If you’ve looked into getting healthy, I’m sure you’ve had one (or fifty) people tell you to just eat real food.
Need extra energy? Just eat real food.
Having a difficult time saying no to junk food? Just eat real food.
Lost a limb in a battle with a giant squid? Just eat real food!
Every time I hear it, I want to punch something. It’s one of the cockiest things a fit person can say and it’s right up there with spending your time at the gym doing nothing but posing in front of the mirror while people are trying to workout. Saying it doesn’t make you helpful. It makes you a douche.
Allow me to explain…
I’m sure most people say it in an attempt to be helpful, not realizing how incredibly pompous they sound. These people have likely never had an unhealthy relationship with food. They’ve never hidden a container of Girl Scout cookies from their family so they can devour them in hiding once everyone is in bed. They’ve never made a frozen pizza at midnight then woke up in a pool of thick red drool, covered in crumbs.
These are not people who need help making healthy choices.
I found a kindred spirit on the interwebs who put it more succinctly than I ever could:
Of course it would be great to have all of my eggs laid by pasture raised unicorns and eat only food directly from my hydroponic tilapia poop fertilized organic garden. The problem is I don’t live in fantasy land.
In a perfect world, we’d all Just Eat Real Food, but this isn’t a perfect world.
My family has bell peppers and onions in 85% of our meals. We eat little red meat, stick to whole grains, and have a fridge full of fruit and yogurt. And guess what? We still don’t get all the nutrients we need in a day from food.
I have three growing boys and a mammoth of a husband. Accounting for enough protein to satisfy what their bodies need is intimidating. I wouldn’t even know where to start looking at what foods to feed them to ensure they get enough pro- and prebiotics to encourage healthy stomach functions.
My already over-worked brain would finally shut down if my only option was to just eat real food. We have to supplement. My family’s health is more important than a fad shaming people for trying to improve their lives one meal at a time.