Saturday, July 23, 2016

If you have ever said "no more junk food"...

I haven't had pizza in... it's gotta be about 4 years now, or something close to that. Even then it was a gluten-free pizza. Real pizza? I haven't had that in about 7 years. I can already imagine the looks of shock darting at me from all over the world. But pizza is everywhere! and it's awesome! Sure, it's a perfect combination of bread, sauce and gooey cheese, but for me, it'll - figuratively - make my stomach explode.

I saw the hashtag #nationaljunkfoodday and I thought it was a joke. How can anyone rationalize a day to put harmful toxins, sugars, and processed "food" into your amazing body? We only get one body in this life. You get one body to take care of, to nurture, to experience the world in. It goes everywhere with you!

Everything you put into your body is a signal. Your body does something with it. It interacts with receptors, sends chemical signals, alters your metabolism. Your body decides how to use it as fuel - burn it up in exercise, or store it in your liver. Your body takes whatever you give it and it has to deal. It has to break it down, use it and eliminate the waste.

Everything that goes into your body has an impact on your body - harmful or helpful.

I recently read a mom's blog post about how she always said her kids would never eat at McDonald's. Until one really tiring day she gave in because it was quick and it was there. I can understand the impulse to want something quick and easy when you have kids. Kids can be exhausting. But I also had a really hard time understanding the logic there.

For me, fast food is never an option. I can't even handle salads at Subway because their dressing will have me running to the bathroom. It's not real food. In my mind, fast food is not food. Junk food is not food.

The hardest part is getting to that realization and telling your body that. Your body knows that it gets "reward" signals for sugary and fatty foods, so we crave it. You've had it before. It tasted great in your mind. You were temporarily really happy. But then that feeling goes away. Maybe your body can deal with it. Or maybe you end up bloated, feeling heavy, your mind feels overwhelmed by brain fog, or maybe you go into a food coma. Food should't do this. It took me years to figure this out.

After my own gut issues, I went full paleo. For the first time in my life I couldn't believe how good I could feel after eating. I would eat vegetables, protein and a good size of healthy fats (usually avocados or a homemade olive oil and lemon juice dressing) and I felt great. I felt satiated but I wasn't bogged down. I wasn't bloated or gassy, I couldn't believe that this is what I was supposed to feel like after a meal.

I'm not here to judge anyone for their food choices, but I am here to bring awareness to our health, and to what food does in your body. #nationaljunkfoodday really makes no sense at all. It's like saying, let's have a #nationalhaveacigaretteday. One cigarette likely won't kill you, but it's terrible for you; full of toxins and carcinogens, irritating your lungs (junk food can irritate your gut), with the potential for addiction - junk food can also be addictive - sugar sure is!

The point is, as adults, we make our own decisions. You decide what goes into your body. A hashtag does not. And as for our children, we have to be the ones to teach them how to make good choices. They look to us for this information. They learn from watching us.

Dr. Bianca Garilli ND wrote a great article for the Natural Path regarding diet as the key to preventing chronic diseases in our children. I highly recommend the read!