I firmly believe the foods we eat cause or contribute to a majority of illness and disease. From allergies to Alzheimer's the processed, pasteurized and artificial foods we ingest do little to help our bodies build immunity, fight disease and stay healthy. The foods pushed by manufacturers and even some doctors and popular personalities are killing us.
Of course, we could also be hit by a runaway train and die instantly.
Some say since the latter can happen at any time we shouldn't spend our days concerned about the former. I disagree. Our bodies are the vessel by which we act out the calling placed on our lives. When they are not taken care of it's hard to live a thriving life. We could get hit by a train, a truck or lightening but not caring about this temple of the Holy Spirit because of something that may happen is a cop out.
Eating should enhance life, help us thrive in our bodies and give us strength. If we eat foods that are natural, local and prepared properly, we will have the right fuel our bodies were designed to have. Year after year in America we have gone further from eating foods God created, opting instead for fast, convenient and instant food that's void of the nutrients God designed for us.
Unless you're ill or riddled with health issues, it's best to take your food transition one step at a time. Here are 5 small improvements you can make that will give you big results.
#1 – Get real butter
Skip margarine, buy butter. Take it a step further and buy organic butter. Contrary to what we were told in the 80's and 90's, fat does not make you fat. In fact, avoiding fat can increase your weight because low-fat foods do not satisfy and a lack of fat destabilizes blood pressure. Butter is amazing, lard is amazing. Use them when you can. Besides, who doesn't like broccoli smothered in butter!
#2 – Switch to A Real Salt
If you think you need to avoid table salt you're right. Table salt is not just salt. It high-heat processed leaving only sodium chloride behind. You may think that's good – sodium chloride is natural. The problem is, our bodies do not recognize it as a food or mineral needed for life. Table salt can't be used by the body and does more harm than good. Find yourself a brand of real salt you like and salt away! Of course, consult your doctor if you've been directed to avoid salt. Real Salt, the brand, is one of my favorites. I once scored some Himalayan salt on sale and it was great. It's also so pretty!
#3 – Buy Better Eggs
Eggs are a fine source of Vitamin A, beta-carotene and omega 3 fatty acids if chickens have been well fed and well managed. Ultimately, you want to source pasture-raised eggs. This means the chickens were truly free-ranging, eating bugs and seeds and whatever else nature provides. Please know that labels such as “cage-free” or “free-range” do not mean the chickens are living outside and eating what they choose. If you cannot afford or find pasture-raised eggs start with a switch to organic eggs or find a local person selling eggs. Chances are, while they get store-bought feed, they also get access to sunlight and a few bugs here or there.
#4 – Learn About Sweeteners
Did you know white sugar, Splenda and Sweet N Low are not your only sweeter choices? There are several natural, less refined and healthier options available to you. Unlike salt, each one has a distinctive taste and best method use. For example, I would not sweeten up my homemade pizza sauce with honey but I would use honey in homemade sourdough bread. Take time to learn about the various natural sweeteners available to you and do a taste test. Sweeteners are not health food, but there are healthier choices that can improve the quality of your diet.
#5 – Make Your Own Stock or Broth
Bone broth and stock are rich in proteins and minerals. It's also cheap. Get yourself a good organic chicken (pastured is best, but this is baby steps so simply organic is fine). Roast it for dinner then save the bones to make your own stock. For basic stock, your ingredients are simple: bones with some meat on them, water, onion, salt and pepper. Simmer for several hours.
I freeze mine in quart jars and ice cubes for use in soups and recipes. You don't need to buy boxed MSG……I mean stock at the store when you can grab 2 or 3 cubes from a bag in the freezer. There's more to learn about stock and you can get great information at Traditional Cooking School's Fundamentals Ecourse.
I once read a commenter saying that healthy food is all or nothing. If, as a Christian, you're willing to compromise on food matters, what else might you compromise on? I'm here to tell you, matters of salvation and eternity are not determined by what is on the end of our forks. While I advocate for eating healthy foods I also realize none of us live in a bubble. Work parties, holidays and gatherings with friends can pose a time when eating optimal foods may be hard. And if you're just starting to transition to real food you may have some pushback from your family. It's okay to not eat perfect food every day. Give yourself grace. Never stop learning and trying new ways to improve your foods but don't beat yourself up for eating an Oreo or buying rolls instead of baking them.
Check out a few more ways to transition to real food and learn how to get started on eating healthier. Also, grab these 5 free Traditional Cooking School videos. Traditional Cooking School is run by my friend Wardee Harmon. She's a wonderful woman of God whose grace-based approach to real food preparation is an inspiration.