Food Alternatives

Hello and thank you for joining me! Last week we discussed Spring Cleaning for the pantry and fridge and discussed eliminating items with 14 different ingredients.

One reason why it’s important to make these changes is to decrease the impact of chemical and biological stress in the body. Our bodies and hormones are very sensitive and low-level chronic stress can cause long-term damage and make it harder for us to recover from illnesses. Making a few of these changes that feel comfortable to you this Spring will help reduce stress inside the body, providing you with a clearer mind and less fatigue.

Let’s discuss the alternatives so we can get a fresh start this Spring.  To make it easier to break down on your shopping list, I divided these up into three catagories: Sugars, Additives, and Oils.

 

SUGARS

  • Sugar and (High Fructose) Corn Syrup, Sucralose, and Aspartame:
    • Substitute fruits with a low glycemic index (especially berries, cherries, apples, and pears) for dessert.
    • Eat bread that’s really chewy and grainy instead of white breads or very fine breads,
    • Chose sprucing up your water with fruit and herbs and drinking herbal tea instead of soda or other drinks. It’s also cheaper and the possibilities are endless.
    • Read labels and avoid buying anything with added sugar or corn syrup or the artificial sweeteners, like aspartame.
  • Low-Fat or Fat-Free Products: Always check labels to find out how much sugar has been added to make the food taste better. There are about 15 different names of sugars, so checking the grams of sugar per serving will help a lot if you’re new to labels. Science shows healthy fat is really important for brain development, so taking the fat out can be a double whammy on our health if they’re adding in sugar and we’re not getting the fats our brains need. Eating a low-fat diet isn’t one size-fits-all fats!

ADDITIVES

  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and Table Salt/Sodium Chloride: MSG is found in many restaurants, so find out ahead of time if they use this ingredient and avoid that place. It will help you honor your fullness when you’re eating out. Many sauces and premixed seasonings contain MSG so be on the lookout for this ingredient when selecting your seasonings. It’s best to use sea, Himalayan, or Kosher salt. See how salt is made at:
  • Soy/Soy Lecithin: Soy Lecithin is in a lot of chocolate and packaged foods. So read labels and chose the foods without added soy. It’s such a popular filler, you will be very surprised at how much of it we’re eating when you start seeing it everywhere.
    • The best way to eat soy is whole AND organic soy products.
    • You can use Tamari Sauce to avoid soy and it tastes the same, that’s best for people with any thyroid challenges.
    • Reach for non-sweetened nut milks instead of soy milk if you have a thyroid imbalance.
  • Potassium Sorbate, Polysorbate 80, Artificial Flavors, Artificial Coloring: Choosing whole, organic foods (like vegetables and fruits) reduces the risks of us having any of these man-made ingredients in our foods. Humans are amazing at science, and often make amazing things because we can, without asking if we should. Just because something exists, doesn’t mean we should eat it! Most whole foods are found on the perimeter of the grocery stores.

OILS

  • Hydrogenated or Fractionated Oils AND Canola oil/Vegetable oil: Be mindful in selecting oils. Many oils break down and transform when heated to high temperatures and we can’t process them in their new forms.When cooking oils are exposed to heat in the presence of air, they break down into toxic by-products called polar compounds that have been linked to the development of serious health problems including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Oils are also extracted from the plant using chemicals and many of the crops they are made from are heavily treated with pesticides.

We should reduce or eliminate fried foods, and we can also sauté in a safe, non-stick pan with no oil. However, many recipes call for oil and it’s good for our brains!

What are the healthy oils we should choose instead to maintain the health benefits?

  • Medium-Chain Triglycerides are processed very well by the body! The best source for that is coconut oil. You can get a light variety and it doesn’t have much taste and is tolerant to high heat.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive oil: Best raw but also good for cooking.
  • Avocado oil is next runner up!

Read Dr Weil’s article.  

Bonus Tip! Shopping like this doesn’t have to be expensive and many more discount grocery stores are adding produce aisles and organic/natural food sections and choices! For example, Grocery Outlet carries an avocado/olive oil blend.

 

Spring Cleaning your Pantry and Kitchen!

As we dive into spring cleaning, I want to bring attention to spring cleaning the kitchen and pantry. It’s a great time to start with a natural slate!

What does natural mean to you? Perhaps, it means eating organic and non-GMO, choosing natural house-hold cleaners or body-care products. It might be a combination of things in the food you eat to what you use on your garden.

With the contstant inventions man makes, it’s not strange, but it is interesting that we are surrounded by a lot of artificial things.

Only you can decide what feels best to you in the quest to limit toxic or artificial things in your life, but the first step is always knowledge that can help us make informed decisions and become aware of the available options.

If you’re looking for ideas, I have compiled a list of Food Labels and Ingredients and what they are so that you can choose if you want to include them in your diet. Next week we will discuss alternatives to these 12 items and then we will move on to household products!

Let’s begin!

Food Labels/Ingredients to Avoid

There are many ingredients on food labels that are best to avoid.  By staying away from these ingredients, your body will thank you by running smoothly and performing all the normal bodily functions with ease.  All of these items are best kept to a minimum to maintain a healthy body that can heal from the inside and that has a better chance of bouncing back when our health shifts.

Here are twelve ingredients to consider when cleaning out your pantry; if you’re replacing foods that expired, choose foods without these ingredients going forward:

  1. Sugar: Sugar is in almost every single processed food you can buy today. Such a massive intake of sugar can influence an irregular metabolism, high blood pressure and eventually have a negative impact on the liver.
  2. High Fructose Corn Syrup: High fructose corn syrup can be found in just about any sweet processed food. Aside from it being made from genetically modified corn, high fructose corn syrup can cause accelerated weight gain, insulin resistance and even diabetes when consumed in large quantities over a long period of time.
  3. Low-Fat or Fat-Free Products: Low-fat or fat-free products are not the healthy items they appear to be. Manufactures compensated for flavor by adding massive amounts of sugars and artificial sweeteners to give the taste of a full-fat food. Check the labels for these other ingredients because you might find them there!
  4. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): MSG is commonly found in all processe foods, everything from canned goods to potato chips. When you ingest MSG it sparks your appetite, causing you to eat more. (MSG is found in many restaurants, so find out ahead of time if they use this ingredient and avoid that place. It will help you honor your fullness when you’re eating out).
  5. Hydrogenated or Fractionated Oils: These oils are man-made or so severely changed from their original form, there is nothing natural about them. It’s basically eating plastic… so yuck.
  6. Canola oil/Vegetable oil: Be mindful in selecting oils. We will talk more about the healthiest oils for cooking foods next week.
  7. Sucralose: Sucralose is a not a good choice. Also called chlorinated sugar—sucralose contains chlorine, which is prevalent in bleach and disinfectants.
  8. Soy/Soy Lecithin: Soy can disturb estrogen in women and it interferes with the uptake of thyroid hormones. Most soy is genetically modified and therefore not natural, but pesticides are another huge concern. Soy is in so very many products, that we just have too much in our diets. The only soy that is good to consume is organic fermented and whole organic soy products (those with thyroid imbalance should only chose fermented like tempeh to reduce the interaction with the hormone replacement they take).
  9. Table Salt/Sodium Chloride: This becomes a man-made ingredient after processing. Know what’s in your salt and how it’s drastically changed from the source!
  10. Aspartame: While aspartame is 200 times sweeter than conventional sugar and only has four calories per gram, it is man-made in a lab.
  11. Artificial Flavors: Found in a majority of foods today, artificial flavors are just that, artificial!
  12. Artificial Coloring: Remember that candy scare in the eighties? Well, need I say more?