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Health Redefined: You Are What You Eat (and Drink!)

Health Redefined: You Are What You Eat (and Drink!)

This is one of the essential pillars of living a healthy life.  Think about what you are eating & drinking.  You literally are – or will become – what you eat and drink!  So if you are filling your body with unhealthy food with unrecognizable ingredients – chances are you will become unhealthy.  On the other hand, if you are eating and drinking nutritious foods, natural ingredients, and consuming foods and drinks containing good vitamins and minerals, then you are on the road to health. Often a common sense approach to food is your best guide.

Unfortunately, instead of food & drinks prepared with ‘real’ ingredients, now more than ever, we are eating foods made in a factory & delivered in a package.  Now more than any time in history people are eating more processed and packaged foods and snacks and beverages.  Perhaps this is linked to the rapid rise in obesity and other chronic diseases.

Real Food vs. Processed “fake” Food

The following chart provides an overview comparing and contrasting real versus processed “fake” foods:

Real Food

Processed Food

Real Cheese

Processed Cheese (made up of almost 50% non-cheese ingredients.)

Real Fruit

Fruit rolls & Fruit chew snacks (Containing trace amounts of fruit at best)

Nuts & Dried Fruit Snacks

Energy Bars (which often contain more sugar than candy bars)


Vegetable chips or canned vegetables

Fresh Lean Meats & fish

Sausage, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, deli meat

Natural Sweeteners (Such as honey or maple syrup)

Refined Sugars

Butter & Olive Oil

Highly processed vegetable oils

Water, Milk, Whole Fruit Juices

Sugary juices, sodas & energy drinks

Foods with a few ingredients

Foods containing 15+ ingredients

Real food is what it sounds like – REAL!  It is not made with unrecognizable ingredients.  Real food is grown in fields, not laboratories or factories, & uses ingredients you recognize!


– If food comes packaged, is made in a factory, is loaded with preservatives, and has an expiration date years into the future- chances are it is not healthy
– If what you are about to eat was made within minutes while you stand in line at a fast food restaurant, you should be concerned how healthy it is


-Just because it says it is healthy, doesn’t make it so. If there are multiple ingredients, especially ones that you’ve never heard of or can’t pronounce, then there is a good chance it isn’t healthy!
-How many ingredients are in your meals? Healthy food is “Real Food” and packed with nutrition and not lots of ingredients or preservatives that you can’t pronounce.
*Compare how many ingredients are in your apple, a handful of nuts, or even your homemade chicken & rice dinner (Real Food)l….compared to ingredients listed on the packaged fruit snacks, granola or protein bar, or a frozen meal.


Eat tons of fresh (not canned) fruits & vegetables. Make this the main dish at each meal and eat these for snacks & desserts.
– Get your body hooked on fruits & veggies, not junk food (processed foods)!
– Visit your local farmers market for a variety of seasonal produce!

Watch What You Drink!

Watch out for the many drinks that often have more calories than a burger and as much sugar as a donut.  Many drinks are filled with many unhealthy ingredients, including caffeine & other energy-enhancing substances.  Often these drinks can become addicting.  Instead of drinking these high calorie drinks, consider replenishing your system with natural and healthy liquids.

Some examples of Real Drinks:  Water, Organic Milk, Tea, 100% Real Juice, Vegetable Juice, Coconut Water, Organic Soy or Almond Milk.

Drink Water!!!  Did we mention how important it is to DRINK WATER?  And lots of it!!!  Hydration is important for many parts of your body – so put down the energy drinks, caffeine, & soda. Don’t drink sugary calorie filled drinks that harm your body.  Instead, drink WATER!

TIP: Buy a reusable water bottle and measure how much water you drink a day, (especially when it’s extra hot outside.)

More Health Redefined:

This blog is the 5th in a series called “Health Refined”.  Please check out the first four blogs in this series:

Health Redefined Blog
Changing Your Mind
Grandma's Wisdom

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Brandon Buehler, PT, DPT, OCS
In his spare time Brandon enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, running, working out, hiking kayaking & paddleboarding. He values spending time with his close friends, especially enjoying a meal from his barbeque. As a Philadelphia native, Brandon is always on a quest to find the best east coast style pizza in town.
Brandon Buehler, PT, DPT, OCS

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