Welcome to our “Tuesday Tips” series, here at the Tall Earth Blog. This week, one of our in-house dudes has some thoughts to share with you about food and how choosing simple ingredients creates instant health benefits.
Have you ever tried to pronounce the ingredients in packaged foods? Even the simplest food item will have a long list of chemical components, additives and preservatives.
I’ve always believed in the old adage: Food that doesn’t go bad probably isn’t good. (Obviously there are exceptions, like raw honey.)
The chemicals may not be the only ingredients that aren’t good for you. The epidemics of health problems we hear about seem to be related to our over-consumption of combinations of carbs, fat, and sugar. It seems inexpensive, processed, fast-food choices appear to be making us sick.
Eating healthy doesn’t have the great vibe it ought to. For most people eating healthy is compromising taste or giving up the foods they love, for something completely unappetizing, or spending tons of money and energy trying to get it all perfect. Add to it that the media is constantly bombarding us with “the new food threat.” We get bashed over the head with a new “factoid,” given to us with “research-backed authority,” that contradicts what experts told us last year.
Remember way-back-when, we were assaulted with: “animal fat BAD, vegetable fat good.” Then, quite recently someone blew a whistle and suddenly, “No, wait, Transfats are now the new enemy. BEWAAARE the Transfats.” (I personally would have liked a little show of remorse for appearing so certain: “Sorry, we were wrong,” or, “Whoops, our bad!” But I digress.)
Eating healthy CAN be fun, tasty, and, yes, even cheap.
I imagine most people decide, “THAT’S IT. We’re eating healthy! Marge, my foot is coming down,” and go from everyday comfort food to tofu casserole with a side of steamed cabbage. (Apparently, soy isn’t the miracle food we’ve been told it is, btw. Google that.)
Switching your eating habits completely and suddenly can be a shock to the system.
Go with foods you are familiar with and continue to integrate them into your diet. As you get accustomed to your new healthier habits, you can incorporate new and exciting ingredients. If you start substituting too quickly, my experience is that your body will literally protest to such a sudden change. For me, my body especially doesn’t appreciate any drastic changes in caloric intake. Kale salad may be too much for newly developing palettes, and may turn you off the entire experience. Go with foods you will enjoy, which will reinforce your efforts and the experience, and gradually shift to more exotic ingredients.
Here’s an example I love: Salsa. You are 100% familiar with tomatoes, onions, and limes. Cilantro and jalapenos may or may not be exotic to you and your clan, but you are not completely unfamiliar with them. Homemade salsa provides a great dose of wonderful, healthy nutrients, and tastes waaaay better than anything store-bought.
Join me next week when I’ll share my own easy-to-make salsa recipe, which gets huge compliments every time! (And it’s SO simple.) We’ll explore how this fun preparation of a classic party favorite can help the emerging healthful cook in you develop some great life skills while making this dish part of your everyday cooking know-how.
In the meanwhile, remember: Easy-does-it. No need to make huge, drastic changes in a hurry. There is no perfect, one-size-fits-all. Finding a little awareness is a great place to start.
Until next Tuesday, my friends… Dude here, signing out.