Recently, thanks to those people around me and strangers I don’t even know, I have had a revelation.
When it comes to diet and making the decision what we put in our mouths, we are ultimately in control. That’s not the revelation!
The revelation comes in with the way we make our food decisions. We don’t decide on the meal we plan to eat with our head and heart very often. More often than not, we make the decision with our eyes and our mouth.
This boils down to making the decision based on cravings, what sounds good or what might look appealing. Nothing about making a decision based on what our eyes and mouth tell us we are craving is good for our bodies; unless you’ve already trained your body to crave fruits, vegetables and other healthy plant foods.
Why We Make Food Decisions with our Eyes & Mouth
It’s really rather simple; we have far too many choices.
Could you imagine if you or someone you know was transported to a time in history where you actually had to hunt and gather?
Today, many Americans hunt without getting out of their car as they order from an outdoor menu and get instructed to pull around and pay at the first window.
Gathering can equate to grocery shopping and some people barely step inside a grocery store. Instead, they count on the likes of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Arby’s and a host of other windows serving food-like, cancer-causing substances as they make the slow crawl to death.
Throughout history, the fattest people have always been the ones with the most choices. It’s never the poor that make their food choices based on what they actually have or can afford. It’s the royalty and the rich that can have anything they want.
When we have too many choices in front of us (most Americans do and many from other countries, too), we choose with the picture in our eyes and the watering of our mouths. We certainly don’t choose with the compassion in our heart or by filtering the food decision through our brain and basing it on what will fuel our bodies the best.
How to Make the Change to Deciding with your Head & Heart
Ignorance is bliss and living in a bubble where you don’t really know how your food gets to your plate is ignorant. It’s the responsibility of EVERY human to understand what they are eating, where it came from, how it got to the store or restaurant and how it was prepared before it was served to us.
The absolute best way to learn where your food comes from is to start researching. Start looking into who produced it and what the interwebs has to say about those companies. Trust me, if you thoroughly research the food you eat, it will start to drive your decisions and you will start to change.
Any human with even a little bit of compassion in their heart cannot research where meat comes from without deciding something is completely broken in our food system today.
It’s not just meat, however.
It’s important to understand where dairy comes from, how it’s processes and the torture the animal goes through to produce the milk that goes into all dairy products.
You should know where your vegetables come from.
You should know where your fruit comes from.
You should know how anything you get in a box or package was created and where they ingredients came from.
You should know where fast food restaurants get their ingredients.
You should know how nutritious each item in your regular daily diet is and whether it has been produced with chemicals or it’s clean to eat.
The list can go on for a mile as there’s so much to understand about food and where it comes from. No longer do we live in the days where you know exactly where it came from because you pulled it from the tree or you shot it with your bow and arrow.
Start Cooking your Own Meals
Along with researching the food you’re eating, you should start cooking your own meals. When we learn to prepare our own food, we start to gain a connection to it. This connection may not be as strong as actually killing an animal and butchering it, such as the Indians did, but it’s something.
I guarantee the teenager at McDonald’s that’s stacking your burger isn’t making it with love. When you prepare your own food, you’ll learn to make it with love. You’ll gain a connection to the food because you’re the one preparing it. Plus, you’ll also gain a skill that will come in handy as you learn where certain goods come from and you start making massive changes to the way you eat.
Don’t let cooking overwhelm you, however. The research is enough to overwhelm anybody and cooking doesn’t have to be so difficult. Start with simple recipes. For beginners, if the recipe has more than 5 to 7 ingredients (not counting spices, salt and pepper) start with something else.
Keep it as simple as possible until you get the hang of a few recipes. Once you have a few down and you don’t really need to look at the recipe to make those meals, move on to a few of the more difficult options.
How to Research & Learn about Food
Before you start researching food, where it comes from, how nutritious it is and all the other wonderful things to understand, it’s important to know, this is a lifetime class. You won’t just advance through the 101 to the 201 and then to the 301 and 401. Learning about food is an ever-evolving thing and it never stops. It doesn’t have to be something you do day in and day out forever, however.
Once you get the basis down and you truly understand where the main things come from and how they are created, you won’t need to put in as many hours or as much time. You’ll be able to read a book here and there or watch the occasional documentary.
It all starts by choosing your sources and this is where you must be careful. Many studies and sources online are funded by the Dairy Industry, the Meat Industry, Processed food companies and Big Pharma. Use your own common sense and don’t seek just sources agreeing with the way you eat. Seek the truth and follow the money.
Just as we are overwhelmed by choices, we are overwhelmed by how much we must understand to truly make food decisions with our head and heart today.
However, there’s a solution and it comes in the way of food documentaries and books. Below, I am going to list the documentaries and the books that have truly changed my life, along with a few great choices for recipes and shopping tips.
My Favorite Food Documentaries
I won’t tell you that every piece of information in every documentary is good. Use your own judgement, but understand, those out there trying to debunk any of these documentaries, and many others, often cite false studies and statistics provided by the government agencies bought and paid for by the meat industry, dairy industry, processed food companies and big pharma. Always follow the money and don’t let a false study funded by these industries rationalize your bad food decisions.
My Favorite Food Books
My Favorite Recipe Books
You don’t need to read or buy every single book on this list, at least not to get started. Choose one of the books and one or two of the recipe books. I recommend starting with the How Not to Die book and getting the Vegan Cookbook for Beginners and Wildly Affordable Organic. Once you finish the How Not to Die book, get the How Not to Die Cookbook.
The How Not to Die book is a bit long, but well worth it and a pretty easy read. I like the Vegan Cookbook for Beginners because the recipes are simple. The Wildly Affordable Organic book has tons of great recipes, but will also help you see how you can shop for good, healthy foods without breaking the bank. If you do decide to go vegan, just know not every recipe in this book is vegan. Most can be modified to be vegan, however.
It’s also best to watch one documentary and give yourself a few days to digest the information. Some are even worth watching multiple times. You can also find more information on the YouTube channels for the authors of the books I have recommended and the channels for the documentaries.
Do you make your eating decisions with your Head & Heart or Eyes & Mouth? Explain why in the comments below.