Back to Basics

* Warning :) this is a long post!
In a rush? Want to see a 'short version'? Just watch this YouTube video- it pretty much sums it all up.

And for those of you who have a bit more time...

Every two weeks, I gather with my MOPS friends to share conversation and friendship. Some of our meetings focus on fellowship or crafts or personal improvement.  Our last speaker was a woman named Cindy Carbone. She is well known for her dedication to spreading awareness about proper nutrition. Cindy spoke passionately to our group about the trends in fast food and mass-produced food. The quick, cheap foods that are now being sold to us on a daily basis are doing anything but nourishing our bodies.  Here are few statistics that she shared with our group.

U.S. Health Statistics:-
1. One in two Americans suffers from at least one chronic illness.
2. More than half of U.S. adults are on one or more prescription drugs at any given time.
3. One out of every two men, and one out of every three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
4. The percentage of U.S. children, and adolescents with chronic health conditions has nearly quadrupled in the past 40 years.
5. 93% of children and adolescents do not consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables a day. (Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine)
6. One in every three children born in the U.S. in the year 2000 is predicted to develop Type 2 Diabetes. (U.S. CDC)
7. By age 12, an estimated 70% of children have the beginning stages of hardening of the arteries. (Bugalosa Heart Study)
8. Today’s generation of children may be the first in two centuries to actually live shorter lives than their parents. (New England Journal of Med.)

"These statistics are shocking, but at the same time, we know their cause. Doctors, and the Centers of Disease Control know why we are dying of cancers, cardiovascular disease, and complications from type 2 diabetes, now more than ever. They know why our children have more cavities, more broken bones, and more chronic health conditions than any generation before.  Our health, and disease issues today are deeply rooted in our diets, behaviors, and lifestyle choices.

"Our society makes it far easier to be unhealthy, than healthy, and provides buzz words like “no sugar, low sodium, and whole grains,” on packaging to draw people into the same processed, and chemically preserved food that is making us sick in the first place.   

To eat healthy food, is to stay away from “America’s food.”  To stay away from brands like McDonalds, Coca Cola, Hersheys, Keebler, Kraft, Tyson, and Kelloggs is to be in the minority, and it is anything but easy, especially when dealing with children. 

At some point in the past 40 years, cookies, candy, cakes, soda, chips, chicken nuggets, donuts, McDonalds, Wendy’s etc became known as “kids food.” As a society we have accepted this, even though giving growing and developing bodies, the most nutrient deficient food that we can buy, makes absolutely no sense! We have stopped cooking real food. We have turned to fast, processed foods that are filled with sugar, sodium, chemicals, and preservatives. Our children eat with their hands more often than they eat with a fork, and knife!"
- via Cindy Carbone's website

I don't think one woman left that meeting without taking a hard look at the food her family is consuming!

One of my goals for this year was to 'eat healthier'. And the points that Cindy covered in her presentation rang true with me.

Cindy emphasized that good eating did not mean eating low fat or being super skinny. Instead she spoke about eating real food. Food the way it was meant to be, not over-processed or filled with preservatives and hormones. She spoke to raise awareness about eating well, to improve our lives and our health. And when you think about it, who doesn't want to do feed their families the best food possible?

 Now I don't claim to be all knowing, or perfect when it comes to eating. We still have things like animal crackers and gold fish crackers in our pantry. But since hearing Cindy speak, doing some online research, and watching the movie "Food Inc"- I have decided to make a few small changes. Baby steps in a journey towards a better life through smarter nutrition.

First, I have given up Diet Coke (I know! Shocking!!!). Second, we are now buying organic poultry and grain-fed beef. We are also eating more fruits and veggies. For the girls, we are trying to do less processed food. I want to see food as it really is, a way to nourish our bodies.  Overall, I think we try to eat healthy, but there is room for improvement.

One thing that Cindy emphasized was cooking at home.  And I love this, because as you know, we do like to cook around here. With two small children, we eat dinner at home at least 5 days a week. And fortunately, my husband is a really good cook! So armed with some new facts, we are trying to do even better by making more things here at home. Knowing what is going into our food is important and by making it at home, we can see exactly what we are eating.

 Think about making homemade bread, we made several loafs from this easy recipe. It only has 5 ingredients! Find the recipe at "One Good Thing".

And there are so many great recipe blogs out there too. We are really liking SkinnyTaste.com. For dinner, we made this Light Cajun Chicken Pasta. It was delicious!

If you are ready to take the plunge and clean up your eating, try 100DaysofRealFood.com. Follow one family's journey as they spend months eating only real, unprocessed food.

100 Days of Real Food
Wanting to learn more about making better choices for your family? Start by visiting Cindy's website, Educate Your Way to Health.

Got any good tips for making healthy food choices? What are your favorite 'recipe' sites? Have you made any changes in your diet lately?

 ** Come back later to link up for "Cowgirl Up!"-- I am hoping to find some new recipes in your posts! 

1 comment:

  1. I have been reading a lot about this lately too. I think I am done with artificial sweetener. I even bought a juicer at Costco!!


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:) Samantha

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