What Draws Us in?

Ahhh… it’s almost impossible to resist the enticing colors, graphics, and slogans on the packaged food in our grocery stores. The corporations responsible for drawing as in are dang good at it, and it’s their job to use marketing and advertising to deceive us into thinking packaged food is on a pedestal. With all the “added vitamins” and claims such as “gluten free”, “vegan,” “your daily amount of fiber in one serving,” we are given the assumption that unpackaged, unprocessed food is simply inferior. 

You Mean I Was Deceived?

To be fair, the faces behind this marketing and advertising are paid to make you feel deceived and draw you in. With the constant bombardment of lifestyle trends, “diets”, and ways of eating (keto, vegan, carnivore, etc.), we are all left confused and bewildered at trying to figure out what we actually need. When packaged food claims to supply us with all of the nutrients we need plus more, it’s almost a no-brainer for us to just blindly listen. After all, we have our family to take care of, our job to work, and our own hectic schedule to manage. Leaving these decisions in the hands of the food “professionals”, who are mostly portrayed as brilliant scientists/chemists, gives us the ability to surrender and let someone else make those decisions for us. However, we don’t realize that added vitamins and minerals, preservatives, toxic chemicals, hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, artificial and natural flavors (which are the same thing – I’ll dive into this later), and other stabilizers are being added to our food. Nutrients are depleted during the processing. The food is started to look like food, but falsely resemble it. It’s quite heartbreaking, actually.

How am I Supposed to Know What to Eat?

How are we supposed to know what’s healthy and safe to eat, or what could be contributing to our ill health? That’s what we’re here for. Misleading health claims on packaged foods are designed in order to catch your attention and convince you that the product you’re eating is healthy. It’s a bit ironic seeing advertising needing to convince you that something you’re eating is healthy. You don’t see billboards, commercials, or mass advertisements for fresh produce, do you?  Let’s take a look at the most common marketing terms for packaged foods, and decipher it a bit.

There are terms designed to confused us and mislead, mostly seen as, “light, no added sugar, low calorie, low fat, low carb, fortified/enriched,  gluten free, GMO free, high fiber, heavy metal free, natural flavors, organic, etc.” 

Sign up for my course to learn what each of these marketing terms really mean, the difference between natural and organic, and how to intelligently navigate packaged foods!

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What is Food to Us?

To our society, food is more than just… food. Aside from nourishment, we use it to celebrate, to mourn, to seek comfort, and to indulge when we’re feeling excited or sad. Our produce is a gift from nature. It provides nourishment, helps us gently detoxify, and gives us the macro and micronutrients needed to power our body. One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Alejandro Junger is, “Food becomes us.” It builds our internal architecture that is responsible for every movement, thought, and chemical reaction in our body. It’s absolutely fascinating.

What Happened to Our Produce?

Although our produce is a gift from nature, our modern civilization has somehow managed to turn it into a monetized bartering system. Produce is now used as a financial gain for large companies, who are able to produce mass quantities by spraying them with toxic chemicals, coating them in shiny waxes, and changing the genetic makeup up them, all so they’re more desirable to the consumer. It’s almost as if we’ve forgotten that we have craved nature’s candy before mass consumerism decided to unapologetically inundate produce with toxins. 

What Toxins Are in Our Produce?

What are toxins? They are something that interferes with normal physiology and interferes with/impacts normal bodily function. In the world of produce, these toxins are herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals used for aesthetic purposes. 

Consuming large quantities of chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides, was not apart of our original human design. One of the most consistently toxic food items we consume on a daily basis is conventional/non-organic produce. Conventional produce is sprayed with toxic chemicals that can cause neurological disorders, hormone disruption, cause cancer, lead to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and even cause cellular death. Pesticides and herbicides are known neurotoxins associated with these conditions.

Download my free PDF to learn the difference between conventional and organic produce, how these toxins negatively affect our health, and how to intelligently choose specific produce for your healing journey!

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Is Our “Food” Actually Food?

Transitioning food in  your pantry and the staples in your kitchen into clean, healthful options can be a bit overwhelming. We’ve been given these “tools” from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help us decipher what’s in the package food we choose to buy. However, they’ve done a fantastic job at misleading us as customers. With multi-colored, vibrant packing, buzz words, and marketing terms to coax us into buying their products, we have fallen into thinking we are making healthful choices. We couldn’t be more wrong. Taking the bold, yet powerful, move to transition your food into more clean options can be overwhelming in itself. When you add the marketing and advertising fluff that’s inundated our foods in the grocery stores, even stores who claim to be superior in health food products like Whole Foods and Central Market, you can become more massively overwhelmed. At this point, I’m sure you thinking, “What the heck do I eat?!” There are a few tips and tricks to help make this process easier, hopefully alleviating stress throughout your health journey.

What are the Requirements for Nutritional Labels?

The Nutrition Facts labels is one of the most confusing tools the FDA has given us. It seems a bit straightforward, thinking, “Oh, okay. I see how much fat, calories, and sugar is in this. Perfect.” It seems easy enough, but the somehow brilliantly deceptive minds behind these claims have found a way to sneak in toxic ingredients, mislead our way of thinking, and deceive us by thinking we are making healthful choices. While the basic information of these labels are helpful, they still are a bit difficult to decipher. The Nutrition Facts label us required to list all ingredients in food on its label in accordance with these rules and regulations:

Ingredients must be listed in descending order, with the highest percentage of ingredients listed first.
  • They must be listed in descending order by ingoing weight. This means the first ingredient listed is the largest contributor to the food product itself. The last product makes up the lowest percentage of the food. All the ingredients which make up a compound ingredient must be declared in the ingredient list, except when the compound ingredient is used in amounts of less than 5% of the final food. This means they can not disclose ingredients that are less than 5%, which leaves room for deceptiveness. In this small percentage of food, there can be food allergies, toxic chemicals, additives, and other ingredients that can take a toll on your health, which is pretty frightening to think about.
  • Always check the first 3 ingredients, as they make up the majority percentage of the food you’re eating.
  • If the first ingredients include refined grains, a type of sugar, or hydrogenated oils, the product is inherently unhealthy.

Certain ingredients can be listed underneath broad/vague terms such as “artificial coloring,” “artificial flavors,” “natural flavors,” “spices,” and more. 
  • We’ve discussed earlier that natural and artificial flavors are toxic to your health, but we haven’t addressed the fact that other ingredients can sneak into these umbrella terms. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) can be included under “spices,” and this is one of the most popular and dangerous additives. MSG has been linked to brain damage, nervous disorders, and even cellular death. 
The names of any FDA-approved color additives must be included in the label. 
  • This, yet again, does not mean an ingredient is healthy if allowed by the FDA. These colors include Blue No. 1, Yellow No. 5, Red No. 1 and No. 3, and more. They’re found in sodas, candies, packaged cereals, and more. While allowed on the U.S. Nutrition Label and in our food, they are banned in countries such as France, Finland, Norway, and other European countries. They are synthetically produced and can lead to brain tumors, chromosomal damage, bladder damage, lymphomas, hyperactivity, thyroid tumors, allergies, insomnia, aggression and violent behavior.
If a food contains one of the eight major food allergies, it must be included in the label. 
  • This includes: milk, eggs, fin fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, soybeans, and wheat. If a spice, color, or flavor includes one of these ingredients, they must be labeled separately in addition to the other ingredients.

Sign up for my course to learn the top 4 toxic ingredients to look out for, the hidden names they’re listed under, how these toxins make us sicker, deciphering better options, examples of “clean” Nutrition Labels, and more!

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Learning to navigate produce?

While popularly the most neglected treasure in our American society, produce is one of the most important staples of grocery shopping. The massive array of vegetables and fruit in the grocery store is the most enticing set up. Not only is it an artistic marvel the way its arrayed in a rainbow ombré across the perimeter of the store, it’s the section that quite literally gives us the kick in our step. 

Why is color important?

Fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc.should be the staple and core bulk of our daily diet. In an ideal world, we would incorporate each different color, size, shape, and texture into our daily diet. However, sometimes that abundance is a bit unattainable for people who are constantly on the run, have a hectic work schedule, or an “on the go” life at home. Regardless, simply an effort towards implementing this wide array of nature’s nutrients is still possible. The phytonutrients of the plants are what give each one their vibrant colors and unique health properties. Each of these nutrients are essential to our health, supplying fuel and crucial building blocks for every cell in our body. 

How can I implement a rainbow of color?

By eating a “rainbow” of vegetables and fruits, you can maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients, supporting every system in our body. This can be as simple as adding a quarter of a roasted beets with orange slices to your breakfast. Or, it can look like adding some blueberries in addition to the vibrantly pink strawberries and toasted creme-colored coconut in your morning granola. It doesn’t have to be a huge addition to make an impact. Plus, who doesn’t like to look at a colorful plate, avoiding the mundaneness and blandness that can sometimes creep into our meals? Adding in the rainbow during your meals gives us access to utilizing our creative side. It may seem a bit silly, but simple things such as making your food a more theatrical and colorful addition to your day can make you feel uplifted and, if you’re a food geek like me, slightly excited.

Download my free PDF to learn the powerful properties of each color and why it’s important to implement a “rainbow” of produce into your diet!

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Why Should You Purge?

Cleaning out your kitchen is the first step you should take while transitioning into a clean lifestyle. We’re aware of the addictive chemicals in ingredients like sugar, natural and artificial flavors, and other additives, which means we need to be continuously conscious of what we’re storing in our house. Keeping an addictive food product or food you know isn’t healthful/a benefit to you in the home will only set you up for failure. You’re working so dang hard on progressing, why hinder it with a constant tease waiting for your in your pantry? Out of sight, out of mind. It’s so much easier to avoid temptation when those stupidly delicious cookies aren’t luring you in every time you walk past the pantry door.

What is the Main Goal?

The main goal of cleaning out your pantry is to remove all major culprits that can cause inflammation, illness, weight gain, fatigue, and much more. These bulk items are breads, pastas, cereals, granolas, bulk rice, vegetable oils, refined sugars, and processed food. This can be very intimidating, but I have faith in you. Yes, even from behind this computer screen. I’ve found that spending a dedicated amount of time to the purge may seem daunting, but it’s setting you up for success in the long run. Taking everything out of your pantry, then only putting food back into there that will support your healthy journey is the most effective.

Sign up for my free PDF to learn how a nutritionist suggests for you to purge your pantry and refrigerator!

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What’s the Core of Transitioning Your Diet?

Alright, y’all, here comes to meat and potatoes of our health journey: navigating the grocery store. So, you’ve discovered to wanted to transition into a clean, whole-foods based diet, and want to propel yourself into an energetic, healthy, youthful person. You’ve been given instruction on what foods to eat, what foods to remove, how to transition your diet, and you soon. Then, you walk into a grocery store, and become completely overwhelmed with the options and what to choose. Sound familiar? This happens with most patients, and has happened with myself when I first began this journey. 

Isn’t This Intimidating?

The grocery store is intimidating. Point, blank, period. It doesn’t have to be, though. Most people find going to the grocery store a bit unnerving: it’s jam packed with people, condensed with thousands of food products, and it seems as if they’re always rearranging the aisles every week (is that just me?). Unless you’re a strange food-obsessed person like I am, you most likely avoid going to the grocery store at all costs. It seems a bit daunting to begin with, and now that you’re transitioning your diet, it seems near impossible to be successful with shopping. You’re not alone in thinking this, which is why I want to help you find a smooth way to conquer this.

So, where do we start?

Sign up for my free PDF to learn how a nutritionist navigates a grocery store, helps implement staples for your health journey, and helps you understand the difference between “buzz words” on your food and the actual nutritional value!

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