I had the good fortune of attending an event in Chicago, Farms to Forks which is three days full of lectures and food demonstrations geared to educate attendees about the power of health-promoting foods and the reality of health-harming foods.
Eating well has become more and more difficult. Our society makes it easier to eat poorly vs. healthy.
Even after 30 years of studying food, at times I still find myself overwhelmed with information. However what I heard over and over with every speaker, (obviously I’m simplifying), is that you can’t dispute that fresh fruits and veggies are better than processed, fried or fast-food. It’s hard to disagree with the fact that whole grains and legumes are better for you than a McDonalds breakfast sandwich or other boxed foods.
With every diet that comes along there’s always a catch, always a list that must be adhered to for proper weight loss. Most often diets are temporary as there’s no autonomy. Although the speakers at the event have their opinions along with science to back it up, they are all vegans, a strict way to live. However, I walked away with a different perspective. I got the impression that education comes first, realization comes second and implementation comes third. A sound approach to healthy eating.
When I owned my fitness business, I would tell my clients, “Start with one change, maybe adding breakfast to your diet or stop eating ice cream before you go to bed. As you master that change, add on another.” I felt the same way after walking away from this conference. I didn’t feel I had to be perfect, I simply had to be aware and then change what made sense for me .
I’m not sure I’ll ever adopt a vegan diet, but I know that I have already made some changes that I know will be permanent. The manufacturing and marketing of bad-for-you food is out of control. I thought it was bad when my kids were young, it seems to be worse now. Young mothers are confused but I simply remind them, “There are no labels to read on fresh, whole foods. Stick with them as much as you can.
One of my favorite parts of the conference was listening to Ann Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn, mother and daughter duo full of enthusiasm and passion for a plant-based diet. Ann(in her latter 70’s) shared her tips on plant-based eating while Jayne shared some fantastic recipes that even a carnivore might consider. I’ll share those recipes in my next blog. But for now, here are some take-aways from the event. I hope you find them interesting.
1. Chronic disease is a result of a poor diet, period. – Dr. John McDougall
2. There are no adverse effects of clean water and clean food. – Dr. John McDougall
3. Alcohol doesn’t turn in to fat, it simply lowers inhibitions and increases caloric intake. – Dr. John McDougall
4. The U.S. does 1.2 million stents per year and mortality is 2%. – Dr. C. Esselstyn
5. Red meat increases the risk of heart disease. – Dr. C. Esselstyn
6. Carbs- It’s not about glycemic index, it’s about fiber, density and calories. – Jeffrey Novick, R.D.
7. CRAP= Cut, refined and processed foods. – Jeffrey Novick, R.D.
8. If people eliminated liquid calories from their diet, they could lose 40 pounds in a year. (The avg person gets 400 cals from liquids). – Jeffrey Novick, R.D.
9. Never believe anything on the front of any pacakge, EVER! Always read the nutrition facts label AND ingredient list. – Jeffrey Novick, R.D.
Here’s to healthier eating for you and your family!
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it.