Food: Why's everybody picking on the banana??!!?

Nutritional Bullying

With increasing frequency, clients are coming to us So.Incredibly.Confused about food and nutrition. I get comments like…“YOU’RE drinking coffee?!?!?”… “YOU GUYS eat bacon???”… “I bet you don’t eat anything that tastes good!”…“I thought bananas make you fat!”… “I heard eating a banana is worse than a donut…”

Hey! Why’s everybody picking on the banana???

And it’s not just the banana, either. The nutritional bullying applies to red meat, butter, “GMO’s”, non-organic anything, bacon, and tons more. There seems to be a massive influx of information from a variety of sources and they all do the same thing. They take Nutrition, punch it in the gut, rip it apart, tease all the bits and pieces out, and leave it there exposed; naked for everyone to gawk at. Well, that might be a bit dramatic… But here’s the point: Food should never be extracted down to its components. For a bazillion years creatures have survived just fine without counting calories or carbs. No lion has ever worried about if he has enough B-12 or calcium. A bear (you’re welcome, Ed Carley) doesn’t struggle with an obesity epidemic and then decide he must need to supplement with Lean Shakes that are clearly better than his typical fare of berries and grubs. It just doesn’t happen. I know it sounds silly to compare humans to lions and bears, but in reality we are all animals and we have all existed on this planet just fine for thousands of years. The mathematical word problem, therefore, becomes..

Humans + Food-Like Substances + massive availability + too much information

= MASS HYSTERIA

Now, I was never real good at real math word problems, but this one is right up my alley. So, I’m gonna break it down for you (unfortunately, not Snoop Doggy style; but maybe I will consider that for a future Youtube video). The only thing you ever REALLLLY need to know about nutrition is nicely summed up by Michael Pollan, author of “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.”

Eat Food. Real Food. Mostly Plants.

Not Too Much.

Eat Food. The verb “to eat” is defined as: “to take in through the mouth:  ingest, chew, and swallow in turn.” Eating is an amazing chemical and mechanical process. The very action of chewing food begins the digestion process by releasing saliva, elevating stomach acid, and a whole array of other fascinating chemical reactions that prepare the body to do its job. The actual process of chewing and grinding and tearing of food sets the stage for better satiety, better digestion, and thus, better nutrient absorption. So eat! Chew! Enjoy!

Real Food. I think of everything this is the biggest struggle of all. I get caught up in hype, too. How can you not? Thin, beautiful celebrities are pushing various supplements, products, diets. The labels and claims are so enticing and convincing. And a good “Before” and “After” picture? Forget about it! I’m sold! I’m not saying these products don’t work for some; I’m sure they do. Billions of dollars are lost on the supplement and diet industry, yet we are still in a MASSIVE health crisis. How many thousands had to try it to get that one success story? Is it sustainable for the long haul, for a lifetime? And even if the person got skinny, did they get healthy? What about all the other aspects of health like chronic fatigue, ability to fight infection, tooth and gum health, nutrient absorption, skin health, and a host of other stuff? REAL food is simple. It comes from the Earth. It is seasonal, not available at a whim. It generally requires some sort of effort or preparation. It doesn’t come in a package. It rarely, if ever, has “health claims” or endorsements. And it doesn’t matter how many carbs, fat or protein is in it if it comes to you in its natural state.

Mostly Plants. Let’s not get confused here. “Plants” does not include grains. So, I’m not saying mostly GRAINS. Plants are vegetables. The difference here is that grains require a lot of processing in order to bring them to you in an edible form. Take a wheat plant, for example. If I served you an unprocessed wheat plant, you would never eat it. And you couldn’t properly digest it anyways. Google search an image if you don’t believe me. Mostly plants means mostly vegetables and fruits. I can’t say enough about the importance of eating these fiber, nutrient, and antioxidant dense gems of the Earth. All colors, all kinds, seasonally. The seasonally part is important. We can get anything we want at any time of year and that’s not how it works. The fresh herbs and young detoxifying greens of spring are perfectly placed to cleanse the body of the heaviness of the winter foods like winter squashes and starchy tubers. And that’s just one simple example.

Not Too Much. Food like substances (since we have defined real food now) are absolutely everywhere. You can go to the hardware store and walk out with a snack, for goodness sakes! Today’s restaurant serving is TWICE the size of a serving in the 50’s. Here’s the deal, though… If you are eating REAL food, you would be hard-pressed to eat too much. You just can’t. The satiety is too high. The nutrient density is so extensive that you feel satisfied. And we haven’t even touched on the fact that digestion slows, carbohydrates are more slowly released into the blood stream, blood sugar levels are consistent, and cravings literally go away. You won’t want to eat too much.

There you have it. It’s so simple that it’s hard. Stop listening to all the chatter, ignore the static, and focus back in on your natural being. Listen to what your body is telling you. You shouldn’t be constipated, or have diarrhea. You shouldn’t be bloated or gassy. You shouldn’t be tired every day at 3pm. Your joints shouldn’t ache. High cholesterol and blood pressure are not just a sucky part of aging. Acid reflux is not the norm.

You can feel better, lose weight, have a healthier complexion, and radiate energy but it won’t come in a package. Sorry.

 

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