Read the Ingredients

Thursday, March 23, 2017
Image result for ingredient label of processed foods
If you absolutely must have processed food in your life, which would be mostly for convenience I'm sure, then the ingredients and choose the better option. A good option would not include the above...Reeses Pieces candy. Eating clean and whole foods IS the best diet you can have, but I do have to say that it is not convenient. It takes planning and time to prepare. My daughter and her husband usually spend their Sunday afternoons meal prepping for the upcoming week. I'll cover that in an upcoming post. But for now, back to the ingredients in processed food.

I went to the grocery store in search of decent processed food. Yes, if you must use processed food, there are decent choices out there. First, let me show you another really bad choice.
Shake 'n Bake Ingredients: Enriched wheat flour, salt, canola oil, sugar, monosodium glutamate, dextrose, cornmeal, paprika, hydrolyzed corn protein, high fructose corn syrup, yeast, spice, dried onions, dried garlic, corn maltodextrin, caramel color, citric acid, extractives of paprika

Look at the ingredients that you can pronounce, and by-golly, yes, you can make that yourself at home in a jiffy without all the other toxic crap that's added.

A processed food that most households use a lot is cake mix. Below are two cakes mixes. The one on the left has minimal ingredients, the one on the right....has a lot of ingredients. To name a few: artificial coloring, red, yellow and blue, partially hydrogenated oil, artificial flavors and many other ingredients I can't pronounce.
Pillsbury Purely Simple cake mix vs Duncan Hines cake mix

Another common processed food most households use is pancake mix. This actually is very simple to make from scratch with the best ingredients you have. Then you know exactly what you are eating. But if you must buy it boxed, there are better choices.

As you begin to transform your life from eating the standard american diet to a more clean diet, you CAN choose BETTER processed food. Our goal would be to eliminate the majority of all processed foods, but making BETTER choices is an excellent place to start.

So remember to READ THE INGREDIENTS. Less is better and if you can pronounce the ingredients and you know what they are then you have made a better choice.

Time to eat Whole Foods

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

So you have decided that you are ready for a lifestyle change. That's awesome! Your diet is a great place to start. You may be tired of jumping from fad diet to fad diet and never seeing lasting results in your energy levels and weight loss. You're tired of sugar and carb cravings. You're tired of having achy joints and headaches. You're tired of not having energy, and getting sick a little too often. You are tired of being constipated. You are literally tired of being sick and tired!

Yes, these are the things you can experience when you eat mostly the standard american diet. You may even feel you are not up to your game physically and mentally. A poor diet, mostly processed food, can be a contributor to many ailments such as, depression, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, ADD, high blood pressure, heart disease and high cholesterol; just to name a few.

Congratulations for taking the first step to take control of your life! You are ready to nourish your body, and with that you actually nourish your mind and spirit. There needs to be a balance in our lives. Our mind and body are interconnected and they impact each other tremendously.

Where Do I Start?

Start adding more whole foods to your diet and eliminating processed foods.

Why should you start your healthy lifestyle change with eliminating processed foods and eating whole foods? 

#1     The majority of processed food is not REAL food. Read the ingredients, it's "food" made in a lab with lots of chemicals. Processed food is full of artificial ingredients, flavors, colors and preservatives. Most of the added "nutritional" aspects of processed food are synthetic.

#2     Processed food has little fiber and lots of sugar.  This has a huge impact on our gastrointestinal system. You need fiber to keep things moving. Sugar is the main culprit of inflammation in our bodies. Too much sugar can also contribute to liver insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes. 

#3.    Processed food is addicting. manufacturers do that on purpose. They spend enormous amounts of money to make their foods addictive They add ingredients that stimulate the pleasure response in your brain. Sugar, salt, fat and MSG trigger these brain responses. The fact is, processed foods are so incredibly rewarding to our brains that they affect our thoughts and behavior, making us eat more and more until eventually we become sick. Sugary foods stimulate the same addictive area of the brain as hard drugs, such as cocaine.

I just gave you a few very good reasons to start eliminating processed foods. I dare you to take a look in your kitchen cabinets and your pantry and see how much processed food you have. See how much processed food you eat daily. On any given day, can you eat your three basic meals WITHOUT processed food being on the menu? I leave you with that challenge and I'll leave you today with one simple rule....

It's Time for a Lifestyle Change

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Maybe I should write a book on the perfect diet....since I couldn't find it at the library

The start of a new year is a great time to revamp or even start your journey to a more healthy life. If loosing weight or becoming more healthy overall is your goal, then I advise to NOT visit the library! Just kidding...well maybe not. I went to the library to check out a particular book about clean eating and thought it was ridiculous how many books there are on dieting, getting fit, and getting healthy. Crazy stuff out there! Have you heard of the tapeworm diet? Oh my gosh....I'd rather eat dirt! hahaha. Anyway,  I'm pretty sure every celebrity has their endorsement or picture or even co-authored a diet book. I mean, Randy Jackson can co-author a book on health? Really Dawg? You better just stick to your music.

Which diet should I follow?

That's actually a loaded question. I don't like the word "diet". People tend to associate the word diet with things like "going without", "hunger", "temporary", "never works", "giving up all good food". If you are truly ready to lose weight, get stronger, become more healthy overall and have a balanced life, then you probably need a "lifestyle change". 

So many people diet and starve, get quick results and then go back to the way they were. Then when the weight comes know the, starve yourself again. When you decide to make a lifestyle change, you work hard, sacrifice and when you reach your goal, you have made a new kind of lifestyle for yourself that is the result of your discipline and hard work. You know the saying...Nothing Good Comes Easy. A huge part of living a healthy lifestyle is food. Food can kill you and food can heal you. Not to totally diss the library, there are actually very good books out there about living a more vibrant healthy life. While I don't follow any particular specific eating lifestyle, like paleo, vegan or vegetarian, I do try to have a "clean" and "whole foods" diet (diet as in what I eat, not diet as in 'food that one restricts themself from'). 

Eat Clean, Whole Foods

                                Image result for clean whole foods images

A lifestyle change may just be the way for you to go this year. It does not happen over night. What things in your life do you need to change and make better regarding your health? Quit a bad habit? Become more active physically? Remove harmful foods from your diet? Find your Zen? Those things plaque many of us and tend to be the factors that hold us back in many ways. I encourage you to take an inventory of your life and decide that this will be the year you make that change.....for good!