Excellent article from Herb Workshop! …….As a re-poster, I have added a bit here and there.
“Frankenfoods” vs Real Food
Have you ever wondered why you sometimes get an incurable craving for junk food that can only be abated when you have consumed the source of your obsessive thinking? You’re not alone if this has happened to you, AND it is part of the make up of what I like to call “Frankenfoods”.
Through the use of artificial colors and flavorings, and concentrated fats, proteins, and sugars, food scientist have developed these “faux-foods” in a devious attempt to keep us coming back for more of their unhealthy offerings. These chemical-laden concoctions have been developed to stimulate the pleasure center of the brain, causing us to be highly stimulated and enamored with these faux-foods. We choose a physical response in the brain, a release of dopamine, followed by pleasure rather than choosing true health and vitality.
This cycle has led our nation (USA) to the highest rates of degenerative diseases in the world.
Through the refining process, all the good, natural nutrition is stripped away and replaced by harmful, disease promoting substances. These substances promote heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a myriad of other health complications.
As we allow our schedules to become overloaded with inconsequential activities, we often reach for denatured foods that are quick, pleasurable, and devoid of any real nutritional value. As a result, a full 51% of the “foods” Americans eat today are processed and refined. By engineering the substances that are baked into these faux-foods, frankenfood manufacturers are betting and profiting from our becoming addicted to these chemicals, resulting in our consumption of more and more of their wares.
So how can we combat the physiological effect these faux-foods have on us. Well, start by NOT EATING THEM! Health food stores often have “healthier” alternatives to our worst cravings. These are a good way to begin transitioning away from the other junk foods, but these should not become a mainstay in your diet either. Even though its from a “health” food store, and often contains better ingredients, it is still refined and should eventually be eliminated from your diet. If you are looking for healthier alternatives, refer to the recent post concerning recommended RAW food books.
The following are other suggestions that will help your body loosen the hooks these foods have placed in your mind and in your body:
- Start each day with a good breakfast. I recommend using fruit and/or soaked grains. Avoid fruit juices and coffee that jack-up your blood sugar levels. Stabilizing your blood sugar helps control and eliminate cravings throughout the day. ( I will show you an amazing healthy coffee that we absolutely love in a future post)
- Eat at least 10 calories per pound of your IDEAL body weight. If you eat too little food, your body will stop producing lepting – a natural appetite-control hormone. Dietary recommendations are that we not eat fewer than 1500 calories a day, and NEVER under 1200 calories per day – except when fasting.
- Throughout the day, continue to eat foods that will continue a steady blood sugar pattern. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes (beans and lentils) will help prevent blood sugar dips and spikes that can lead to cravings, fatigue, and an overall feeling of “lousy”. (Graze)
- Eliminate the over consumption of animal proteins and fats. This will significantly reduce hormone swings, which can often lead to cravings. When consuming animal products, make sure they are organic or free-range, and hormone free. (In many other parts of the world meat is used more as a flavoring rather than a main course)
- Exercise moderately six days a week to build physical strength and to promote the elimination of toxins from your body. Your fitness routine should include a combination of aerobic and strength building exercises. ( I use my Oxygen Spa and get a cardio workout equivalent to a 3 km jog – getting my body clean and my workout rolled into one – again, will tell you more about that in a future post)
- Go to bed early. As busy parents it is often tempting to stay up late, after the kids have gone to bed, in order to get a little personal time. This eventually will cause a backlash effect, resulting in you feeling more tired and worn than if you’d gone to bed early and awakened earlier. ( Read the previous posts on sleep – it is more important than you think – on the news last night – newest North American Health Epidemic – SLEEP DEPRIVATION)
- Turn off the TV. Television is known to be a powerful trigger for one’s appetite, AND can cause us to over-consume if we eat while watching it. The American Academy of Pediatrics has specifically associated childhood obesity with TV viewing. ( So if it is a problem for our kids you can be sure it is a problem for the adults as well)
- Plan ahead when traveling or eating out. Pack a cooler with “friendly” foods that won’t bust your gut while on the road. With the use of the internet, you can also find restaurants that have vegetarian menus and menu items.(It is OK to not be totally rigid about your choices, but again from experience – all things in moderation or you will be choosing a result that stops you from having the best moments possible in every moment)
- Take a break from eating. Fasting is very beneficial to the body, when done correctly. Abstain from food for up to 24 hours once a week, or once a month, if possible. When resuming food intake, make sure it’s natural and raw; don’t overload your rested digestive system with heavy, chemical-laden foods. You will defeat the purpose of your fast if you do. ( We like to drink water flavored with real fresh squeezed lemon on an on going basis – you just naturally eat less when you consistently drink- sip more)
- Seek support from your family and friends. They may not understand what you’re doing, or why you’re doing it, but ask that they respect your efforts. I’ve often found that it is better for me to bring something to a dinner or barbeque invitation so I can have something to eat. It’s also a great way to explain what you’re doing and the benefits you see from it. (Bring an amazing dish you love with enough to share – soon they will want your recipes. Lead by example – Yummy is Yummy and we are all suckers for YUMMY)
These few, important steps must be followed daily in order to permanently overcome damaging food seductions.
These suggestions may seem to over-simplify the sensitive nature of food addictions, but really are powerful recommendations that are reliable and effective. Food seductions and pleasure releases are real. Recognizing the pleasure triggers in your life and intelligently working with them are required if you wish to achieve and maintain ideal health.
If you want more information about food additives, check out the book
‘A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives’ by Ruth Winter, M.S.
Better yet: do what you can to grow as much of your own food as possible. Lack of space is not a good excuse. Google “small space gardening” and you’ll be amazed at the ingenuity of folk to grow their own produce. Check it out!
Re-posters Notes – RETAKE CONTROL OF THE FOOD YOU AND YOUR FAMILY EAT SO YOU CAN AVOID AS MANY ADDITIVES AS POSSIBLE.
Your future, your physical and mental health as well your family’s future, their physical and mental health is in the choices you make every day.
We have a son who was labeled severe ADHD at 4 1/2 years old and a daughter diagnosed with severe Crohn’s finally diagnosed when she was 11 after 4 years of trying to get some one to listen.
I had very severe IBS long before it had a name and spent so many hours laying on emergency room floors trying not to scream from the severe pain.
PAIN & FRUSTRATION are huge incentives to find ways to improve any situation so we did.
Start cooking foods from scratch – to save time and money, make 2 or 3 lasagnas, casserole etc. and freeze. When our kids were little, I would spend an evening or a weekend every week putting together and pre- cooking casseroles, soups, hearty stews. I was making 4 or 5, by the end of the first month I had quite a variety. For those busy days when there were after school activities. I would pull one out before I left for work – it would be thawed when I got home from work, in the oven it would go for 10 – 15 minutes. I’d throw together a salad and we could eat healthy and be out the door in 30- 40 minutes max. I really got to like being able to shop for supper in the freezer – lots of mornings you don’t know what you want for supper – this one thing allowed us so much more freedom.
It takes that long to order a pizza or any fast food and go get it or get it delivered. The difference is I knew exactly what we were eating and it made a huge difference for our high level ADHD son. When he would eat prepared food/fast foods at 4/5 – he would tell me, mommy I don’t like how I feel, my body is all jumpy and buzzy, please make it go away.
We had a very bright child who had no attention span unless he was being over stimulated by fast paced games like dodge ball, tag etc or video games. He could beat 16 -20 years olds no problem. A neighborhood teenage boy and our son caught the same school bus and came to be video game buddy’s. As a result I had teenagers from all over our end of the city asking to come watch our son play video games because he was that good. ( It was really weird to have teens routinely show up on our doorstep on weekends and almost beg to watch D play. We would allow them a couple of hours and he would show and tell them. It is amusing when I think back to all these teenagers thanking a 4-5 year old for the great tips and tricks.)
Had we not chosen to seek out complimentary solutions and change to only real food we prepared/grew rather than follow the medical drug solution we would have stolen our children’s choices for their future with out even knowing it. I see the difference between him and a cousin on each side of the family whose family’s chose the other route, the route that both medical and school officials were quire forceful in suggesting.
Our son has been able to do more, see more and have the choice of whatever profession he wants. His cousins never even made it through high school. He is still figuring it out but he has the marks and the education to choose between becoming an Electrical Engineer, Pharmacist or Air Traffic Controller. He is a very determined individual and when he makes up his mind to accomplish something it happens.
His employers enjoy his inquiring solution oriented mind and affable personally. Even better, like all teens he tried a bit of pot and booze but then knowingly chose for those not to be his choices.
This is the kid the psychiatrists and psychologists said would never make it through school because his inability to pay attention was so severe.
Our daughter has not needed surgery and is able to stay off steroids etc by maintaining responsible nutritional choices and supplementation. Another student in her class with the same diagnosis but less severe had to have his intestines removed in grade 11. His parents followed the medical advice they were given to a T.
Now I have very, very infrequent minor bouts of tummy discomfort – typically when I choose eat processed/ fast foods for a few days like on road trips. I don’t have to deny myself anything in the food world anymore as long as I use moderation. So changing what you eat is not a life sentence like disease can be, for us it is life liberation. We are a family who can and will tell you that from Experience – because of what we have gone through to get where we are today.
The future with respect to physical and mental health is all about the choices we make.
We are not RAW or VEGAN – We ARE regular people who make conscious choices about what we eat and have been well rewarded for making choices that work far better for us.
Through this blog I will share some of those choices that make a real difference in our lives every day like the ones above.
Please CHOOSE WISELY! We do and I am grateful that I was savvy enough – not to just accept and follow the advice that was offered and insisted upon.