“Want to be healthy? Cook. The food industry has done a great job of convincing eaters that corporations can cook better than we can. The problem is, it’s not true.” –Michael Pollan
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” –Jim Rohn
We’ve probably, all of us, have heard the old maxim, “You are what you eat.” However, many of us never stop to think that statement through to its often disturbing conclusion. If we really are the by-product, so to speak, of what we consume every day, many of us are in trouble.
Eating for Well-Being – Or for Necessity
The harsh truth, especially in the United States as well as many other first-world, industrialized nations, is that food is often relatively cheap and easy to come by. Almost no one in our country grows their own food or even a significant portion of it. Everything comes from a store or some restaurant or fast-food outlet.
Unfortunately, even in the best of times, that food is not always the most nutritious. The results of a study published in in The Journal of Nutrition noted,
“At fast-food restaurants, 70 percent of the meals Americans consumed were of poor dietary quality in 2015-16, down from 75 percent in 2003-04. At full-service restaurants, about 50 percent were of poor nutritional quality, an amount that remained stable over the study period. The remainder were of intermediate nutritional quality.
Notably, the authors found that less than 0.1 percent – almost none – of all the restaurant meals consumed over the study period were of ideal quality.”
Our minds determine what, when and how much we eat, and our bodies are simply captive to and subject to the whims of our appetites. And, as we know, for many Americans it is unhealthy.
One of the unintended consequences of the “stay-at-home” orders issued by the Governor of California and many of our local agencies, is the limited access to well-prepared food. Almost all of our favorite eateries are either closed or reduced to take-out food choices. And, because so many health-conscious people tend to avoid fast-food chains, this leaves eating at home as our primary food consumption option.
And, as much as we might like to think that we’re all “foodies” to some extent, the fact is that many people don’t cook much or at all. Which means that unless you get all your food delivered or by picking it up at your local restaurants – a good thing to do, by the way – you are probably relying on pre-packaged, processed foods that are easy to prepare.
In fact, according to a March 2020 article at Today.com,
“By the middle of this month, popcorn sales rose almost 48%, pretzel sales were up 47% and potato chip sales rose 30% compared to the same period last year, Bloomberg reported. There’s also surging demand for cookies, crackers, soup, macaroni and cheese, breakfast food, potatoes, and canned, dried and fresh meat.”
The problem is that so much of this type of food is either lacking in sufficient nutritional value, or this is offset by an abundance of chemicals, additives, excessive amounts of salt, sugar and fats. And, because of the “shut down”, more Americans are eating more of it, more often, and suffering as a result.
You Can Cook!
Fortunately, despite periodic shortages of certain food items now and again, almost all of our markets and grocery stores are still open, stocked and functioning. This is good news since it means that we can choose raw food ingredients over pre-packaged foods and snacks, and endeavor to cook more often.
Cooking at home using fresh food ingredients and simple recipes can drastically change both the way you eat and the way you feel. Almost anyone can quickly learn the basics of cooking at home and you do not need to have a “fully equipped kitchen” or a pantry full of ingredients.
According to an article at Style Blueprint magazine,
“Karen Broadwater, President of Birmingham-founded Iron Tribe Fitness, says eating healthy while under quarantine isn’t only possible, but it’s also a way to improve your overall health and wellness while the world ‘hits pause’ for a little while.
‘The key is to make it as simple and easy as possible,’ Karen says. ‘Pick a lean protein, a healthy carbohydrate like brown rice or sweet potatoes, and tons of green, leafy vegetables.’”
A recent surge in popularity of multi-cookers – electronically controlled, combined pressure cookers and slow cookers – has also led to a new interest in home-cooked meals. This is largely due to the general ease of preparation, drastically reduced cooking time, and almost “hands-off” nature of these machines, not to mention their versatility.
This is good news since eating home-cooked meals tend to be significantly healthier.
Recently, a study conducted by the University of Washington School of Public Health found that home-cooked dinners were associated with a “greater dietary compliance,” meaning the overall weekly diet met more of the federal guidelines for a healthy diet.
Another benefit is that home-cooked meals and groceries composed mostly of fresh foods tend to be less expensive than eating out. A blog post at Cheapism.com noted that,
“Some restaurants offer family meal options at a discount. Based on those deals, the average cost for a four-person meal is $46.90. Adding a 15 to 20 percent tip brings the total up to $56 and change. The cost to make four full meals at home (at $6.41 per meal) is still less than half the cost of eating out: $25.64, or $32.04 when factoring in food waste ($8.01 per meal).”
Ultimately, the larger concern for everyone finding themselves “stuck at home” during the current health crisis is their own nutritional health and well-being. Eating healthy and eating properly can be challenging, but both will contribute significantly to overall health and wellness, which goes a long way to maintaining a fit and pain-free body.
Treating Your Pain Issues
Your initial consultation and assessment at Pain and Performance Solutions will allow us to learn all we can about your present pain and condition, along with any history of discomfort, and your current level of activity.
This is critical since treating and relieving your pain only starts once we understand where and how your pain started.
A full examination will help us determine which form of treatment is best suited to get you on your road to recovery. Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body healthy and working properly is the only way to achieve total recovery.
Our goal is to work through the sequence of pain and dysfunction in order to get your body healthy and working properly and to achieve total recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have.
You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.