Some may consider it an interesting choice, but I read Rich Food Poor Food while on vacation in the Outer Banks this past summer. It’s not exactly your typical light beach reading, but I was intrigued. Scott, my boyfriend, had introduced me to the Caltons (the husband and wife team behind the book) via a Podcast at The Bulletproof Executive. For some reason, I always find it romantic when couples work together and wanted to learn more. Mira Calton’s interest in nutrition had been as a result of her personal struggles. She had been running a public relations firm in NYC, but was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis at the age of 30. She left behind the firm and searched outside of traditional medicine to try to find an answer for her diagnosis. Well, if you check out their website you can see she beat her condition and is now thriving. Through her journey she met her husband Jayson and they are now quite the dynamic nutritional duo. I also think they possible bear a bit of a resemblance to my boyfriend and I – thoughts? Please keep in mind that this was a themed picture – I do not usually walk around dressed as a cowgirl.
Their first book, Naked Calories, explored the truth behind what we eat and how our lifestyle habits may be sabotaging our health. You may think you are doing the best thing for your health by eating fat-free muffins, avoiding all fat, and completing endless hours of cardio, but in fact you could be stripping your body of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Naked Calories is still on my reading list, but I skipped ahead to Rich Food Poor Food.
Rich Food Poor Food is set up as a grocery store guide of sorts. The book breaks each chapter down like the “aisle” (dairy, meat, produce, etc.) and explains the details behind what they are looking for in terms of a good food choice. If you ever wondered why some foods are more expensive and whether they are worth the extra dollars you will definitely find the clarification you are looking for in this book. Yes, I always followed the “dirty dozen food” lists whenever they were published on the internet, but sometimes I wondered whether it was really worth it to buy organic apples or spinach. A few extra dollars here and there can add up quite a bit! This book truly opened my eyes to the behind the scenes operations with our food sourcing. I never knew that chickens were not meant to be vegetarians! I had always thought that vegetarian feed or added omega was surely a good thing. In the end, it’s really just cheaper to keep them contained and give them corn and grain when they should be roaming around searching out bugs and such. Apparently this is the reason that my local Whole Foods charges $5.99 a carton for pastured eggs, but I consider it to be well worth the extra cost. Overall, this book was a great source of information for me and changed the way I looked at my grocery shopping. I am not saying I follow it 100% all of the time and it can be very tricky to attempt these guidelines when you are eating at restaurants or getting any type of take out. However, I looked at it more as an education and believe that following even a few of their guidelines can benefit anyone tremendously. The Caltons recommend reducing all grain in your diet and eliminating wheat. While I do not eat a lot of wheat I was not willing to cut it out entirely and I have made some of their product switches, but I still have grains in my diet. Some recommendations were easy to incorporate though which I welcomed. For conventional cottage cheese, Daily 2% Cottage Cheese was at the top of their list and that was a very easy switch to make from the other brands I was buying. It also taught me to try to avoid some general additives when I looked at labels. For example, there have been some recent studies that carrageenan which is a common thickener in a lot of products may cause cancer. It is relatively easy to avoid if you read food labels. I was buying a lot of Blue Diamond Almond Milk and switched to Silk PureAlmond. This was a no-brainer and simply involved picking up a different carton when I was shopping. The grocery store guide aspect of it makes the guidelines accessible so you are not left scratching your head in the frozen section debating your next move. There are also some scary things out there that should just be eliminated – no joke.
These are just a few of the principals that resonated with me that I have continued to follow. I wholeheartedly recommend reading the book to learn about all the advice this duo has to offer.