When people ask me what I eat, I often reply with, “meats and veggies...real food.” But then someone asks, “But wait. I can eat ____, so why isn't that a real food?” So, here's my definition: A “real” food is a food that is packed full of nutrients naturally. These are the foods that often have no nutrition label, or have maybe 4 ingredients listed, and each ingredient is recognized as a “real” food in itself. The food came from the earth, or came from an animal that ate from the earth.
Examples: quality meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs, and spices.
Why eat only real foods?
When we eat real foods, we get many of the nutrients that are body needs. Our bodies were made to absorb macro-nutrients (fat, carbohydrates, and proteins) together with micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals). These foods will help to stabilize blood sugar and some of them are anti-inflammatory – all good things! When our bodies have stable blood sugar levels, our moods and energy levels also become more stable, and we have less cravings.
“But Janelle, grains come from the earth! Why don't you consider grain products like bread and pasta real food?”
An excellent question! Short answer: while one of the earliest cultivated wheat grains, einkorn, was fine, today's wheat grain been altered and processed so much that our bodies don't recognize it as food and cannot digest it well anymore, and it causes more harm than good. Yes, even whole grains. There is growing evidence that wheat ingestion not only causes digestive inflammation, but inflammation throughout the whole body, and is the root cause of many autoimmune and neurological diseases. I'll write a more science-y article about that later this week.
Also this week, I plan to post a few recipes. What kind of recipes would be helpful for you? Beginner recipes, 30-minutes or less recipes...what would you like to see?