While I was reviewing my previous #fearfoodfriday posts, I noticed a trend:
- Simply Balance blue corn with flax seed tortilla chips
- Tostitos roasted red pepper chips
- Bolthouse Farms salsa ranch dressing
- Archer Farms sweet potato potato chips
- Sun Chips sweet potato and brown sugar
- Minute Maid pink lemonade
All of the items are processed; they are not fresh fruits or vegetables, meat that needs to be cooked or organic ANYTHING (actually the first one technically is but whatever).
So what is with the stigma against processed food? Well, if you were to ask Dr. Google, you would “learn” that packaged foods are “highly addictive”, have “unhealthy sugar levels”, are “difficult to digest” and contain “high levels of refined carbohydrates”.
And yet I was taught 6 years ago that no food is bad….
Because it’s NOT!!!!!!!!
YES, the food listed above probably isn’t going to give you the best “bang for your buck” (aka the most food for the calories blah blah blah), but the purpose of recovery isn’t to stay away from food because you’re afraid, it’s to understand that no food is going to hurt you as much as your disordered thinking.
So what if we reevaluated the cons of the above foods and made them make more sense and appear less taboo?
“highly addictive” – that’s call being DELICIOUS; and if you’ve never had an issue with not being able to stop eating once you start, you’re probably not going to come face to face with that problem now.
“unhealthy sugar levels” – yes, if you drink the entire container of pink lemonade, you are probably going to have hella energy and experience an INSANE sugar crash later on; good, naps are healthy.
“difficult to digest” – all of our bodies work differently. Some bodies can’t digest lactose, some can’t digest gluten, and some have no problem digesting anything. Having chips with a meal is not going to trigger an inability to digest anything ever again, that’s as unrealistic as thinking you can get all the nutrients you need and still lose weight while drinking cayenne pepper and maple syrup.
“high levels of refined carbohydrates” – I have not met a coach that has told someone to stay away from pop tarts before a workout because they’re processed. Especially if you are a competitor or generally looking to “make some gains”, allowing your body to take in refined carbohydrates is going to allow those carbs to be more readily available for your workout because they are fast-digesting. Which means yes, white rice is going to be JUST AS fine to eat as brown rice.
*insert audible gasp here*
And all that sodium that people say are going to be detrimental? Sodium actually serves a crucial role in the functioning of your organs and keeping your electrolytes up (electrolytes help you rehydrate faster after losing water and minerals through sweat).
So should everyone try to eat mainly unprocessed food? Maybe.
But maybe it’s all personal preference; and I am not going to be the first one to try and take gummy bears away from a 5-year old because they come in a package and are made of sugar.
It’s all about listening to your body and taking its cues into consideration; your body knows what it needs, and it knows what to do with the food you provide it.
Yes, it really is that simple.