Mar 12, 2020
It's true, hard to hear possibly but the more we lean towards convenience the further we move away from health. How? Why?
The answer is multi-factorial and overly complex but it turns out that cheap food is a complete illusion and actually has a steep cost. In order to calculate that cost, you must zoom out and understand the interconnected nature of your food and your health. My goal here is to try and boil this down to its simplest form and give you the take-home message that will help you instantly live a better life. These changes should not be underestimated as far as the health impacts they can have.
While not all convenience is bad, too much of most things can harm you. The larger picture is that our bodies, which work constantly and magnificently to keep us alive and maintain a homeodynamic environment were never designed to handle the onslaught of chemicals, pesticides, fillers, stabilizers, dyes, preservatives and anti-caking agents that are required to put our convenience food so conveniently on the shelf! It would be a much longer and more scientific post to go into great detail on each ingredient and how it impacts the body and give you all the research to back it up…which I am more than happy to do for anyone that will listen, but for now I would much rather appeal to your broader level of common sense.
We need to inject a little more of that into our shopping, eating and lifestyle habits I think. The psychology of living and eating must be addressed. The pill for an ill approach will not work to make us well. We did not get sick as an individual or as a society overnight and we will not recover overnight with a new drug despite those magical commercials with their catchy soundtracks and throngs of shiny happy people living their “best life” because of Solprexatraz™(this is my trademark by the way, and you can’t have it)😁
This is not our best life. Our over-reliance on convenience is literally and slowly killing us. The combination of constant food availability and a premium put on shelf stability has created an evolutionary mismatch that is at the root of chronic disease.
Our body is supremely designed for feast and famine yet now...we never famine. To make matters worse, most of us don’t have any idea what is healthy because studies are constantly misrepresented in the press, researchers are full of personal biases and dollars are not being allocated to the proper types of studies necessary to actually figure out what would work. Nutrition is only confusing because it is simply a money-making game now.
Our bodies, however, don't know that and they still respond to things the way they always have. Maybe someday we will evolve enough to be able to handle the chemically-laden foods we rely on for fuel but I honestly hope we don’t. My feeling is that yes the body can adapt to almost any given stimulus but will that adaptation create the longest and most robust version of the human species possible?
The missing ingredient to health is the lost art of preparing real whole food! I know what you’re going to say already. It costs too much to eat healthily or I don’t have the time to prepare real food. I’m not going to address cost here although I would encourage you to look at the long view and the cost of healthcare and medications that could be avoided if one were to eat a healthy diet.
The idea that we don’t have time is a valid concern…but not an excuse. If we can make time for The Masked Singer or a Netflix binge we can make some amount of time to prepare nourishing foods that will help us thrive. I know countless busy working moms, business owners, healthcare providers and on and on who MAKE the time, however little, to prepare meals for themselves and their families. It is that important. Food must have a purpose other than to fill our bellies. Whether we want to accept it or not, we can actually change our physiology with what we choose to put in our mouths. We impact our bodies on the cellular level. We have to stop thinking of food as just calories and start understanding the nutrient content or LACK of it.
I promise to do a follow up on this with much more detail but for now, we can all choose healthier options, prepare them in a better way and consume them in a more relaxed parasympathetic state(nerd alert!!). Until then choose wisely when you feed and use your body’s innate wisdom to guide you. Listen to how foods make you feel both good and bad. Together we can reclaim our health. It is our birthright to be healthy creatures. Sickness is not inevitable.
As always... Feed with a Purpose!
J. Gulinello is a contributing writer to Sapien.org and you can follow his work on social media as well @perpetualhealthco