Our Food Philosophy
As we get to know each other better, we wanted to explain to you our philosophy on food, so you can understand the lens in which we will present and speak to information that we come across.
The ‘science’ of nutrition and world of healthy eating is extremely progressive, and more often than not, confusing, contradictory and obtuse. For every study claiming a plant-based diet is the healthiest you can eat, there is a study saying Vegetarians and Vegans have a higher risk for cancer and heart disease.
This is true of almost every hot button food topic:
[ coffee, dairy, complex carbs, high fat, low fat, paleo, keto, fruit, eggs, etc. etc. literally etc. ]
So how do you dig through all of this to know what to implement in your own life? We know that you are as overwhelmed as we are! We’ve been completely enamored in the world of food for health for over 10 years and the following are the only ‘rules’ that we’ve found to be sound and consistent:
The body/mind/spirit connection is so strong that if the patterns of your daily life are unhealthy, your insides are ultimately going to suffer.
1. ‘Primary Food’ could be the most important aspect of overall health. As a graduate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a point that they drive home from the first day of class is that your spiritual practice, a fulfilling career, and physical activity is more crucial to your health than anything you do or don’t put on your plate. Our spin on that is that your spiritual life, relationships, and stress levels must be healthy for your body to be physically healthy (Healthy in Body, Strong in Spirit… s/o to our Mama Clean Juice. There is no arguing this. The body/mind/spirit connection is so strong that if the patterns of your daily life are unhealthy, your insides are ultimately going to suffer.
2. We don’t label ourselves. We believe in eating whole foods that have a high nutrient density and have (pretty-much) widely accepted benefits. This includes veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, healthy oils, organic meats, certain grains, organic coffees and teas, and certain supplements.
3. We very much believe in moderation, BUT are very aware that moderation means moderation. The only problem with accepting moderation as a truth for you is that you have to be very disciplined and understand what that means.
- Drinking in moderation means having a glass of wine on 2, maybe 3 nights per week. It does not mean having 2 glasses every night and then a bottle on a Saturday night.
- Moderation means having dessert when you go out to a celebratory dinner, not ice cream twice a week. (We use 1-2oz of high percentage cacao dark chocolate after dinner if we need to cure that sweet tooth!
- It means eating a high-quality goat cheese or small piece of gruyere if you want some dairy, not 3 slices of pizza. An easy way for us to live in moderation is to eat very clean on weekdays and allowing ourselves some (small) cheats on the weekend if needed.
Some things you just know in your gut to be true, and the importance of eating organic - especially when it comes to fruit, veggies, dairy, & meat, is one of those for us.
4. Although still contested (and we expect will be for awhile, or even forever because of the mutually beneficial relationship between large food companies and the government), we are passionate about the importance of organic. We believe that many of the pesticides, feeds, and farming practices that go into conventional food have the potential to be extremely dangerous, and unfortunately, the corrupt food industry will fight it tooth and nail until it’s too late and we continue to see a multitude of health problems caused by what we don’t understand about the toxins. One of the most memorable conversations I ever had was with a doctor talking about food and health. He said “My ‘science-self’ has to tell you that there isn’t enough scientific evidence to tell you there is a benefit to eating organic and staying away from GMO’s. But my ‘human-self’ says GMO’s and non-organic food scare the sh*t out of me, and I’d tell anyone I love to stay away”. Some things you just know in your gut to be true, and the importance of eating organic - especially when it comes to fruit, veggies, dairy, & meat, is one of those for us.
5. Outside of eating organic, the only other ‘rule’ that we accept as truth is that added, processed sugars should be avoided at all costs. Problem with that is that they are in literally e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. in a SAD (Standard American Diet). I think we all know to look out for things like high fructose corn syrup on labels, but we are even talking about the sugar that people have hidden under ‘sexier’ names like Agave Nectar and Raw Cane Sugar. For the large majority, we eat sugars only from fruit (we love fruit) and the occasional maple syrup or honey because of the health benefits to each.
6. Eat foods made from a plant, not in a plant. This is our way of avoiding processed foods and trying to eat mostly from the perimeter of the grocery store. Most processed foods are stripped of any essential nutrients, which goes against our ‘nutritarian’ foundation. In addition to having little to no nutritional value, many of these processed foods are full of mostly soy, corn, sugar, and flours. These are all big suspects on the inflammatory scale (inflammation=bad), so we try to avoid these, even if organic.
7. Food is a fluid field and susceptible to change - often. You have to be willing to look at all information given and decide what YOU believe. But don’t put your head in the sand either. There may be a way of living or a certain product that you believed to be SUPER healthy, but information could come out combating this, and you need to at least be aware.
For example, we are big fans of (no sugar added) Kombucha. Big Fans. But we are aware of the fact that there is some concern around the high levels of Fluoride that may be in Kombucha. So, if we started to experience signs that our bodies were under attack (headaches, acne, fatigue, etc.), Kombucha would be one of the items that we’d avoid to see if it was the culprit.
8. Lastly, bio-individuality is everything. We are all made so beautifully different by God and because of that food will affect us all differently. Some people thrive off of being Paleo, some off Keto, some off Vegan, some off Intermittent Fasting, some of 5 small meals, some gluten-free, some dairy free, some high complex carb.... The list goes on and on. With all respect, if someone tells you “Vegan is the healthiest way to eat!’’ or “Paleo is how we are all designed to eat!”, or “Keto is proven to be the best thing for your body!” or “You have to eat Gluten/Dairy Free!”, they are grossly misspeaking. What they mean to say is, “I’ve found this way of eating that really works for me and makes me feel great!”. And it might work for you too. But it might not. And the most important thing you can do for your body is to find what works for you and explore that.
For example, I’ve found that I respond great (high energy, my weight is maintained, fewer inflammation patterns, clear skin) when I intermittent fast and include healthy grains from sources like Ezekiel Bread in my diet at my first meal. I eat 1-2 servings of fruit daily and as many vegetables as I can. I eat organic meats at most once/day, and a small serving of organic dairy, in moderation, if I am craving it. When I stick to this, I feel full, energized, ‘light,’ unrestricted, and happy. To me, that equals health.
BUT bio-individuality also means that what works for me today might not always work for me, and I have to be in touch with myself enough to recognize when my body is calling for a change. Some people who saw amazing personal health results on a Vegan diet may find after years as a Vegan, their body is calling for small amounts of healthy animal proteins.
The healthiest thing you can do is listen to your body and give it what it needs. We can’t stress the importance of this enough!