Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nutrition Seminar & Pantry Exposed

So much to share with you this week!! I joined a local Meetup of Whole Foodies and went to my first meetup on Sprouting Grains & Beans. I was pretty nervous driving into Fairfax, not knowing what to expect. The crowd was eclectic for sure! But I listened, took notes and got the heck out of there! Basically, here's what I learned: our bodies have a hard time digesting grains and beans, they contain phytic acid which can prohibit our body's ability to absorb certain minerals and nutrients and lastly, sprouting them gives them a nutritional edge and creates a sort of "super food" that wasn't there before. Plus, people with mild gluten intolerences can eat sprouted grains. Additionally, I learned that the Uncle Ben's, Success and other rices in my pantry are nutritionally void and over processed. Out they go!  Our instructor had soaked some organic brown rice in whey and water and cooked it for us to taste. Another person brought in some black bean soup (from beans he had soaked as well). They were so yummy. A little bowl of heaven, with a touch of cultured butter and sea salt. Simple. Tasty. Whole. I still have much I want to learn about sprouting grains and beans. And my next adventure will be growing my own sprouts and wheat grass! More on that later...I have some research to do!

Now on to my next topic...
Today I decided to clean out every food item from my kitchen. I emptied the pantry and cupboards. I read every label and tossed anything that listed the "dirty" ingredients I have come to despise. You may recognize a few items below and think "what could possibly be wrong with Crystal Light, Campbell's soup or even Metamucil?" Well, I'll tell you - A LOT! Every item my counter and even more that was in my fridge contains items that are chemically made, genetically modified, sprayed with pesticides, and transported hundreds of miles, calling itself food. Well, wake up America - this stuff is NOT food. There's not one ounce of nutrition in any of it. I cringed as I read the labels, thinking to myself, no wonder I used to suffer from daily headaches, fatigue, and now have a chronic illness. So, here's what I tossed:

  • The Crystal Light has Aspartame, along with the Metamucil, which I bought to help with tummy troubles (artificial sweeteners can actually make them worse)
  • The Good Earth dinners, Pasta Roni, Campbell's Soup, Progresso soup, Lipton soup and Chunky soup all have hydrolyzed soy, vegetable or corn proteins (these mimic MSG and are very bad for your nervous system), some of those have partially hydrogenated veg. oils (or trans fats)
  • The seasoning packets - think McCormick's Beef Stew seasoning, brown gravy mix, hollandaise mix packet all have MSG, hydrolyzed proteins and disgusting amounts of sodium. One packet had 460 mg per serving and a packet was 10 servings. That's 4600 mg of sodium your adding to your pan of pot roast or gravy, double your daily allowance.
  • The worst offender in the pile - Knorr Bouillon cubes. They contained partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrolyzed proteins, and 1200 mg sodium per cube. Those things should be illegal!!
  • Pudding - partially hydrogenated vegetable oil
  • Sugar free Jello - aspartame
  • Slim Fast - aspartame and artificial colors (stomach irritants and neurologically damaging)
  • Heinz Ketchup - High Fructose corn syrup (so glad they make a HFCS-free version now!)
Basically everything here should be on your naughty list. These are things I used to consume weekly, if not daily. I'm so glad that I have educated myself and found friends that also support this lifestyle. I just wish that this information was more mainstream and that eating real food was a nationwide phenomenon. Instead, large corporations are creating our foods in a lab, adding a dash of this and a splash of that to make it last longer, make it cheaper and make themselves rich. They don't care about your health. I just found this website called and they have dozens of campaigns you can support under Sustainable Food. I voted on the ones I liked and hopefully I can help make a difference. I'm thinking of starting a campaign too. Just need to find the right way to go about it. Till next time...
Eat Local. Eat Real. Get Healthy!

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