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Food Science vs. Mother Nature…who wins?

Potato lovers, REJOICE!

I came across this article the other day by JJ Virgin called The Top Five Reasons to Start Eating Potatoes Again and I had to chuckle.    

Her article not only made potato lovers across the world like myself jump with joy, but it inadvertently shed light on something that I feel pretty strongly about and wanted to share with you today.  

First, let me say that I have MAD RESPECT for JJ Virgin.  She and I have very similar philosophies in many ways, but we apparently diverged on the potato thing.  🙂

She admits to telling her clients NOT to eat potatoes for years, believing they spiked blood sugar and caused inflammation.   New research is apparently proving otherwise. 

I never stopped eating potatoes and I never encouraged my clients to stop eating them.

Here’s why:

Though science is an important field, it's important to remember that it's not ALWAYS right.  Or perfect.

Science focuses on the things that can be measured by current methods, and though it's making new discoveries every day, the new discoveries often contradict the old discoveries.

Despite food science's well meaning intentions, this contradictory information often leads to confused and distrusting consumers. I mean, it’s hard to trust the “experts” when they’re constantly changing their story, right?

Fat was bad. Now it’s good.

Egg yolks were bad. Now they’re good.

Potatoes were bad. Now they’re....good?

The list goes on.

When I was in my 20s I was obsessed with my weight, counting calories, eating all the food the experts said was “good” and staying away from the food that they said was “bad”.   

I was always up on the newest food science, not to mention the fat grams and calorie content of every food. (Seriously, if "calorie content of foods" had been a Jeopardy category, I would have killed it in those days!)

That was, until I became exhausted and confused and skeptical with all the changing information.

Now, I have a different approach. It’s simplified my life and removed me completely from the confusion of constantly changing food advice and fad diets.

What is it?  Almost there.  🙂

I believe that even though brilliant scientists are doing their best, Mother Nature is still just...smarter.

She knows more than we do. Science still hasn’t figured out Mother Nature completely.  She has age old wisdom on her side.

Before I consult science and the newest “experts” of the day, I consult Mother Nature. If she made it, and it’s high quality and in whole food form, I’ll eat it.

I eat potatoes. They are plants and they are delicious.

I eat fruit. Often multiple servings in a day.

I also eat rice and other grains.

I know that there are many different food philosophies out there that may disagree with me and if you follow one those philosophies and it works for you, GREAT!  That is what's most important. 

But, if you’re one of the many people confused by all the contradictory food information and you're not sure what to eat or where to start, here are 3 basic guidelines that I follow that may help you too.  

#1 - If it’s a whole food (and especially if it's a plant) I eat it. Despite their differing philosophies, the one thing most diets agree on is that high quality, whole foods contribute to health and longevity, not to mention a slimmer waistline.  

Though food science is discovering new and interesting food components, it doesn’t do a good job at understanding how the components work together holistically. Michael Pollan makes a great argument about this in his book In Defense of Food.  

Rather than obsess about the minutia of calories, macros, specific nutrients and chemicals, I prefer to keep it broad and simple.

#2 - Combine high carb food with protein and fat. If it’s a high carb whole food and experts tell you that it will spike your blood sugar (think potatoes or fruit), then you can balance your blood sugar by combining it with some protein and fat.

For example, if you eat a banana, have a handful of nuts or some almond butter with it. If you eat potatoes, roast them in some high quality olive oil. This slows down the absorption of that sugar in your bloodstream, and you still get the important nutrients and enzymes from the whole plant food.

#3 - Avoid (or at least drastically reduce) the highly processed stuff. That is NOT Mother Nature food. If the potatoes were genetically modified, fried in hydrogenated oils and served to you in a bag through a drive through window...they are most certainly no longer a healthy whole food. If the strawberries are not actually strawberries but strawberry flavoring added to your highly processed, low-fat breakfast bar, it’s no longer a whole food.

You get the picture.  These foods are toxic.

Bottom line, food should be delicious and satisfying.  It shouldn't be complicated and something that you are afraid of.

I want you to eat what works for YOU!  It IS possible, and it doesn’t have to be confusing.  

When in doubt, turn to Mother Nature. She is a super wise, badass mama who will guide you if you let her.

Cheers to living your sweet life, my friend!

xo,

Lisa

P.s.  If you do feel really confused about food and what to eat, stay tuned...I have a program coming out very soon that is going to help you.   Can't wait to share more about it!