Pantry Makeover: Easy Steps To Eating Healthier

By Julie Sews - 5:46:00 PM

We are just newbies to learning how to live healthier, so I totally understand how hard and overwhelming it can seem to start living healthier.  We are not being perfectly healthy and green in every way possible.  We are human, and so are you.  So do not beat yourself up for not being perfect, just try to add a few new habits to your life at a time.  Take it day by day.

I thought it would be helpful to show the little things we have done so far in our path to eating healthier, this is in the order that we started on our path to living healthier.  So take it one step at a time, we didn't do all this in one day.
  1. Stop Buying any Products with High Fructose Corn Syrup, or Partially Hydrogenated Oil.  This way seem impossible and overwhelming at first since it seems like everything has at least one or the other in it, but I promise you it's easy when you find out brands that don't have any of those ingredients, and then you just buy those brands, and shopping is easy again.  Some brands available everywhere that I switched to when eliminating this from my diet were: 
    1. David's Deli Bagels (the multigran one is awesome) they actually taste better, and are located in the freezer sections.
    2. Breyer's Ice Cream it's all natural!  Just make sure it says natural, because the sugar free, carb free, and candy bar versions are not but they do not say all natural on it.  Also I swear it's the best ice cream, uuummmm good thing I don't have any in the house right now, just thing about it has me drooling.
    3. International Delight Coffee Creamer  it has no partially hydrogenated oil in it, but Palm oil instead.  White Chocolate Macadamian nut is by far my fav.
    4. I stoped buying cool whip after realizing the ingredients are basically Only partially-hydrogenated oil and high fructose syrup.  And started buying Real Whipped Cream.
    5. Annie's Homegrown's version of Hamburger Helper.  Because Hamburger Helper has partially hydrogenated oil in it.
    6. Switch to organic Ketchup, yes even ketchup has high fructose corn syrup in it.  Heinz has an organic version that is widely available now.
    7. Buy real maple syrupotherwise it's dyed artifically flavored high fructose syrup.  Doesn't that sound good?
    8. Only buy soda made with real sugar some standard brands are doing a throwback limited time where it is real sugar and Siera Mist Naturals.  There are also lots of natural sodas in glass bottles, my fav is Izzie's it's local and made from juice, I know they're more expensive, but that's good because you'll only have it as a treat then.  It'll probably help you lose weight too!  What about diet soda?  Chemical subsitute for sugar....not a good idea in my opinion and studies have shown people still gain weight drinking it anyway.  
  2. Eat Only Unrefined Carbs  
    1. As a basic rule if it's white put it down, we only want brown....
    2. So no bleached and enriched white flour, instead we want brown bread, rice (or wild is even better), sugar, etc.
  3. Stop Eating and Drinking Products With Fake Sugars 
    1. Check labels for  saccharin (e.g., Sweet'N Low), aspartame (e.g., Equal,NutraSweet) and sucralose (e.g., SplendaAltern), these are the most common ones.
    2. These are most often found in drinks, yogurts, and anything with diet or sugar free or only 100 calories.
    3. Why should you not consume chemicals in place of real sugar?  Well first of all they are chemicals and we don't really know how they work in our bodies.  I don't know about you but I don't want to be a guinea pig.  
    4. We use less refined real sugar whenever possible and limit our sugar intake.  If you choose to use a sugar replacement, use stevia (an all natural no calorie sweetner that comes from the leaves of the plant)
  4. Stop Buying Products With MSG
    1.  Although MSG is considered by the FDA as GRAS (generally recognized as safe).  Many people believe it is not.  It is actually very similar chemically to the artificial sweetener Aspartame. My thought is why take the chance?
    2. What products typically have it?  Well lot's of stuff.....the most common products are soup and processed foods.  It also has many different names, some are: Monosodium glutamate, sodium glutamate, including hydrolyzed vegetable proteinsautolyzed yeasthydrolyzed yeastyeast extractsoy extracts, and protein isolate
    3. How do I try to avoid it? I try to eat less processed foods and i will not buy soup or broth unless it says no MSG on the label.  I know Trader Joe's and Whole Foods does not carry any products with MSG, so you can just shop there or at your local Co-op if you don't want to go crazy looking at labels.  You can also buy Progresso Soup, or Target's brand Market Pantry soups say on the label no MSG.  Or better yet buy organic soup.  Muir Glen is a good organic option, often reasonably priced (often on sale for $2) and they even have it at Target.  I like their southwestern bean.  I crumble up organic tortilla chips in to it, and it's so good.
  5. Start Buying Organic Whenever Possible 
    1. Why? Pesticides are obviously a bad thing, but organic vegetables also have more nutrition because conventional methods have soil stripped of nutrients, and add fertilizers with only potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. When your not getting the nutrition you need your always hungry.  So an added plus is you might actually lose weight and have better nutrition.  Click Here to read our article about organic nutrition.
    2. if you buy processed foods (any prepared foods) that are organic you don't have to worry about any bad additives, GMO's (genetically modifed organisms), pesticides, etc.  In other words it gives you peace of mind and makes shopping much easier.
    3. I would be especially careful of anything that has corn or soy in it.  Because almost all corn and soy is GMO, I would buy organic.  I recently realized all the chips and popcorn I've had is most likely GMO.  Only organic from now on!
  6. Replace Your Table Salt with Pink Salt 
    1. click here to see our article on this
  7. Start Growing Your Own Vegetables Organically and Making More Food From Scratch
    1. I can't tell you how great it is to know where your food came from and what's in it.  When you make your own food not only do you know what is in it but you can increase the nutritional content.  What I do is use well tested published recipes and I tweek them to be healthier.
    2. Visit our Gardening section for tips on how to start.  Anyone can grow their own food even if you live in an apartment.
Visit our Recipe section for my nutrition packed recipes with tips and tricks to make meals from scratch and still have time to enjoy your life without slaving over a stove!

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I am not a doctor. I have ZERO medical training and NO formal nutritional training.  The information provided on this site, such as text, graphics, images, is for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical care or medical advice and is not a replacement for medical care given by physicians or trained medical personnel.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider(s) when experiencing symptoms or health problems, or before starting any new treatment.

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