Okay, Thanksgiving is over… how did you do? Did you manage to eat your veggies first? Take smaller portions? Go for a walk before or after dinner (or both)? If you had a day that resulted in thousands of calories and indulgences, did you not beat yourself up over it and instead, got back on track Friday morning? Not yet? Well, start right now (with a mug of hot lemon water)– it’s never too late.
My Thanksgiving plate was not quite as “Clean” as it could have been had I been the one in the kitchen. And I have to admit it that it bothered me more than I expected. As I glanced around the kitchen while helping to get the meal to the table I realized how little people understand about buying clean, quality ingredients. They buy food with GMO’s, additives and preservatives described in words that are mostly unpronounceable, and ingredients that are not found anywhere else but in a chemistry lab. But our country is not only convinced that saving a buck on a can of broth is better than taking their health serious, they vast majority of people believe that these processed foods aren’t harmful to our health. It’s a sad fact that I am going to dedicate my time to changing.
Here are some examples of what I saw… and I wouldn’t be surprised if these items found their way to your Thanksgiving table, too. Stouffer’s stuffing mix, Cool Whip, King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, green beans in a can and Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup (for the ever famous and not nutritious green bean casserole), “store brand” chicken broth, pre-made mashed potatoes and Wondra flour. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
One thing you will read repeatedly on this blog is that Big Food Companies Do NOT Have Your Best Health in Mind – They Want to Make a Profit, No Matter What it Takes to Do So! And as a result they make it exceptionally difficult to navigate the grocery store aisles with their flashy packaging, heartwarming commercials and carefully worded product claims.
Reading the ingredients list on a food’s label is the only line of defense we have until GMO labeling initiatives finally start getting passed. And yes, that means that sometimes you may need to buy a product labeled organic, but only because there is no other way to be sure your food is “clean” of modified, chemically enhanced, laboratory created unhealthy ingredients. Learn to read the list of ingredients on the foods you buy – they should be items that you recognize and could easily purchase elsewhere in the store should you decide to make the recipe from scratch.
Why am I so obsessed with Clean Eating? The main reason is that processed foods create inflammation in the body and wreak more than just a little havoc. They lead to obesity, increase inflammation in the body (which leads to illness), they are loaded with GMO’s and they cause our health to be compromised! For more on how processed foods affect our health, check out this article on Natural News.
So, now that I’ve ranted a little, I want to end on a more positive note. You don’t have to settle for crappy, processed foods as part of your diet. Start with the foods you most frequently eat and swap those out for healthier options. Then choose foods that don’t need labels. Fill your kitchen and your plate with fresh, whole foods – every day! Make green your favorite food color – salads, greens on your sandwiches, as sides, in soups and added to pastas. Drink lots of water; add lemon or sliced fruit for a flavor boost. Buy what’s in season. If you start today, your grocery basket contents will look a lot healthier by the time it’s time for Christmas dinner. And to help make the journey a little easier, I’ll be posting recipes over the next few weeks to make your holiday meal a little bit healthier. It’s never too late to start eating clean!