Why I don’t eat out often…aka one secret to the obesity epidemic

Yes, folks, it is true. I do go out to a restaurant every once in a while.  Everyone needs a break from the kitchen, right? I, too, get lulled into the somewhat dreamy idea of someone else preparing the meal and being served instead of serving. I have noticed, though, that every time I eat out (or we order in–again very seldom),  I AM HUNGRY two hours later. HUNGRY HUNGRY HUNGRY. Gotta eat. I am foraging through my very own refrigerator for some nutrient-dense REAL food.  “Why?” one might ask. Because most restaurant food is not nutrient-dense*. Most is processed or otherwise “dead” food that is cooked and served up…and we pay them for it. It is supposed to be a treat: food filled with preservatives, SALT, (and not even good salt at that), MSG, and other things I would never have in my pantry.

I would submit to you, folks, that this is part of the obesity epidemic we have going on in our country. Eat out, eat out, eat out, eat out. Prepared foods. Frozen foods. Fast foods. Microwaved foods. And then WE ARE HUNGRY ALL THE TIME. So we eat. So we eat more. And what do we eat? What they (the USDA food pyramid) tell us to eat…low fat, no fat, high carb…chips and crackers and rice cakes and veggie puffs. And because all of these are nutrient-poor and do not satisfy our body’s need for nutrients, WE EAT MORE. Of the same. And we are still not satisfied. So empty calories pile up and we are getting fatter and we don’t understand why and worse, WE ARE STILL HUNGRY.  And the newest USDA food pyramid is more of the same…recommending more and more foods that will not satisfy. And our children are getting fatter. Obese. Diabetic. And no one sees the connection. This really is nuts folks.

So what to do?…eat more REAL food. Feed your children more REAL food. Eat more REAL food and you will eat less of it because your body will get what it needs. What is REAL food? Nutrient-dense food. Fresh from the farm or your garden food, live food, food that has no labels…non-GMO food, fermented and cultured food…food free from pesticides and herbicides and fertilizers…healthy fats, nutrient-rich eggs from pastured chickens…meat from grass-fed animals, if you eat meat.

I figure if we start teaching kids early about REAL food, they may have a fighting chance to have a healthy life. Rachel Cross and I will be “serving up tools for a lifetime of healthy eating” to kids 9-12 in our It’s All About REAL Food: Cooking, Art & Music in Celebration of Healthy Eating summer camp in Takoma Park, MD next week, August 2-6.

Here’s wishing you more REAL food in your life…more satisfaction…more nutrient-density…and less hunger!

(*Disclaimer: I am not talking about those restaurants that source fresh, local, sustainably raised food (like those that use Polyface Meat) and serve REAL butter.)

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