What if I told you there was a drug that was called “Disaster”. This drug was promoted by many media outlets, was endorsed by medical professionals, and was supposed to be completely safe in “reasonable doses”. Adults and children largely consumed “disaster” as a recreational drug, on a daily basis. It changed hormonal signaling, caused major inflammation, and eventually, death. Would you consume it?
Many people today are addicted to this drug. We’re flooded with advertisements and endorsements from our sports heroes, telling us how great this drug is. It tastes delicious, is convenient, cheap, adds no nutritional value, and is completely unsustainable. It takes tons of fossil fuels to produce, ship, package, and market to you. It can sustain you, but gives you nothing.
What I’m talking about is industrially produced, highly processed, hyper-palatable food. These foods flood our markets, taking over the center of our grocery stores. We’re told they’re fortified with all the vitamins and minerals we need to lead healthy lives. We’re told it’s completely safe to consume. It resembles nothing close to what we are biologically designed to eat. In fact, instead of providing us with nutrition, it can actually cause a slow, painful death. What do you think of it now? Do you still feel compelled to eat it?
Think of processed food as a venus fly trap. The fly begins to eat the nectar, but eventually, the plant eats the fly. Food is a powerful drug. You can choose to either nourish yourself or destroy yourself.
You may be asking yourself, “If I give up processed foods, will I ever enjoy my meals again?”
The answer is YES. When you see people eating junk food like pizza, cookies, cake, or anything else off the paleo list, instead of thinking ‘I feel sorry for myself that I can’t eat that”, think “I’m so happy that I’m FREE from that lie!”
Boxed mac & cheese, frozen pizza, and Chinese take-out are not part of that diet. We should focus on real foods, including meat, poultry, and seafood from wild sources, vegetables and fruit from organic farms, and natural fats from non-industrial processes that provide us with nutrient-dense nutrition. It’s time to stop being a player to our modern culture’s attitudes towards nutrition. “Everything in Moderation” simply doesn’t work for most people.
In our age of highly addictive, hyper-palatable, highly processed “food”, we humans need to take back our right to real, unadulterated, simple food as our bodies were designed to digest. We’re not computers, we’re animals. Let’s start treating our bodies as such and feed ourselves species-appropriate diets. Enough with the color-enhanced, flavor-induced, vitamin-enhanced meal replacements and let’s embrace real food: grass-fed meat, pastured poultry, wild seafood, organic, seasonally-grown vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats like lard, coconut, and olive oil. The way nature (and our bodies) intended.
Set Yourself Free
The next time you’re at a social gathering, or at a restaurant wishing you had some pizza, cake, brownies, or whatever, instead of saying to yourself “I feel bad that I can’t have that food”, think to yourself, “I’m so glad I’m FREE of that food.” Because the truth is, you don’t need it. You’re a human animal. You thrive on REAL FOOD. You don’t actually NEED that junk food. Processed food is destroying our species. Instead, you thrive on real food.
Have you really thought about whether you’re a “moderator” or an “abstainer”? And if you are new to paleo, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because a food is made with paleo ingredients, it’s completely safe to eat in large doses. I see this a lot in my nutrition practice. Some folks have gotten very good at paleo-fying cookies, brownies, cakes, etc. While these foods are fine for some in moderation, I recommend avoiding them in your first 30-days while you reset your tastebuds and insulin signaling. For me, I am fine with a small square of chocolate or a few bites of ice cream, but put me near a gluten free pizza, bag of potato chips, or bowl of pasta and I have a hard time stopping myself from devouring the whole thing. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t have an “off switch” for these temptations, avoid them all together. Paleo brownies/etc have basically the same metabolic effect on your body as the real version. Stick to basic recipes with high quality ingredients.