THE BLOG
07/15/2014 12:00 pm ET Updated Sep 14, 2014

5 Reasons Your Great-Grandmother Was Healthier Than You

Marcy Maloy via Getty Images

I bet you know someone who has allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, food sensitivities or eczema. As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I see it all the time.

I also bet you that your great-grandmother never experienced any of those things.

Why? Cause your great-grandmother rocked! Also, something is wrong with our food system. Instead of relying on packaged, processed goods, we need to be more like our darling great-grandmothers and go back to the basics of real food.

Here are 10 reasons your great-grandmother was healthier than you (and ideas on how you can change that):

1. She didn't diet
Can you imagine your great-grandmother keeping a log of the calories she's eaten for the day? Heck no! I bet she would have laughed at the concept. Unfortunately, this is the way we've been told to successfully reach our health goals. But think of it logically -- not all calories are created equal. One hundred calories from a chocolate bar is not nearly as nutrient-dense as 100 calories from half an avocado. Calories don't matter. The quality of the food does.

2. She ate real food.
Genetically modified foods, artificial sweeteners, additives and artificial flavorings -- these words would be just as meaningless to her as the word "Twitter"! These low-quality ingredients didn't need to be on her radar because they just didn't exist. Her food came from the land -- anything that grew, flew, swam or ran. Think about it -- she didn't need to read labels. Everything was just real and not processed. Easy.

3. She moved her body.
She didn't spend hours in front of the computer, TV or feel that her BFF was Jennifer Lawrence after creeping on her for a half day online (anyone else?). The activities in her daily life just naturally kept her off her butt. I know this can be especially hard in modern times with office jobs, but take the time to stand every half an hour and take your eyes off the (addictive) computer screen. Set a timer and try it for one day. And feel the difference in your body (an office-wide revolution, perhaps?).

4. She took the time to cook.
We live in a time where we glorify "busy" and a lot of times we tell ourselves that we are "too busy" to cook dinner. Well I'm calling you out on that -- I would argue that there are few things that are more important than you fueling yourself with real foods. Answering your phone can wait, going on Facebook can wait and pinning your next greatest solution to home organization can wait. Make the time to cook real food.

5. Clever marketing didn't sway her food choices.
Fat-free, low-calorie and sugar-free were not part of her vocabulary. These are modern day concepts that were made up to make you think you are doing something healthy. But don't be fooled- fat-free means they took out the fat, and replaced it with sugar. Low-calorie doesn't necessarily mean the product was made with healthy, real food ingredients. And sugar-free usually means they've replaced it with artificial sweeteners. This is about as good for you as dog food. Don't touch these products with a 10-foot pole.

We have a lot to learn from our wise great-grandmothers. Start thinking about how you can mimic parts her lifestyle (but perhaps don't bring back the big poofy dresses -- let's leave that in the past) and you (and your children and grandchildren) will be all the healthier for it.

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