Today it’s an honor to have Nathalie Lussier, the Raw Foods Witch, as our guest writer. Nathalie writes much about the foods we eat, and how we can make small changes to improve the healthy choices in our diet. Her focus is on the foods that come naturally to our world. Fruits, vegetables, nuts. Those foods which can be naturally grown.
Now the real question: what kind of witch is she? When I think of Nathalie, I think of only the best kind of witch, in a fun, fun way (think Glinda from the Wizard of Oz). Her tagline says it all: "Taking the Spooky out of Raw Food Magick"! Now that sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it! And it’s not about being perfect in your eating, it’s about the journey toward a healthier you. And that’s a direction I hope I’m headed in.
A recent example of some of the great material Nathalie has is 21 Ways To Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet . That’s a winner in my book!
Nathalie’s material will give you practical changes you can make to live a healthier life! Keep up with her by subscribing to the Raw Foods Witch blog. You can also keep current with Nathalie by following her on Twitter.
And with that, here’s Nathalie to help us all navigate through what sometimes seems like a jungle when it comes to our food choices.
The Jungle of Food Choices
"Did you ever stop to taste a carrot? Not just eat it, but taste it? You can’t taste the beauty and energy of the earth in a Twinkie." ~ Astrid Alauda
Every one of us has more food choices than we’ve ever had before. We can eat an avocado from Mexico, a pineapple from Costa Rica, and lychees from China all in the middle of winter. We’ve also got a slew of other food choices. You know, the ones that tend to dominate our thoughts (via intrusive ads) and diet: processed foods. Did you know that the number one source of calories in the United States is via soft drinks? The average American drinks 60 gallons of this sugary drink per year. Companies spend billions (with a B!) on advertising to ensure that you get hooked on their brand of soda, snacks, and desserts. Contrast the number one source of calories with that of our closest primate relatives the Bonobos, who are 80% frugivorous where most of their calories come from fruit. Interestingly enough, there are no degenerative diseases observed in wild chimpanzees like the bonobos. "No cancer was observed among diseases of wild apes" (Chultz, 1967)
Re-Evaluating Our Bounty of Food
We’ve essentially fabricated most of the food that you’ll find at the supermarket. I always recommend that you walk the edges of any grocery store and stay away from the middle aisles. The middle aisles are the ones that will kill you, even if it doesn’t look like a lion chasing you down for dinner. You’ve got tons of companies fighting each other to appear on those shelves to entice you to try their brand of sugary cereal, pasta, or chips. Walking the “alternative route” of the grocery store, I let fruits and vegetables fight it out the natural way: through smell, looks, and taste.
When I go to a farmer’s market or just browse through the organic produce section, I immediately feel pulled toward certain fruits and vegetables. Those pears smell really good. Maybe that broccoli’s color is just so alive that it makes me want some. That watermelon sounds really juicy when I lift it and tap the side. These are the types of signals that we might have grown up learning, had we not been plugged into the world of modern day fast food advertising. I admit it, I was a McDonald’s junkie as a kid. I begged my parents to take me there any chance I got. It wasn’t the food, it was the toys. My parents didn’t know what hit them. They never imagined I would turn out to be a “health nut” and resolve to eating a diet made up predominately of fresh fruits and vegetables. Now that I’m older, I know that I was under that advertising spell (and it wasn’t a nice lovey-dovey spell either!). Of course the trail goes deeper than that, because these processed foods are a socially acceptable and reinforced habit. If I’m out and about I’m supposed to stop and eat at that local fast food joint. I’m not expected to have prepared my own healthy meal or snack to bring along. That would just too “out there” for some people…
The Jungle We Grew Up In vs. The New Jungle
Things are changing, I’m not sure if you’ve felt the shift. People are starting to realize that eating tons of processed food really isn’t the best thing for health and well being. So now that we’re aware that we might need to make changes, a whole new set of challenges present themselves. Who do you trust? What is “healthy food” and what’s just marketed that way? Call it green washing, call it health or even “antioxidant washing”. It exists and it’s happening. It’s important when we’re feeling overwhelmed to take a step back and return to basics. What would we be eating if we hadn’t created this massive network of processed foods? Probably lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, with the occasional small animal or fish. We’d be eating more berries than we could likely afford at today’s supermarket prices.
Berries are almost unlimited in the summer, and they’re so easy to pick and eat. (Plant a berry shrub and you’ll know what I mean!) We’d be eating locally, and we’d likely migrate during the winter to survive. This is when our transportation technology comes in handy. Now comes the tough part: how do you fit all of these healthy foods into your day to day life? The idea is simple, but one we’re all reluctant to try. (I was too!) Remove some of the stuff you’re currently eating and replace it with fresh fruits and vegetables. There, I said it.
Now I want to hear where you’re at in your journey through this not-so-wild but still unruly jungle of food?
If you’d like a little help along the way to removing stuff that doesn’t serve you and adding stuff that does, you can find me at my blog The Raw Foods Witch. I help people live an enchanted life, by taking the spookiness out of eating more fresh raw fruits and vegetables. You can also sign up for my free program called Feel Light – Take Flight, and watch your energy soar.