Finding Real Food
food stripes
When I think about an authentic life, I think about how important it is to eat authentically as well.

There are so many ways to configure your diet today. It is amazing that anyone can figure out what is the best choice for their health. There are a full array of low-fat, low-carb, single-food diets, along with low-GI foods, food combining and staying in a “zone.” You can eat live foods and local foods, be a vegan, vegetarian, one who eats only fish, chicken or you can eat as an omnivore, consuming whatever looks good in front of you. I personally have tried so many diets and most of them led me down the trail to compulsive eating, binging and massive head trips. Somehow a path filled with denial, is a resistant path that made me feel sick, tired and angry.

How does one eat authentically, you ask? Just answer this question: What foods feel good to eat? Traditional diets have never made me feel good. I tried low to non-fat, and I was starving most of the time. I tried low carbohydrate and I wasn’t hungry, until I ate just one piece of bread, which would throw me into a tailspin, feeding on a load of carbs that only the Queen of Pasta should enjoy. Being a vegan felt okay, except I could never go out to a restaurant with a peaceful mind, and I was never sure if soy meat, soy cheese and soy dairy was good for you. Depending on the season, my craving for soy and cheese and dairy would go up and down. After two years of eating vegan-style, I decided to just stay a vegetarian, and have been for 20 years. For the past 2 years, I added salmon to my diet, which has lowered my cholesterol and definitely made a huge difference in lowering my hunger. However, last December, I tried the most radical diet of all.

The Real Food Diet.

This diet mostly consisted of eating real whole foods, and not chemicals. The main missing ingredient was High Fructose Corn Syrup, also known as Crystalized Fructose, also known as Fructose Syrup. This was one of the hardest diets for me to do, since once you look at the labels you will find that it is in EVERYTHING! Every sugary drink- including chocolate milk, ketchup, bread, chips, cereals, the list goes on and on. This chemicalized sugar was introduced in the 1970’s and has been causing quiet havoc ever since. According to my unscientific study, since that time obesity is up, diabetes is practically an epidemic and the bees are dying. I was shocked to read that major beekeepers are feeding their bees HFC to make it through the winter and bees have been suffering ever since. There may be a connection and it caught my attention. I do not want to create fear. My main goal is for you to find out what is in your food so that you can make your own decisions.

My decision was to try out a one month study to see what would happen if my family stopped eating HFC. The month I chose, was December. Yes, the highest treat season of the year, with the exception of Halloween! It was hilarious trying to find candy canes without HFC, however, it can be done! After a one month trial of this diet, something in me changed. The unending hunger I had always felt, somehow relaxed. My taste for real food came back and my urge to cook flavorful meals flourished. I felt more in touch with my spirit, had more energy, and just ate less. The change didn’t happen overnight. It was an extremely subtle shift that took over three weeks for me to really notice the difference in my body.

Soon my mind made a powerful connection. Eating real food, felt good! It filled me up and my body was more peaceful. “Wow,” I thought, “You really are what you eat!” It is not easy to feel authentic in your mind and spirit, when your body is ever so subtly disturbed by food created or grown with chemicals. This was one of those times when I knew it all along, and now I really knew it!

After this successful month, I added to the list of foods that I won’t eat or serve to my family. Along with HFC, there is MSG, artificial color and flavors, preservatives, dextrose, BHC, any kind of diet sugar, artificial additives and anything with so-called “natural” flavorings (yes it is a chemical, too!) Eating organically is also extremely important, as the pesticides and genetically modified foods are just something that we need to rid our planet of as soon as possible.

Over a short time, I have easily learned what products are chemical-free at my local natural food market, which makes it is easier to stay on the path. Interestingly enough, I know I have eaten HFC because my body has an unnatural craving (which was all too common before we started eating this way) for more food shortly after I eat. It is kind of like Chinese food, but not as strong as food made with the chemical MSG. The truth is, I can eat more HFC foods without ever feeling full. I also have more cravings, so I eat more during the day.

I believe in a peaceful mind, so once in a while if we go out to eat, or the kids are offered a red dye lollipop, I joyously let it go and allow whatever chemicals we may be eating to be part of the fun of life. No matter how healthy you eat, creating a ton of stress when you choose not to, isn’t exactly going to help you in your goal for a peaceful life, right?

If you are finding some excitement about trying the Real Food Diet, the easiest way to stop eating chemicals, is to simply eat real whole foods. Cut back on your packaged foods, and your chemical intake will be cut. It is that simple. A fabulous book that I want to share with you is called
Nourishing Traditions written by Sally Fallon in 2003. This amazing recipe book is a great way to begin your path to authentic eating. It also is just a fascinating read on the history of food.

With the new commercials on the television about High Fructose Corn Syrup, claiming it is all natural, I have a feeling their lab-made sweetener is in big trouble. Something is not right and now they are spending huge amount of money to try and convince us otherwise. I encourage you to try it for yourself! Donate your cupboards of chemically made food and buy more whole, real food for one month and see if you, too, can feel the difference.


Rain Fordyce


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Copyright 2008 by Rain Fordyce