We have all heard of the “Food Pyramid” but, how much do you know about the pyramid, and did you know there are several different food pyramids out there? For years and years people have studied how the body uses food and what it requires to sustain health. Recommendations have changed many times over and the reason is that food and the human body is, quite simply, complex.
When I saw my first food pyramid—the standard pyramid with bread, cereal, rice, and pasta at the bottom, then fruits and veggies, then protein and dairy, and last oils, etc.—I was in junior high, and back then food to me was just something you ate so you could go out and play. I had zero connection to how food actually relates to the human body, and if I knew then what I know now, I’d have a very different outlook on this topic and may not have gotten sick as a young adult. My diet then consisted of mostly meat and potatoes, some veggies, and very little fruit. Of course my parents always tried to get me to eat more fruit but I wasn’t having any of it.
Now, as an adult, certified wellness coach, and avid researcher I’ve come to understand better how food sustains the human body and have grown a profound respect for what I feed myself and my family to maintain a healthy body. Below is a picture, compliments of www.vegvivaciously.org, of what a Raw Food Pyramid looks like, very different from the standard pyramid. I have found that juicing and making smoothies have made it easy for me to implement a lot of the raw foods into my diet. Remember, I never used to like fruit? A friend of mine asked me to try her fruit breakfast smoothie one morning and I said to myself, “Well actually that’s not half bad!” From that point on I became more and more intrigued that my “taste buds have changed” and that I actually liked fruit. Well, not exactly, but close… I liked fruit smoothies but somehow the fruit alone was too intimidating. A couple years later and many fruit smoothies for breakfast later I found myself trying new things all the time and came to realize that I actually LIKE fruit and raw veggies, which I’d never eaten before either. My raw fruits and veggies started to appeal to me more and more because of the fresh and juicy feel to them and my desire to eat canned fruits and veggies quickly vanished. So what do I actually eat now? I eat an 80-20 diet. 80% raw Foods and 20% whatever I want. With this method I find it easy to keep my healthy habits and be sustaining.
So, what do I want you to get out of this? By simply paying attention to what you eat, why you eat it, and asking yourself is there another way, you will become more aware of the relationship between the foods you eat and how your body feels. Take a trip down the produce aisles and maybe your nearest juice bar and try a few things.