Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Speaking English Kills

First I thought I would post a picture of our delicious real-food dinner from last night, I listed it in my menu plan for the week. We enjoyed this incredible Tilapia with Quinoa and Black Beans recipe. Now, I have to tell you that I know fish have a lot of health benefits to offer, but I am not a fish eater. The first time I ever cooked fish was on our honeymoon. We went deep sea fishing (I love fishing, and am not a big fan of eating fish. Does anyone else find that funny?), and managed to catch for ourselves some Kingfish and also a barely-legal sized seabass. This was before Real Food, for us, but still, I knew exactly how I wanted to cook it. At our little time share we had a small electric wok and I threw some butter in there, then garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and lime juice. It was incredible, but still...most fish tastes too "fishy" for me.

So when Jeff grabbed this bag of Tilapia I thought, "Well, I guess I could try it..." I did make changes. I replaced the olive oil with butter. We did not have any paprika so I just left it out. And the recipe did not call for garlic, so I added it (dh does not believe in garlic free meals, haha). Delicious! I loved it, and I actually cannot wait for the leftovers :)

Second, every time I read a real-food post or hear about the false "lipid hypothesis," my mind goes back to an email I received long ago...Six or seven years ago when I was in college I received an email that was an uncredited forward. It read:

In Japan, they eat very little fat, and have a low incidence of heart disease. In France, they have a diet high in fats, and have a low incidence of heart disease. In India, they drink very little red wine and have a low incidence of heart disease. In Italy, they drink a lot of red wine, and have a very low incidence of heart disease. In Germany, they drink heavy beers and eat all kinds of sausages, and have a low incidence of heart disease. So, eat and drink whatever you want. Apparently it is speaking English that kills you.

I was amused, of course, and half-jokingly used it to justify my love of junk food (even though that is ridiculous), but I barely thought about it again until getting into raw foods.

Now, everywhere I turn on the internet, I am reading about the "health" of America and how it is rapidly deteriorating, especially in comparison to other countries. Other countries do not have the rates of cancer that we have, the rates of heart disease that we have, or even the rates of Autism and ADHD that we have.

The difference, while it is obviously not speaking English, definitely exists. So what makes us different from so many other nations? We have processed foods in our supermarkets and in our pantries, and they simply do not eat like this in other countries. I know many people who have no idea how to cook, because they were served only instant foods at home, except for big traditional family holidays. We are so used to foods having chemical ingredients we cannot pronounce that we have simply stopped reading ingredient labels. We "don't have time" to eat healthy, so we come up with more ultra-processed, ultra-preserved "health foods" that are instant, and wonder why our health continues to decline.

So, now I read all of this and I think of that email, and I wonder why more people have not caught on to this idea. Seriously, if we claim saturated fats will be the death of us we ignore the fact that the French are much healthier (and much more slender) than we are. To go even farther, what about the Inuit people, who have lived largely on whale meat and blubber, and are ridiculously healthier than we are? If we claim that it is too many carbohydrates, then we're ignoring the fact that Italians are much healthier than we are. The only difference is that they are eating food. And we are eating junk that is based on food.

The other day I was trying to find jarred applesauce that did not have High Fructose Corn Syrup in it, and I found it nearly impossible! Strawberry Jam? Forget it. I found a very expensive fairly small bottle of organic strawberry jam that had no HFCS.

Since working to incorporate real foods into our diet (and get rid of the preservative-rich, overly processed junk - though we're not completely there yet) our health has improved so much. Specifically, since switching to Raw Milk in January, the bug that Jeff and I came down with this morning is the first time that I have gotten sick at all. On the whole, I have so much more energy and feel really nourished, as opposed to just feeling full.

So, if you're on the fence about real food, about the legitimacy of the idea that saturated fats are good for you, or about a switch to Real (Raw) Milk; ask yourself what you think the difference is between the Standard American Diet and the way the rest of the world eats.

But why do we eat this way? The biggest reason is time! We do not seem to think we have the time to eat right. But how much time are we saving if we spend so much of it unable to be with loved ones because we're sick, or unable to work because we get sick? That is the biggest comment I hear from other people if they hear about the way Jeff and I are eating. "How do you have time to do that?" It is not easy. We both work full time and are involved in our church, so it takes careful planning and a lot of time to eat the way we want to. But we both are at-risk for enough health conditions that it almost makes us feel as though there is no other way to do it. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol all run in my family. And I am realizing that they are ALL in a lot of people's family history. Not only that, but I used to get sick all the time. Big case of bronchitis every fall and every winter, little head colds ever couple of months or so. Jeff got sick practically twice a month! As I said before, now we don't
If we invested more time in our diets, we would be so much healthier, and then have more time to spend with our friends and loved ones. If we invest the time to eat real foods, we would not carry so much sickness around to other people in our work places or our churches. Just think about it.

This has been a part of Real Food Wednesday. Visit Kelly the Kitchen Cop for more great posts!


  1. I have enjoyed your posts. I am a fellow Georgian -- don't see too many of those around. I tried to comment a couple of weeks ago but since I don't have a blog and am commenting from an email I think I hit the wrong button and it erased it all :( Hopefully, this one will go through. Thanks for your insights and recipes!!
    elaine (in GA)

  2. Aw, thanks Elaine! I'm glad this one made it through. Yeah, I haven't seen too many fellow Georgian's around, either! Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. Thanks for joining in on Real Food Wednesday, I just stumbled you. :)