There are only two categories of foods: whole foods and processed foods. A healthy balanced diet should be primarily whole foods with restricted consumption of processed foods. There are numerous ways to differentiate between these two.

Processed Foods

Generally speaking, processed foods are produced using manufacturing methods to transform raw ingredients into neatly packaged goods, which have a longer shelf life. Some of the artificial ingredients used include monosodium glutamate (MSG), flavors, preservatives, hydrogenated oil, fillers, and artificial sweeteners. Usually, consumers can prepare them quickly allowing immediate intake. Disappointingly, they don’t offer much in nutritional value. Most likely, it’s processed food if it’s wrapped in several layers of plastic, cardboard, and/or foil, and it didn’t exist until after 1903 when the hydrogenation process was invented. In addition to being excessively advertised, this food category is well funded by government subsidies. These foodstuffs are located on the shelves of the inside middle aisles in grocery stores. Examples of processed foods include sodas, cereals, and crackers.

Whole Foods

On the other hand, whole foods are grown in orchards, gardens, or greenhouses, are unprocessed and unrefined, and have a shorter shelf life. These foods are authentically flavorful, have vibrant colors, and rich textures. Moreover, they are full of the micronutrient vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber. Typically, they require longer preparation times. In contrast, they receive very little media advertising, and are not well funded with government subsidies. When you are in grocery stores, these foods are mainly found on the store’s wall aisles to the sides and back of the store. Additionally, this food category can be found at farmers markets, and at fresh fruit and vegetable stands. Examples of whole foods include unpolished grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Four Basic Nutrients

The four essential basic nutrients are water, carbohydrates, fat, and protein. These four are the foundation of a healthy diet. In any case, all food is composed of various combinations of nutrients. Carbohydrates supplying energy are found mostly in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, peas, and beans. They are converted into glucose providing energy for the body’s cells, the brain, and red blood cells, or stored for future use in the liver, or in body fat. Sixty percent of daily calories should come from mainly complex carbohydrates to provide the minimum recommended daily requirement of fiber. Fats are the most concentrated source of body energy. Recently, too much negative attention has been focused upon fats. Fats are not an enemy and are needed throughout life to support growth and provide energy. Unfortunately, consuming excessive amounts of fat can contribute to many health problems. Proteins are the building blocks making up body tissues, muscles, skin, and organs. When consumed, protein is broken down into amino acids providing the body with energy for various vital functions. Examples of good sources include meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds. Regrettably, health problems arise when you consume too much or too little of any nutrients. Instead, endeavor to consume a variety of foods to ensure you get a mix of nutrients. In summary, for a healthy well balanced diet make it a habit to choose unrefined whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, peas, beans, and whole-grains, as opposed to refined processed foods such as soft drink sodas, candy, cookies, and cakes.

Yours In Fitness!

Anita Joubert

Shopping for healthy food 100 years ago was a piece of cake. Farmers did not rely on chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides to grow food. Farmers did not subject their animals to hormones, antibiotics and cheap feed. Since the birth of Industrial Agriculture, our food now comes with a huge list of chemical additives that are harmful to the human body, making our once easy choices, harder and harder. Thanks to these harmful practices to our body’s and our planet, the Organic Industry and Sustainable Food Movement are growing in leaps and bounds. The small snowball that started to build steam in the 1970′s is now big and drawing attention from people all around the world. The growing concern surrounding the issue of safe and healthy food choices impacts all walks of life. Whether you are elitist, well-off, middle class, working class, or poor, we all deserve access and education to/about safe and nutrient dense foods. Little by little, people are joining forces and standing up to the big food industry giants. Everyday people are starting to notice the importance of assessable, safe, and nutritious food.
The corporate world does not make it easy on us, and may have you fooled into believing that eating fast food, microwave pizza, and ice cream makes you part of the strong, patriotic backbone of America and, by choosing alternatives to industrial food you are somehow choosing a higher path better than everyone else. This is not true. There are media empires, and corporations throwing billions of dollars (yours by the way) in saturation advertising. Corporate funded think tanks are working tirelessly to help maintain this pseudo created culture of consuming your way to happiness. Sure, eating a hamburger or having ice cream on occasion is part of the American culture, but eating all the chemicals and additives that have been infecting our food system is not part of any culture that truly wants happy, healthy people living in it. This is just another area where everyday citizens need to take a stand and hold each other accountable. Information is available to you and your friends. True information is reaching everyday people and we are starting to no longer rely on what big marketing tells us. Get involved and help support organizations and programs that work to improve our health and economy while creating an environment in which all walks of life have access to the freshest, healthiest food possible.
Next time you think about your food, think about eating organically grown food and locally grown food whenever practical. Don’t let cost stand in your way. Less than 100 years ago people spent around 24% of there disposable income on food. Today we spend around 9% of our disposable income on food. Lifestyle diseases are at there all time high and our consumption of lower priced, cheap, and poor quality food is one of the primary reasons for this increase. By purchasing food that costs you a little more for the amount you get, you will actually fill two needs with one deed. First, you will provide your body with foods loaded with healthy macronutrients, micronutrients and fiber. Second, you will purchase the right amount of food which will keep your total caloric intake in check. Proceeded junk food loaded with sugar and other fillers is addicting. If the price of this type of food continues to go down, it will be no surprise that people will buy more and more. This leads to more and more consumption and a population that is not only overweight, but also undernourished and unhealthy. So, next time you decide to purchase food or go out to dinner, think about the quality and not the quantity. Invest in your health, well-being, and happiness now, or you might find yourself paying for it down the road.

Yours In Fitness!


Anita xx

Don’t think all calories are created equal! You might have heard the saying calories in calories out. Meaning if you simple cut calories you will lose weight/fat. There is some truth to that statement, but are you trying to lose fat or lose muscle? Our bodies need nutrients to fuel metabolic processes and so if we deprive ourselves, our bodies will begin working less productively. Nutrient dense foods will help propel your workouts and you will have more energy to stay active throughout the day. So focus on eating quality and stop just focusing on quantity.

Thinking exercise is the only key to losing fat. Exercise will surely bolster your weight loss effort, but don’t believe it is the answer. Nutrition is something that takes place all day long. We eat at least 3 meals a day. This means that your food choices have a dramatic impact on your weight. Exercise does many wonders for the body and needs to be PART of your fat loss routine.

Portions are out of control! If portion sizes continue to increase the way the have been the last few decades we just might run into food shortages. Portion sizes are way out of control and most people don’t know how to judge how much food is enough for there body weight. What can we do about it? Eat slower and when you are full, save the remainder for another time. Read food labels and if the package says 2,3, or even 4 servings, don’t finish the whole thing. Try not to serve family style. If you have a big bowl of food in front of you, chances are you will eat more than you need.

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