One of the paths to vibrant health is to choose healthy foods that are rich in as many natural vitamins and minerals as possible while avoiding processed foods that contain additives and preservatives.
That means consistently choosing to eat real food over processed, fake foodstuffs. Real food is what our great-grandparents ate, and it was what we should be eating.
What are real foods? This is my definition:
Real food is food that comes from a clean, living source. Real food ages, and unless fermented for specific results, should be eaten while fresh. Real food has its natural flavors, colors and texture intact. It is minimally processed before it reaches your kitchen, and no chemicals have been added to change its natural state.
Healthy foods don’t have a very long shelf life. In contrast, processed foods have a very long shelf life.
Pasta and cheese from a box is NOT real food.
A-List of Healthy Foods
Real, life-giving, healthy foods include any foods from the following groups:
- Grass-fed, naturally raised beef, pork, and lamb.
- Grass-fed, free-range raised chicken and organic eggs, free-range turkey and any other grass-fed poultry.
- Organically grown vegetables and fruits.
- Raw milk, cheese and butter, and other dairy products from grass-fed, naturally raised dairy cattle. If raw products are not available, buy true organic milk products.
Pasteurized milk is not real food. Not only is some commercial milk polluted with rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone), a substance that is linked to cancer in humans and illness in the cows injected with it, the pasteurization process destroys the enzymes that aid in the digestion of the milk. I believe pasteurization is one of the reasons why so many people can’t tolerate milk.
Some people choose to drink soy milk because they can’t digest pasteurized milk. I believe whole raw milk is a better choice than soy milk to address this digestive issue.
- Wild-caught seafood, especially high-fat fish like salmon.
- Cold-pressed oils, and tropical fats such as coconut oil and palm oil.
- Fresh nuts and seeds, preferably soaked and roasted to remove natural toxins such as the phytic acids.
- Organ meats from pasture-fed naturally raised animals.
These healthy foods are rich with nutrients and fully support the physical and mental needs of the human body. It is on these types of healthy foods that human populations have thrived for thousands of years.
Goal: Reduce Toxic Chemical Consumption
The main goal of switching to traditional and healthy foods is to avoid as many toxic chemicals, additives, colors, and preservatives as possible. By themselves, these chemicals may be generally recognized as safe (GRAF) by the FDA, but no studies have ever been done on the effects that combinations of these chemicals have on human health. And I’m not so sure about the FDA’s commitment to keeping us safe.
I believe that the general headaches, joint pains, stomach ailments, fatigue, and other “non-specific” health issues that many people experience are related to the chemicals found in our food supply. From my own experience, I know that once I substituted real foods for processed, chemical-laden foods, I stopped having these non-specific symptoms. My joint pain, flu-like aches, stomach discomfort, and other health problems went away.
Why Grass-Fed Animals?
Animals that are raised and fed in natural conditions are healthy with strong, balanced constitutions. They eat a natural diet meant for their systems, absorb light and energy from the sun, and breath clean air. These natural conditions translate to vibrant health.
Just like humans who eat healthy foods, these animals are getting the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals from their diet and storing those vitamins in their bodies. Those same vitamins and minerals are available to us when we consume the food made from these animals.
In fact, grass-fed beef, chicken and pork products are higher in beta carotene (Vitamin A), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and Omega-3 fatty acids, and they are low in lectins, the harmful toxins found in meat from animals fed grains and beans for extended periods of time. In addition, the risk of infection by E. coli in products made from healthy animals is virtually eliminated.
In contrast, factory-farmed animals are raised in enclosed buildings or crammed in feedlots, where they spend much of the time standing in manure and mud, breathing air that is foul and polluted. If you have ever driven through Kansas with your car windows down, chances are you’ve smelled a feedlot.
Factory farmed animals are fed unnatural food which destroys the delicate balance of their digestive systems. In addition, some are given growth hormones to artificially increase muscle weight or milk production. As would be expected, these animals become ill and succumb much more quickly to disease and death under these unnatural conditions.
The government’s solution to the health issues created in these factory farms is to add antibiotics to the food to try and keep the animals well. This adds another foreign substance to an already compromised system and results in super strains of bacteria that antibiotics can’t kill. The milk and flesh from these animals are polluted, dangerous and lack the natural antibodies, vitamins, and minerals which make grass-fed animal products so healthy.
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Resources for Further Reading
I’ve found the following resources very helpful in learning more about healthy foods and living a healthier lifestyle.
- The Hundred-Year Lie: How to Protect Yourself from the Chemicals That Are Destroying Your Health by Randall Fitzgerald
- The Great Cholesterol Con by Anthony Colpo.
- A Life Unburdened: Getting Over Weight and Getting On With My Life by Richard Morris
- Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats a cookbook by Sally Fallon
- The Protein Power Lifeplan by Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades.
- Life Without Bread by Christian Allan, Ph.D. and Wolfgang Lutz M.D.
- Natural Health & Weight Loss by Barry Groves
- Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck.
- The Schwarzbein Principle: The Truth About Losing Weight, Being Healthy, and Feeling Younger by Diana Schwarzbein.
- Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine: Improving Health and Longevity with Native Nutrition by Ron Schmid, N.D.
- The Weston A Price Foundation