We’re Rom & Al.
Food mamas and owners of Heal.thy Wholefoods.
We’re so excited to finally share our new monthly blog!
The world of food can be an over whelming one, too much info that seems to contradict itself depending on which person you ask or blog you read. We know!
So we’ve made a place that we hope will give you some real insight into the world of nutrition and your health.
As a qualified Nutritionist (BHSc Nut Med), Romy is hoping to give you a helpful guide, eliminate that confusion and help you Heal.thy self through food.
What’s with wholefoods?
Why should we be eating food in its whole form?
Have I been buying half-foods?
Apart from their undeniable deliciousness.
Avoiding foods that’s are heavily processed helps you to get nutrients that are otherwise discarded in its processing. For example, in the creation of white bread or white rice, you remove the outer layers of a grain. Effectively removing any of the fibre, magnesium and B vitamins it might have contained.
This is the good stuff!
While no food is inherently bad or good (well, there are some foods that are just plain bad), we live in a society of “excess and access”. These foods that were once a maybe or a sometimes food, are now an everyday occurrence. By eating wholefoods, we’re giving our bodies the co-factors (essential elements) it needs to work at its very best. So you can be at your very best, inside and out.
Your body innately wants to be well. You just have to give it the tools and love it needs to give you the love back.
Now when they said “Variety is the spice of life”, they were definitely talking about food. Eating a diet with a variety of wholefoods, fruits, vegetables, good quality protein and good fats is seriously going to give your body its best chance at life. Also at preventing that which diminishes your quality of life, like chronic illness and disease.
We should be aiming to consume about 40 different plant foods per week. Not only to support our everyday activity, but has been shown to be the minimal amount we need to optimise our microbiome (gut bugs) and promote overall health.
Supplements are of course an important therapeutic tool, but these are meant to “supplement” a nutrient dense diet, they’re not meant to replace it. We need to understand that there is a synergism in a whole food (nutrients, enzymes,) that can’t be fully replicated; You can only fit so much in a capsule! And it’ll never taste as good!
The thing is, when you eat whole foods you avoid so much confusion in your diet.
Michael Pollan laid it down in his 12 commandments from his book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
“Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food”.
Essentially, chill out and get back to basics. When you get back to eating whole foods, you can avoid having to figure out if food additive 203 is okay to eat. You create more room in your brain for the important things, than doing your own head in about the numbers, the calories and the ingredients that you have no F#@ing clue what they are.
Is organic food just another wank?
Or is it vital to moving towards a symbiotic relationship with our body and the environment?
At Heal.thy we’re realists, we know that eating a diet that is 100% organic is often not financially achievable. But we also know that the benefits of moving towards an organic lifestyle and removing toxic exposure via our food is one of the most important things you could do.
We as consumers have the power to shift what we have access to; you’d have to be hiding under a rock to not have noticed the abundance of Gluten free products & health sections in supermarkets. With this in mind, by supporting organic agriculture, we create a demand. That demand then increases its viability as a whole. Effectively, the more organic produce we buy = the more affordable and more accessible it becomes.
One of the main reasons for seeking a mainly organic diet is to reduce the consumption of pesticides. Which have been knowingly associated with poorer reproductive outcomes, allergies, carcinogenicity (cancer forming), hormone and microbiome (gut bugs) disruption- and that’s only the start (3).
The worry with these chemicals, is that they spread through our entire environment. Our food, water and soil (2). They hang around for a long time and can take years to degrade and we’re just sitting here. Like little sponges soaking up everything around us through our skin, the air we breathe and the food we eat (3).
Our bodies obviously feel the harmful effects, whether or not the symptoms are instant or more gradual. But so do the plants we use them on.
By using pesticides and chemicals, the plant can become lazy.And by lazy, I mean the plant creates less of its own defense mechanisms to protect itself from harm (insects, weeds etc.), because the job has been done for it.These defense mechanisms are important compounds, which give each plant their beautiful and unique characteristic colour. Like curcumin in stunning turmeric, chlorophyll in dark leafy greens and carotenoids in yellow, orange and red vegetables.
All the colours of the rainbow baby!
And importantly, they play a major role as an antioxidant and reducing inflammation among many other roles in our body. By consuming organic produce, you can effectively eat the same foods you always have, and increase your mineral, vitamin and phytonutrient intake (1). Eat the rainbow, taste the rainbow….but just not a skittle.
So why do we still buy conventional products?
Because at Heal.thy we believe that the importance of eating nutrient dense foods overrides whether it’s organic or not. Eating well should not be exclusive to only those who can afford it. We should all be able eat, and deserve to eat nutritious foods within our means. We truly believe that everybody can Heal.thy self.
A great way to eat organic without breaking the bank is to buy a mix of organic and conventional from our product list that makes it financially achievable for you.
Another is to have look at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) “Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen” list. Every year, a new list is put out detailing the twelve fruit & vegetables you should splurge on and buy organic, and the fifteen fruits & veg you can get away with getting conventionally.
While this organisation is American, it can provide us with a rough guide.
Click on the link to download the guide which you can print off and pop in your wallet-https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
Thank you so much for reading the first instalment of our new monthly blog. We’re excited to be tackling a new topic each month, so let us know if there’s anything you’ve been wanting to get to the bottom of.
Rom & Al
1) Brantsæter, A. L., Ydersbond, T. A., Hoppin, J. A., Haugen, M., & Meltzer, H. M. (2017). Organic Food in the Diet: Exposure and Health Implications. Annual Review of Public Health, 38(1), 295–313. doi:10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031816-044437
2) Bai, S. H., & Ogbourne, S. M. (2016). Glyphosate: environmental contamination, toxicity and potential risks to human health via food contamination. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23(19), 18988–19001.doi:10.1007/s11356-016-7425
3) Kim, K.-H., Kabir, E., & Jahan, S. A. (2017). Exposure to pesticides and the associated human health effects. Science of The Total Environment, 575, 525–535. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.09.009