Food should and does take time create. Food shouldn’t be eaten in front of the television, standing up in the kitchen, in the car, or on to go. Food is a process and is more than just getting something in, given you're not doing an ironman race of a professional endurance sport. It’s about giving, giving your body what it needs to perform.
To perform as a human being doesn’t just happen. Nurturing and nourishing the ecosystem we so easily abuse is vital to feel and perform optimally. Forget the restrictive unhealthy culture of diets and re-learn what proper eating is about. It isn’t easy, and it gets tough saying no to urges, cravings, and emotional binges. It is however about progress, not perfection. Slowly but surely working towards optimal health through food. Healthy, whole foods.
Real food is whole, single ingredient food. I know you wanted to hear that nuggets, burgers and fries count as real food but the reality is that they don’t. Real food is mostly unprocessed, free of chemical additives, and rich in nutrients that nourish your body instead of just providing you with empty calories. In essence, it's the type of food human beings ate exclusively for thousands of years. While processed foods are convenient, they also harm your health in various different ways. In fact, following a diet based on real food may be one of the most important things you can do to maintain good health and a high quality of life.
Now I get a little bit complex with my definitions but I want to emphasise that there is a difference between ‘ultra-processed’ and ‘minimally processed’ foods, which I prefer to consider as processed and convenient foods respectively. Convenient foods are those foods which are on the go quick snack that are relatively healthy. Relatively healthy is an ambiguous word and can be more easily understood by noting that convenient foods should still provide you with nutrition and be consumed for a reason. For example, clean (minimally processed) protein bars, protein shakes, lentil burgers and whole grain breads. However processed foods are those French fries, chocolate and chip options which satisfy our taste buds but leave us feeling sluggish and hungry. These are the ones to limit, no questions about it.
With more processing, the likelihood that less-beneficial ingredients like fat, salt and sugar are added goes up and the likelihood of vitamins and minerals being present goes down. The US-led National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that 90% of the added sugar in our Western diet comes from ultra-processed foods. Examples of these processed foods are things like fried food, burgers, and packaged foods.
I create foods and meals using whole foods, without many complicated steps to ensure that I nourish myself properly. 21DAYS2VEGAN provides recipes that teach you to put together meals using minimal skill and effort. It about redefining fast food and understanding that our body’s fuel needs to be a priority. #foodprep deserves more credit and is critical in maintaining a healthy diet and to experience optimal health. You can’t expect to recover from a workout, be ready for an exam, or be alert enough to give life your all if you’re putting inadequate fuel into your body.
- Beck KL, Thomson JS, Swift RJ, von Hurst PR. Role of nutrition in performance enhancement and postexercise recovery. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. 2015;6:259-267
- Today’s Dietitian (2013) Protein Content of Foods, retrieved 16 May 2019 from Todays Dietitian: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/pdf/webinars/ProteinContentofFoods.pdf
- Kaufmann, C. (1 May 2018) Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Foods to Fight Iron Deficiency, retrieved 1 november 2019) from Eat Right: https://www.eatright.org/health/wellness/preventing-illness/iron-deficiency
- Chodosh, S. (7 August 2019) Here’s Even More Evidence that Plant Protein is Better for you Than Animal Protein, retrieved 22 August 2019 from Popular Science: https://www.popsci.com/plant-protein-healthier/
- Kim, H. et al (7 August 2019) Plant‐Based Diets Are Associated With a Lower Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Disease Mortality, and All‐Cause Mortality in a General Population of Middle‐Aged Adults, retrieved 1 November 2019 from Journal of the American Heart Association: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.119.012865