Even though I grew up in a farm state, surrounded by cornfields, I had absolutely no concept of what real food is or where it comes from. And that’s because my food came from the cornfields that had been covered in asphalt and topped with super-sized big box stores. There were no sunrises or sunsets, just 24 hours of fluorescent light. And the only seasonal food seemed to be the next round of holiday candy.

I still remember when I was a kid, and I realized that hamburger didn’t come from a cow. It WAS the cow.

OMG! Seriously?

My mother had a garden, but I preferred green beans from the can. When she baked cookies, they were hearty “Wheels of Steel,” not the Pilsbury brand that came with smiles and love already in them. I watched commercials for Coke, Doritos, and Taco Bell, and I was jealous of my friends that lived with “normal” families.

Normal is relative, and really, it’s whatever you think it is. And the more advertising you are subjected to, the more you believe what you see. Slogans and tag lines are designed to attach positive emotions to whatever they are selling, and often, we are hooked before the first bite.

In America, “normal” food comes in brilliantly branded packages, that have been transported anywhere from 100 to several thousand miles, via boat, plane, train or truck. The products we buy are carefully designed to stimulate our appetite, quench our cravings and send us to the store for more.

But the packages, boxes, bags and cans that we carefully select from the acres of isles are simply not real food… only feel-good consumable products. The factory processing that is required to produce a profit destroys the micronutrients, antioxidants and living enzymes that only real food can deliver.

Skillfully crafted corporate commercials promise us that their artificially colored and flavored foods are a necessary part of a nutritious meal, and often dump in doctor-recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals. Labels guarantee that you can eat your cake and wake up healthy and skinny too…

But digestive processes and bioavailability (the bodies ability to use what we give it!) are far more complicated than once thought. You can’t just add synthetic ascorbic acid and expect to get the same benefits that come from eating a few oranges or a spinach salad chocked full of vitamin C.

Think about it. If vitamins, supplements and fortified foods did what the food labels claim, why are most of us overweight, on medication, and suffering from a host of chronic disorders and disease?

Food kills more people than all the pharmaceutical drugs combined. When you realize that artificial ingredients are just another laboratory-created chemical…designed to produce some sort of biological response, you can begin to understand how serious the problem is. Food is as powerful as any drug–and it can harm or it can heal.

Statistics show that 90-95% of people that go on a diet will be heavier 1 year later. But weight loss that is attained through calorie reduction or manipulation of macronutrients is temporary. And every time you force yourself to loose weight by dieting,you body will fight back against the perceived stress.

We assume that overweight people are lazy and/or ignorant–and we’re hardest on ourselves when it’s our weight that can’t be controlled. But no matter how hard you try, how disciplined you become, you are fighting an uphill battle against a full-on war! Brand name foods are designed to be addictive, because they need you to buy more. That’s Business Basics 101. Food producers need satisfied customers that want to buy what they are selling.

There are over 75,000 chemicals approved for use in our food supply. Our body’s full time focus isn’t to thrive, it’s to simply rid itself of the synthetic ingredients we consume at each meal. And whatever cannot be broken down in the kidneys, liver and lymph system will be stored in our fat cells. Any chemical that can’t be processed is encapsulated in fat and removed from circulation.

So when we attempt to loose weight, our body goes on the defense. Our bodies don’t want to break down the fat cells because that will unleash a lot of trash! And when we choose to fight fat with synthetic diet foods and plastic-wrapped products, the problem only gets bigger (along with our waistline…)

When you eat packaged and processed foods, you will constantly have to think, monitor and adjust. You live in fear. Because you are still dancing with the monster. If you think a picture of a beautiful bikini model taped to the fridge will keep you from eating the rest of the pizza,  you’ll quickly tire from overexertion. Temptation is a rip current you cannot swim against. If you believe that the answer lies with secret ingredients or patented formulas, you are starving for the real truth.Your body will shed it’s layers of protection only when it is safe to do so… only when you stop eating chemicals and start eating real food that provides NOURISHMENT.

You can only start making changes when you begin to understand that there’s a difference between real food and Real Food®.  You can’t Eat Fresh® if you don’t know that The Fresh Alternative® is anything but. We’ve been brainwashed. The mouth-watering, freshly baked, 9-grain whole wheat bread at Subway actually has over 50 ingredients, including azodicarbonamide, which is used as a bleaching agent and to improve dough elasticity. By the way, it’s also used in the production of foamed plastics. The average Subway purchase has 784 calories and 2149 mg sodium, and is filled with preservatives, color enhancers, chemical flavoring, MSGs, nitrates and trans fat. Their non-organic meats and dairy are filled with growth hormones, which are given to livestock to make them really big and fat. Do you get that?

Think about it…And then notice that Real Food®, The Fresh Alternative® and Eat Fresh® are trademarks of Subway®.

PS. I get that Jared lost 245lbs on a Subway diet. And 15 years later, he’s still thin, AND he’s worth $15 million. Thats awesome. Good for him. But that’s not normal, and 42,000 stores in 105 countries make it their business to keep that story as simple as it sounds in a 30-second commercial….