at the grocery store that have very few nutrients left.

Readers, what would your simple “elevator pitch” answer be?

2. What do you think the biggest food health hazards are?  

There are so many!  I’ll list a couple and hopefully the rest of you will add more to the list…

  • Top of the list in my opinion is ignorance.  Many still just don’t know what they’re eating, and if they do, if they care, they have no idea where to find alternatives and how to afford them.
  • Also, it is more worrisome as time goes on that one day my own rights to Real Food may be in jeopardy.  Most of you have heard of the farm and buying club raids in recent months around the country.  When men with guns are showing up in people’s homes over something like fresh milk, that’s seriously scary.

3.  How is it that “fast food” restaurants are making people fat and unhealthy?

Fast food joints aren’t making people fat and unhealthy.  They’re just giving people what they want, as shown by how they vote with their food dollars.  That’s why I’ll continue to teach others that Real Food cooked at home can be fast, tasty, and affordable, too.  Most importantly, it will keep your body healthy instead of taking you down the road toward metabolic syndrome (diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity) or other health issues.

Readers, do you agree?  Or should restaurants take some blame?

4. What advice do you have for people thinking about changing their food lifestyle?

Utilize all the help that’s out there from blogs like this one, from your local Weston Price chapter, and from friends who have been through the switch already.

What other advice would you share for this question?

5. Is it better to start eating “real food” later rather than never?

I certainly hope so, otherwise I’m in big trouble.  We’ll probably never know for sure, but there are LOADS of people I hear from all the time who are very sick and turn the whole thing around with a Real Food diet, so I’m going with “yes” on this one.

What do the rest of you think?

6. How can we get the word out to people to eat healthier?  

Don’t be quiet, talk about it with your friends and family or put blog articles you like up on Facebook!  We can all spread the word.  It’s already spreading like wildfire, I love it!

7. Do you have/know of any success stories that have changed people’s lives from eating “real food”?

I hear from readers all the time who are going off their medications, losing weight, feeling more energy, or getting pregnant after switching their diets around.  Real Food is powerful and I love being a part of this movement!

Maybe YOU have experienced your own success story, if so, tell us about it!  :)

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  • { 24 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 ValerieH November 17, 2011 at 12:45 am

    1. Why is it so important to make the switch to healthier foods, such as local, grass-fed, cage/range-free, sprouted grains, etc?  Why are these better for us?
    On chemically farmed food and things that come from a box, our bodies are screaming for nutrition. It makes us never satisfied. This is why some people feel out of control around food. Most of the processed food is engineered to be addictive, like cigarettes. Most diseases are caused by toxins and nutrition deficiencies.
    2. What do you think the biggest food health hazards are?
    Anything that is denatured –  vegetable oils – especially from plants that aren’t even food, MSG, simple carbohydrates, skim milk, soda pop. Non foods, like cool whip, margarine. Maybe the worst offenders are the wolves in sheep’s clothing like fruit juice, sweetened fat-free yogurt and breakfast cereal.
    3.  How is it that “fast food” restaurants are making people fat and unhealthy?
    Fast food is a toxin bombshell. The meat served was raised in a CAFO on subsidized grain. It is very sad that the family in Food, Inc had to eat there because it was all they could afford. I don’t think it is the restaurants faults. The food industry is enormous and they are just a part of it.
    4. What advice do you have for people thinking about changing their food lifestyle?
    Start small. Pick something you can achieve and feel good about the impact this change will have. Enjoy eat bite and feel it nourish you. Maybe start by replacing all oils and fats with healthy ones: butter, olive oil, coconut oil, lard and maybe some cold pressed sesame oil. Make chicken soup from scratch using a slow cooker. Be curious. Keep moving forward, finding new sources for better quality as it presents itself.
    5. Is it better to start eating “real food” later rather than never?
    Yes, as long as that isn’t an excuse to put it off. I attended a health summit with Dr. Mercola. He said almost everyone can be healed.
    6. How can we get the word out to people to eat healthier?  
    Commit to making a change in your own house. Keep growing and learning and teaching your kids. With each change you make, be ok within yourself to be different. You don’t have to feel alone with great blogs to read. This isn’t that wacky or radical. You are just eating the way we did 100 years ago. Each person creates ripples. Word of mouth is very powerful. I find so many opportunities to plant a seed. My children’s school collects box tops and soup can labels. At a school function, I was asked if I knew about the program and I replied, “Oh, I don’t eat any of those processed foods.” The woman was stunned. She asked how I did it, so I got a window of opportunity.
    Keep looking around your community for others, if you like socializing. There are Holistic Moms groups, WAPF chapters, meet-up groups, organic co-ops, book clubs, etc. Start one if you can’t find anything. I started a garden club in 1997 and it is still going strong with about 20 members.

    Reply

    2 PaleoMallin November 17, 2011 at 3:14 am

    1. Why is it so important to make the switch to healthier foods, such as local, grass-fed, cage/range-free, sprouted grains, etc? Why are these better for us?
    For all of us, it’s a choice whether we adopt these as the foods we eat or not. The alturnative however is to eat as we generally eat in the western world, and that diet isn’t helping anyone. Not only does the western diet link with massive increases in nasty nasty diseases in the western world, but as it spreads around the world we are seeing these diseases spread with them. Doesn’t explain why, but that is the evidence we’re working with.

    2. What do you think the biggest food health hazards are?
    Probably ignorance and peoples own addiction to poor foods making it difficult to make good choices. Also, many people find it difficult to admit that they’ve made mistakes in the past so they just keep making them rather than facing up to them and getting things right.

    3. How is it that “fast food” restaurants are making people fat and unhealthy?
    Because they make things too easy for people. But they are businesses and businesses are out to make money, it’s what they exist to do. I visited Jordan in 2001 on a school trip. Our tour guide explained that McDonalds hadn’t done well in Jordan because mothers would be ashamed if their familes ate there because it implied that they couldn’t prepare food for them. That suggests to me that we are our own undoing.

    4. What advice do you have for people thinking about changing their food lifestyle?
    You have to make this change for yourself, not because any one tells you to do so. I resisted making major changes to my diet for years. And then I realised that even the changes that I had made weren’t making me any better or healthier. It became personal then. I’m not 100% perfect in my diet but I’m much closer and much healthier because I now WANT this change.

    5. Is it better to start eating “real food” later rather than never?
    My experience of real food for dogs is greater than my experience of real food for people. Based on that experience I would say – oh yes!! You may not enjoy everything that someone born and raised on real food does about your health, but there will be benefits.

    6. How can we get the word out to people to eat healthier?
    Live the example. Both through our health and by sharing examples of our food.

    Reply

    3 Kaye November 17, 2011 at 4:20 am

    I work as a hypnotherapist and when in trance I usually ask the client’s Higher Self what the optimum diet is for the client – I always get variations of the simple answer of ‘food with as much of the light left in as possible’.
    Also that most of us are dehydrated and need to drink a lot more water.

    Reply

    4 Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama November 17, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Restaurants share some blame for use of the words “natural” and “healthy” that dupe customers into thinking they are choosing “better” fast food when it is really junk (and maybe worse if low-fat or artificial sweeteners!). That’s a total industry problem though, not just restaurants — lying to people about what is really healthy and using misleading labels. That said, personal responsibility is definitely lacking and no one’s holding a gun to your head. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

    Last night I had a small processed, awful snack (church was handing it out, I used to love it, it had been years). As a result, my baby arched back away from me when I tried to nurse him a few hours later and screamed like I’ve never heard before. He doesn’t have any known food allergies (to real food) and gut health is relatively good. And even so…. What kind of damage is this causing people daily that they don’t even realize?

    Reply

    5 Adrienne @ Whole New Mom November 17, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Wow – I could go on and on about all of this.

    1. Why is it important? Basically, our bodies were made to run on good food. You know the old car analogy. Garbage in – garbage out. A lot of the reason that so many people are ill these days is due to the modern food industry and pollutants.

    2. Biggest Hazards: Here is my post on Top 5 Tips for Healthier Eating. http://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/autism/top-5-steps-to-a-healthier-diet/

    3. Fast food is too fast, too convenient, and too loaded w/ simple carbs.

    4. Yes, do it now. I was a total sugar aholic until recently. I am doing other things like metal detox now, but I am so much better now. Hypoglycemia reversed. Adrenal burnout cured. And more.

    5. Promote health sites – start a blog – talk to people. Sometimes people think I am nuts. Oh well. The truth is, eating Twizzlers is nuts. Cancer-causing sugar, artificial color and refined nothingness white flour. How do we expect to feel?

    Hope that helps – and all of this was said with a smile :-).

    Reply

    6 Susie November 17, 2011 at 7:49 am

    1.
    1. Why is it so important to make the switch to healthier foods, such as local, grass-fed, cage/range-free, sprouted grains, etc? Why are these better for us?

    Because what we eat regulates the expression of our genes. This is the science of epigenetics. When we eat REAL FOOD we promote the expression of our genes that results in better health. Eating chemical, hormone-loaded, sugar-laden foods induce the expression of genes that results in the diseases of civilization.

    2. What do you think the biggest food health hazards are?

    Endocrine disrupters: hormone-laden meat and dairy, pesticides in foods, plastics everywhere.

    3. How is it that “fast food” restaurants are making people fat and unhealthy? Fast food is not real food, it is a manufactured edible food-like substance created to ding our biologic bells. Because it isn’t nutrient dense, and it has sugars hidden in everything, it just ignites cravings without satisfaction.

    4. What advice do you have for people thinking about changing their food lifestyle? The higher up the food chain you eat, the more important it is to have the foods be “clean.” So first on the list would be to source animal products from small scale farmers who raise animals properly on clean pasture. I don’t sweat it my onions, garlic, and bananas (plant products with skins or peels) aren’t organic.

    5. Is it better to start eating “real food” later rather than never? YES! The body has everything it needs to heal. Epigenetics tells us it is possible to switch on the good metabolic processes and switch off the bad if we change the nutritional milieu we present to our precious cells.

    6. Keep blogging!

    7. I am 56 years old and bouncing back from serious infections and illnesses faster than my doctor can believe!

    Susie

    Reply

    7 Jill Nienhiser November 17, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Regarding question 1, why it’s important: Such food is NUTRIENT-DENSE, which is the key to HEALTH. But there are many other reasons.

    SAFETY

    Such food is SAFER, both in terms of the lower risk of food borne illness for an individual, and the lower risk to the society–a decentralized, local food supply is harder to tamper with. Terrorists can’t sicken a wide swath of the population by hitting just a few centralized factories or distribution centers.

    RURAL ECONOMIES

    Local, sustainable agriculture is also the key to healthy RURAL ECONOMIES. When the value is added by the farmer or by local food artisans (people who turn raw milk into yogurt or cheese, turn meat into sausage, turn beets into kvass, etc.), the dollars are spent by local people in their local economies, these places flourish. It’s the antidote to deserted farm towns and rural poverty.

    WORKER HEALTH & WELFARE

    This food is also better for WORKERS. Would you rather work on a pasture-based farm, outdoors in the fresh air, doing a variety of tasks over the four seasons, or would you rather work in a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation), slaughterhouse, cannery, etc., doing repetitious, boring, or even dangerous work, often in environmentally toxic conditions (breathing in toxic fumes, handling dangerous chemicals), day after day for minimal wages?

    ANIMAL HEALTH & WELFARE

    This food is better for ANIMAL WELFARE. Animals raised in a pasture-based system are able to express their full, true nature. They are healthy–not propped up by antibiotics, they aren’t crowded or stressed. They eat what they are meant to eat. Animals raised in confinement are horribly stressed, crowded, sick. They’re kept alive by antibiotics. They can’t move freely, they stand on concrete. They can’t have their normal social interactions with each other. And then their lives end in the horrors of the slaughterhouse.

    Now, while chickens may be processed on-farm, currently pork and beef from pasture-based farms must go through the commercial slaughterhouses, too. We must work toward the day when all our pasture-based livestock can be slaughtered on farm or in small, local abbattoirs that do fewer animals and that take the time needed to ensure quick, minimally painful kills.

    ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

    This food is better for the ENVIRONMENT. Animals on perennial polycultures are the key to a healthy environment. The plants need animals’ urine, manure, blood, and bones. In the current model, we apply petroleum based fertilizer to replace the nutrients we are taking out of crop land. Meanwhile, the animals are raised in CAFOs where their concentrated waste is biohazard and an expensive, environmentally damaging problem, instead of being returned to the land like it should be. It’s unsustainable.

    Mixed, pasture-based farms that rely on a variety of plants and animals and which include some timber land provide habitat for wild animals as well. They don’t pollute the air, water, or soil like industrial farms.

    TRUE COSTS

    If the industrial processors no longer got government subsidies and were no longer able to externalize costs, untimately real food would be CHEAPER, too. Right now, corn and soy are subsidized by the government, making them unnaturally cheap and essentially requiring that the excess be fed to animals, resulting in our unnaturally cheap (and unhealthy) grain-fed meat.

    Buy all the local, pasture-based, nutrient-dense foods you can afford. You’ll be helping us get to the day when the industrial model is defeated! If you are really on a tight budget, do what you can, and spend the rest of your dollars on the edges of the conventional supermarket: fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy, bread. Stay out of the aisles of bags and boxes that are endless variations of white flour, white sugar, vegetable oil, synthetic vitamins, and artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, and highly processed and unhealthy fake fats, proteins, and carbs. And as your health and income improve, switch to pastured food over time as you can.

    Check out my blog for more! http://www.farmfoodblog.com
    Jill

    Reply

    8 D. November 17, 2011 at 9:39 am

    My advice to a lot of people who are just starting out with real food eating, is to read the beginning “textbook” part of Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions cookbook. THEN, start making the recipes from the back of the book and work your way forward.

    The tonics and broths at the back of the book will give you the energy and speed to get up and running in order to make the rest of the stuff in the book. The carrot tonic is wonderful for skin. My sister has severe rheumatoid arthritis and her skin was getting quite thin from all the drugs she thought she had to take (I tried to talk her into trying real foods first but she wouldn’t listen). The carrot/cream tonic is helping her a lot.

    To my way of thinking, if people really need to have these questions answered, they don’t understand food in its most basic sense, so I just head them towards books like Sally’s, or Nina Planck’s. If people read it for themselves they are likely to understand it better than having me stand there trying to explain it. I’ve tried that number before and people just get a blank stare on their face.

    Reply

    9 Jill Nienhiser November 17, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Regarding “fast food,” it is unhealthy, but sometimes I think “fast food” restaurants are singled out. Most restaurants are unhealthy! They use white flour, white sugar, corn syrup, vegetable oil, factory-farmed meat/eggs/dairy. Most of them take the shortcut of using toxic, MSG-laden “soup bases” instead of making bone broth. This means the soups and maybe a number of the sauces are toxic. Many don’t make their own salad dressings, so you’re getting rancid vegetable oils and other junk. They serve soda made with HFCS too (hey, free refills!).

    Only really high end restaurants are likely to make their own broth, soups, sauces, dressings, etc. Even then, most of them are probably using factory-farmed animals and conventional produce, unless you go to a restaurant that sources local meat and produce grown without pesticides. So they’re better than fast food and cheaper restaurants, but not ideal.

    That said, fast food is unhealthy because it’s so fast, cheap, convenient. So people may eat at those restaurants much more frequently than at even the inexpensive chains (Chili’s, Applebee’s, etc.). For poor people, the McDonald’s Dollar Menu may be the cheapest way to feed their kids, sad to say, because of how we as a society subsidize the industrial model. The cheapest calories are the most unhealthy, which means our poor suffer the worst.

    Reply

    10 Melissa @ Dyno-mom November 17, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I have to agree that people move industry. Even Walmart is moving to hormone free milk and that is all because of market pressures. My biggest worry is the ubiquitous presence of soy in all our foods and the vegetable oils. This is one of the convince others of, the dangers in rancid vegetable oils.

    My kids are living proof of the benefits of a real food diet. When one of them developed asthma, we sheepishly went along with the hospital dietitian with disastrous results for his and our health. When we switched back (without discussing it) we saw immediate and dramatic results and improvement in the health of those in our family whom we thought of as healthy.

    A good friend called yesterday because she is ready to take another big step into WAPF eating. She saw the improvement in my kids and wanted to breathe better, too. She is taking coconut oil and drinking raw milk and she said she hasn’t felt this good in years. The more she changes in her diet, the better she feels. It is thrilling and gratifying to see.

    This person doesn’t know me, doesn’t know my kids or my friend. But she could go to any WAPF chapter meeting and find real people with real lives and real past dietary indiscretions who are healthier, happier and stronger now. That is the real proof. The people whose lives you can actually see. That says more than you or I or any other blogger or commenter could ever say.

    Reply

    11 Susan November 17, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Why eat real food? Because our bodies don’t recognize all that other stuff as nutrition. It may fill our tummies, but what happens afterward, as our bodies digest all that science fiction food, is a total break down of our systems.

    Suzanne Somers puts it this way: We all have cancer in our bodies. We need good, nutritious food so our healthy cells can continue to fight it off. When we eat chemicals, now those healthy cells can’t fight the cancer. They have to fight the chemicals. Then if you eat more chemicals at the next meal (and the next…) then the fight becomes too much for your body. You haven’t given it more nutrition to fight with and your body starts searching for nutrients stored elsewhere. After a while, after consuming meals that offer your body nothing, it starts to break down. Not knowing what to do with the abundance of chemicals, your body starts to store them. Now you have a broken down system starved for nutrients that is laden with cancer-causing chemicals. The breakdown of your body begins…..

    My path to “foodie-ness” began with a book called, “Death by Supermarket: The Fattening, Dumbing Down and Poisoning of America” by Nancy Deville. She introduced me to Dr. Price and from there I have been on a learning journey that has become my passion. Look at Nancy’s website, she is 61 and eats a pound of butter a week. She looks amazing. And Suzanne Somers just turned 65 last month.

    Getting my family on board for this lifestyle wasn’t as hard as I imagined. First off, by the second chapter of Nancy’s book, I was throwing out everything in my pantry. But after reading further into her book and discovering the things we use all day long -assuming they must be okay to eat because the government wouldn’t let us eat poison, would they??- are filled with chemicals that are also in bathroom cleaner, really helped our family make a clean sweep back to real food.

    Plus, I can kind of be a stinker. Just the other nite my husband told me not to bother making his lunch, that he would swing into Dairy Queen and get a sandwich. I took out the Ajax from underneath my sink (which I don’t use anymore, but I keep on hand to make my point) and put it on the counter. I told him why didn’t he just eat that instead? He promptly put his tail between his legs and said, “I get your point.” It works for my teens too when they ask why we don’t have the same snacks at our house as their friends.

    For anyone just beginning their switch to real foods, Nancy’s book is a great way to get kick-started. You’ll be so grossed out you won’t want factory food!!

    Reply

    12 Pak November 17, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I have to say that the main reason I eat the way I eat is God. I realized one day, what would I say to Him when He asked me why I consumed any animal or creation of His that hadn’t been treated with decency and respect? That I willingly took part in that practice by purchasing those animals or products? The same goes for the Earth which plants are raised, the honeybees, etc. We are all connected, and I feel it is my duty as a Christian to take care of the planet and everything on it. So I buy organic, free-trade and local as much as possible. Not only is it morally the thing to do (for me), it is healthier for me and my family, healthier for the whole planet.

    Reply

    13 D. November 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

    This may work well for you, Pak, but I wouldn’t for a New York minute try that “Christian” approach to explain food. For one thing, not all people are Christians. Secondly, there are many other religions in the world so basing eating habits on Christianity just isn’t logical for explanation.

    We have to leave the “moral” side of eating to the people who are making the decision. I mean, I agree with all your reasons, but people can be very touchy about religion and morals. Two areas to stay away from when speaking about food, IMPHO.

    Reply

    14 Pak November 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Well, D-
    Kelly asked us for our PERSONAL experiences. Like I said – I have to say that the main reason “I EAT” the way I eat is God, I feel it is “my duty”, and morally the thing to do “(for me)”. I am not afraid to speak my beliefs and I do not force my religious beliefs on anyone. I will, however, speak up when asked. Kelly asked, I answered. You have the choice to ignore it.

    Reply

    15 ValerieH November 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    D.
    I agree that the religious argument will definitely turn some people off. On the other hand, people who are on the same wavelength will find this explanation compelling. I was reading all the responses and was very touched by Pak’s explanation. I’m pretty sure my religion is different than Pak’s but it rings true. I think every religion has the same values about being connected to the earth and each other, though the practices are different.

    “We are all connected, and I feel it is my duty as a ___________ to take care of the planet and everything on it.”
    Fill in the blank: Christian, Buddhist, Wiccan, Jew, Secular Humanist, Muslim, Navaho, Bahai, Hindu, Jain, Atheist, Pagan, Shinto, Sikh, Taoist, Druid, Rastafarian, Shaman, Zoroastrian, etc…

    I do take your point that people can get very moral and judgmental about other people’s choices. I do think that food is an ethical and political issue. There are many ways to persuade listeners. Sometimes the logical, reasoned explanation works and sometimes the emotional argument is persuasive.

    Reply

    16 Susan November 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Valerie- Thank you for coming to Pak’s defense. I was frustrated with D when I read their response. I read somewhere recently that the best way to absorb the nutrients in our food is to do so with a loving, peaceful mind. Anger, frustration and stress slow down our digestion and sometimes can just leave things in your gut to rot.

    I think it is beautiful that Pak is bonding with God as he/she nourishes their body. Talk about a real connection between soul/body nourishment!

    I also agree with you that it doesn’t matter whom we choose to praise, whether it is God, Buddha or Sheila, that we should all take a moment to reflect on our blessings, especially before we eat. What a blessing of wonderful foods that fill our earth!

    Isn’t it a shame that more people can’t be peaceful souls like Pak? This world sure would be easier to live in!! :)

    Reply

    17 D. November 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Nobody needed to come to Pak’s “defense”. If her personal choice is to bond with God while she’s eating, go for it. I simply meant that approaching the subject of food and nutrition to other people (as a teacher/educator, if you will) using moralistic ground and religious/ethnic mediums might not be the best way to get yer point across because that approach will not always be met with enthusiasm by the listener. This wasn’t about what she does personally, this was about how she would present it (the subject of foods, etc.) to someone else.

    Read above, my comment #8.

    Reply

    18 Pak November 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Valerie and Susan, thank you for chiming in. I think you understand where I am coming from with my reply.

    D- I am unsure of this response – “This wasn’t about what she does personally, this was about how she would present it (the subject of foods, etc.) to someone else.” I would present it exactly how I stated it above because it IS personal. There are many reasons people decide to eat the way they eat. Some vegetarians are convinced that their health is better by not eating animals, some vegetarians (and vegans) go the “moral” route because they do not want to harm animals. Which is right? Sometimes the best way to get your point across is to be firm in your belief while keeping an open mind to other’s beliefs. Just for the record, I am friends with many people, of different religious beliefs and ethnic groups. I do not try to convince them that my way is the only way, but if they ask I answer honestly and truthfully what I believe.

    Reply

    19 ValerieH November 17, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I wasn’t trying to defend anyone. I can see both sides of it. In any conversation, sometimes I give people rational reasons and sometimes I give emotional reasons. If the person doesn’t respond, I might take another approach to create rapport. Once you establish rapport, the conversations are much easier.

    This is such an interesting discussion!

    Reply

    20 Magda November 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

    1. Why is it so important to make the switch to healthier foods, such as local, grass-fed, cage/range-free, sprouted grains, etc? Why are these better for us?
    You are ensuring as optimum nutrition as possible for yourself and your family. You’re supporting local, environmentally-minded farmers and business owners. You are simply ensuring the best health possible for everyone around.
    2. What do you think the biggest food health hazards are?
    GMOs, radiation, soy feed, preservative, colors… where do I start? And where do we end??
    3. How is it that “fast food” restaurants are making people fat and unhealthy?
    Cheap, nutrition-less ‘food’ that addicts people and keeps their bodies from getting the nutrition they need.
    4. What advice do you have for people thinking about changing their food lifestyle?
    Small, permanent changes. One thing at a time – such as switching the fats you cook with. Once you start with it, stick with it. Continue as you feel comfortable and within your means.
    5. Is it better to start eating “real food” later rather than never?
    Absolutely. You can reverse many ‘genetic’ and ‘inherited’ diseases with food. It’s amazing!!
    6. How can we get the word out to people to eat healthier?
    Talk about it, blog about it and be a good example. Many people will notice the changes in you and ask. Be there to answer their questions.
    7. Do you have/know of any success stories that have changed people’s lives from eating “real food”?
    I’m on GAPS myself and have already seen changes – even though I’m not perfect and cheat occasionally. No more bloating, weight is regulated, no more gas, regular BMs, no stomachaches/cramps, no more white tongue… I’m going to keep with it so eventually I can heal my digestive system, regulate my menstrual periods, etc.

    Reply

    21 kallie November 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    1. I have a family history of heart disease and my husband has a family history of obesity and diabetes. When my youngest son was obese before he left elementary school it was time to make a change. It was a progression, we dropped fast food restaurants, then processed foods and while seeking knowledge learned about industrialized agriculture. My generation has now added cancers to the family history on both sides and when my sisters Dr. said it was environmental I was shocked to see how many things are strongly linked to cancers. I don’t need absolute proof to drop things that are suspected to be unhealthy if there is a natural easy to obtain alternative.
    2. Denial. We are faced everyday with more evidence that our lifestyles are reducing our quality of life, but we keep following the marketing campaigns down the road of poor health and greater debt. I love the term I heard recently “fact proof” we as a society keep spending millions of dollars on quick fix solutions for improved health while doing the opposite of what we need to do to become healthy. Food has become so many things to so many people, but few people see it a nutrition for our bodies.
    3. It appears that fast food hits all our primal triggers, with virtually no nutrition content, these meals are something to get through as quickly as possible, I can’t believe we can’t find a few extra minutes in our days to get out of our cars to eat. We don’t take the time to focus on the meal so our minds don’t register that we have eaten, couple that with no nutrition and we are hungry again soon. It took a while for me to stop craving fast food, it is much like an addiciton, now it doesn’t even taste good.
    4. Don’t do too much change too fast. If you are anything like my family was, we only had a few plants that we liked. I started by adding vegetables to almost every meal, then started trying some whole grain versions of common foods. It wasn’t until we had started to substitute things that I started to take away less healthy choices. I have found that my family has been receptive of almost everything except non homogonized milk. I also started a vegetable garden which helps reduce the costs and connects us to the real origins of food. My teenage son will actually go out into the garden and pick things and toss together a stir fry.
    5. Yes, and it’s just as good to switch a few things instead of nothing. I don’t strive for perfection. I know if I go out with my friends to dinner I will be eating foods that don’t follow my ethics, but I don’t need to be so stringent I am isolated. I’m a believer in making the best choices as often as possible, but I’m human and I don’t need to be perfect.
    6. I believe being a model is the most effective way. I have dinner parties often and attend a lot of pot lucks, most people who know me know I have a garden and eat ethically, so this topic often comes up over meals.
    7. I would say my family is a success story. We went from a family with 2 obese people, one who was prediabetic with high blood pressure and I was overweight suffering from depression. Most of our meals came from a box out of the freezer, a fast food window or a casual restaurant. We are all now a healthy weight, we are all off of our meds, we are active cyclists, grow a lot of our food and have gained a wonderful group of cycling friends. My son went from a shy timid young guy to a wonderfully outgoing young man with a lot of confidence and self assurance. He landed his dream job at Chipotle, and we was so excited during the interview they asked if he knew what sustainability means. We all enjoy taking time to eat real food and often share it with friends. We have learned so much about what is local and seasonal and have found that heritage or heirloom varieties of both plants and animals have amazing flavor and look for great resources to find new foods.

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    22 Bethany W November 18, 2011 at 8:54 am

    My best tip with #4 – Don’t try to do it alone. Find a friend to take the food journey with you and help hold you accountable. Use online resources and blogs to give you inspirations to take your next “baby step.” But accountability is key!

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    23 Margaret November 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    1. Eating pastured animals isn’t just about them having more nutrition. It’s about what they don’t have. The factory-farmed animals are full of toxins–antibiotics, hormones, pesticides (from the food they eat) and toxins from the GMO soy and corn they are fed. And the types and ratios of fats are unhealthy too since they’re not fed the food nature designed for them. I find I often feel sick when I eat factory-farmed meat but feel good when I eat pastured meats.

    Reply

    24 missbrett November 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I don’t know how much I can add that hasn’t already been said.

    1. Why is it so important to make the switch to healthier foods, such as local, grass-fed, cage/range-free, sprouted grains, etc? Why are these better for us?

    With a grandmother passed away from Alzheimer’s disease, a mother-in-law deteriorating from Parkinson’s disease, an uncle who passed away from a brain tumor, and a grandfather who passed away from leukemia, I stopped believing that modern medicine is helping. It makes more sense to realize that our lifestyle, specifically food consumption, is causing the problem – especially because much of the degenerative disease so common today was unheard of when people had no choice but to eat real food. All this to say that, it is important to eat local, grass-fed, cage/range-free, sprouted grains, etc., because our health depends on it.

    2. What do you think the biggest food health hazards are?

    Pesticides and genetically modified franken-food. Government admitted to link between Parkinson’s disease and pesticides here: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/feb2011/niehs-11.htm

    3. How is it that “fast food” restaurants are making people fat and unhealthy?

    Instant gratification with no consideration of the long-term effects of the processed junk in the “food” (if we can call it that).

    4. What advice do you have for people thinking about changing their food lifestyle?

    Research, research, research. Arm yourself with real knowledge, not hear-say. Know the difference between the two so you can detect hear-say when you encounter it. Question the common assumptions prevalent about what is healthy and what is not. Usually, information is being driven by someone wanting to make money, not by anyone concerned about your health.

    5. Is it better to start eating “real food” later rather than never?

    I think so. If I can stop further damage to my health, I am better for it. Some argue that we can reverse damage already done.

    6. How can we get the word out to people to eat healthier?

    When you eat real foods, people will notice. You won’t have a problem telling people about it.

    7. Do you have/know of any success stories that have changed people’s lives from eating “real food”?

    My best friend is a former vegetarian turned real foodie. Her health problems were rediculously out of control prior to her change. She has since lost a ton of weight eating real foods (yes, fats too!), and her health problems have improved immensely.

    Another person I know has a clinically diagnosed anxiety disorder. The only change this person has made at my suggestion is to start consuming probiotics on a daily basis. He has seen his anxiety levels become more manageable, and his related mood swings and depressive tendencies have become incredibly rare.

    Reply

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