Eat Well Wednesday

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Processed food can mean a lot of different things.  Think of a bag of frozen broccoli, while it is not fresh, it is still loaded with vitamins and nutrients that will do the body good.  Ranch Doritos, well not so much.

Snackwells

I like to break down processed foods into two categories:

Foods that are good for you, nutrient dense, but packaged for convenience.  You can create these food items in your own kitchen, but some days you just don’t have the time.
  • Peanut Butter, Hummus, Beans, Frozen Fruit, Canned Tomatoes, Whole Grain Bread etc.
Foods that would be impossible to create at home, because their ingredients are made it a lab somewhere and then injected into your food.
  • Fruity Pebbles, Pop Tarts, M & M’s, Frozen breakfast sandwiches, Chips.
Just check out the ingredient list for this box of packaged granola bars.  I can’t even tell you what half of this stuff is, but what I do know is that our bodies were not meant to process it.
cereal
So why should we avoid the later, Processed Foods with hard to pronounce ingredients?
1. Calories
Processed foods tends to have way more calories that natural, whole foods. Take a serving of chips for example.  11 Ranch Dorito Chips has about  140 Calories and 2 Grams of Protein. Most people have about 2-3 servings of chips with a meal, so that would add up to 450 calories in chips alone!!
Instead of the calorie bomb chips you can have a much healthier alternative.  Carrot sticks with homemade ranch dressing.  Check out this super easy recipe here http://www.blogher.com/healthy-greek-yogurt-ranch-dressing
2. Addictive
Food companies want you to keep buying their products so that they continue to make their money.  Therefore the chemicals added into your food have been found to contain addictive properties.  Yes, food companies are getting you addicted to fat, sugar and chemicals.  Yuck! So the reason that you keep reaching in that bag for more chips might not be all your will power, companies have snuck in ways to get you addictive to their food.
However, the same things goes for when you eat healthy, whole foods too.  Your body will start to crave the nutrients and freshness from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and organic meats.  Once your body has food that it knows what to do with it, it will THRIVE!
3. Cheap
Yes, processed foods are cheap and that is why a lot of people say that they purchase them and that fresh fruit, veggies and organic food is too expensive.  The reason they are cheap is because they are filled with fillers, additives, and cheap, low quality ingredients.  Do you really want you and your family to be eating chemicals made in a lab?  Investing in a few extra pennies for high quality foods is well worth it.  It will keep you out of the doctor’s office and healthy for life.
4. GMO’S
There is lots of buzz out there about GMO’S.  Genetically Modified Organisms. Unless you are buying LABELED NON-GMO or Organic foods you are consuming GMO’S.  Soy and corn products that are made in a plant somewhere and then are used as fillers to your processed, boxed food.
5.  Food dyes, Preservatives, and Allergies
Everyone I talk to and work with has at least one health issue that they are struggling with.  Whether it be allergies, hyper-activity in their children, inability to concentrate, digestive issues, headaches etc.  It is to my belief that these issues are caused by the poor quality of foods that we eat.  The ingredients in processed, packaged foods are NOT SAFE.  Red No 40 is know for causing hyperactivity in children and is in almost every breakfast cereal, granola bar and pop tart on the shelf.  No wonder our children are having a difficult time in school when their morning meal is full of hyperactivity causing drugs.
By eliminating processed foods, with ingredients that are hard to mysterious, we can elminate the diseases and issues that are robbing us of our quality of life.
Let me close by stating that NO ONE is perfect.  We will all eat processed foods as some point in our life.  But the objective is to be aware, educated, and make smarter, healthier choices 99% of the time.  By choosing the healthy, unprocessed food our bodies will adapt to the quality of nutrients that it is receiving and will jump for joy!  Eventually making processed foods unappealing and quite honestly they will make you feel crappy, tired, lethargic and sick when you do consume them.
Take this knowledge with you next time you prepare a meal for you and your family or when you fill up your shopping cart at the  grocery store.  Remember, whole foods.  Foods that don’t need an ingredients list, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean, quality meats will help your body thrive and help you live your best life ever.
Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.
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0-1Jill Wentworth is leading us Wednesday by Wednesday into making better food choices and being more healthful. Tune in every Wednesday to get some great recipes and advice from someone who really knows health. In an effort to fuel her passion to serve as well has enhance the lives of others through their nutritional choices, she started Eat Well SA(San Antonio). Her vision is to educate you on how to incorporate a healthy array of foods into your life. Eat Well is not a diet, nor does it embrace any one specific dietary agenda. She also offers customized programs that are educational and teach you the tools you need to maintain healthy, well balanced eating for your busy lives.
Eat Well Wednesday

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