Posted on 15 January 2012.
Happy Sunday, A Better Me Challengers! I hope you are having a great weekend. I know yesterday was a dozy for some of you. Forgiveness is tough. Hopefully you worked through some of the issues and have decided to forgive. For those of you who are still going through the process, it’s okay. Take your time. We aren’t trying to rush you. If anyone has any books to recommend, or great advice, or a testimony on forgiveness please share it on Day 11′s comment section. We can all use practical information, and encouragement in the form of a testimony on how forgiveness has helped you. Thanks!
Baby Step 12
I have been eagerly anticipating this step since we began this challenge. Today your action step will be to clean out your pantry! Can I get an Amen? You see, I’m very excited. First of all, why are we going to clean out our pantry? In most of our pantries, mine included, lurks boxes and cans of processed foods that are literally killing us ladies. I mean have you asked yourself how can some of the foods in your cabinet have a shelf life of 1-4 years??? The answer is they are staying “fresh” by things we cannot pronounce. Chemicals, additives, they have coloring, flavoring, and enhancements that only a science lab could create. These things are designed to get you hooked, like a drug addict, and will make you unhealthy. Most of the stuff in our cabinets and fridge have been engineered to be “food” we eat out of convienence, when it’s pretty easy to get the real stuff that truly satisfies us. If you haven’t watched the interview I did with health educator Tonya Peele, watch it now.
Your body naturally enjoys salt, fat, and sugar. These things satisfy you so much that naturally your pleasure sensor is turned on when you taste them. These things were not easily found in nature during our hunter and gatherer stage of life many moons ago. But today you can walk into any 7 eleven, grocery store, or restaurant and be overloaded with salt, fat, and sugar. Most of these foods are highly processed. Why is this important? Because you and I are becoming addicted to the very things that were supposed to help us, supposed to make it more “convenient” for us, the very things that are now killing us and our kids. This “food” is making us fat.
Did you know that in 1913 the average American ate about 40 lbs of processed sugar a year. I thought that was a lot, until I read that in 1999 we ate over 147 lbs of sugar EACH a year! I’m sure the number has increased even more, since we have a Starbucks on every corner full of sugary drinks and sweets.
Our mechanisms of satiation are being fooled whenever we bite into our unnatural, convenience, processed foods ladies. Duped I say, we are being duped!
Here’s how our bodies work.
We have stretch receptors in our stomachs to tell us how much we’ve eaten. We also have density receptors that measure the richness of our food. 500 calories of natural plant food fills our stomach completely triggering stretch and density receptors signaling our brains that we’ve had enough to eat. When we eat the same 500 calories of unnaturally rich or processed foods, our receptors tell our brains that we still need more to eat. This is why you just can’t eat a few chips or a scoop of ice cream. You usually crave for the entire bag or the biggest bowl in your house. When you eat 500 calories of oil, which is almost all fat, it hardly triggers any response at all. That’s why we can down a ton of fried fatty double cheeseburgers and fries and still want more. Our brains aren’t being triggered to stop eating because the food is not satisfying us the way natural whole foods do. You have to eat more of the unnatural processed food in order to “feel” satisfied, even though you’ve already eaten enough calories. You get a lo-grade addiction to the processed stuff, sort of like taking drugs. Which means you can’t stop at just one, and you always want to come back for more. I can just hear some of you already saying, I can’t give up my Oreo’s or Doritos. See, you’re addicted.
Another reason we are cleaning out our pantry today is because we don’t want to ingest genetically modified food. It’s been said that 70% of processed food has some type of genetically modified substance in it. As one of our challengers said the other day in the comment section, you wouldn’t knowingly drink poison would you, even if it tasted and smelled great. So, why are we willing to put the poison of processed foods into our mouths, willingly swallow them, so that they can knowingly wreak havoc on our bodies like poison?
Since the invention of conenience foods that load our pantries, obesity has risen drastically. Over 40% of us are obese. Our kids now have type 2 diabetes. In fact, 1 out of 3 kids born after 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes. In the African American and Hispanic communities 1 in 2 kids!! 50% of Americans are now on prescription drugs. If you want to fight about health care, start by cleaning out your pantry. $2.2 trillion a year is spent on health care. That’s over 5 times as much as our defense budget!!! We can fight this in our homes, at the grocery store, in our kitchens, in our cars, we fight with our wallets, and with our daily decisions.
Let’s Do this!
Look through your pantry, cabinets, stock pile, and fridge. Take note of everything in them that are unnatural or processed. This means everything that didn’t come straight from the ground or a tree. Anything that is much more a product of industry than of nature you need to get rid of. You know, Oreo’s, Cheetos, Twinkies. You can keep 100% whole grains and wheat. If your kids’ cereal turns the milk a color, dump it. Go for granola, oatmeal, or healthier brands of cereal if you must buy it. Things with high fructose sweetener and artificial sweeteners and flavors need to be taken out. Read the labels. Your ketchup, bbq sauce, and syrup probably all have high fructose corn syrup in them. No more soda (or pop), and dump juice that’s not 100% juice or naturally sweetened. Get rid of the “whites”- white sugar, white flour, and white pasta. If you don’t see it in nature let’s not buy it or eat it! Applesauce is not orange or green, and it doesn’t come loaded with extra sugar. This would be something to get out of your pantry. Instead buy naturally unsweetened applesauce which is already sweet (or make your own). You don’t add sugar to your apple slices, why would you need to add it to your applesauce??
I know this may seem like a “big step” for a lot of you baby steppers. You love your processed foods and simplicity. I just want to encourage you. It’s alright to take baby steps. No judgement here. We just want you to get healthier. Using natural foods can be just as easy! Obviously the more you dump the better, but small changes do make a small difference too. Here’s a link to a GREAT post I read today in another challenge I am participating in. The post is titled Get Real: Where to begin with Real Food. (Read the Big Step from today to see how I’m involved).
Do you have to throw all of the unnatural/unprocessed “food” in the trash? No, you have a choice. You can use it all up once and for all, and decide this is it! I’d hate for you to lose your money especially if you have an extremely tight budget. But, you are promising that you won’t refill your pantry with the unnatural processed food. Another option, which I like better, is that you give it away. Your local food pantry would love your canned beans and SpagettiO’s. Final option, dump it, so that you or no one else will consume it. It’s up to you.
Need more convincing?? Step 2
This is part 2 of your action step. Sometime this week watch Food, Inc! Warning: It does have some graphic video segments showing how meat is made, it is not meant to stop you from eating meat, just to show you what happens in our food industry. If you decide to eat meat, chose organic if you can. It’s not all about meat. It tackles all the angles of our food production systems, from science, to factories, to the government. This film single-handedly helped to change my view on food in America. It’s incredible. Let’s talk about it on the Facebook page!
READY, SET, GO!!!
For more tips, check out the Big Step this afternoon. Take pictures if you like, and share them on our Facebook page!
10 Reasons Why to Cut Processed Food check it out.
Annett Davis, Olympian & Founder of Fit Moms Fit Kids
*Statistics courtesy of Food, Inc and Forks Over Knives. The 2 movies you A Better Me Challengers are to watch.