Today is the second in the series of guest posts by reader/commenter Michael K. The subject is food:
Tuesday Tip #2: Stop Being A Food Addict
…his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck ears of grain and to eat…
We live for only a short while. Therefore it’s hard for us to grasp how dramatically food has changed from even recent times. The invention of fertilizer, diesel transport, air travel, and genetic engineering has transformed our food in both substance and quantity.
Food has become ubiquitous for all first-world nations, and our bodies have not had the time to evolve for this bounty. Liquor is a good example here: many Native American tribes lacked exposure to liquor long enough to genetically adjust and many thus banned ‘firewater’ from their communities to save them.
Modern food is unbelievably cheap by historical standards. It is also carefully bred, processed, refined, and even genetically engineered for concentrated succulence. So, of course, we get fatter and fatter every decade. In essence, modern processed food coupled with unrestrained consumption is a dangerous game that we clearly have not yet evolved to handle. If you doubt this, compare the weight of people today to photos from the 1940’s. It’s disturbing.
Years ago my family and I saw these warning signs. We organized food-related activities and stuck with it. It was trying at first (with some social tension). Yet it proved to be one of the best decisions of our lives. What seemed radical then appears blasé now. We will never go back.
We eat two large meals each day (kids eat a noon snack). Meals are reliably on time without exception. Only whole, unprocessed foods are used. Shopping is done every two weeks, with an inflexible shopping list. Recipes are step-by-step, timed, and practiced so anyone can prepare it as needed.
The only “processed” foods in the house are cheese (milk, salt, enzymes), grain cereal (flour, barley, salt, yeast), and peanut butter (peanuts, salt). Zero coffee, tea, cane sugar*, or alcohol (except holidays). This may sound austere but it is actually no privation at all; the fact is that quality home cooking using real foods simply blows away anything else out there. We eat like kings.
Recipes and portion sizes are carefully planned to guarantee heaps of nutrients, fully satisfied eaters, and dietary consistency. Leftover food has been phased out through portion adjustments before each shopping cycle: we literally waste zero food and have zero leftovers.
1) Shop only twice a month.
2) Table, kitchen, dishes cleaned every meal (before anyone leaves).
3) Meal quality is incredible; real, home cooked food is tasty!
4) Recipes, cooking, and meal times are firmly consistent.
5) Everyone is trim and healthy (visible by skin, hair, teeth, weight).
6) Strangely, less time is spent on food due to organization/routine.
7) Saves money (processed food is mostly brand profit).
8) We hunt, fish, and garden aggressively for better food.
9) Far less garbage (and no garish packaging).
10) Little to no cavities.
11) Less illness; many prior medical issues have vanished.
12) Fewer behavioral issues, mood swings, and much better sleep.
13) No leftovers due to well-planned meals; zero food waste.
14) Nobody complains about food anymore.
15) Nobody leaves meals hungry, bloated, or stuffed anymore.
Practical tips to actually DO something, not just talk, about food addiction:
A) Vitamix vegetables or fruits each meal. (toss in a multivitamin).
B) Make meal prep/cleaning a routine, organized family activity.
C) If single, make food for several days (planned leftovers only).
D) Use Living Cookbook to track recipe/meal cost, nutrition, and calories.
E) Plan every single meal two weeks out (shop biweekly) and stick to it.
F) Ignore food and diet fads. Processed food is 99% of the battle.
G) Eat mainly vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, fruit.
H) Be very restrained with grains, nuts, dairy, and tea.
I) Seldom (even never) eat coffee, alcohol, processed sugar.
J) Use lots of spices, experiment with recipes, and learn to cook.
K) Hunt, fish, berry pick, mushroom hunt, and garden.
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (Price)
*If modern fruit (genetically engineered for sweetness) such as pineapple, oranges, blueberries, strawberries, apples, and bananas isn’t sweet enough, you’re desensitized to sucrose. Desserts sweetened with fruit juice (and topped with real cream!) are deliciously sweet to a normal palate. Yum.