These are the questions I ask my clients to consider when they are buying and eating food. And it all boils down to Keepin’ It Real:
1. Are you into FWBs (Foods With Benefits)?
Are you eating real food? C’mon now – seriously. Do you know what you’re eating? Was it meant to be food? Was it grown/fed/raised to be food? Do you know what this food does when it goes into your body? What kind of nutrients are you getting out of it? Is it food that your body can actually use? Is it nourishing and healing? Or is it depleting and inflammatory? Is this a quality calorie or a “filler” calorie?
2. What are the INGREDIENTS in this food?
How many ingredients does this food have? Do you need a dang translator to understand the names of these ingredients? If you don’t know what these ingredients are, do you think your body does? (Hint: um, NO!) Did this food have to go through big time processing and have a bunch of stuff added in to get it to look/taste/feel this way?
3. What is the QUALITY of this food?
- Is this one of the “Big 4” GMO (genetically modified organism) foods?: Corn, Soy, Cotton, or Rapeseed (Isn’t that the worst name? It’s used to make canola oil. Blech.) Are you steering clear of all of the manufactured products (especially oils) that contain these ingredients? Are you buying GMO free when possible?
- If it is plant food: Is this a “dirty dozen” or “clean 15” food? What pesticides are being used on this food and what does your body do with them? How far is your food traveling and how many nutrients is it losing in the process? What country does this food come from? What kind of laws do they have about spraying food? Are you washing your fruits and veggies really well to remove these toxins? Is buying organic food in your budget (especially for the “dirty dozen”)?
- If it is animal food: Did this food come from a healthy animal? Did this animal eat the food nature intended it to eat (ie: grass/bugs/worms/ nuts/seeds/plants,etc)? Or did it mostly eat GMO corn and soy? Did this animal have nourishing living conditions? If this animal did not eat and live well, how does that affect your body?
4. Do you PROPERLY PREPARE food?
Do you soak nuts, brown rice, beans, and oats to remove harmful anti-nutrients and to enhance their nutritional and digestive properties? Do you eat fermented foods to aid digestion and get natural probiotics?
5. *How does your body USE FOOD?
- Do you digest well? Or is your stomach a ticking time bomb? Is the person behind you at risk of gas poisoning? Are you so bloated you look pregnant (aka: food baby)? Are you as backed up as the bar’s toilet on ladies’ night? Or having the opposite problem of never getting off the toilet? Are you completely exhausted? Does your skin feel like an old lizard? Have big time allergies? Then you, my friend, are NOT digesting well. So how are the nutrients getting to where they need to be? They’re not.
- Are you eating the right fats to maintain fatty acid balance? If you’re hittin’ the Tylenol/Advil regularly, sunburning too easily, sporting wimpy muscles or fighting flaky skin, then, no…you are NOT eating the right fats your body needs. And if you don’t have a gallbladder then – double yikes! – your body can’t properly break down important fats.
- Is your body getting the appropriate minerals? Not if you’re always jonesing for chocolate, cramping in your calves/feet/toes, or experiencing morning stiffness, frequent fevers, or popping/clicking/swelling joints.
- Is your blood sugar regulation under control? Do you want to rip someone’s head off if you don’t get food right now? Are your two favorite events of the day coffee and happy hour? Do you close your office door in the middle of the day and put on your phone light so it looks like you’re on a call and then lay your head on the desk and take a nap because you. are. so. exhausted? (Just askin. I may or may not have done this back in my corporate days!) Yeah, none of these are good signs either.
*If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, then you are a great candidate for nutritional therapy!