Oh boy have I heard my title statement a million times, several of those times in my own head, and in the past few weeks from both clients and friends who are trying hard to eat well. Please don’t feel sad because you think you’re not eating Normal foods like a Normal person; let me show you why.
What’s Normal in 2014? Normal people go on a diet to lose weight and make an effort to quit eating processed food, fast food, and junk food (or at least eat smaller amounts or diet versions). Foods that have become so NORMAL that Real Whole Food often seems “not normal”. Eating Real Whole Food can feel so full of effort, so out of the NORM, that it actually creates stress, or a feeling of virtue for sticking to the plan, or feelings of sadness over missing your old foods.
What does the Normal Person in America look like today? Well, about 70% of the U.S. is overweight, and over 30% are obese. About 70% of all Americans are on at least 1 prescription drug. The average amount of meals eaten outside of the home is a solid 50%. One in five breakfasts is from McDonalds. The top 10 products sold in US grocery stores: (10) Soda (9) Cereal (8) Frozen Dinners (7) Salty Snacks (6) Milk (5) laundry detergent (4) eggs (3) PB and Jelly (2) packaged meats and (1) Bread. Those are Normal foods.
The average sales growth for Bread is increasing about 4.3 Million a year, for average total sales of 10 BILLION a YEAR. 44% of Americans in the top income level eat less than one serving of fruit/veg a day. 41% of Americans in the lowest income level eat less than one serving of fruit/veg a day. It’s pretty Normal not to eat fruits and vegetables. Top income earners eat fast food more often than the lowest income earners; 50 MILLION Americans buy fast food each WEEK, with only 28% of Americans saying they eat No fast food. (Fast Food is definitely “Normal”.)
In just a few more years, 2020, the CDC says that about 50% of the US population will have Diabetes. Cancer hits 1 out of 3 people, but the CDC predicts increases EVERY YEAR FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS. Same with Heart Disease, and Alzheimer’s. So we can say that Normal People are really, really, sick. Our poor kids are in real trouble, because for the last few years every health agency out there is predicting – for the first time in our history – a SHORTER lifespan for our children.
If we use statistics and averages to define Normal, Normal doesn’t look so good. Oh! What about the Normal, Average dieter? Around 95% of EVERYONE who loses weight on a diet, gains it back; about 50% of those people gain back a little extra. That’s another Norm.
Let me be really clear: today’s Normal food has created today’s Normal person.
Why would we want to be Normal? It sounds horrible!
I still relate to that statement though, because like I said, I’ve thought it myself. My jump off the Diet Roller Coaster was only a few years ago. I had decades of starving myself, consuming tons of gut-wrenching diet foods, and giving into the inevitable binges. That’s when Calories In Calories Out ruled my life. Thank you God that it doesn’t anymore. Being a slave to fake food, processed food, fast food, junk food, excuse my language, but it just sucks. Really. It feels so good for the few minutes you’re doing it, and then immediately afterwards, the guilt, the pain, the depression. That’s definitely not true happiness….know what I’m talking about?
You don’t have to be normal! We can be like our Grandparents, or maybe Great Grand Parents, and just eat real food when it’s a meal time, and then go about our life when it’s not meal time. Simple. Except for when it’s not: you’re busy and it would be just so much easier to go buy dinner for you and the kids at a KFC or Subway. You’re busy and tired and going out just sounds better. You’re busy and that commercial for Marie Calendars says her lasagna makes families happy and close, just like real food. You’re busy and that darn co-worker brought in cookies. Oh oh oh! You’re busy and watching the Olympics and all the Olympians – who have smokin fit and hot bodies – are promoting McDonalds nuggets or the new Frito Sub at Subway and you think – Why Not? It’s works for them!
Listen: planning, shopping, chopping, cooking, and packing is only an effort for a little while. Thinking of food as nutrients that make your body and mind is an effort for a little while. Everything new, every new effort, takes some mental strength and fortitude. When it comes to food and cooking, we also have to undo decades of Brain Washing by Big Food that their crap is just as good for us as Real Food. It’s not just as good for us, and our new definition of Normal has made us overweight, very sick, depressed, and low in energy.
We can change all this by what we put on the end of our fork. Honest. Energy, health, clear-headedness, and genuine excitement for the gift of our days here on earth can be yours. Pledge today that you’re going to take control of your life, control of your thoughts, control of your schedule, and become a Real Whole Foodie.