Sad, but true - we are set up to FAIL!
In our modern society, the system we're in causes us to be overweight and unhealthy. The way our BODIES were designed to work and the way our SOCIETY is now setup are complete OPPOSITES!
Think about it. High stress jobs where we sit all day, meals prepared by someone else and constant environmental toxins are just a FEW of the reasons the rate of heart disease, cancer, obesity, mental illness and most other disease has skyrocketed over the past few decades.
There are way more options out there today then when I first entered nutrition school. I had to go to small family-owned health food stores in Midtown Manhattan to buy kombucha and quinoa. So I'm giving America a bit of credit, but we are still VERY far from where we need to be before my colleagues and I consider us a well functioning, healthy country.
A few examples that come to mind:
1. Confusing packaging at grocery stores. A family is told by a doctor or suggested by a health coach to go gluten-free. They go to the store and buy the boxes that are gluten-free. Whenever one ingredient is taken out, more are put in to replace. And are we looking at what they are? More sugar or toxic oils? Is it really any better than the original? Maybe, let's just eat real food that is naturally gluten-free!
2. Kids food choices. Are we kidding ourselves here?! The same 5 foods are put on every restaurant menu. Unhealthy fats, refined carbs and sugar. Why is it cafeteria's feel that age 10 and under will only eat hot dogs or butter pasta? How about no difference in the food suggested for adults and kids? We are teaching them from a very young age that "this is what you will like to taste" and therefore setting them up for diet failure from the very beginning.
3. Sugar. In. Everything. Seriously! Not just desserts. My husband recently did the Whole30 and not only feels way better, but learned A LOT. (I won't say it's what I've been trying to tell him for years. I won't say it.) He got his list, went to the premiere grocery stores and came home ready to roll. But he found sugar in his organic bacon, all-natural sausage, vegan dressings, condiments, nut butters, and more! He was LOOKING for these "healthy foods" and failed with good intentions. What about those of us who don't pay attention?
As I sit here on my 37th birthday (yay!!), I have a strong mission in front of me that I will not tire of. I want to help mamas (all people really, but I believe that women run the health of the home) ditch mainstream and live in a world where it's ok to say no to candy at church. Reward our kids with something besides sugar. Teach them how to cook. Be ingredient detectives for our families and share our findings with them. We CANNOT be well in our mind, body and spirit if we do not treat our bodies with respect ALL THE TIME. Not just when we participate in a cleanse. Not just after the holidays. ALL. THE. TIME.
I'm here to help! I've made this my mission, so use me! What is the first thing you feel is just too hard to change in this day and age? Something you give into too often, even though you know it's not a good choice. Let's break this society set up system one family at a time. We deserve more.
Photography: J. Jose