What’s In It?

Every day we hear more bad news about the effects of the foods we eat on our bodies. One medical report after another tells us that what we eat is killing us. Magazines highlight the best proteins, carbs and fats. So the question remains: why aren’t we changing the way we eat?

Now, I am not a radical foodie! I am a vegetarian because I discovered that meat doesn’t agree with me.  My journey was accidental in that I only found out I needed to avoid meat by being forced to.

Fifteen years ago I grudgingly agreed to spend a week with my mom at a health spa in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I said yes to sitting by the pool and soaking up the sun. I had no idea that this was a vegan spa (what’s vegan?).  I recall the massive headache that plagued me during the first day and a half because there was no coffee or sugar. I was irritable and frustrated and considered going AWOL in pursuit of a Snickers bar and a DietCoke.vegetarians

What transpired over the week was nothing short of transformational. I discovered that my painful gut issues disappeared. I also had my first introduction to the concept of holistic wellness; wellness as concept that connects the mind and the body.

I returned home inspired to buy organic milk and range-fed chicken for my kids. I cut out all meats. Which brings me full circle to my topic. Have you ever really considered where and how your food is produced?

I am not advocating that you break the bank and buy strictly organic, or that you choose the raw food plan. No, I simply encourage you to look at how the food you consume is produced and decide for yourself whether or not this should continue to occupy space in your kitchen.

sliced_cheese1A perfect example for me is processed cheese. For a long time, I purchase sliced “American” cheese for my children (I won’t name brands, you know the kind).  This was a staple in my house and enhanced many of my girls’ favorite foods. One day I was online and found a sound bite on the very same, portable, easy to unwrap, cheese. Imagine the shock when I read that American Cheese cannot even be legally sold as “Authentic” because of the additives, emulsifiers etc…

I won’t say that my pantry is a perfect specimen of organic unprocessed foods, but it is far cleaner that it used to be because I read the label. Yes, I want to know the calories, fat and sugars, but I think it’s important to also look at the ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it, chance are you shouldn’t put it in your body. I made it my mission to try to replace some of the items that we regularly stocked. Once a week I chose one item and looked for an alternative. Sometimes the switch was successful and sometimes it wasn’t.

One of the great benefits (aside from a healthier kitchen), was that my daughters began to read labels as well.

As I said at the outset, this isn’t about revamping every item in your culinary repertoire, it’s about educating yourself.

Need tips on clearing out the kitchen? Email me at Liz@toyourhealthwellness.com

Want some additional resources? Check out  the Links page on my website, http://www.toyourhealthwellness.com

To Your Health!