Here are a few ideas you might like to consider before giving up on making some changes to a more wholesome diet and lifestyle for health reasons. Time for a return to a simpler lifestyle …
As stated elsewhere, I am not a purist, but try and change some of our lifetime of habits when it comes to our food choices as we become more aware – for our health’s sake. They are all pretty simple Lifestyle changes and are based on our family allergies and health related concerns :
#1 – Worst First – Packet Soups, Seasonings, etc.
These are loaded with MSG (sometimes 75% of a product), additives, preservatives, salt and sugar and they just have to go!
#2 – Tinned Produce
Try and diminish the purchase of tinned food especially :
- Soups – all brands (also high in MSG, salt). We eliminated these completely.
- Tinned Tuna. Eliminate as much as possible due to high mercury in the tuna and BPA. This is especially true for pregnant and nursing mums.
- Tomatoes (are acidic and there is concern over Bisphenol-A leaching into tomatoes)
- Beans (possible high salt content in many tinned vegetables and BPA)
# 3 – Salad Dressings and sauces
A look at some of the ingredients from a variety of the above : glucose, fructose, molasses, salt, caramel (colouring), natural flavour, corn syrup, citric acid, acidity corrector E575, alcohol, sodium benzoate, caramel colour, artificial flavour, potassium sorbate, calcium disodium EDTA, sulphites, propylene glycol alginate, seasonings, colorant, corn syrup, xanthum gum, polysorbate 80, and more salt and sulphites! Not that they are all harmful but . . . .
So many chemicals and preservatives, flavour enhancers and additives we don’t need, but the producer / manufacturer does. Plus most dressings are sold in plastic containers – glass containers are always preferred.
#4 – Say No to White foodstuffs
This was a suggestion from our family doctor many years ago and we are still catching on ! Eliminate the following from your diet as much as possible ~ all the white food stuff such as :
- Flour (white)
- Pasta (white) – substitute whole wheat or rice pasta
These are all over processed and have little or no nutritional value and over the years, books have been written outlining the “evils” of these products. Our bodies receive enough salt in our diets to meet daily requirements without adding more. Substitute honey for sugar and rye or wholegrain flours for white flour. Regarding the elimination of sugar from our diet – please see the article Honey Honey Ah Ha (it can be done) 99.9% of the time.
#5 – Go Organic with fresh produce
We made a list of what we eat daily, and buy organic if it falls into the “most susceptible to chemicals” range. Poor vegetables are sprayed with herbicides, pesticides and fungicides that often are absorbed into the fruit or vegetables. Washing and peeling is still a good thing to do before eating. The abundance of chemicals in our food has been linked to cancers, ADHT, infertility, obesity, diabetes and other diseases. Fresh organic produce we buy as much as possible are:
- Vegetables : Tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, celery, lettuce
- Fruit : Apples, grapes, all berry fruits
- Eggs (non caged hens)
A note about tomatoes
We love them! Fresh, stewed, baked, salsa’d, canned and sauced – just about any way they can be prepared! Our first year garden (2010) was a huge success (in modest terms) and we are still eating our home canned Dad’s Favourite Tomatoes and Green Tomato Salsa from last year’s garden. This year there are over 30 tomato plants of differing varieties in containers and the garden. The season is about three weeks late this year but tiny fruit is already forming on some of the plants (mid June here in the Pacific Northwest).
Alternatives to ALL the above
- Make your own seasonings from dried spices see Homemade Seasonings
- Use simple yoghurt based dips with fresh herbs and spices
- Make your own soups – these are very nutritious and take very little time, such as Mmmm Minestrone Soup
- Buy frozen vegetables and fruit as your first choice over tinned produce
- Try a new hobby like organic gardening See article Two Vegetables and a Fruit and grow some of your own fresh vegetables especially your own “greens” during the summer and purchase organic for remainder of the year
- Preserve your own food (buy organic produce from farmers markets or direct from a certified organic grower)
- Seek out your own alternatives, and read the labels to ensure there really are “no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives”.
- An example of a simple salad dressing : olive oil and balsamic vinegar with fresh herbs – tasty.
Home canning is my preferred method of preserving but requires special equipment (pressure canner and jars, etc) and there is a misconception that it is laboriously time consuming. Yes, it takes time but the rewards are incredible such as opening a can (glass jar really) of organic beets and tomatoes which tasted as good as the day they were canned (eight months ago). We are also still enjoying canned Blackberry juice on ice (with soda) regularly. There are no substitutes for these – they simply are the best ~ mouth watering sweet, healthy and safe. And organic with no chemicals!
Secondly, we also use our freezer for surplus fruit and vegetables. Tomatoes are easy to freeze and taste great when thawed in soups, stews, chilli, sauces, etc. Defrosted fruit makes delightful smoothies and can be made into jam, used for desserts, baking, etc.
Hopefully there will be one or two suggestions in this article, you may wish to try. Good luck for positive changes in your life!
I don’t pretend to understand the Universe – it’s a great deal bigger than I am.
This article has turned out to be twice as long as I anticipated as there is a never ending amount of information available on this subject and there is always the question “Who to believe?” The information in this article is working for us and I hope will be valid for what you are going through.
- The changing point for us was an Elimination Diet under the guidance of an allergist.
- Bread – we make our own using a bread maker, or purchase non additive / preservative bread ; a rye bread which is delicious and nutritious
- There are thousands of recipes online – if you don’t have a computer or if computers aren’t your thing – visit your local library and borrow a book. I collect old cook books and enjoy reading the recipes and experimenting!
- Pesticides on Fruit and Vegetables information.
- If you go to many of the large food manufacturers’ online sites (e.g. Kraft) it is difficult, if not impossible, to find out what chemical additives and preservatives are in any of their products. Reading the labels in store is your main option – so take time and not the “significant other” or kids when food shopping
- BPA is the resin lining in tinned food
- Some of the food chemicals, such as MSG (food intolerance) and PFOA which raises uric acid, is toxic and is a carcinogen in animals and can accumulate in your body. This accumulation is called bio-accumulation.
- A food intolerance versus an allergy
- During a recent discussion a young mum asked me if I heard the statement that our children will be the “first generation that will not survive their parents.” I had not heard that before but believe this is what she is referring to in this article see Changed Paradigm Alberta Government “Action on Wellness” December 2010. (Link no longer available: August, 2013) Their conclusion : We are responsible – Not just the government’s responsibility
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism (Modern Day Sayings)