The USDA Dietary Guidelines, (visually depicted in the ChooseMyPlate.gov graphic), recommend we consume nutrient dense foods, filling half of our plate with plant based foods – fruits and vegetables like the left side of the picture above. 

Sadly, our nation leans heavily towards the picture on the right. We are far from the recommendations. USDA research indicates that more than half, (63%), of the typical American plate is filled with foods from the other kind of plant.  Processed foods often containing added sugars, refined grains, preservatives, fats & oils.

Food researcher and author Michael Pollan suggests our typical diet no longer consists of food – but ‘edible food-like substances’. Items so highly processed and full of chemicals, our great grandparents would not recognize them as food. Our bodies are not designed to get nourishment from these ‘foods’. The nutrient deficiency causes cravings, so we eat more and more, often leading to a state of mal-nourished overweight.  

From what kind of plant does the bulk of your food come?

Our choices can turn this around. This week, take a good look at what you eat and feed your family. Before you eat any item – ask yourself the following questions.  

  1. Does the ingredient list have more than 5 items? 
  2. Can I pronounce everything in it? 
  3. Will this food rot in a reasonable amount of time?  
  4. Does it look like food?

What you see may surprise you.  Here are a two examples:
The ingredients list for McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets 
(source http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/)

Well dang! A whole lot more than a nugget sized piece of chicken.   But who thinks Chicken Nugget when they think healthy food choice?  Let’s take a look at a more commonly considered, natural and healthy option.

The ingredients list of Yoplait Light Blueberry Patch Yogurt. 

Sounds so natural, light and refreshing right? (source: http://www.yoplait.com/products/yoplait-light)

Not horrible, but how many realize this item contains sugar AND artificial sweeteners.  Chemical preservatives, and color dyes.  How about enjoying some blueberries and a cup of skim milk instead?  This option has only 2 ingredients and I personally think it tastes better and satisfies more.

Take a moment to take a look at what you are giving your body.   Need to make some changes?

Choose natural over processed and go for preparations that keep the foods close to the way God put them here for you. 
Make simple but consistent healthy choices for at least a week and note resulting changes in your body (cravings, energy level, bloat etc). 

Truly nourish your temple. Honor and bless God with your food choices.

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