Are the Foods in Your Pantry Nourishing You?

Do you suffer from headaches, fatigue, lack of energy or many health problems? If you want to feel energized and healthy, now is the time to have a good look at the foods in your fridge and pantry. Food is our fuel, a source of vitality, our nourishment. Many people who eat (and live) on the run often disregard this fact. It takes energy to digest foods to get nutrients to all your cells. If you’re eating mostly sugar, salt, and other chemically engineered foods, at the end of the digestion period, your body gets back very little nutrition for all its trouble and you’re exhausted.

too much sugar a problemHow many of these “natural” engineered foods are you eating?

  • Peanut Butter with added icing sugar and hydrogenated oil
  • Ketchup laced with sugar
  • Soy sauce made with caramel, sugar and salt
  • Turkey roll or other processed meats, made with salt, sugar and chemicals
  • Highly heated oil based products, such as; cooking oils, salad dressings, mayonnaise.

 (Read the list of chemicals on these items and know that the oils have been heated to very  high temperatures to assure a long shelf life–unless the bottle says “cold pressed”)

  • Items containing aspartame; soda pop, desserts, yogurt, sweeteners
  • Junk food snacks – potato chips, pretzels, licorice, chocolate bars
  • White flour products – pizza, cakes, pastries, waffles, pancakes, crackers, bread
  • Processed cheeses, many of the “energy” bars that contain mostly sugar
  • Processed “whipped cream” or other toppings with not a trace of cream – mostly chemicals

If most of the foods you eat are found in the above list, and you don’t feel well –  it’s time to make a change for the better to other brands or no brands.

Get Back to Basics. From the beginning of time, food has been used to nourish mind and body in order to survive and thrive. Bodies need proteins, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and water to ensure a steady supply of vitamins and minerals and other essential nutrients. The mitochondria–your energy factory in each cell of your body, depends on nutrients to power it. It’s time to take charge of your food choices instead of leaving it to food companies to decide for you. Many people have the attitude – “if it wasn’t good for us, they wouldn’t be allowed to sell it.” I wish that statement was true. Many “foods” on your grocery shelf have added sugar, salt and chemicals– mostly for taste (and shelf life). According to Health Canada, the Heart & Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society, we need to limit these items for better health.

OK, a little won’t harm you. However, many children and adults alike are making a steady diet of “non foods”. People get hooked on the taste of these items–then they’re dealing with powerful addictions which are difficult to break. More than that, the body and brain don’t know what to do with all these engineered chemicals and fats. Also, you get filled up and then there’s no room left for other good nutrients such as fruits and vegetables–antioxidant champs.  These powerful substances help protect us from disease and give us vitality.

Too much sugar is another major problem. Excess sugar lowers your immune system and can cause cholesterol problems and diabetes. (Most North Americans eat 125-150 lbs. per year). Our bodies can’t cope. At the turn of the last century, we ate 6 lbs. per year.

Author and psychiatrist, Abram Hoffer, MD, Ph.D, says “of the thousands of items in our grocery stores, about fifty would be suitable for human health”. So what are those fifty?–those items found around the perimeters of your grocery store such as; fruits and vegetables, meats, low fat dairy, eggs, whole grain products. We feed our pets high quality feeds, for shiny coats and good health. Too many people treat their animals better than their own bodies.

Become a prudent shoppers and choose higher quality items that are free of additives. Many companies are acting responsibly, and take seriously information being released about damaging hydrogenated fats, high sugar and salt as additives in products and their negative effects on our health. Many food companies now produce healthy products to sustain and enhance our health rather than ruin it. I applaud them. Become a label reader.

So are these products expensive? A bag of brown rice or plain oatmeal are both reasonably priced. Frozen vegetables are another great buy. Apples and pears cost less than a bag of chips. Air popped popcorn is a great inexpensive snack. Plain yogurt and fruit is delicious and can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and osteoporosis. Cans of tuna or salmon or a cooked chicken provide ample protein and won’t break the bank. What’s your health worth anyway? Ask someone who doesn’t have good health. Health is truly wealth.

So what else can I eat?

Lots. Choose a variety of foods to ensure a large range of vitamins and minerals.

  1. Whole grain products–wheat, spelt, whole rye, brown rice breads, cereals, breads, crackers or pastas.
  2. Proteins such as fish, chicken, lamb, beef, turkey, yoghurt, low fat cheeses, soy beans, tofu, tempeh, eggs
  3. An array of plant foods:  vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans
  4. Good fats – olive oil, canola oil, butter, olives, avocados, natural peanut or almond butter. Only small amounts are necessary.

Too simple? That’s the idea.  Simplify your eating habits. If you can afford organic products, go for it! They lower the load of chemicals entering your body. I challenge you to start reading all the ingredients on packages of foods in your pantry and fridge. Decide to make more intelligent choices. Then go shopping for healthy products to shape up your mind and your body. Some grocery stores have sections for “natural” or “health” foods, or visit your local health food store (and read labels there too.)

Dare to take charge of your health–your life through pure, simple, life giving foods. Let me know if you start to feel better.