Most of us are fully aware (even without extensive knowledge of automobiles and mechanics) that there are two types of engines in cars (I'm not talking about the electric cars, which I'm pretty sure use one type of gas or another as a back up anyway). There are diesel engines and gasoline engines. It's very important that you use the right type of gas for the engine you have, because if you don't, you will perpetuate a whole mess of problems causing your car to malfunction, creating damage that is extensive and very costly to repair. Why on earth would I send you an email about this? Because your body is the most important vehicle that you will ever have (not to mention irreplaceable). And filling your tank repeatedly with the wrong types of fuel can certainly cause extensive damage, that is very costly to repair.
Certainly you wouldn't throw diesel fuel in your gasoline engine simply because you're in a hurry. You wouldn't get it just because it's cheaper. And you definitely wouldn't choose the wrong type of gas just because you liked the look of the pump or because the company that sells it said you should because it's really good gas.
Now, if we can just use this same way of thinking with our bodies, we'd be a much healthier bunch as a whole. Rather than choosing engineered/processed food to eat because it's easier, cheaper, comes in a pretty package or because the manufacturer told us is was good for us, let's stick with the real stuff. The food that grows in the ground, is raised on a farm or has ingredients that are recognizable as things we would find in our own kitchen cupboards.
The food industry spends millions of dollars engineering foods that cause us to crave more, become addicted (remember the famous Oreo cookie study?) and how about all the diet and low fat concoctions out there? I'm sorry but adding a bunch of sugar in various forms and a mess of fake ingredients (maybe you've heard the term "chemical shit storm") to a food to make it a few less calories is not doing anyone any favors. Remember, these people are in the business of selling more products. Check out this recent article that explains how diet soda can actually cause weight gain! Who is going to think it's the diet beverage that is causing the weight gain? So, you keep on drinking it and start buying other fake diet products to offset the damage. You really can't win.
Real food can be every bit as fabulous (I would argue way more fabulous) and it doesn't need to be complicated or time consuming. You may need to plan ahead a touch more, you may need to put a wee bit more effort into meal prep but the most critical piece in it all, is once again, your mindset. If you truly care about what you put in your body, do a little research about what your're currently feeding yourself and your loved ones you will find that shift increasingly easier to make. You will notice the difference in how you feel and likely drop a few pounds without even trying. Naturally you can overeat even the good stuff but if you're eating reasonable portions and a good balance of lean protein, healthy fats and carbs you and your family will be so much better off in the long run.
Your body is the most important vehicle you will ever own. You have a choice, take good care of it, service it often and use optimal fuel or hold off on regular maintenance, ignore the the check engine light, put the wrong type of fuel in it, incur expensive repairs (and remember, not all parts are replaceable!) and basically run it into the ground. You decide.
In the coming weeks I'll be hosting a pantry makeover in my Facebook Group. If you're interested, please join the group, we'd love to have you! We'll talk about all of those creepy ingredients, what they are and what to avoid and how to stock a real food pantry so that you always have good options to work with when you're in a pinch. Until then, READ YOUR LABELS! Think about what that stuff is that you cannot pronounce and would never find in your own kitchen cabinets and decide if it's something you really want to put in your most precious fleet of vehicles.