Plain residents look for healthy food options

By Julia Adams and Lexi Decker — Plain local resident, Catherine Little makes her weekly trip to a local farm to get all natural milk, eggs and meat, compared to her next door neighbor who will make her one stop shop to Giant Eagle to get her steroid induced meat and eggs.

This is what Little and her family are trying to avoid. She makes an effort to grind her own grain and make her own butter to ensure her family is eating the most wholesome and natural foods as they can.

“My children will have less of a chance to get ADD or ADHD and their brains will develop healthier,” Little said.

Little believes her sons will develop bigger and healthier due to their organic diet and the amount of Omega 3 they get; her daughters will have healthier cycles and pregnancies.

Little recommends every family should try this diet, and believes a person will live a more energetic and healthy life.

“You don’t have to go broke buying organic foods, look at the top 12 foods that are most important to buy chemical free and start from there,” Little said.

Little’s family eats chemical free by choice, other families and students find they must change eating habits because of health reasons.

A common diet is gluten-free. A gluten-free diet is a diet completely free of the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye.

Freshman Mackenzie Watson experimented with a gluten free diet.

Watson was a premature baby, her family had no idea how this would affect her in the future. She could not handle stress well and her personality was altered.

In middle school, she went through many different treatments to find out the cause of these problems. An experimental diet was used to see if it would affect her mood and energy. Watson was told to go gluten-free.

“I immediately felt an improvement in my focus and energy,” Watson said.

Watson is no longer on her diet due to inconvenience, but continues to watch what she eats.

Senior, Mackenzie Torcasio limited her gluten by choice.

“I’ve always ate healthy at my house, not necessary gluten-free but always healthy,” Torcasio said.
She experienced going organic this summer and loved the results. The only disadvantage being how expensive gluten-free foods are. Like Watson, Torcasio has experienced more energy eating less gluten.

“I focus mainly on avoiding hydrogenated oils and MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). MSG is in Doritos and it’s addicting,” Torcasio said.

Viv Brinkman, Plain Local resident, chooses an alternative healthy diet, steering away from organic and gluten free.

Brinkman eats a peskatarian diet; a vegetarian diet with the exception of fish. She chose to eat this way when she was 18 years-old, and heard a woman in her yoga class talking about how long it takes for meat to digest in the colon.

The excessive amount of time the meat stays in the colon is very unhealthy, and is proven to cause cancer.

“I enjoy eating this way and its even better knowing its good for me,” Brinkman said.

She raves about the effects her diet has had on her life, Brinkman says her energy level is “through the roof” and the changes were fast. She lost 25 pounds in the first month. Brinkman advises people to make a change in the way they eat.

“It’s hard to make a lifestyle change, so pick one thing that you know is terrible for you and eliminate it, one-by-one,” Brinkman said.

No matter what healthy diet someone decides to try, dietician at Heartland Healthcare, Tori Tedrow, believes that half of a person’s plate should be fruit and vegetables, a quarter should be protein, and the other quarter should be grain. Opposed to the popular belief at least half of the plate should be the protein.

“Fruits and vegetables are hands-down the most important food for us,” Tedrow said.

Tedrow’s believes that not everything organic is healthy or necessary.

An organic pineapple is not worth the extra $2 because the pesticides used to preserve the fruit is not affecting the part you eat.

“You should focus on the dirty dozen; the top 12 foods that should most definitely be organic. These foods absorb the most pesticides and chemicals,” Tedrow said.

All of these Plain Local residents try to go out of their way to live a healthy and wholesome life style, even when surrounded with the unhealthy and processed food today.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]