Have you ever taken a moment to think back a few years and reflect on the life that your parents and grand-parents had? What types of foods did they eat, and do you remember if they grew their own fruits and veggies?

I certainly remember my grand-mother having a greenhouse full of cucumbers and tomatoes. My dad grew Brussel sprouts and potatoes in our garden. And yes, mom always did cook a home-made meal that consisted of meat, potatoes and veggies, plus of course some type of dessert.

Today, for many families, finding the time to cook a home-made meal is often impossible. Both parents work, the kids have after school activities and homework and time just seems to fly by.

So what is the impact of all of this on our health?

For one, instances of cancer have risen dramatically. It is not unknown now for families to have lost at least one person, if not more, to cancer. How many friends do you know who have a family member that has, or is dealing with cancer? For your grand-parents this number would be extremely low, and they might not have even known someone who had cancer.

Other illnesses that are on the increase include heart disease, diabetes, asthma and the number of children with allergies is increasing at an alarming rate.

One of the causes of all of this ‘ill health’ can be traced back to changes in the food industry. Especially with the advance of prepackaged foods.

As family life became busier food manufacturers ‘helped out’ by introducing ready to go meals, frozen dinners, boxes of cookies and chips and bottled juices and sodas. The only problem with all of this so-called ‘helpful’ food is that manufacturers had to find a way to pro-long the shelf life of their products.

Unfortunately this included adding chemicals and food color to products. To both ensure that the food did not spoil and that it still maintained its color when used.

These chemicals are not healthy for our bodies at all. Sugars and sodium were added to packaged foods to give them more flavor. As you know excess sugar and sodium is not good for you either. A high sugar diet can lead to you developing Type II Diabetes and excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure and inflammatory problems.

Consuming all these unnatural chemicals and preservatives has played havoc on our bodies, it’s no wonder that cancer is now, unfortunately, a common word.

Have you ever noticed that when you eat take out foods, frozen dinners or lots of prepackaged foods you don’t feel as energetic, you often get heartburn or an upset stomach? Isn’t this telling you something?

It’s time to start omitting fake foods from your diet and concentrate on eating a healthy diet. Even a busy family can find time to cook home-made foods if you start planning out your menu.

For example on a Sunday cook a larger meal so that you have leftovers for Monday or Tuesday. Try making some one pot meals, or use a slow cooker to prepare soups and stews. How hard is it to grill up some chicken breasts in the evening and serve them alongside a fresh salad?

Your fresh meals don’t have to be fancy, just keep the basics in mind. Prepare meals that have protein and lots of vegetables – buy produce in season so you know it is fresh. Plus buying in season means that your choices naturally change as the seasons do, so no-one is stuck eating the same foods over and over again.

When you stop eating fake foods your health will improve. Your energy levels will increase, you will sleep better at night. You may also find that you feel less bloated and puffy. Many foods also cause inflammation so staying away from chemicals and preservatives can really help diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Isn’t it time to take a good look at your diet and see what you are truly eating? Get back to natural eating, you will be improving not just your health but will be saving the environment by not filling up the land fill sites so quickly.

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