Sunday, November 18, 2012

Know Your Ingredients!!

I think this is going to be one of my favorite posts!! We tend not to read labels, regardless if it is for the nutrition content or if it is for the ingredients we are ingesting in our bodies. I am not going to concentrate so much on description of the label today, however I am going to focus on the ingredients commonly listed on a label under nutrition facts. Here are a few common ingredients you should watch out for and be aware of:

Carrageenan: This is a very common ingredient found in products such as almond milks, beers, toothpastes, soy milk, pet foods, shoe polish, diet sodas, etc. The Joint FAO/WHO expert committee on food additives states that, "based on the information available, it is inadvisable to use carrageenan or processed eucheuma seaweed in infant formulas". This is extracted from red seaweed that have cancer causing agents.

Cochineal/Carmine:This is commonly found in anything red, such as strawberry, rose, beet, flavorings, colorings etc. You ready to know what it is? It is ground up BEETLES. Yes, bugs! It is common to be found in yogurt, ice cream, fruit juices, etc. It could be labeled as natural color or color added but not necesarily on the "ingredient list."

Gelatin: Most people know this ingredient also known as Jell-O. It is very common in anything with 'gel' such as yogurt, gummy bears, gummy worms, jellybeans, desserts, vitamin supplements, marshmallows. What is gelatin? It is the connective tissue on animals and humans for joints, muscles, etc. Kinda gross thinking we eat foods with animal parts that's not even a meat.

This is a very short list. I could go on for days with this list. For other ingredients you want to avoid, would be high fructose corn syrup, white refined flours, white sugar (bleached/use charred animal bones to grind), brown sugar (molasses mixed with white sugar), artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame, splenda, sweet n low, nutrasweet), hydrogenated ANYTHING (this is transfat, regardless if something says transfat free), trans fat (artificially made fats), MOST saturated fats (if it is in fruits/vegetables-they are actually GOOD saturated fats-like avocadoes/coconuts), anything that says it has anything artificial in the product, most gums (they have rubber-the same rubber used to make other products), BHT, any types of acid (phosphoric, citric, ascorbic).

This boils all the way down to KNOW YOUR INGREDIENTS, READ YOUR LABELS, EDUCATE YOURSELF. Processed foods are full of junk that we are ingesting in our body. It could be linked to headaches, diabetes, cancer, stopped periods, impotence, hair loss, anemia, symptoms you have but yet have no explanation for. Never count out your diet as a factor to your health. Are you surprised by any of this? Are there ingredients you have always questioned but were to afraid to ask about?

Thank you for reading my 2nd post,

God Bless

Jennifer Butz

Friday, November 9, 2012

Healthy Eating 101

So you have decided to start a healthy eating journey, aka weight loss without diet, doctor told me I need to do something about it, or I'm just ready to do something about being stronger/healthier. Well, there is hope. I can definitely help out in this fields. I am not going to lie, I also have unhealthy stuff in my refrigerator, however much less than what I used to and my grocery bill is DRAMATICALLY cheaper!! I am hoping to continue this blog on at least a weekly or monthly basis. *giggle* I mean yes, that is my plan. If you would like for me to blog about any specific things, please let me know. I decided at the beginning of this year, I would go along with the church I attend and fast. I decided on the Daniel Fast. Oh boy, was I in for a BIG surprise. I discovered there are many things you canNOT have and you can have. So instead of doing the full Daniel Fast, I decided to cut out all meats. I had a lot of success with that. I tried to do without animal products in my foods and that worked KIND OF. However, I discovered I liked not eating as much meat. I would be called a flexitarian now. In other words, I don't have to have animal products of any kind daily, I'm very flexible. I try to find different ways to complement my foods and sometimes I just don't eat enough. As Dave Ramsey says, there's nothing wrong with being weird. You can be flexible in anything you want in life, including your diet, finances, job, etc. It's YOUR life not someone else's.

So this is what I have done this year:

  • Educated myself on foods, ingredients, recipes via the internet, talking to people, documentaries, television, and  recipe books (I have a TON of them) and learned what I like and don't like.
  • Introduced myself to a new food, fruit, vegetable, grain, meat, cut of meat, bean, cheese, egg, grain milks, dairy, etc and tried it to see if I liked it or even what to do with it. 
  • I have discovered my passion is cooking and educating others in how to live their lifestyle fully from a healthy perspective and reading labels.
  • Read labels that I was too scared to look at to discover how much fat, cholesterol, sodium, calories, etc are in the junk they put out there.
  • Discovered GMOs are in practically everything that is processed, including SUBWAY and other "healthy" and "unhealthy" restaurants. 
  • Discovered everything we put in our mouth is not necessarily good for us and sometimes not necessarily bad for us.
  • Discovered new recipes that I actually like and introducing others to new recipes even though they cringed at first, they got over it and tried it and said it was delicious! 

This is the first of many blogs that are to come. Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions for any new topics or something you want to ask but were too afraid to find out the answer. I will try my best to help you in anyway possible.

Thanks and God Bless

Jennifer Butz