I watched Oprah the other day. She had a guest on who talked about the documentary "Food Inc." If you've never seen it, you should make a point of watching it. You will never think of food production the same way again.
The guest talked about how the "western diet" has led to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and ingrown toenails (well not the toe nail thing, that's my own hypothesis). He talked about the Inuit of Greenland who have seal (or whale?) blubber as 75% of their diet and they have little or no heart disease, diabetes or obesity issues. 75% blubber!!!???
The solution for us "westerners" is to eat "real food." Real food being unprocessed food. The simple rule is that "if your great grandmother would not recognize something as food, then you should not eat it." Picture yogurt in tubes, string cheese and KD packages. He said that we will never have to count calories, fat or nutrients again if we follow this rule.
Easy, I figured, so I paid close attention to what I ate yesterday to see how many processed "unrecognizable" foods I ate in a regular day. I was surprised at my observations, because I think I'm a relatively healthy eater..
banana, orange juice, small handful of raw almonds (I think this was pretty good -- except maybe the Tropicana OJ...)
hamburger with ketchup, tomato, lettuce, mustard and relish, water to drink (hamburger was the frozen patty kind, ketchup and mustard are processed too...I make my own relish so that was okay)
apple, small handful of raw cashews, small glass of gingerale (gingerale doesn't pass)
ham and cheese impossible quiche, carrot sticks, water to drink (thought this was ok too 'til I thought about the Bisquick in the quiche --ya, I know not gluten free, so I will get headache as well as eating processed product; and the ketchup I smothered the quiche with also wouldn't pass)
waffle with ice cream and maple syrup for dessert -- pretty sure Great Granny would never have seen a frozen waffle or Aunt Jemima syrup, but I think ice cream existed just without modified milk ingredients, glucose, mono-and diglycerides, carob bean gum, guar guam, cellulose gum, carrageenan, dextrose,and something called annatto)
DH gave me the leftover potato chips so he didn't have to put a near empty bag back in the cupboard -- that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Chips don't pass the real food test either.
The processed stuff is what makes cooking convenient and easy -- and food taste good (ie, ketchup). If I had to make my own ice cream, I likely wouldn't have had any -- also, I don't have a cow.
So here is my experiment. I am going to try really, really hard to live by the "real-food-great-granny rule" this week. I will let you know how it goes.