Meal prep is one of the easiest ways to manage the type and the quality of food you eat. Whether you're vegan, vegitarian, pescatarian or a meat eater buying and making your own food is better for you.
But the real story appears to be in reading the labels. Additives are everywhere and sometimes whats on the label doesn't add up to what's in the package (like, how can all natural peanut butter with peanuts only be soooo runny yet when I make my own it's nice and thick?).
A good number of restaurants use many many pre-made "bases" mixed with gunk to quickly add water so as to quickly heat and stir and serve. Many big name stores, selling "all naturals" have shelves and shelves of stuff with fillers and what I call "food stretchers." Sugar, salt, bleached flours and powdered added starches of all kinds, flavoring, color, a number of oils, things called "gum," and even "enriched" can suggest that the item is not real, not honest - not natural.
Legal? Sure. And so is smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Legal is not healthy. And legally healthy is possibly harmful.
It's okay to read labels, to return filler and small print company junk - back to the shelf. To make it easy though ... fruits and veggies, nuts and honey, plus superfoods - are a more sure bet. Almonds, pistachios, avocados, local honey (the pollen locally helps with allergies!), arugula, mangos, salmon - these and others are packed with multi-powers!
Generally a label that lists ingredients you do not understand, can be ignored (not always as google assistant or siri might know) and a label with more than only a few ingredients can be as well. When you find a label with sugar (and its various forms) added, with salt (and its various forms) added and then starch added (and its various forms) this food (even if organic) is not ideal and may be more filler than food! Look around and you'll probably find a similar item without these three "yummies and bad for you fillers" - a trio of craving troubles to the body and the brain!
Meal prep with real food - raw is better (usually) - can be a ritual and a spiritual connection if you will to the earths goodness and your own body's goodness. Taking the time to combine your own stuff directs your tastebuds and your body's demands for certain things that it "knows it needs." Going with the seasonal shifts of the raw stuff makes the meal prep routine - well - anything but.
Raw is NOT always better? The word always is the root of nearly all problems ... so no, raw is not always better. For example, raw asparagus is better for the body than cooked; cooked carrots are better than raw; tomatoes are a mix of both - they produce more lycene cooked and more other goodies raw (throwing in some raw tomatoes with the cooked ones can be a trick here) .... so do your homework on your food.
If waste is not okay (anther reason us humans love that dry crunchy stuff in the bag -is it doesn't spoil so eaily) the aging items can direct what is eaten today ... making the work of it all a bit more like a challenge! If anything gets a bit past appealing - freezing can be an idea for smoothies (it's better than the trash and it still has value). Frozen spinach, frozen berries .... make a nice addition to a smoothie. Frozen bananas - peeled beforehand - is almost as delicious as ice cream ... and blended with frozen strawberries even has the texture of a sorbet! "Waste not want not" is accomplished in creative ways when eating natural, raw, real food!
To be sure, even the fresh stuff may have been raised with sugar water and hormones - maybe - but the organic market may be the next closest thing to "growing your own." The community garden, the corner fresh market, the neighbor with over flowing everything in the yard are places to consider.
Did you know that a "good body" (healthy, operating at its normal maximum potential) is created and maintained by 80% nutrition and only 20% exercise? Increase time and energy on your diet and if you're able to do so give yourself about 30 minutes a day of exercise and life is good! Even 7 seconds of movement - nearly any movement by the way - improves longevity, mobility, heart and lung strength. Exercising more than 30 minutes a day moves to a more "extreme" level and can fun based on interests, hobbies, goals. Over exertion causes stres in the body ... so recovery time is elongated by the elongated exercise routines. Parts wear out - so taking care of them matters too.
A doctor, a nutritionist and a personal trainer can help structure something that fits your age, body type, health conditions, gender and skill set to accomplish what makes your body tick at its normative best. One thing for sure though, you don't hear qualified experts say "eat your potatoe chips and get as many additives a day in your system."
Brain food is a thing too. There are natural foods (I said FOODS ) that improve mood, decrease anxiety, lower inflammation, pump up the immune system, eat away fat, decrease carcingenic acids in the belly ... it is a thing and it is probably laying right there in the fruit and veggie aisle!
Cheat days? ABSOLUTELY! One day a week or one small treat a day can be summed up this way: sometimes what is NOT good for the body is great for the soul!
In a ratio of health - meal prepping one day a week, with amazing ingredients ensures you are way ahead of the eating to sick curve!
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