Since starting my Whole 30, I have heard comments from others about “Real Food.” Most of the time it’s something like this: “So you don’t get to eat real food anymore?” or when you’re at a restaurant “Why don’t you just order some real food?” To me it’s a little frustrating when I’m attempting to change my relationship with food, and yet people that I come in contact with try to convince me that what I am now eating is not “real.” Now that I am just about half way through this thing, I’m seeing that the food that is “real” to them is only that what because it is what they are used to eating. Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy is real because it’s what I have for Sunday dinner. That’s the kind of mindset it seems a lot of people have. Whole 30 is about changing that, and because of my Whole 30, I would like to take a minute to dive into what “Real Food” actually is.
First of all, Real Food is not made in a lab. It is not laced with chemicals, genetically altered, “enhanced” or anything else that means it was tampered with. Real Food comes straight from animals and plants that are raised and grown in as close to their natural habitat and fed as close to their natural diet as possible. When it comes to Real Food, I would much rather have a squirrel that I harvested myself over a piece of fried chicken from KFC.
Second, Real Food is not something that has been laden with other less healthy substances (such as refined flour and oil in the case of fried foods) just to give it a “pleasant” taste. In most cases those foods tend to taste worse in the long run, not to mention all the negative side effects that you could experience from those less healthy substances.
Third, Real Food is what your body needs to survive. This means that while bread, cheese, cake, donuts, pizza and so on may taste good, your body does not need them to survive. Your body needs protein from lean meats, vitamins, minerals and fiber from vegetables/fruits and plenty of good fats. Your body doesn’t need chocolate chip cookies.
So maybe we should spend some time looking at what we all call Real Food and you may find that you need to change your definition. The other day on Facebook I saw a quote that said “There is a difference between Food and Stuff You Can Eat.” That is so very true. If you want to get healthy, just stick with Real Food, and cut out the “Stuff You Can Eat.” You’ll be surprised what will happen!