Where is Your Food From?

I was at Oliver’s Market the other day. A strong proponent for local agriculture, the soul of their company is creating relationships with local farmers and vendors. On this day, I was talking to one of the butchers about the growing local food movement. We discussed how it’s pretty cool to know where you’re food comes from, especially when it’s nearby. Later in our conversation, he mentioned how it’s nice to have a variety or mix of local and, perhaps, imported food. This got me thinking…

Look at the food in your fridge, do you know where each item came from?

 

Take bananas for instance. They’re very little bananas grown in the U.S., which means, if you want to enjoy the potassium possessing, energy instilling fruit, you’re going to have to sacrifice your local roots. On the other hand, a fruit like grapefruit is fairly abundant in the U.S., grown in states like California, Arizona and Texas, which means there are a much more opportunities to savor the local flavor.

This sort of conflict is synonymous with many other facets of the food industry. Honey, meat, seafood, vegetables, baked goods, alcoholic beverages, dairy, and many others, all share the conflict of: local or imported?

 

What ever your philosophy on food is, I would like to share mine with you. Similar to my butcher friend at Oliver’s, I believe in supporting local vendors as much as possible by eating locally grown food. There’s nothing quite like enjoying the uniquely wonderful flavors and textures in your food, knowing that you could take a short car ride to find where it grew-up. With that said, there’s nothing wrong with buying some banana’s from Costa Rica or bell peppers from Mexico. It just isn’t possible to eat everything local, but it is fun to try.

Lifestyle Improvements

It seems to me that there are two ways of looking at living a fit-lifestyle. Those that live unhealthy lifestyles usually have some combination of constant drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sedentariness or unhealthy eating in their life. For these people, the first step is to look towards lifestyle improvements and living healthily. This approach has a focus more on making improvements and enjoying them instead of worrying about specifics. This means eating right, but not worrying about caloric intake or doing a triathlon. Hosting a healthy lifestyle is a purpose without regard to calorie consumption or specific training methods. The first priority for those living unhealthily should be to get their life back on track and then get more specific.

You would never seem someone who just healed a broken bone go do The Ironman, so why would an unhealthy individual micro-manage their fitness aspirations? Instead, they should focus on improvements like:

For those that are already living a healthy lifestyle, there is sometimes a discontentment. The decision is whether to continue living a perfectly healthy lifestyle or take it to the next level. Unlike the aforementioned lifestyle improvement, this method is a lot more micro-managed and specific in nature. People that simply want to live healthy, don’t really have to worry about quantity of food as much as those looking to attain specific goals. in other words, if you want to achieve a fitness goal you are going to have to think big, but act small. For instance, if you want to get under 10% body fat, you will have to count your calories among other fitness and nutrition aspects, and do so with healthy healthy foods and exercise. This is difficult and is generally what separates main stream approaches from specific results.

Food For Thought

The other day I got to thinking about food and the way humans associate with it. Foremost, we have a strong taste sense associated with the food we put in our mouth. This is undoubtedly a huge part of why we love and crave it so much. So…I pondered that thought for awhile and naturally (cause I’m a trainer) I thought about how the taste of food effects the way we consume food and consequently struggle with getting or maintaining good looking physiques.

What if food had no taste?

Perhaps the most significant purpose of food intake is the nutritional value bestow to the body. In many instances, but depending on the food, good tasting food is not best for the body and less tasty food is nutritionally sound. So, what if taste was eliminated from food. No more salty, sweet or spicy flavors. Of course, it would take a lot of the enjoyment out of eating, but I don’t think it would take it all away.

If you think about it, taste is apart of the initial attraction to our food, there are other aspects like smell and sight, but taste is perhaps the more enjoyable initial attraction to food. Once food is in our mouth, we taste it and then it’s down to digestion. If the taste portion were eliminated, there would likely still be a satisfaction involved just a different kind. Think about anytime you have finished a meal. Think of the sense of contentment you have with your appetite. You are either content or still hungry. If taste were eliminated from food this feeling would in many ways take its place. If you ate something high calorie and full of fat you would feel bloated and full, if you ate something well-balanced and light you would feel energized and content–exactly like it is with taste involved. However, without taste, food consumption would have a lot more emphasis of the digestion feeling.

Okay, so this idea will never come to fruition and is purely just one of my rambling thoughts. But it is still interesting to think of nonetheless. The next time you find yourself putting on weight–constantly over-eating, pay more attention to the food that you are putting in your body and the way it makes you feel. If there is a negative correlation, try putting less emphasis on the taste of your food and more on the nutrition.