The slow food trend is seeing more families taking time to prepare and eat meals together.

Nourishment comes from appreciating food

Around the world, people have many different diets and ways of eating.

Around the world, people have many different diets and ways of eating.

Historically, most cultures’ diets evolve and are based on local, seasonal, accessible foods that are available for the region.

With widespread food technology in the industrialized age, food processing, packaging, and food altering is becoming more prevalent all over the world.

The main characteristics of the North American diet include supersize portions of foods that aren’t necessarily in season or from the region.

Added sugars, salt, fats, colouring and flavouring are hallmarks of many food products on the market that are a big part of the North American culture.

Eating fast while doing other tasks also marks some typical habits of time-pinched individuals living in our busy world.

Many people don’t have the time or prioritize the daily appreciation of family meals and small celebrations of good, healthful, nourishing food together with others.

Eating on the run and alone are very typical.

The ‘American dream’ is catching on and quickly leading to a health nightmare, since more of the developing world has access to over-processed, fast, cheap foods.

Consequently, rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle-related chronic conditions are rising worldwide.

With the growing interest in nutrition, diets, supplements, natural health food products and the health food industry, food has been broken down and categorized into nutrients instead of whole foods and meals. This characterization detracts from the cultural, social and pleasurable reasons for eating.

Nourishment comes from fully appreciating and sensing meals while being mindful of hunger and satiety cues—feeling full. Making eating and food a priority in life and devoting time for procurement, preparation and meals with others will help to bring the body into a better balance nutritionally.

Moderation and balance are hallmarks of healthy eating habits, and the “all or nothing” thinking can be detrimental. This black and white thinking has a self-sabotaging effect on the good intentions of improving diet.

Healthy eating means getting back to basics and enjoying “real food” that requires time for preparation and eating.

If you want to spend money in a health food store, the best “health food” is at the local farmer’s markets or produce section in the grocery store, and this is a good place to invest your food money for better health.

Supplements in a bottle will not improve poor lifestyle habits.

In recent years, the “slow food” movement is bringing attention back to making good, healthy food important and is a backlash to the recent epidemic of our fast food and quick-fix culture.

With the realization that local, healthy food equals healthy lifestyle, there is a growing demand recently for more local food shops, farmer’s markets, variety with more options for produce in grocery store, homegrown gardens and hobby farms.

Visiting local markets and purchasing food grown in the region may cost slightly more, but feels good and is an investment in your health and environment. It has a win/win effect on the local economy and long-term agriculture sustenance for the area.

To strive for improved health through better eating, look to the good “real food” abundant around us in the Alberni Valley and even consider growing your own edible garden.

To go one step further, cycling, walking, taking public transit or car-pooling with a friend will help to get you moving to the farmer’s market or grocery store with less of an impact on the environment. Each step is an investment in the future.

 

Sandra Gentleman, RD, is a local Registered Dietitian and steward of Canal Beach.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tour de Rock alumni ride through Port Alberni

Event was scaled down this year in response to COVID-19

Third brewery on the way for Port Alberni

Alberni Brewing Company hopes to open in early 2021

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Port Alberni long-term care home gets new bath chair

Westhaven residents say thanks to WCGH Foundation for donation

Port Alberni RCMP searching for missing 43-year-old man

Maxime Ouellet is known to camp in wooded areas around Port Alberni

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read