Thursday, June 27, 2019

You Are What You Eat?

April 1, 2016

Written by Ruthie Swedlund

“You are what you eat” it’s a phrase all of us have heard at some point in our lives, but what does it really mean and is its true? You would think that we, as “modern educated women” would understand this simple concept and how it relates to our health and that of the families we serve. Although this idea has been around for a very long time it seems we are not willing to learn from history. In 1826 Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are”. The phrase is sprinkle throughout the years but didn’t become a predominant phrase until the nutritionist Victor Lindlahr stated in a 1923 article “Ninety per cent of the diseases known to man are caused by cheap foodstuffs. You are what you eat.” Later, in 1942, Lindlahr went on to write You Are What You Eat: how to win and keep health with diet, and this book propelled the phrase into modern society.

So, do you believe this idea that we are what we eat? Why do we eat what we eat? What is the real reason behind our food choices? I believe a large part of our food choices are swayed by the media and the society we live in. We are marketed to in a way that leads us down the road to ill health and self denial. “You deserve a break today”, “Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!”, and “Can’t Beat the Real Thing” are only a few slogans that many of you have heard. There are millions of slogans in advertising that tell us to give in to self indulgence, to eat this or that because it will make us happy, make us feel better, or help feed our family’s a “balanced diet”. The reality is that company’s that make food, need to sell food and will advertise in such a way to do that. A few examples I have seen recently are sugary cereal commercials saying they are healthy because they “now have added fiber” or a pastry ad that says they are “made for fun”. Sadly, both of these products, while they might say they contain fruit, or fiber, or vitamins, are actually horrible for our bodies!

What are we to do then? Who is responsible for the mess our nation is in with an estimated 74% of Americans 15 years old and older are over weight! Is it the media’s fault? Is it MY fault? Is it yours? Is it the government’s? 74% is a large and very scary number! What does that number mean? As I sit and wonder what the future will be like it saddens me that we will be living in a world of overweight, unfit, unhappy, lethargic people. Our nation is so blessed in so many ways, but so many in our world sit in prisons of their own making! Do we want to be a nation of people who inspire each other and look towards the future with great anticipation? Or are we destined to be unfit and have generation after generation of obese, overweight and unfit people.

When it comes down to it, the weight is only a symptom of something much bigger. Why don’t we care enough about our bodies to do something about it? Why don’t we care enough about our overweight, out of shape children, parents, grandparents, and friends to help them change? So many in our world need just hope, a word of encouragement and a smile. Join me on a crusade to help set people free from the prisons they find themselves in. Here are some ways you can help!

  • Live YOUR life as healthy as you possibility can, change yourself and others will see you and be inspired by you and want to change too!
  • Educate yourself. Scrutinize advertisements, Read books, find articles, search for the truth. What is the healthiest way to eat?
  • Find someone you know struggles with their nutrition and fitness and make a promise to yourself to be an encourager to them.
  • Read the food labels in the grocery store and teach your children to do the same! Realize what you are feeding your family and what it is doing to their health.
  • Encourage a child to lead an active lifestyle by JOINING THEM in activities instead of sitting on the sidelines while they play. Teach the children in your life that being fit and healthy is important for people of every age.
  • Rethink the ideas you have about food. Consider that you might have emotional and social connectors to certain foods and take steps to overcome those issues.

Are we what we eat? YES WE ARE! The food we take in is what our body uses for fuel and repair. Most people I know put more thought into what type of oil, or gas they put in their car, OR what type of dog food they buy, than what they put into their own bodies! We live in a world that is screaming for help! YOU can help by choosing to be different, by choosing to care and by realizing what we put in our bodies DOES matter.

For more Health and Fitness encouragement visit me at Also, the “Be Healthy” section on The Happy Housewives Club Forums is a great place encouragement and support to reach your fitness goals! Come join in the fun as we share our journey to become fit and healthy once and for all!

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