Some of us here at Simple Kneads were raised on a plant-based, wholefoods diet, and we have raised our families the same way. But I must admit, I often wondered what it would be like to live on the “wild side.” When I was little, I dreamed about having a bowl of Captain Crunch for breakfast instead of homemade granola and cooking up a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese or popping a pizza in the oven for dinner. So, I tried it one day! My teens looked at each other in shock (although secretly excited) when I put a few pizzas into the grocery cart. They must have thought I lost my mind. I thought I lost my mind!
The dinner was exciting for everyone! I had little to do, it was done quickly, and who doesn’t get excited about pizza? But unfortunately, we were left unsatisfied and feeling icky, and very soon the kids were hungry again.
After a nutritious, plant-based meal, my children can go 4-5 hours without feeling hungry, and with no strange side effects like gas, fatigue, bloating, headaches, burping, constipation, etc. And although they are more resilient than us older folks, I think we were all looking forward to the next home cooked meal. However, the whole experience got me thinking about how the true price of cheap, processed foods, is really hidden.
We all know that bad food equals bad health. Fast food and canned, prepackaged, processed foods, are filled with all sorts of fats, sugars, preservatives, fillers, and many sketchy ingredients that no-one can even pronounce. High blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and many other illnesses, are all mainly the results of a poor diet. Then there are the medical bills and prescription drugs that follow. In the long run, eating “cheap,” fast food is actually more expensive.
A report from The Watch Paper called: Overfed and Underfed: The Global Epidemic of Malnutrition documented the real costs of obesity related to poor diet…
- Obese people account for the disproportionate share of health-related absences from work.
- Obesity accounts for 7 percent of lost productivity due to sick leave and disability.
- 7 percent of all of North Carolina’s healthcare expenditures are related to obesity.
- Obese people visit their physicians 40 percent more than normal weight people.
- Obese people are 2.5 times more likely to require drugs prescribed for cardiovascular and circulation disorders.
- Liposuction is the number 1 form of cosmetic surgery in the US, with 400,000 operations a year!
- Over 100,000 people a year have gastric bypass surgery.
Remember, the above is just focusing on obesity, it does not include the other effects of poor diet like heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and a myriad of others. And no one can argue that poor health significantly lowers your ability to enjoy life on a day-to-day basis! In the end, cheap food has a high price to pay.
On the other hand, eating nutritious, whole food helps prevent disease and allows you to enjoy life a lot more! In addition, once you get the hang of it, you will find that wholesome food can actually be less expensive overall! And don’t feel like you have to do organic at first. Just take it one step at a time. Here’s a few tips to get started on your journey to living healthier and happier…
- Keep yourself inspired on your new journey! We live in the age of technology, so do your research, there are hundreds of amazing plant-based recipes out there. Youtube and Instagram are great resources for finding inspiring, plant-based lifestyles (a great place to start is with our IG page: @simplekneads_gf). Start reading books and testimonies from those who have gone down the same path you are now on and be sure to surround yourself with people that are open to learning new ways and will support you on your journey. Keep yourself inspired at all costs, it will help to keep you motivated and consistent!
- Learn from those who know! The healthiest cultures in the world eat little meat and a large variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. So, gradually adding more and more veggies and leafy greens to your meals will be tremendous as you switch over to a healthier lifestyle. And be sure to read about the blue zones on our blog! These are areas in the world where some of the oldest people live! (place our blog link here that is connected with the article “Transform Your Health and Live Longer.”)
- Don’t be afraid to try new things! Search these cultural foods: Mediterranean (most middle eastern foods accompany their main dish with an assortment of fresh vegetables), Asian, and East Indian with its focus on vegetarianism. Ethiopian food is not only delicious, but super easy to find plant-based options. Latin American restaurants also accommodate easily to vegans and vegetarians.
If trying a new food is too challenging, just start with a small portion or with something that is familiar, like Mexican. Or make it fun, dress up and go out to eat with friends that are more adventuresome than you! Whatever you do, do your best to conquer your fear. Adding variety to your diet will be important in giving your body more nutrition so it can function optimally.
We hope these simple tips will help you get a good start on your new journey today. Oh! And just FYI – Simple Kneads breads make great little pizzas that your whole family will enjoy, and your kids will love creating their own piece! Just make like you would English muffin pizzas and pop them in the oven. Fast and easy!
Here’s to good health, long life & happiness!
Sandy K Workman
SK Director of Brand Development