I must admit this is a post I have been thinking about for quite a while. During my journey (of only six and a half months) I have heard countless people refer to eating healthy compared to eating “real” food. What does that even mean?
What sent me over the edge was watching Ruby last night. I watch it on Netflix, so I am behind on the seasons, I know. The episode I watched last night was Ruby having Thanksgiving dinner at her house (with lots of family, friends…and food). They actually prepared two feasts instead of one…one healthy feast and one “real” feast. During the episode Ruby said something to this effect, “I don’t want everyone to have to eat healthy when they want real food.” I ask again, what does that mean?
How is healthy food different from “real” food? In my opinion (which is worth only as much as I think it is…inside my own head, of course) healthy food *is* real food. All that deep-fried, heavily processed, over-sugared, mass-produced junk is *not* real food…not to me. Half of it is not even recognizable as what the food industry is trying to pass it off as anyway. Insanity. I mean look at this picture:
If you have not already seen this picture floating around the Web, just guess what it might be. What it actually is…well, they *say* that it is chicken. McDonald’s chicken McNuggets, to be exact. That, folks, is mechanically separated chicken paste. It is absolutely repulsive and looks competely inedible to me. I showed it to my daughters (ages four and seven) and neither said they will ever ask me to swing into McDonald’s ever again. (To be clear I do not take them to any fast food joints, but my mother does. Then they hound me to take them on other days. No more.)
So, I ask…Why would people *choose* to eat that chicken paste over a recognizable chicken breast? More importantly…Why would people refer to *that* as “real” food and healthy food as something else? It boggles the mind, really.
I think, on average, people have a serious misconception about healthy food. I think people assume that healthy food equals bland or boring food. Which, of course, is certainly not the case. Some of the best food I have ever eaten was also some of the healthiest food I have ever eaten. It all depends on how it is prepared/seasoned, I think.
Personally, I love healthy food. I love fresh food (veggies and fruits are absolutely delicious fresh instead of frozen or canned). I do not even consider myself to be “on a diet” right now. The word “diet” (to me) signifies temporary change and that is not what I am after. I am after a new lifestyle…these changes are forever. So, it is important that I eat food I love. Food I do not have to “make” myself “live through” until “better” food is “allowed.” Maybe that is the difference? Does the average American think healthy food is strictly designated to those on restricted weight loss diets? Is that what the negative association is all about?
As a side note about delicious, flavorful, healthy food…I found this gal through one of my other blogger friends (sorry, I cannot remember which…). She has *all* kinds of great recipes that are also healthy. Guess what, though, it is all *real* food, too! How great, right?
So, now I must know…have you encountered this healthy versus “real” food issue in your own life? How do you feel about healthy food? Do you hate to eat healthy food? Would you prefer to eat what majority of Americans obviously consider “real” food?