Answers from an email asking “How should we eat?” from our list “10 Great Gardening Tips“.
“I have had the same conversations with myself and my friends and family about what healthy eating really means. One week eggs are bad for you, the next week they are the perfect simple food. Same thing with coffee, meat, etc. There are a few simple things I have decided I can rely on. One, veggies are our bodies housekeepers. Their minerals and fiber move through and clean out all of the questionable things we take in while moving through and breathing in a crazy toxic world. Two, its hard to make healthy eating sustainable, so I’m not for completely restricting anything that I have always enjoyed. Rather, I favor approaching those more questionable choices as an occasional treat and making veggies and fruits the biggest part of my plate at every meal. And finally, I love the motto “everything in moderation, including moderation.” Life is short, and sometimes you just gotta get crazy. The one thing that helps the most with all of this is having some of the most healthy and delicious food I have ever tasted growing right in my own backyard. I simply cant wait for the season to begin!” – Cindy
“The more veggies, the better! Especially home grown!” – Susan
“There is no ‘right’ answer. I am 58 years old, and have been a vegetarian and diabetic since 16 years old. Why? My gut has a harder time digesting meat, and in the 1960’s, my MD told my mother, “most of the world does not eat meat the way we do, her diet will be fine.” Likewise, I am a diabetic, hence, few sugars and carbs. Diet is individual. It is whatever works for that individual to be healthy.”
“I focus on regulating my blood sugar to maintain constant energy through the day.
Essentially, hypoglycemia occurs when we start the day eating something sweet with a good bit of sugar. This raises our blood sugar and makes us feel great thereafter. However, it sets the blood sugar levels high so that is then the standard for the day. As we start our day and begin to get physically active the sugar is consumed quickly. Thus, sugar levels drop and go below normal and we feel tired and hungry. However, since we spiked the BS so much to start the day we feel we need to get back to that place and we need a lot more sugar. The problems is the cycle of very high to very low BS. When the day is started with beans or meat and plenty of fiber and carbs from veggies we begin the day with stable blood sugar and, thus, we are more stable emotionally and physically. We are what we eat!
I have done a couple experiments with my body and it is fascinating. Fortunately for us we are super active so it does not harm us as much as others, but it still effects our lives and performance. However, this does not mean we should never eat pancakes for breakfast again just make sure there is plenty of protein and fiber to go along with it. Whole foods and fiber are crucial because paired with the sugar it helps prevent a spike in BS because it is attached. An example would be eating an apple vs drinking a cup of apple juice.” – Jae
“I believe in loving food. I love to cook good food, eat good food, and share good food with friends and family. I think that food is the heart of our community and that we should enjoy it. When I approach food in this way, I naturally go for food that I can feel good about eating and I don’t have to overthink it – fresh from my garden, organic whenever possible, local, and above all else, food that tastes good. And then I share it as much as possible.” – Dan
“I have been eating a plant-based diet for over 20 years. I believe it has helped me stay healthier (no more of those 3-week colds), and I don’t get sick while abroad in third world countries where other friends have, usually due to food poisoning. More important than my individual health, though, is the planet’s health. The carbon footprint is much lower for an animal free diet, something future generations will thank us for. Furthermore, the cruelty that is inflicted on animals that the majority of Americans eat is tragic. Finally, much less of our precious fresh water is needed to feed someone on a plant based diet. I encourage everyone to try it. You can do it starting once a week and save the planet for your children’s children and spare a few animals.”
“I stay away from any processed foods as well as beef, pork, veal, lamb. Why do I do this…well basically because of the way the animals are treated. I eat all greens, vegetables and grains, quinoa, rice and lentils. I also eat eggs/cheese and small amounts of chicken. I love nuts and chocolate!”
“Great email on what we should be eating! In my humble opinion, after dabbling in diets from vegan to paleo, I now believe that the number one factor is to stay far away from sugar and processed foods. Both of these diets in their pure form agree that processed junk needs to go. I personally believe that a diet made up of high quality grass-fed meat, dairy and a lot of organic produce is what is best for us.” – Heather
“Thank you for this article and your own questioning. I feel like I’m in the same boat as you. I’ve been searching for the right answer and all I get are opposites. So, I’ve gone to eating the freshest, most organic veggies, good oils, some grains and organic friendly raised meats. I eat “good” about 75% of the time and the other times just don’t care and eat whatever. Again, thanks for the article. I’m feeling more ‘normal’.” – Connie
“I believe in “everything in moderation”! Organic is best along with nutrient dense foods. Stay away from processed foods and unnaturally occurring sugars. I’ve never been a big “meat” consumer but when I do I make sure it’s hormone/antibiotic free/free range. Food is medicine- you are what you eat!” -Weeza
“Less red meat, grass-fed beef in our freezer, more fish. More veggies in everything. I add fresh veggies to everything I can, and have learned to love many veggies just blanched (green beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts) and will just snack on them right out of fridge. Fruit on the table with dinner as often as possible. Seasonal eating out of my garden, but very little preserving. Butter, no margarine. And sugar. Sadly, I am one of those folks who can’t seem to stay away from sweets.”
“Everything in moderation.” – Kiersten
“VEGAN! healthy for the planet, the animals, and YOU!!!” – Alicia
“Here are the maxims that make the most sense to me:• Moderation and variety are probably the most important rules to follow (in anything) including diet. Anyone theory that counsels extremes is gonna flame out and die in pretty short order.• “Old Wives” knew what they were up to. Paul Pitchford’s book Healing with Whole Foods and Nourishing Traditions are my favorite resources: http://www.amazon.com/gp/
product/0967089735/ref=pd_lpo_ sbs_dp_ss_3?pf_rd_p= 1944687662&pf_rd_s=lpo-top- stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i= 1603585613&pf_rd_m= ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r= 09CCEJ05R3683EBJAJKW.• I think the source of the food has more to do with its healing or hurting potential. You can’t compare a vegan diet of non-organics/non-local foods to a farmer who eats lots of grassfed beef and eggs from his own farm…• I truly believe that “made with love” matters, and there’s that whole water molecule study to prove it, but really I just go with my own experience of what feels good to eat.”– Emily
“My approach to food is also Paleo. I portion control my healthy protiens, so unlike some Paleo folk, I don’t OD on meats. A little over half of my plate is leafy greens and other veggies, I include extra veggies in fermented form as well. Add in some healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil… My M.S. is under control and feeling as healthy as I did in my twenties before I was diagnosed. (I don’t consume gluten at all, grains like quinoa on rare occassion after an 8 hour soak.)
With the exception of processed foods, I believe if it doesn’t hurt you or make you feel crappy (grains, dairy,etc) eat it, enjoy life through good food!”