I’m Mad As Hell

February 11, 2014

Ay, Ay, Ay, as the saying goes. A pandemic, lost jobs, unprovoked war and political unrest, global natural disasters, and, as Peter Finch’s character declared in the 1976 film Network, “air you can’t breathe, water you can’t drink, and food you can’t eat.”

I can’t tell you what to do about the economy, politics, war, terrorism, or global warming (although I have a few opinions about that), but I surely can tell you what we can do about the food we eat.

When it comes to our health and well-being, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. And neither should you. I grew up surrounded by strong, self-reliant, resourceful people who worked hard and lived vital, independent lives. What happened to us? When did we give away our power—and our health? When did ‘influencers’ start to dictate what we’ll buy, wear, read—and eat?

We live in a country founded on revolution; on taking personal responsibility; on throwing out what doesn’t work and replacing it with what does. Americans have always seen themselves as the masters of their destiny.

This country is in a health crisis and nothing short of a revolution will change the course we find ourselves on. It’s time to get off the sofa and fight for our lives. Type two diabetes is practically an industry; heart disease remains the leading killer of both men and women, despite a global pandemic.

Eating healthfully seems complicated in our modern life. “Experts” advise us on our food choices. From television chefs to nutrition scientists to news anchors to government advisory committees to your friends and neighbors—there is no shortage of opinions on what we should be eating. They have filled our heads with facts, figures, and statistics. Many of these are as familiar as our own names. Concepts like antioxidants, polyphenols, saturated fats, omega-3, and of course, calories are common currency in our daily discussions. But in this barrage of information, we lost our way to real food and our inherent wisdom about what eating healthfully means.

It’s as though we don’t even see food as food anymore, just the sum of its nutritional parts. We have lost touch with our intuition and fallen victim to the marketing of food products and have lost sight of what real food looks like, tastes like. We have become victims of the biggest con in human history. Marketers, lobbyists, and their well-paid experts, through the smoke and mirrors of dazzling packaging, checkmarks, seals of approval, and dubious health claims have slowly and consistently robbed us of our well-being.

We have lost sight of the simplest of truths: whole, unprocessed plant foods give us all the nutrition we require.

In the end, there is no new advice, really. For us to be a healthy and robust society, with a bright future for generations to come, we must eat real food; food that is truly fit for human consumption.

In my own life, a diet of plant-based foods has been the key to health and wellness. It is the force behind the life I live. It is the source of my strength and stamina. I stepped off the carousel of processed foods years ago and saw the changes that created the health I enjoy today. It took a life-threatening illness to open my eyes and which led to the mission I have been on for the past two decades: to help people find their way to health, deliciously.

It can be the key to your own health, too. Now more than ever, as we move through the most challenging times in most of our lives, let’s bail on the junk food and get back to the kitchen and create wellness with what we cook and eat.