Welcome back, health-conscious friends! Today our series, inspired by Stephanie Selene Anderson’s Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!, focuses on the transformative power of whole foods. Beyond just tweaking our diets, this journey is about rethinking our entire approach to food – from the way we shop to the way we savor each meal. It’s a path that leads us not only to better health but also to a deeper understanding of our food’s impact on the world around us.
Understanding the ‘Big Why’ Behind Our Food Choices
As we dive into the world of whole foods, it’s crucial to identify our ‘big why’ – the reasons that drive us to seek change. For many, this journey extends beyond personal health. It encompasses a concern for the environment, animal welfare, supporting local farmers, and understanding the long-term consequences of pollution, food, and water waste stemming from unsustainable food processing and production.
The Essence of Nutrients and Superior Nutrition
Stephanie’s book invites us to ponder why we’re involved with food. We’re not just seeking an entertainment; we’re seeking life-giving nutrients from the highest quality sources. This quest for superior nutrition is about choosing whole, unprocessed foods that nourish our bodies and minds.
Let’s get back to why we’re constantly involved with food. What are we after when we grow, hunt, trap, fish, buy, and eat food? We’re seeking those precious life-giving elements known as nutrients. We’re seeking them from sources that supply them in abundance and in the highest quality possible. In short, we’re seeking superior nutrition. […] The first step is an internal one: honor the desire to feed yourself and your family in ways that strengthen health and prevent illness. Second, acknowledge that going for the goal of superior nutrition means being willing to change the way you think about and shop for food. Finally, understand this isn’t a change you make all at once but gradually over time as you adjust to new foods and flavors.
-Stephanie Selene Anderson, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!, page 6.
Don’t Give Up Those Comfort Foods – Give Them a Healthy Twist!
Instead, let’s get creative with our comfort foods. Give them a healthy twist! How about a veggie-packed, whole grain pizza, or a burger with grass-fed beef and a multi-grain bun? Using brown rice instead of white rice in your rice pudding (sweetened with maple syrup instead of refined white sugar), and whole grain noodles in your pasta dishes… even looking up how to make your own marinara sauce can be a good start. These small tweaks are not only healthier but also steps towards a more sustainable and ethical way of eating.
- Swap out sugary drinks for water infused with fresh fruit or herbal tea.
- Use natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or dates instead of refined sugar, or simply start by halving or quartering the amount of sugar indicated in a recipe (baking reguires some specific swaps to maintain texture, so do more research before going all-in!)
- Make your own salad dressings and sauces to control the amount of sugar and processed oils. Simple vinegars, infusions, spices, and olive or avocado oils can make incredibly tasty dressings!
- Choose whole fruits instead of fruit juices or dried fruits, which can be high in added sugars.
- Incorporate more whole grains, vegetables, and lean proteins into your meals to reduce cravings for sugary and processed foods.
Life-giving Nutrients and Nutrient-dense Foods
Refined foods often lack essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that are found in whole, unprocessed foods. These life-giving nutrients are crucial for overall health and wellbeing and their absence isn’t necessarily something you’d notice right away, but rather something with cumulative effects over time. Bone degeneration, vision and hearing loss, teeth problems, waning energy, slowing metabolism – all of these things can be indications of a low-nutrient diet.
Nutrient-dense foods, on the other hand, are packed with these essential nutrients and provide the body with the nourishment it needs. Nutrient-dense foods are organically raised foods whether they are leafy greens, berries, nuts and seeds, unrefined fats, fatty fish, meat from happy health animals, or whole grains. By choosing nutrient-dense foods over refined and processed options, we can ensure that we are getting more of the nourishment we need to thrive than we can from refined, processed, and commercially-raised foods.
Future Blog Posts – A Journey Through Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!:
Our upcoming posts will further explore Stephanie’s steps for achieving superior nutrition, emphasizing the importance of whole, fresh, and organic foods. We’ll delve into how these choices affect not just our health but also the health of our planet and its inhabitants.
Any journey of big change requires some help from folks who’ve been there before. Websites like Food & Water Watch and The Cornucopia Institute shed light on the broader impacts of our food choices, while blogs like Real Food for Real People and Minimalist Baker offer practical, delicious ways to incorporate whole foods into our daily lives.
Resource Spotlight: Websites and Blogs
- Food & Water Watch
- The Cornucopia Institute
- Real Food for Real People
- Minimalist Baker
- The Weson A. Price Foundation
Recommended Reading: Books for Further Insight
- Trophia: Simple Steps to Everyday Self-Health by Paula Widish
- From Soil to Supplement by Dr. Royal Lee
- Eat This Much: The Complete Cookbook for Optimal Health by Leanne Brown
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
- Fresh Food Fast by Lisa Markus
Learning from Documentaries
- “Food Inc.”: A must-watch for understanding the far-reaching impacts of the industrial food system on our health and environment.
During any big change, including embracing whole foods, it’s really important to keep our ‘big why’ at the forefront of our minds. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is! is our guide to understanding not only the nutritional benefits of our choices but also their environmental and ethical implications. And when big changes have you struggling to stay the course, this book is your guide and support so that you can keep moving forward. Share your journey with us as you make these meaningful changes in your life, for your health, and for the world we live in. Together, let’s savor the journey toward a more conscious, nourished, and sustainable future.