“Their bodies are built and made to digest real food. Fake food can cause the same thing in animals as humans, like obesity, diabetes and heart problems.” Jordan Reid, aspiring crocodile hunter
This quote came up in a conversation with Jordan and it inspired us to revisit each of our Portion Size Me goals and share how we came up with them, why they are important to us, and how we are incorporating them into our lives.
Goal 1: Eat as many real foods as possible, and from a local food source if possible.
When Marshall presented the concept of Portion Size Me, our family was pretty much eating out of a box every day, several times a day. Hot Pockets, Little Caesar’s pizza, Hamburger Helper, Ramen noodles, Pizza Rolls, etc. Eating real foods was an obvious first goal because it really represented how disconnected we were from food and its nutritional value.
But what does “real” mean? We decided that it meant from a once-living source. We want to understand food, as author Michael Pollan puts it, as a product of nature instead of a product of industry.
We felt like food should be enjoyed, savored, nurtured, respected, and appreciated versus counted, weighed, restricted, and governed.
How to do it reasonably
It was important for us to create goals that were achievable for our lifetime and not just a quick fix that likely would have unhealthy results. With that in mind, we decided to add to the first goal to try to purchase from local farms if and when possible.
Challenges: Our local farmers market is pitiful at best, although the few farmers that do attend really try to put their best foot forward for the minuscule attendance from locals they receive. We had to find other ways to get our hands on “real” food.
Solution: Our local Piggly Wiggly grocery store also supports local farmers and marks all their fruit and produce as such. We also live in a semi-agricultural area with lots of local farms that sell directly to consumers. So, as part of the “eat real foods” goal, we shop in these places as much as we can.
This solution works because your product is fresher. It likely has not been forcibly ripened and has not traveled that far, which means its nutritional value hasn’t declined. You’re also supporting your local economy, which is beneficial for everyone.
Even better: When you buy straight from a farm, you have the chance to speak with the person who planted and cultivated that crop. You can ask questions that allow you to feel more connected to that food, which means you’re more likely to actually cook and eat it (versus letting it rot in the fridge or on the counter).
Take a look at our main Portion Size Me goals. We’ll be back with more background story about why we chose each one and what they mean to us. In the meantime, does the “eat real foods” goal resonate with you? Do you find this to be a challenge? Share your story in the comments!