When Did We Get So Lazy?

No, not physical activity lazy, although THAT’S a whole other topic. I mean mentally lazy regarding our food. I so often hear things that just make my ears hurt.

  • “But it says it’s a protein bar”
  • “It’s heart healthy” (what does THAT even mean?)
  • “LOW FAT” (but what kind of fat? and how low? and was it designed (as a food) to be high in fat, like nuts or avocados, and did we engineer it be low(er) fat? And why does it have to be low fat? 🤯

In the past, waaaaaaaaay back when, when our ancestors went for food, it most likely came in one form:

  • animal/fish
  • plant: berries/fruits/grasses
  • root/tuber
  • nuts

Yep, that was pretty much it. And guess what, it was pretty easy to tell what was IN our food:

  • animal/fish – mostly protein and some fat, right? Maybe more fat than protein in the case of some fishes
  • plant – carbohydrates right?
  • root/tuber – carbohydrates again, we agree?
  • nuts – mostly fat, with some carbohydrateS and some protein.

Then along came the domestication of food and the industrial revolution, and things expanded:

  • grains – which may have still been pretty “clean”….like the ingredient was “wheat” or “rice”, and that’s it.
  • beans/legumes – again, the same as above.

And generally we’re still OK because grains and beans…well, they’re carbs, folks. Still pretty easy to tell what’s in them and what they are.

Fast forward many years of industrial “progress” and our ingredient lists have gotten longer and more complicated, we’ve gotten more unhealthy, and our brains must be shrinking because we can’t think ourselves out of a paper bag anymore! Our food now has labels on it – no, that trout the tribal hunters fished from the stream had no label and macro counts – labels that list all of the ingredients (and oh so many of them), and Nutrition Facts that include our macro- and micronutrients, and claims. Claims? Yea…like Heart Healthy and Energy Boosting. “Claims”.

Where have we gone wrong? When did we lose our deductive reasoning? When did snacks become so important? My head is spinning!

Here’s a great example: Protein Bars. I mean – I eat them sometimes, but I have some requirements if I’m going to eat a “protein” bar…it needs to be dominant in protein! Otherwise it’s an added calorie “snack” bar and I don’t need to snack if I’m eating well. And yes, sometimes without a supplement it can be hard to get enough protein in your diet – so bars are hot! But let’s keep running along where we started: simple ingredients- the most natural, and in my opinion the best. Coach Pete and I had a little convo today about protein bars – the ones we eat have around 20-25 grams of protein per bar, but most of them also have around the same if not more in grams of carbohydrate and sometimes fat. But that’s not even the REAL problem. WHAT ARE WE EATING?


Pretty stark in contrast to beef, fish, potatoes, and avocados, right?

How about this one? Purported as healthy and created with physician direction:

The third ingreidnet is chocolate chips. (scratching my head) Sorry – a lot of work goes into making a snack bar… and we can accomplish the same thing with a can of tuna, an apple and an ounce of nuts.

This is probably the best one I’ve found- fewest ingredients, but it’s a carb bar, and I don’t know many of us who are lacking in carbs over protein in our diets! (And Yes, “Natural Flavors” continues to be an unregulated mystery…see – it’s hard to find perfect outside of whole foods).

“But Coach Sam….it’s the middle of the day and I’m hungry”. THEN PLAN BETTER! Eat a bigger lunch or plan a bigger dinner. Use homemade snack packs: baggies of nuts and dried berries, meat jerky, canned tuna, “hand fruit” like bananas, apples, oranges and pears. It’s not that hard, you’re just looking for “sexy”, like “heart healthy” (eye roll!).

You are in charge of your food – what you eat – and as an adult you should be commanding the quality as well. Unless hubby or wifey or personal chef is cooking for you of course, in which case you still should have a voice in what and how much you eat.

]Take control Be smart. Read. Use your brain. The result: a healthier you!