Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Unjunk Your Junk Food & Start Living!

Gone are the days of walking into the local market and being able to point at the groceries you need. When most of the choices were wholesome, basic, and just about every household had the same type of food on their shelves. Smaller serving sizes, traditional and natural ingredients are a thing of the past. When there use to be 1,000 products to choose from, you now have thousands, even millions of food choices.

Have you ever sat down to read the ingredients on the back of the prepackaged foods you are consuming? Artificial flavoring, artificial colors, Trans fat, Saturated fat, dangerously high amounts of sodium, etc.

Until recently, I wasn’t fully aware of everything I was serving my family. We have been undergoing modifications where we are switching ingredients and trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle. What was our breaking point? We had a wake up call at my sons last doctors appointment. Between his weight and other health issues, it’s been a struggle with frequent appointments, emotional stresses, getting the proper nutrition we need, adding more physical exercise, and etc. We have a long ways to go but, it’s never too late to start. I’m proud to announce that my son has lost 13 pounds so far on this journey.

I’ve learned to start reading every food label while shopping for our groceries and basic needs. Seriously, have you read the back of a traditional store bought pizza? For example, not from any particular brand mind you. Say you have a pizza that serves a family of 4. The proper serving size per the box is ¼ of the pizza. Now, look down at the sodium levels. Go ahead, take the frozen pizza out of your freezer and look, I’ll be right here…..

Are you back now? How interesting that it contained almost 2,000 mg of sodium. Did you know that the normal FDA maximum levels of sodium intake per day is 2400 mg per day? Worried yet? I was/am and I’m trying to take a stand to bring my family back to the levels where they should be.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to toss out your cans of vegetables yet! This is what I was planning on doing, well not throwing them out, I was planning to give them away. I don’t believe in throwing out perfectly good food when it’s hard to come by now days and many people are going hungry.

The dietician suggested that if you want to open a can of veggies, just rinse them extremely well. This will help to reduce the amount of sodium found in the water your veggies are floating in. Of course, it won’t remove all of the salt but, it will reduce it greatly. Sodium isn’t the only ingredient to be worried about….

There is a fantastic book on healthy alternatives to conventional snacks. The book is small, compact, simple to read, colorful, and very informative. This book shows us that we don’t have to give up on our favorite foods. All we need to do is modify them. Plus, as I’ve been learning, proper portion sizes is definitely important. In this day and age, our portion sizes are quite expanded than in previous times. No wonder obesity is at it’s highest. We have to re-teach ourselves how to eat properly and take back charge in our lives!

It’s expensive to eat healthier. Believe me, I know. I have an extremely tight budget but, I’m doing everything I can to try and make this work. Baby steps is all I can advise…baby steps. You can’t completely change your diet overnight. Not unless you have a pocketbook that allows it. I know that I sure don’t. One thing the dietician mentioned was not depriving yourself. If you want something “bad”, go for it. Just eat smaller portions. If you deprive yourself, you are setting yourself up to fail. Another thing, don’t call it dieting! Another way to set yourself up to “fail” is to say that you are on a diet. She told me that in order to stay at a healthy weight once we achieve it, we must continue on our lifestyle change. We can’t turn around and say, “I just lost 75 pounds! Now, I can eat whatever I want again.”…I know that I’d gain 20 of it back by just saying it, lol.

I can sit here and write about this all night as I’ve been learning so much. Granted, it’s only been since May 22nd, since climbing this new mountain. I still need to learn more and researching has become the norm for me. If you fall off of the health wagon, just try and pick yourself up and try again. Don’t beat yourself up over the wrong choices, we’re all human. You are going to be faced with temptations on a daily basis. I’ve been told that it’s ok to give in to those temptations, it’s how you handle them that matters.

This is where the book Unjunk Your Junk Food By Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer, the creators of Naturally Savvy with Lisa Tsakos, comes in! I received this book prior to our first visit to the doctor and I briefly glanced through it. I thought it provided a lot of information that anyone could benefit from. The book is created in simpler contents, easy to understand. Photographs are outstanding and flooded with color.

You will find some of your everyday snacks and beverages within the book, along with the healthier alternatives to those products. I enjoyed the facts throughout the book AND Unjunk Your Junk Food is also Naturally Savvy approved! Are you craving salty or sweet snacks? How about that beverage you are getting ready to drink? Check out this book, it's an eye opener!

I’ve learned that food can be your worst enemy or your best friend. Nutrition facts and ingredients are both equally as important, and there are ways to enjoy favorite foods that otherwise wouldn’t be healthy enough to consume. You might be surprised with what you read in this book!

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased thoughts. All opinions and words in the post are my own and true.



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