Many families really want to eat healthfully. They truly want to teach their children to eat healthfully. They want to prevent disease, increase life longevity, and improve quality of life. There are many strategies that can be helpful with these goals in mind.
As I speak with mothers and fathers, one strategy that I believe is very important is to make your home a sanctuary. What I mean by this is take a look at your refrigerator and food cabinets. The key to nutrition is eating real, whole foods. We all know what are real foods and what are not. If a plant has been altered, changed, or processed from its original form it is not a whole food anymore and, therefore, is not really a food. The plants we eat are vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds and whole grains, and they should be in the same form in your kitchen as when they are harvested or gathered.
Likewise animal products should be in the same state they were in as if the animal were hunted or fished, with exception of dairy products. I encourage you when consuming animal products to choose those that are free range and grass fed.
Take a quick lesson from how our digestive system is designed and evolved. Human beings are not true omnivores. Our gut system and teeth without debate are predominantly designed to consume plants. We are primarily herbivores with the enzymes necessary to break down animal products.
Think about our ancestors as they gathered and hunted. Which is easier? Clearly gathering is more efficient, as plants are readily available, they do not run away, they do not fight back, and do not require as much caloric expenditure to acquire. Take it one step further – what color plants are the easiest to gather? Green. We are primarily designed to consume green vegetables; next, other colored vegetables, followed by fruits, nuts, beans, seeds, and whole grains. Animals would have been a significantly smaller portion of the human diet.
Let’s get back to the refrigerator and food cabinets. This takes agreement from both mom and dad, but it is the right thing to do. Go through the refrigerator and food cabinets and take out anything that is not a whole food and donate it to a food bank.
Now fill your refrigerator and cabinets with mainly plants – vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds and whole grains – and, if you choose, a little bit of animal products.
Mom and dad, you owe it to each other and you owe it to your children. You are the gatekeepers to your children’s socialization and eating behaviors. These behaviors will be primary factors in whether you and your children live flourishing lives of high quality, or suffer from illness and disease that plague modern man.
Splurge on special occasions, holidays, dates and the like. A lifestyle of eating healthfully will create health for you and your family. Just don’t eat and drink traumatically every day. Think about it, even if you made poor food choices 65 times a year you would still have eaten healthfully 300 times. Make your home a sanctuary!