Why Whole Foods?

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Why Whole Foods?
Our first priority is to eat whole, fresh foods.  This is what makes us healthy; it’s also what we have been genetically designed to eat – what is found in nature, not what is created in laboratories or mass food-producing factories utilizing chemicals.  Today, so many of our foods have no resemblance to what one would find out in nature.  These foods are simply a concoction of man-made chemicals and manufacturing processes that are sold as food.  For now, let’s concentrate on whole foods.

A loose definition of “whole foods” is that the food is eaten in the form as close to the way it’s found in nature as possible, with minimal to no processing.  There are obvious variances and limitations to these criteria, depending on the food.  For example, foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds should be eaten in their raw state, which provides the highest level of nutrients (i.e. fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, water, etc.).  When those foods are frozen, canned, baked, fried, salted, etc. and/or prepared with other processed foods (e.g. an apple that is made into a “turnover” made with white flour, hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup), they are moving away from the way they are found in nature and in the process, losing the majority if not all of their nutritive value and now have disease-promoting additive chemicals. In the apple turnover, the once naturally-found food, the apple, has now crossed the line from being simply non-nutritious to actually becoming a disease-producing food (the white flour and high fructose corn syrup are major contributors to the development of diabetes; the hydrogenated oil is a known causal agent for heart disease and cancer).

On the contrary, other foods such as olive oil, almond milk, and whole grains can only be eaten after a certain amount or degree of processing.  Then there are differing degrees to that processing.  For example, a cold-pressed virgin (first press) olive oil is a much better food than heat-processed oil; fresh made almond milk versus store bought almond milk differs greatly in their ingredients and nutritional make up.

The Basics
We are all part of the animal kingdom.  Yes, God has made us different from other animals in many ways; but when it comes to how our bodies function physiologically, we are no different than other animals.  Would you feed your pet dog, cat, bird, or rat chips, fries, soda pop, ice cream, cookies, crackers and expect them to be healthy?  (By the way, Dr. Paul’s kids have pet rats – they feed them raw vegetables, nuts, and avocado trimmings/leftovers, etc.).  Why not?  It’s obvious, because the pet would get sick, right?  But you say, “They’re animals!” Well, guess what?  So are we!

It is so important that you understand this concept that we have to eat naturally for our bodies to be healthy.  Our bodies are made up of between 70 – 100 trillion cells – and those cells will function according to the raw materials we provide.  In other words, the health of our cells and therefore the health of our bodies is determined by the food we feed ourselves.  YES, IT’S THAT SIMPLE!  Perhaps no other single factor has contributed to the decline in man’s health than the (self-imposed) changes that have occurred to our food supply over the past 350 years. More

Week 10 Fuel Insight: Food Quality

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Critical Concept:  Keep it simple.
It’s so important to keep things simple.  Think about it.  Life is stressful, complex and complicated.  Our food shouldn’t be.  There are natural laws that we must follow to be healthy, happy human beings.  We should be eating the foods that were available to thousands of generations of our ancestors – it’s what our cells expect.  If we veer from these selections, our cells get confused and our bodies get sick.

Don’t you just love simple rules:  “If it wasn’t food 2000 years ago, it is not food today.”

Human beings have a fascination with science.  We think that we can improve anything.  As much as this ingenuity has spawned incredible discoveries, advancements and conveniences in our lives, it has created a world of trouble for our stomachs.

70% of our diets now consist of foods that did not exist 200 years ago.  Hydrogenated vegetable oils, refined carbohydrates, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Genetically Modified Foods, chemical preservatives and additives now constitute the bulk of what modern humans consume daily. Processed food and  industrialized farming has transformed our food into “food-stuff.”  We have made a dramatic shift away from natural foods in their natural forms to a totally unnatural, toxic and deficient diet-style.  Eating this way is incredibly expensive.

“Getting well and staying well is expensive, but it’s cheaper than being sick.”

People often make the argument that eating healthier, fresh, whole food is more expensive.  At first pass, you may notice that your weekly grocery bill is a few dollars higher, but with simple considerations, the cost-effectiveness of eating well is obvious.  Making the choice to eat healthier foods implies that you are forgoing the other, toxic/deficient foods.  Eating a healthier diet has been irrevocably proven to improve immune system function, reduce blood pressure, normalize blood sugar, improve digestion, reduce reflux, heart burn and constipation, and reduce allergies, asthma, eczema, acne and arthritis.  Think of all of the money that you’ll save if you don’t get sick.

“Staying well takes some work, but it’s easier than being sick.”

Some people suggest that it’s too difficult to eat healthy.  Choosing the diet-style recommended by Bonfire Health has been shown to reduce cholesterol, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity and cancer.  I can’t think of anything that is more inconvenient than chronic illness.  Following the Bonfire lifestyle means adopting a mind-set and a skill-set for better living.  With a little know-how and practice, you’ll be a master of the life that leads to health and vitality, not the slave to the lifestyle that has been proven to create sickness and disease.

Some foods are inherently toxic to the body.  For the most part, we know which foods to avoid.  Most of the confusion is found in the other half of this food discussion:  deficiency.  The other side of the blade of toxic food choices is the fact that these foods are consumed instead of the nutritious foods that our cells require.  This “double-whammy” sets the stage for accelerated aging, and promotes both acute illness and chronic disease.

A Bonfire vital behavior is to add as much nutritious, real food to your diet as possible.  It is almost impossible to over-eat fresh vegetables.  Eat plenty of wholesome fruit, nuts, seeds and berries.  Enjoy lean cuts of organic, grass-fed meats, poultry, game and wild fish.  Always add the good stuff first– there will be less room, and eventually less desire for the rest.  A Bonfire best practice is to keep your grocery cart on the perimeter of the store.  This is where all of the fresh foods are found.  Join a Community Supported Agriculture co-op and support local farmers.  Being a Locavore is a great way to save yourself and the planet at the same time.  Buy locally-raised, grass-fed beef, buffalo, game and poultry.  Choose local organic eggs, fruits and vegetables.

The vital nutrient density is higher in these local foods, so the return on your investment is direct – not to mention the benefit that you get from re-establishing your connection to the food that you enjoy.