No Time To Eat Healthy?

Then you better make time for illness! And-if you eat predominately from a box, you may end up in one yourself, sooner rather than later. Did your mother use these scare tactics and others to try and get you to eat healthy? I heard a lot about the starving children around the world and how lucky I was to have good food to eat but sometimes the fresh veggies didn't have much appeal. I'd make a game of playing bulldozer, pushing them around my plate, piling them up close to the edge, thinking I could just push them over when Mom wasn't looking and that they'd magically disappear to somewhere other than in my stomach. I was never so lucky! She'd make me sit at the table for hours, if it took that long, until I finished everything on my plate, constantly telling me to stop playing with my food and just eat! Why would we listen to mom tell us not to play with our food when the commercial food industry has made a huge game out of it?

If you take your child grocery shopping with you, your child is noticing everything about product placement, packaging and messages that you take for granted. The cereal aisle is a perfect example. I spent 15 minutes perusing this section of the local Publix yesterday, taking note of packaging art, the use of the word 'natural', how many were Non-GMO certified (not many) and how many were labeled 'organic' as well as where each product sat on the shelves. Of course, most of the ridiculous ones with names like Cookie Crisp, Sprinkled Donut Crunch, Krave Chocolate S'mores, Kellogg's Disney Frozen, and Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles are all placed lowest on the shelves so they are at the eye-level of your impressionable little darlings. This is the epitome of play food! You don't really buy this trash for you or your family, do you? Even items labeled organic are full of added sugar. Here's one I got a kick out of: Kellogg's Smart Start. For a one cup serving at 190 calories, you may think that's fine. If calories were the only thing that mattered and you are, for example, trying to lose a few fat pounds and are aiming for 1,200-1,500 calories/day. You think that leaves a lot of wiggle room for the day. Please tell me you read the entire label. At 43 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 1 gram fat, 200 mgs sodium and only 4 grams protein, how is this a Smart Start? The #3 ingredient on the label is sugar; it also contains additional brown sugar syrup, corn syrup, honey, yellow #5, artificial flavor and malt flavor. Why all the sweeteners? Really want to eat yellow #5?! Foods high in simple carbohydrates will cause your pancreas to secrete the hormone insulin, causing a spike in your blood sugar which is something you want to avoid at all times as much as possible. This amount of sugar is typical of desserts but this is cereal!

Let's just take a moment to examine what some of the most commonly added ingredients to your boxed cereal do to your body. Try to imagine yourself at home, with your cereal bowl on the counter, deciding what to fill that bowl with as the most optimal start to your day. Since most cereals list some type of grain as the first ingredient on the nutrition content label (albeit, a highly-processed grain), imagine you have all the ingredients in separate containers in your cupboard and you will add them in the same order as listed by the manufacturer. Go ahead and add the grain of your choice. Did you choose wheat? Rye? Rice? Oats or corn? Most are GMOs, by the way (unless specified as certified non-GMO), but please-continue. The second ingredient varies from brand-to-brand but is often wheat gluten, so add that. What? You don't want gluten? Even if you don't suffer from Celiac Disease, wheat gluten can cause issues. Check out this link for very detailed information, it's worth the read: http://paleoleap.com/11-ways-gluten-and-wheat-can-damage-your-health/.

Third up is most likely sugar. Go ahead and pour it on! Manufacturers do, though it's not clear how much of each listed source of sugar, but with an average of 40+ grams of carbs/serving, it's about 10 teaspoons. Just remember while you're adding sugar that it: is highly addictive, is an empty calorie with zero nutritional value and over-consumption leads to obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolic disorders, type-II diabetes, cancer and tooth decay. Yum! Breakfast is looking good! Especially since we now get to add more sweeteners like sucralose (http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/health-risks-sucralose), fructose, corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup (http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/05/13/5-reasons-high-fructose-corn-syrup-will-kill-you/). And rounding off your balanced breakfast is BHT. This is a food preservative used to prevent fats and oils in packaged foods from becoming rancid though excess consumption has been associated with abdominal cramping, confusion, nausea, liver toxicity, vertigo, vomiting, and loss of consciousness.

Of course, there are more items you could put in your bowl but the likelihood that you would have them in your cupboard is virtually non-existent (dyes, preservatives, etc.) and they truly aren't necessary-like added sodium, found in every cereal I checked-but what's ridiculous is this is all FDA approved. The real joke is that most of us are aware of the ify-ness of so-called safe ingredients and the downright danger of others but we eat them anyway! Proof that sugar in any form is so highly addictive that we find it almost impossible to say no to products containing it even though it's common knowledge that it's poison!

I only saw one shopper take a box of cereal off the shelf in the time I spent checking the contents of what I assume the average American eats on a regular basis for breakfast-I mean, 3/4 of one entire aisle is dedicated to this processed food and that seems like a lot of space for a retailer to devote to something that wouldn't sell. Maybe it wasn't the peak shopping time. It certainly couldn't have been the price as there were so many BoGo offers happening to lure shoppers with a sweet deal. Notice how you never find BoGo's on fruit, vegetables and other healthy foods? The thing is, you could go through every aisle of the typical grocery store (not health food chains like Whole Foods, though they're not perfect either), pick apart each item on the shelf and find that 90% of what's sold as food is far from what we should be eating for health, nourishment, longevity and vitality. Most products contain ingredients that degrade health and cause serious medical issues.

I certainly don't mean to cause anger, frustration or panic by pointing out the obvious that most people choose to ignore. It's just that I watch people choose to ignore and this is insane! Don't play Russian Roulette with your body, taking your health for granted until the day your doctor says "I'm sorry to inform you Mrs. Jones, but you've got stage 3 pancreatic cancer." Or some other equally horrifying diagnosis. While some diseases may be beyond our control, why take the risk with something you do have control over? Explore other options-there's certainly no shortage of ideas to be found on the internet. I added a chia seed breakfast pudding to my diet/recipe gallery that is so amazing, all natural, non-GMO, and sooooooo delicious-all due to wanting a healthy alternative to grocery store offerings. This is just one of many recipes I found and I tweaked it to suit my taste. Get creative-try breakfast burritos, wraps, crepes, quiches, my carrot cake oatmeal recipe (also in the diet/recipe gallery and super To-Die-For)-so many options, so little time! Just step outside the box. Pun intended.


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