Trying to improve my life

What is “Natural” anyway?

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in products such as soy milk and low-fat yogurt, has been shown to reduce breast cancer incidence in rats. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I need to lose a lot of weight. I began thinking about coming up with a nutrition and exercise plan. Am I going to go back to the gym? If so, which one? I really do enjoy lifting weights. Then I thought, “Maybe as a goal I should plan on competing in a body building contest”. This would give me something to work towards and set goals for myself. Besides, I’ve always wanted to do it. Then I began thinking about how extreme the diet would be for me. I don’t eat very well and the thought of changing my diet to a healthier one is overwhelming. What would I eat? Foods labeled “organic” are really expensive, but are they any healthier? I keep reading op/eds about how GMOs are being linked to cancer but they never list the studies that they are citing. Would I take supplements? I don’t have the money or stomach to take a lot of supplements. I’ve tried whey proteins, fat burners, and various others and the taste and side effects I just can’t handle. So I started researching natural body building contest and ran across an interesting article, one that got me thinking. The article was basically asking what is “natural”. The author asked is swallowing several grams of creatine, BCAAs, and whey protein “natural”. Then I started thinking about the natural hair community (I have natural hair). There is a hesitation, dare I say resentment, to even defining what “natural” hair is. There is a popular hair conditioner that a lot of natural hair women use that claims to be natural, but close inspection of the ingredients shows that it is anything but natural. How can a company put “natural” in the title and synthetic ingredients in the bottle? The FDA does not regulate for this claim. If a company feels that they have a “natural” product they can say it is natural.

It seems like we are inundated with words and phrases like natural, go green, and organic, but what does it really mean to live a natural lifestyle? Is it possible in this modern era of silicones and genetically modified food to be “natural”? I don’t know, but I think this will be a fun experiment to try. With obesity, cancer, and diabetes being apart of my genetics even a few changes may be beneficial to my overall health.

***Side note: I like buying and trying all sorts of products, especially cosmetics. So this may be more difficult than I think.

In order to really make changes in my lifestyle I needed to know the definition of the word natural so that I can make informed decisions when purchasing products. So I broke out the old Webster’s dictionary and found the following (number 4 being the most relevant):

Natural (nach’ er el, nach’rel) 1. existing in or formed by nature: a natural bridge 2. of or pertaining to nature: the natural world 3. in a state of nature; uncultivated, as land 4. having undergone little or no processing and containing no chemical additives; natural food

I know that it will be slowing going at first as I begin changing my thought process on purchasing items. I will most definitely need a plan of attack but with time I think I can be successful at changing my lifestyle.


2 comments on “What is “Natural” anyway?

  1. Stephanie Hawkes
    June 13, 2013

    So I completely you feel you on this. I’m a pretty good eater, but I’m no saint. I still have “guilty pleasures” in terms of heavily processed foods, but I make little changes where I think it makes a difference. I’m going to try making my own sandwich bread (bread is one of the most processed foods that I keep in my pantry). I’ve already cut out store bought hummus (which is crazy expensive) and make my own from dried chickpeas that I cook in the slow cooker.

    Whenever I’m shopping, I think–can I make this myself? Is it cheaper to make it myself? It may require more effort on my part, but if I feel that it is healthier for me, I try to make time to prepare it.

    One blog you may find interesting is:

    I don’t follow everything she says, but it has made me think twice about what I buy sometimes. If you have a smartphone, you can also download an app called “Fooducate.” It gives grades to foods based on either a generic scale or one you set (say you’re looking for foods with low sodium).

    I won’t blabber on and on, but there are also a ton of books out there on ways to eat more “natural.” I like to check them out from my library and if I really like them, then I’ll buy.

    You’ll develop a plan that works for you! It’s exciting when you find what works for you 🙂

    • lololi740
      June 13, 2013

      I want to cut out as much processed food as possible. That’s all I eat. It’s not healthy at all. So I’m going to set small goals for myself and working on changing/developing new habits a little at a time.
      If you make your own bread be sure to do a post on it. I am very interested in that idea. It would be great to cut out processed store bought bread. I think I may look for a local artisan baker and check out the ingredients to see if its any better than good old Wonder bread.
      Thanks for the tip on the blog. I will check it out.

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