Have you noticed that deciding what to eat has gotten really complicated? Are you confused? Should you go gluten free? high fat? low carb? Paleo?
Everywhere I look, people are getting conflicting advice about food and it is driving me crazy! Is it driving you crazy? Are we making nutrition too complicated?
Why should it be so hard to figure out what to eat?
We live in a world that is screaming at you to:
Drink water! Don't drink water!
Eat healthy fats! No, eat low-fat. Limit saturated fats. Even Uncle Sam gives ever-changing advice.
It has even come down to controversy over eating carrots. Yes, my friends. We have sunk so low in our nutrition confusion that the poor carrot is now demonized for having too much sugar.
Yes, you heard me right. People think carrots are bad for you.
I keep hearing about the ‘dangers of the carrot'. I always demo fermented carrots in my fermentation classes and was stunned when someone asked why I would ferment carrots since they ‘have so much sugar'. WTH???
I really wanted to write a post about the carrot, but found this awesome one instead, The Carrot Train to Crazytown. She says everything I wanted to say only so much more eloquently. I encourage you to go check it out!
In the big picture, carrots are not “high in sugar.” Are they higher in sugar than, say, spinach? Sure. Should you eat five bags a day, or mindlessly munch your way through a bag while watching TV? Probably not. We wouldn’t recommend you eat five bags of anything a day, or mindlessly munch on anything, ever. But if you feel like something sweet, w will applaud you for your healthy choice if you grab a carrot. If you want something crunchy to gnaw on while stuck in a work meeting, we’re more than okay if you plow through an entire bag of carrots. If you don’t like vegetables at all, but can somehow manage to choke down a serving of carrots… we’re thrilled, because one vegetable is better than no vegetables.
I mean really…let's all stress about the amount of carrots we are eating? That is clearly why you have a fat stomach or jiggly thighs or high cholesterol or blood sugar…too many carrots…right.
Can you imagine screaming at your kid…'no carrots before dinner! The sugar!!?' Of course not… What has it come to?!
Eat Real Food
I like to think of the food I eat and feed my family in simple terms. We eat ‘real food, food with nourishing ingredients. We eat vegetables and fruits. We eat animal products that have been raised as nature intended. We eat grains in their whole (or minimally processed) forms. We eat fats that are natural…butter, lard, olive oil…all from quality sources.
We limit ‘science experiment' food…food that contains chemicals I can't pronounce, colors that are too bright for nature.
We don't limit food groups. We don't have any allergies, so are able to do this easily. We have experimented with eliminating food groups to see if we have reactions to things like dairy, grains, etc. but we don't. We also don't overeat any one food group either.
My food beliefs have been shaped by many people:
Michael Pollan – “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not a lot.”
Robyn Obrien – “Are we allergic to food or what has been done to it?”
And, my good friend and sorority sister from Duke, Ashley Koff, RD, an internationally acclaimed registered dietician, is helping to make eating for optimal health less confusing!
I came across this video in my Facebook feed recently and had to share with you. I love her concept of ‘qualitarian‘…eat quality food, have appropriate quantity, balance the types of food and eat fairly frequently.
Watch this video to learn about her 4 pillars of her Qualitarian Nutrition Plan: