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Emma Storris

Beginning at the start – Part 2

Beginning at the start 2, healthy food and nutritionIn Beginning at the start – part 1 I hope to have established that we, our collection of genes that make up the organism that we are, came into existence under completely different circumstances than those we are living in nowadays. In other words, we were ‘made’ for a different living environment altogether. We hit the surface of the problems that we face when we talked about never being thirsty or hungry anymore and the work load that we have. But there’s more. The stuff we put into our mouths these days, our ancestors wouldn’t have recognised it as food. Many humans eat highly processed foodstuffs these days. I find that I am actually reluctant to call that stuff food, since in my eyes it just isn’t. Just go into the supermarket and read the labels. We have managed to turn even the simplest things, like ham, into a product that requires a lengthy ingredient list.

Finding the right food

When I was living in the Netherlands I knew exactly where to go for all my food. An organic supermarket for my veggies and other groceries, an organisation that maintains natural parks for my wild beef, a local butcher for my (properly) free range and organically fed chicken and pork and so on. I knew exactly where the food me and my family ate came from and how it was or had grown. Imagine the shock when I moved abroad and didn’t know my way around so well at first. I had to go to the local supermarket and, when in there, I of course had to read the labels. Sometimes I almost wish I didn’t have, because it made it so hard to actually buy anything that it really gave me stress. One of the other things we already have plenty of in our current society.

In general, we eat junk and don’t think about it twice

Anyway, there it is. We eat junk, often even if we think we don’t. The quality of the food in our supermarkets is just awful. In the best of cases we eat veggies and fruit covered in pesticides and meat that is full of flavour enhancers and preservatives. In the worst we eat ready made meals from cans that are clad in hormone producing plastic with ingredient lists so long they have to make the print really tiny to make it all fit. And what’s with the gluten-free sausages they so proudly shout about in the supermarkets? Why on earth is there anything like wheat in sausages nowadays anyway? Yes, as you can read, this really amazes me. No, it actually stupefies me.

What goes in must come out

What stupefies me even more is that there are people who do not understand that what you eat influences your health. There are even health professionals who do not believe that food makes a big difference in the occurrence of illness. How weird is that? Isn’t it only logical that if you eat crap, you will feel like crap? Your body is build up out of the stuff you eat. No one will advice a pregnant woman to go and eat at McDonalds every day. She will be advised to eat healthy, loads of vegetables and fruit, because she is growing a new life inside of her. Yet we do not give ourselves the same advice, while we are just the same building new life inside of us every single second. Just think of all the cells our body renews all the time. Do you think the material for that just appears out of thin air?

How come we can’t seem to be able to control ourselves?

And yet we find it so hard to tell ourselves ‘No! I won’t eat that anymore.’ Do you know why? Well, there are several reasons. First of all, we like all that crap just soooo much. Especially the sugary stuff, the stuff with the complex carbohydrates or the stuff with the flavour enhancers. Add to that the fact that food was evolutionary scarce and necessary for us to survive, which is why we are programmed to eat plenty, and you’ll get to glimpse the problem. In fact, sugar was always scarce in nature so it was never a problem for our health. Sugar, for instance honey, provided (and still provides) instant energy, and could be a lifesaver back in the wild days. Therefore, we never had a ‘brake’ installed for it. I expect the problem becomes clearer?

When we just keep eating sweet things we are only doing what we have been programmed to in order to survive and we won’t be stopped by internal signals. Add to that the disturbance of our internal stop signals by other elements in our society and the alarm bells will hopefully start ringing seriously. When you realise this and connect it to the amount of sugar we consume these days, obesity doesn’t seem like such an unlikely state to reach.

The evolutionary explanation

Food (together with Safety and Procreation) were our main concerns when it came to the survival of the species. That’s why we are so prone to eating. The food industry knows exactly what makes us drool and makes good use of that. They put all sorts of unholy things in our food to make us keep eating but also to produce their ware as cheap as possible. We are completely unprotected by our governments, whose economical interests make them turn a blind eye towards these malpractices. In the Netherlands the food industry even have a governmental institution that helps them in misinforming the public called Het Voedingscentrum. Fortunately, more and more people are trying to educate their fellow human beings, hoping to steer them away from all the junk. In this blog you will in time find more information on how to eat better and eat your way to a better health.

In the end it’s all about balance

Of course I can’t cover this subject within the scope of one blog, so you will have to bear with me (or make an appointment for a private session 😀 ) What I can already tell you is that eating your way to a better health does not mean you can never have a piece of pie any more or indulge yourself with that junk food that you just love but know is bad for you. On the whole it is all about balance, being nice to yourself and making clever choices. A good way to start is by cutting out the sugar and severely lowering the amount of grain and dairy products that you eat. And start reading these labels! If there are words there that you need advanced chemistry for to understand, don’t buy the products. There are surely more healthy alternatives. Your body and mind will love you for it!

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