Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Progress, Perfection and Poptarts

"the reason we have so much disease (like cancer, heart disease, diabetes) infiltrating our society is because people are too lazy and uneducated to really look into what they are eating and instead just put things into their mouth and rely on medicine to fix it." -Some blogger chick with too many followers for her own good

 I am so disgusted by this statement and really lost respect for the blogger that wrote this.To say someone has cancer because they are lazy is just gross. Yes, we can all do better in the way we eat. And yes, we are very much to blame for some of the medical issues we deal with. But from a young age we are fed that low-calorie means healthy... government agencies that say 50% of our diet should be "whole grains"... that red meat is bad for us... commercials that tell you to eat Special K for 2 weeks straight and lose 6 pounds... vegetarians that say soy this and soy that... the list goes on and the messages are so confusing. It's going to take a while to reverse this message and get manufacturers to start using real, wholesome ingredients instead of the crap that is feeding disease. Let's be cautious of who and what is to blame for America's health problems... it is not ONLY a consumer problem. We stop buying it, they figure out how to give us what we want. Supply and demand, people… supply and demand.  Remember who makes the food we buy in packages… they aren’t in business to be your doctor, they are there to make money.  We stop buying their crap, they stop making their crap.

Yes, it’s gonna be a longggg time before Poptarts become all-natural, but a girl can dream, right?  

I rarely buy packaged foods anymore because there are not nearly enough foods that contain real, grain-free AND gluten-free ingredients that aren’t genetically modified, pasturized or processed. I had a friend state that this just seems impossible because the “real” food is so much more expensive. I’m not going to lie to you, sometimes they can be. Organic fruits and vegetables, free-range chicken and eggs, grass-fed beef… it gets more expensive when we are used to buying whatever was on sale.  But maybe that is the problem… maybe we are so used to buying foods that are the cheapest that the only reason it seems “expensive” is just because it goes against everything we have known in our generation.

I recently read a statistic (World Bank 2009, U.S. Department of Agriculture 2009; Euromonitor International) (and yes, I do research the things I am saying here on this blog) (and yes, I read sometimes) that stated that we, the United States, spend the smallest percentage of our income on food in relation to the rest of the world. This is absolutely crazy to me. I read another statistic (don’t ask me to find that one for you) that said that up until the 1950's, Americans were used to spending up to 30% of their income on food. But then came Campbell's and “packaged” became the new norm. Thanks a lot chicken noodle soup.  (I made that up part up. Can you tell? Don't ever blame anything on chicken noodle soup. It's pure gold.)

On the other side of that, I can completely understand that there are some individuals and families that are feeling like they are just fighting to survive right now. They are working to survive.. not LIVE. That, too, breaks my heart. I want to be sensitive to the fact that for some people, living in a one bedroom apartment ends up being 50% of their income. For this, I have great understanding and compassion for people living in poverty. Since moving out, living with a roommate, paying all my own bills,  buying everything for myself and feeling “broke” 90% of the time (the 10% is the first 3 days after each paycheck before all my bills go through - getting my hopes up every 2 weeks) with little savings, I have come to realize just how difficult it must be for some families who make the same amount of money I do. I feel grateful for my job and my circumstance but will not take that for granted and suggest that everyone is able to spend 30% of their income on food, medical bills and supplements. Yay Hashimoto’s.

Which brings me to my next point…


There are weeks that I laugh at the thought of being able to buy the $7 grass-fed ground beef compared to the kind on sale for $3.99. And then I go put the $3.99 beef in my cart while the guy stocking the shelves asks why I am laughing and then he says “oh” and walks away. Then, there are some weeks where I was able to make a little more room in my budget and can afford the more expensive beef… or the extra-healthy meat is on sale and I load up my freezer. I spend an average of $75-100/week eating paleo (All my meals/snacks for the week). And I’ll tell you this… I’d get way more bang for my buck if I had other mouths to feed because I end up with too many leftovers and fruits and veggies that go bad. Unless I feel like baking a ton or trying a new supplement… and that’s when my bank account tells me to calm the freak down.

Organic. I wasn’t a believer for a long time. I’m a lukewarm believer now. I buy organic for the things that matter the most (fruits and vegetables that I consume the skin or eat whole) and I don’t for other things like oranges, squash, sweet potatoes, onions, etc. Even then, I sometimes buy regular and just do my best to scrub them clean with Citrus Magic… my favorite all natural cleaner (working on my own version with essential oils!).  Sure, yell at me that the pesticides are soaked into the fruit/veggie… maybe it will kill me someday! Idk. I still plan on dying one day. I do what I can.

You should too. Do what you can! Make little choices and decisions that you know you can commit to and go from there. Take it slow! There is no need to look at paleo and think… holy crap that is so unattainable and expensive. That’s not true. Start small. Make family dinners paleo and then jusy health-ify lunches and breakfasts to what your wallet and sanity can handle. Or instead of buying dinner rolls, buy sweet potatoes for just as cheap. Instead of fried tacos, make taco salad. There are so many things you can do. You will go to Sprouts (my favorite place to buy cheap and absolutely delicious produce) and look at all the bags of produce in your cart and want to cry because it looks expensive but it will cost you $40 and that is the basis of all your meals. Obviously if you want to feel/see the major health benefits from paleo, you will have to cut all that out eventually, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t working towards getting you and your family more healthy. Also, if you are going gluten-free to see if you have intolerance, this "do what you can" rule doesn't apply. A little gluten is just as bad as a lot of gluten. Also, PLEASE beware of all the gluten-free products out there and how much crap they contain. I rarely buy them because they almost all contain starches, soy and chemicals. Still not what I'm goin for here...

Check out my blog post called “You Don't Have to be a "Paleo" to Eat Paleo! “. You will see some good tips and ideas for meals. And follow my Instagram @itspaleoonthego for some of my practical ideas on how I do paleo on-the-go… because I’m starting to get tired of seeing blogs about moms and people who have made this their career and actually HAVE the time to raise their own goats, hatch their own chickens, do crossfit in their barns and feed their cattle grass. I would love that kind of life someday but mamma aint got the funds for a farm. And I actually don’t like animals that much. What I do promise you though, is more recipes and ideas and less rants. I never have time to take pictures of what I make for dinner because I’m too busy blasting Luke Bryan or Justin Timberlake while I cook and do 40 other things at the same time. But I gotchu. They are coming.

Today, eat a piece of dark, dairy-free, naturally sweetened chocolate and thank God for it.  And for the gift of life.



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