Time to Get Real
What is real food? Ask a dozen people, and they will probably have a dozen opinions about where to draw the line. But the way I see it, in our current society, food exists on a spectrum, from totally natural (you just pulled a carrot out of the garden) to totally fake (do you recognize even half the ingredients on the label of that energy bar or “meal-replacement” shake?). Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, organic dairy products, organic chicken, and wild-caught fish are all real foods. Packaged foods are less real.
I want you to keep your eye on the real end of the spectrum.
Real food doesn’t come in a package. It doesn’t have a label. And it’s obvious, when you look at it, what it is: a banana, a chicken, a freshly baked loaf of bread. Real foods include fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, organic beef, chicken, pork, and fish. But of course, “real” isn’t always simple. Is milk from a factory-farmed, hormone-infused cow a “real” food? Is it better than a carton of soy-milk? What about a package of plain frozen, microwavable broccoli? Is that worse than a mayo-drenched bacon-filled broccoli salad at a potluck dinner?
What is real or what is a good investment isn’t always a matter of black or white, because some processed foods can actually be good investments – some of the time. There is plenty of room for choosing the better versions of packaged foods – unsweetened shredded wheat cereal, corn chips with oil and salt and nothing else, Bethenny-Bakes vegan cupcakes.
There are also plenty of easy ways to get real without being obsessive. You are trying to live without thinking about food all the time, so I don’t want you worrying about this too much. If you get so worried about making sure every bite is 100 percent real and natural, you’ll drive yourself crazy. This is not a rule of extremes.
When you have a choice, pick what is most natural, assuming it looks good and it is what you want. Do the best you can. That’s what I mean by get real.
This is an excerpt from Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel, available on Amazon.com.