Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Food and Your Health

Super-excited to be learning lots in the Fitness Trainer program. My favorite class this quarter "Food and Your Health" is centered around food. Not because we taste or prepare food in the class, but we examine food as it relates to our health.

Food and tapping into my diet has been the hardest piece of the puzzle for me throughout my battle with obesity. I can proudly say, however, I've gotten the piece to fit. I want to share my new found knowledge  because I suspect it's the most challenging piece for others too.

I've long said, we have lost our way when it comes to food. I'm always ranting about the fast food industry, Crap! and processed foods, Grocery Shopping No-Nos. The class, "Food and Your Health" further confirms what I already believed. Food should not come in a package that has a label. Food should eventually rot. Food is not advertised on TV. We received a handout in class "The Seven Criteria for Food Selection." Take a look. Pretty simple, but somehow we've made it, oh so complicated. I hope this helps. I'll share more soon...

Seven Criteria for Food Selection 

from AnneMarie Colbin, CHES

1- Food should be WHOLE, as nature provided it with all their edible parts in tact.  The body is smart and if there are nutrients missing from the food we eat, it is likely we’ll crave what’s missing and try to get them in other ways. Missing nutrients in fragmented foods means you’re missing what was left out.   This means:
  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables and Sea Vegetables
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Eggs
  • Shellfish
  • Mussels, Clams, Oysters
  • Small Fowl
  • Whole Milk
  • Full fat yogurt
2- Food should be FRESH and NATURAL/Natural whenever possible not canned and frozen, where oxygen is lost and thereby taste and flavor is lost and 20-80% of nutrients are lost and salt and additives are added to replace flavor. If you want to preserve food, you want to pickle it, ferment it or dry it. Pickled and fermented use friendly bacteria to preserve and dried foods become more nutrient dense.

3-  Food should be REAL, the opposite of fake. We avoid “artificial” sweeteners and “fake” meats. When we use substitutions based on dietary restrictions (removing meat for vegetarians, dairy for vegans) if we need to replace proteins or richness that might be lost, we’ll use other real ingredients to do so.

4-  We use SEASONAL/ LOCAL/ ORGANIC/ NON-GENETICALLY MODIFIED produce. Whenever possible we source ingredients direct from farmers using CSAs (community supported agriculture), greenmarkets, farmstands, and other small local businesses. We aim to cook according to the seasons following the traditional schedule of planting and harvesting.

5- Prepare foods that are in HARMONY WITH TRADITION.  We are inspired by the traditional cuisines of many different parts of the world and recognize that food many times can spark a memory of ones history either via family or travel. We aim to remind our guests of these memories, and inspire new ones through our food.

6-  Food should be BALANCED in flavor, texture, color, and flavor and in the way it makes us feel.

7- Food should be DELICIOUS.  The body is a system of information; taste brings information to the body. If taste isn’t good, normal reaction is the body doesn’t want that anymore, and that is worthy of listening to.

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The Obesity Epidemic is REAL!

The evidence of an epidemic is everywhere.

· Two-thirds, more than 190 million Americans are
overweight or obese.

· Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar
medical burden every year.

· Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years

Source: CBS News