No wheat, no dairy, no potatoes, no rice; no carrots because of the glycemic index and no fruits since they are too high in sugar! Is there anything left we can eat? All of these “no’s” have killed the sacred tradition of food and created fear, guilt, and an overall bad relationship with our self images and the food we eat (or don’t eat). I am so excited to introduce a new movement of Eating Free™ to this starving fat nation. The time has come to get back to the traditional ways of eating!

This past weekend, I made rice pudding from scratch using whole food products. With white rice, milk, and sugar, this fabulous Peruvian dish produced many great smells wafting through my home. I was overwhelmed and touched by the warmth of the stove, the flavors, and the smell comingling with thoughts of my childhood, my grandmother and a simpler time of home-cooked meals. I could not escape a feeling of loss and questioned what happened to food and to our tradition of eating.

Let’s continue with rice as an example. Rice has been documented in history books as a source of food as far back as 2500 B.C. In traditional diets rice is eaten in combination with many other dishes, making it a side dish, not the main dish. It is added to soups, vegetables and alongside meats. No other food can capture the essence of moderation like rice. Ponder this, if rice has fed the world longer and more abundantly than any other crop, why is it only recently that it has been linked to obesity and diabetes? It all lies within the portions. It is like the old saying “too much of a good thing.” Anything in excess can cause harm. In this case, harm is weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.

The obesity and diabetic epidemics do not date back to the introduction of rice, or potatoes, milk, or fruit but has coincidentally followed the modern habits and lifestyle of a convenience, over-processed, packaged foods diet. Hectic and mindless, jumping from work to family to social and community obligations, many of us have lost touch with what food is and what it does. For many, it is merely a means to quench hunger, rather than to nourish. Our health and meals have sadly become an inconvenience.

With Eating Free, we are going to bring the tradition of eating back! The current degraded state of our health demands a return to hand-picking your fruits and vegetables, grains, and lean meats; chopping, slicing, cooking, putting love into your foods; and smelling, tasting, and savoring the palate of flavors before you. I am excited that you are joining me in making the steps towards Eating Free. Browse our website and play with the new tools. YourFreeQscore, never seen before, will let you know how close you are to Eating Free. Become truly fearless about food! Manage your food; don’t let your food manage you.

Photo credit: Jun Belen

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