a material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy; also: such food together with supplementary substances (such as minerals, vitamins, and condiments)
Edible food-like substances
food items which appear to look and taste like food, but really are adulterated, processed and not good for the human organism.
One of my favorite things of all time is enjoying a good meal. To me nothing compares to sitting down to the table surrounded by favorite foods and great conversation among family and friends! When you look at food from a historical perspective, it has been extremely revolutionized, especially in more recent years. This is why we’ve got to define our terms before we even start discussing food, and I define food from both a biblical and scientific perspective.
Merriam Webster’s definition of food above represents the material components of what food is. Therefore we understand food as that, that nourishes our bodies for optimal health and growth. In Genesis 1:29 God defined food for human beings: “And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” Skip ahead to Leviticus 11 and then we see God defining the clean and unclean meats for man to eat. Either way, both the biblical and scientific breakdown of food converges on the following: food comes from nature; it’s fresh and whole and does not contain processed ingredients.
I believe the credit goes to Michael Pollan, if I’m not mistaken, for first coining the term Edible food-like substances. The definition implies that although we can ingest it, the body does not count it as such that nourishes us for optimal health and growth. This includes many snack foods we’ve all come to love (one of my personal favorites being Cheetos).
Being made aware of the food I was eating at the beginning of my health journey quickly became a daily jaw-dropping fascination of mine to say the least. We’re living in a day and age where we’re becoming more knowledgeable about our food which is enabling us to make better choices for ourselves and our families. The food pyramid has pretty much been thrown out the window, and now we’re hearing more people talk about Paleo, Ketogenic, Gluten Free, Fruitarian, Vegetarian or Vegan, Raw Vegan ways of eating. As we’re transitioning ourselves into these new ways of thinking about food, we hear many testimonials and denials of each eating plan that it can make the journey overwhelming and discouraging!
I’ll never forget the day I was searching on Youtube to find more information about the Ketogenic diet I had just heard about. My search yielded a video entitled, “Why I Do a Ketogenic Diet”, and then when I scrolled just a few videos down the search, I saw another video by the exact same person that read, “ Why I Quit a Ketogenic Diet”. There are many examples like this online, and I am sure that there will be more in the future as people continue experimenting with what works for them. But before hoping on the bandwagon of a particular way of eating (while shaming everybody else for not doing what you’re doing), keep in mind that there are some core elements needing to be present in your diet so that you remain above the wellness line, regardless of what you decide is best.
There’s simply no way around it. When it comes to food, there are five absolutes you need to survive.
Essential Fatty Acids
Every piece of food that you ingest has to be nutrient dense enough to supply your body what it needs to function on a daily basis. I used to struggle with this realization for such a long time because I was raised to identify food as anything that tasted good to me at the time. I’m sure most people would agree with me on that point. And if something doesn’t taste good to us, we avoid ingesting it, even if we know how beneficial it is to our bodies.
For a long time, juice was my beverage of choice; back in those days, I drank very little water. Then I started learning about food and what our bodies really needed, and I was greatly challenged by it because I knew that if I wanted to see real results in my life, fruit juices could no longer be my exclusive beverages of choice. So what did I do? Well, I reasoned that if I loved fruit juices so much, I would just replace the juice with the actual fruit, and stick to water. From that point forward, I made water my exclusive beverage of choice. In the beginning, my body did crave a lot of fruit juice, but instead of giving it a drink laced with sugar, dyes, and no fiber, I just ate an apple or an orange or some grapes. My body eventually got the point, and it turned out to be a win-win situation. My body got nutrients, I satisfied my want for fruit juice, and as a result I started shedding weight because my water intake increased. This is only one example of my success. There are countless other stories I could tell, but I think this example gives a good idea of what it takes to move forward by knowing better and doing better.
Making better food choices also includes examining the quality of the food you buy. At the time, I wasn’t in a position to completely overhaul my pantry. If you are fortunate enough to do that, by all means do so! But for me, I had to take it step by step until my kitchen was completely transformed. I wanted to get to the point to where I bought mainly organic foods and since I was on a budget with very little leeway, I looked for resources that could help me transition, like the Clean Fifteen Dirty Dozen list for example. Finding countless online product reviews for store items I was interested in purchasing was also a tremendous help. Sometimes sampling products was a bit of a hit or miss, but the majority of new food items I purchased have remained with me up to this point.
I used to be firm believer in adopting a way of eating, accepting that way as the gospel truth, and denouncing all other ways, but now I do things differently. As you continue to research key elements about your diet, recipes, ingredients, etc., make sure that what you’re eating incorporates those five absolutes I mentioned earlier, making sure they’re at the highest quality you can afford. From my own personal experience, I’ll give my top tips for eating in a more well balanced way.
- Above all learn your own body. Consider partnering with a professional to look at your body’s preferences so that you can address the needs of your body without guessing
- Select high quality real foods a majority of the time
- Avoid edible food-like substances including genetically modified foods
- Select organic fruits and veggies and use high quality supplements to help you reach your daily servings
- Avoid sodas and fruit juices
- Select high quality water a majority of the time
Y’all, this is what I do! This is my new normal! I don’t calorie count, I don’t run after the latest new way of eating, I simply stick to high quality and address my body’s needs through supplementation, and you can do it too!
Curious to know which high quality superfood supplement I take to support my overall wellness? Click here!