I am obsessed with food. Always have been, as it turns out (diaries from my youth prove this, and you can actually check them out here if you’re curious!) but the nature of my passion has morphed radically over time.
Like most of my gender, food was originally about aesthetics; not getting or wanting to lose (in my case) Fat. I really had little understanding about what was ‘good’ and ‘bad’. I was born into and grew up in the Fat-Is-Bad decades… does that say it all?
I originally believed exercise would conquer all, and this is how I ended up in the fitness industry. I used to exercise so I “could eat what I wanted”. Oh dear. But I do have some grey matter and teaming that with a good dose of Common Sense, I eventually worked out that food was pretty important. After all, as I used to say to some of my clients, “you can be fat or thin even if you’re bedridden or confined to a wheelchair” (limited mobility options) so what you eat must have a bigger part to play.
So my interest of food/diet/nutrition deepened. I read more, researched more, I “played around” with diets – from Atkins, to Raw Foods etc – but it was a science-type course (sadly unaccredited) I took a few years ago that sent my passion sky-high. Epigenetics is the science of ‘gene expression’ – that is, how the genes you were born with (& therefore your predisposition to disease) can be affected by your lifestyle choices….like Diet. Exercise/physical activity still matters but by far nutrition is the biggest player in this game. Closely followed by The Mind – you know, Stress Control, neuroscience stuff.
So this MASSIVE take-home message really stuck and I am ALL about clean eating. Because I found out I personally have genetic ‘markers’ for Diabetes Type II and Cardiovascular (Heart) Disease. Wow, interesting considering my dad has just been diagnosed as ‘pre-diabetic’ and has recently had a pacemaker ‘installed’ at age 68. Not to mention, my mum had rheumatoid arthritis (auto-immune disease) for 16 years before an aggressive form of breast cancer took her from us within 18 months. Sorry, did I say ‘interesting’? I meant SCARY.
My Philosophy is simple: remove yourself from ‘Civilisation’. What would you eat if you were out in the Wild? NO conveniently pre-made foodstuffs that’s for sure. And I’m sorry Paleos, but you definitely would NOT have animal products at your fingertips on a daily basis either. Animals have legs, and can and do run from their prey in the wild (added to the fact that hunters had to work extremely hard to catch them – hence High Intensity Training being an important part of physical activity) but plants can’t so easily avoid consumption. Rooted to the spot. I’m not vegetarian, but I know that vegetable matter is by far and away the most nutrient-dense food group in the pyramid. It should most definitely be at the bottom of that triangle.
I love the phrase Dr John Tickell coined (and I haven’t even read his work) “Low HI” – Low HUMAN INTERFERENCE. The less touched by human hands, the less ‘processes’ your food is subjected to, the better. If vegetables begin to lose nutrients as soon as they are plucked from their LIVING hosts, how much ‘value’ is left in them by the time you get them into your mouth?
And the best part is, with all the conflicting information out there…and worse, conflicting ‘science’….fat is bad, no it’s good, carbs are bad, hang on, we need them, high protein is bad but what about plant proteins? …..my philosophy can’t be debunked. It’s just COMMON SENSE. Or am I mad? Make it YOURSELF, make it FROM SCRATCH and eat it in portions that correspond with Nature. ‘Product’ is a dirty, dirty word to me.
So here I’m telling you why I eat the way I eat. It’s mostly for my Future Health. To feel Good. I’m certainly not qualified to offer advice but no one can stop me from giving my opinion! And I LOVE learning (that’s how I got here!) so if anyone wants to share their knowledge I am totally up for that. It can only benefit in the Long Run. And to me, that’s what it’s all about.