â€œCame from a plant, eat it; made in a plant, donâ€™t.â€ – Michael Pollan
Perhaps eating healthier is one of the things youâ€™d like to tweak this year. The problem with this is that there is so much confusion around the definition of healthy eating. I could write about this subject forever, so to avoid overwhelming you, here are three tips that are pretty painless to implement.
Buy Organic Produce – With more consumer demand, organic produce is becoming more plentiful in many grocery stores and WAY less expensive.Â At my local Kroger store, most organic produce is the same price as the non-organic. You can also check out your local farmersâ€™ market. Buying organic protects you from many dangerous pesticides and from eating GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms). I plan a post on GMOs in the future, but if youâ€™d like to learn more about why they are a bad idea, check out this post by Food Renegade.
Stop Drinking Soda Pop – A 12-ounce can of your favorite soda containsÂ about 150 calories of non-nutritional liquid, sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, most certainly from GMO corn. Oh, but you drink soda that is artificially sweetened, so no harm, no foul, right? Wrong! Though the FDA has deemed the most popular artificial sweeteners to be safe, some of the side effects experienced by users of these chemicals include headaches, depression, fibromyalgia, neurological disorders, muscle aches, nausea & digestive problems, and weight gain. Yes, WEIGHT GAIN! If you must have a fizzy beverage, try LaCroix flavored waters as you wean yourself. It is free of calories, sodium, artificial sweeteners, and artificial ingredients.Â And, when you want that occasional soda pop, look for the â€œthrowbackâ€ bottles that contain pure cane sugar, which is non-GMO.
Be a Detective in the Kitchen – Investigate the labels on the boxes, bottles and cans in your pantry and fridge. Can you pronounce the ingredients? No? Do they contain hidden added sugars? Yes? Okay, before you freak out, you can find relatively healthy processed foods, if need be. Look in your grocery storeâ€™s Natural/Organic section for acceptable substitutes and READ the labels. For example, I was a lifelong Heinz Ketchup and JIF Peanut Butter fan, until I started paying attention to the labels of my condiments. Ugh! I now use Simple Truth Organic Ketchup (Water, organic tomato paste, organic sugar, organic vinegar, salt, organicÂ onion powder, organic spices) and Simple Truth Organic Peanut Butter (Peanuts, salt). If you have JIF in your cabinet, for goodness sake, finish the jar and replace it with a healthier choice the next time you head to the grocery store.
Eating healthy is a journey that takes time. Start small, go easy on yourself, and take baby steps! Are you planning to eat healthier this year? Tell me ONE THING you plan to do below in the comments or participate on Facebook or Twitter with #EatHealthy.
With love from your partner on the path,
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