Let’s Get Real About Food

real food

Food that comes out of the ground, off a tree or from an animal will always be the most nutrient-dense and whole-food source of nutrition.

Unfortunately, however, the last five decades has seen an abundance of nutrition myths and food trends, many of which focus on heavily processed ‘food-like products’, high in refined carbohydrates, poor quality fats, and refined sugar. Significantly, these products are highly inflammatory, which is the enemy to any health, performance, fat-loss or long-term health goal.

When we bring our nutrition back to basics and eat like our great Grandparents ate, our health will thrive. An abundance of plant material, quality protein, good fats and whole food carbohydrates with each meal is the way to optimal health and wellness. It’s not about counting calories, deprivation, or restriction; it’s about real food.

Calorie counting, for example, is one of the biggest nutrition myths, that still exists to this day. The nutrition world once believed the answer was to move more and eat less, when the truth lies in the impact that our macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) have on our hormones (and therefore metabolic environment), which either promote or discourage fat storage. Again, real food is the answer - it will balance your hormones and teach your body to burn fat efficiently, and all without weighing or measuring a single item of food!

Real food is the answer - it will balance your hormones and teach your body to burn fat efficiently.

If you’re just starting out, the biggest change you can make to improve your health (and indeed your performance) is to significantly reduce or eliminate your packaged food consumption. Shop the perimeter of the supermarket, or even better, support your local green grocer, farmers’ market and health food store. As we always say here at The Natural Nutritionist, ‘food doesn’t come out of a box or a packet, nor does it have a mascot.’

Real food should have the lowest degree of human interference and therefore be consumed in as close to its natural state as possible. Of course there will be the exception to the rule (such as a high quality protein powder), so when checking food labels, a great place to start is with products that contain less than five ingredients (all of which you can pronounce), and less than 5% sugar (<5g per 100g).

When it comes to protein powder, Bare Blends is by far the best, as even the “natural flavours” found in some protein powders, have a degree of human interference. Bare Blends is of the highest quality and sweetened with only organic vanilla bean and stevia extract.

Start with the real food basics and the benefits you experience will continue to inspire the evolution of your nutrition. Learn more in The Real Food Athlete, available at: thenaturalnutritionist.com.au


Steph Lowe is a Sports Nutritionist, triathlete, founder of The Natural Nutritionist, a hub for celebrating the importance of real food, and author of The Real Food Athlete. With a passion for spreading a positive message about real food and the incredible affect it has on performance, Steph launched The Natural Nutritionist in 2011 and is on a mission to inspire others to make health a priority in their lives. Steph’s extensive nutritional experience spans from elite athletes, to schools, and corporations, where she has worked with the likes of Grill’d to develop new menu items, and Savills where she educated corporates about real food for productivity and performance in the workplace. Along with self-publishing her first book, The Real Food Athlete, and running The Natural Nutritionist, Steph is also the resident Nutritionist in Sam Wood’s online program, 28 by Sam Wood, and is the creator of five eBooks available on her website.

Latest Posts (see all)