Monday, October 15, 2012

PROCESSED .... NOT AS HEALTHY AS ONE MIGHT THINK! ...

Hello, All,

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. It rained here in Chicago and the winds would marvel anything the Wizard of Oz might have drummed up. Thankfully there are still stunning golds, reds, oranges, and greens left on the trees to keep autumn around a bit longer before winter sets in and, alas, us as well.

The winds certainly rubbed me the wrong way, pelting through the rain and getting soaked. Not fun when you have to errands to do or trying to keep in shape. So, now more than ever, we have to watch what we inhale ... food wise that is... LOL.

Many consumers are led to believe that "Low fat" PROCESSED foods are a healthy choice. SO, why then, are so many people over weight? The answer is in the processing! Many of these "so called" healthy foods are LOADED with chemicals, sugar, and salt. Hardly healthy guys. READ YOUR LABELS .... if there isn't anything "WHOLE" in the ingredients, TOSS it.  Our bodies were not created to process chemicals. As for sugar and salt, well, they are processed too, unless you buy organic or raw. Which IS a healthier choice.

Many say the eating healthy is expensive .... yes, it can be, however in the long run you will be saving THOUSANDS in medical bills later on. YES ... high blood pressure, diabetes, and the big C are all bi-products of an unhealthy lifestyle. Many of these diseases are caused by obesity. We, as writers, need to BE informed. WE are not as active as we should be, so it is extremely important to eat right ESPECIALLY in the winter months.

I know you have heard this before, but it is IMPERATIVE to take charge of eating correctly. Of course you can have the occasional sweet... I LIVE for my chocolate and biscotti cookies, but.... I watch my intake and I balance these sweet urges with fresh fruit.... How delicious is a sweet, crunch apple.... YUMM! OR grapes, or strawberries or blueberries? Add some NATURAL whipped cream... no, not the one in the can, buy organic whipping cream ... it takes a few minute to beat it into sheer delight and it's almost naturally sweet on it's own. However drop in a touch of stevia.... better than sugar or organic raw sugar and you have an amazing sweet.

For all you BREAD lovers out there. Have it, BUT, make sure it is WHOLE grains, NO WHITE processed flour. Remember PROCESSED foods mean your body can't process them and it immediately gets stored as FAT.

Now, let's talk about fat.... Oooooo... THAT DREADED word. Now don't be shocked by what I say here. WE all need fat in our diets .... but .... HEALTHY FATS. Who doesn't LOVE guacamole? That is a healthy fat.... Avocado is excellent and DELICIOUS. Now I am not saying to each a bag of salty chips with your guac..... there are alternatives. Try jicama ... never heard of it? Well it is a large root vegetable. After you cut away the brown outer layer, you have a DELICIOUS crunchy, white, juicy, snack. It almost tastes like potatoes, but SO MUCH better for you.

Use jicama,  fresh salsa (make your own ... it's not difficult at all), guacamole, a FEW low salt natural chips, organic ground beef, organic beans, organic sour cream ... and now you have the makings of a real Mexican fiesta... LOL.

Another healthy fat ... nuts. No, not the ones honey roasted with tons of salt added. Again, look at the ingredients. All that should be listed is the nut. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, .... nothing else. You would be amazed how much weight you can lose just by looking at the sodium content. If salt is added ... look at the amount. It's best to buy foods that have NO ADDED salt. There may be sodium in the food itself and that is fine. I want you to be aware of the salt added.

It's just like sugar. Many foods have natural sugar, it's the added sugar I am concerned about and you should be too.

With the holidays a breath away, many of us love to bake.... Yummm.... a much better alternative to buying PROCESSED baked goods. Have you ever read the label on boxed cake and CAKE MIXES? I almost stroked out when I decided I wanted to back a cake from a mix. I grabbed the one my mom always used and the first ingredient was SUGAR.... EEEKKKK!

So needless to say I dropped that box, like I was stabbed by it. I will never use cake mix again. Best to buy organic whole wheat flour and make it yourself. It doens' t take that much additional time. And frankly, isn't our bodies, and our families worth the extra effort? Plus if you go on line there are zillions of recipes to bake healthy even using non-wheat flours. And the results are amazing. It's the processed low-fat baked goods that taste like crap.

Well everyone that is my rant for today about eating healthy. READ your labels. Seriously, the media does an EXCELLENT job of brainwashing us into the WRONG way of eating healthier.

In two weeks everyone's favorite Ninja Captain, Alex Cavanaugh will be dropping in to give us tips on how he stays in shape while traveling through the universe.

Have a wonderful day everyone and make the right choices. I care. A healthy body and mind will give us the tools to create wonderful stories and I'd like us all to live NICE, LONG, LIVES  ... we'll need it to read all of them.

30 comments:

  1. Oh crap, that's me! Hope I'm good.
    There are healthy fats and we need them in our diet. We use only olive oil in our house.
    We also avoid canned foods whenever possible because of all the additives. And they are finding that the cans themselves put unhealthy chemicals into the food.

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  2. So true, Alex.

    Thanks for the reminder about olive oil... I meant to mention that in the post!

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  3. Michael, I always love these posts of yours, because I've fought my own battles on the 'wellness' front and you definitely get the right message across: Balance and awareness are the two things you need to be generally healthy. No secret diet, no special club--a dash of hard work might be required to kickstart it depending on where you're at in your fight.

    But everyone can be healthy, and you always support that. And that's why I support and respect you so much. :-)

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  4. I know all the things I shouldn't eat, but it's so hard! I do enjoy healthy foods as well, though. For the most part I only buy low fat or no fat, but I have a sugar problem:(

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  5. A good reminder. We are pretty good about meals (nearly nothing processed), but I am bad with snacks. I bet it would be easier to switch from things like cheese crackers to nuts than to give up the snacking altogether. We had a blustery weekend on this side of Lake Michigan, too...

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  6. I love eating avocado. I only do so about once a week though. Yum...it's good on just about anything. I'm down twenty pounds from where I was four months ago so the diet I'm doing is working. Just gotta keep steady now that I'm headed into the danger zone of the holidays.

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  7. This makes me want to step up my workout routine a notch - or several. :)

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  8. Baguette bread is my downfall. I let myself have it once a week even though I generally try to avoid those nasty carbs.

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  9. Great reminder to eat healthy. I try but when you're busy it's so easy to stop paying attention.

    I may be the odd man out but I don't like guacamole.

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  10. We have a recipe for making guacamole dip from asparagus - and it tastes just the same without any of the fat.

    There are so many additives now. And we wonder why so many are fat, sick, or develop cancer.

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  11. We try to be healthy, but do use some canned goods and pre-made cookie dough or mixes to bake. I don't have time to do everything from scratch.

    You're right Michael, the key is to watch what you eat and mostly eat healthy. And keep up the exercise.

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  12. What a funny day to stumble across this post. I just got back from the grocery store and for the first time in a LONG time I came back with tons of fruits and veg, nuts, seeds, and only a bit of meat, which was chicken and turkey. :)

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  13. It's an ongoing battle but we made one good change last month. We no longer keep ice cream in our freezer (my favorite unhealthy pig-out food). Now I keep a container of grapes in there. When I need something really cold and refeshing, I grab a couple frozen grapes and that does the trick. Got my ice cream loving grandson coverted as well.

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  14. There is so much to learn about healthy eating that we should all study up. I've always been into it and you have to learn not to listen to all the so-called healthy eating advice, like margarine is good for you (biggest laugh ever!) and low fat, lite, is the way to go - as you say, Michael, our body can't process those foods (or diet drinks!) so find an alternative. I can't believe anyone would ever use a cake mix, where making the occasional cake from scratch is like eating heavenly manna. Crunchy veges is a great alternative to chips. Home made sweet potato chips are a more healthy option to fatty old french fries. So much. A lot of people don't think it's worth it, but hey, I feel good with my choices, but everyone makes up their own minds, and we are constantly bombarded with less healthy, cheap choices. Not for moi!
    Thanks for sharing.

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  15. SUCH great points here, BB! All the processing processes away the good stuff. Great that your helping spread the word.

    And yes! Wasn't that wind something this weekend? I couldn't believe it. Like living in Oklahoma, I said.

    Anyway, hope you're doing fantastic. Love that autumn color~ <3

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  16. Nutrition needs to be a class or several classes in school. It is so imperative. My Boston terrier has reactions to her food and I struggle to find no additives etc. I should be as vigilant regarding my own. Good post, I just hope I remember it as the winter drags on. This is the time of the year to really sit up and take notice. Thanks for the reminder!

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  17. Thanks for the tips, Michael! :) I'm not a sweets fan, but I do need to read the labels more often.

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  18. There are so many wonderfully healthy natural foods that I wonder why we're tempted with the processed junk? Another inspiring and motivational post, Michael!

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  19. Apparently avocado was the first solid food I ever ate as a baby ;) Still love it. But haven't learned to make my own guacamole yet.

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  20. Dude; you'd die in a week if you came to visit me :)

    .......dhole

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  21. If only it were as easy as me deciding-- trust me, it isn't. And that's just hard fact, not an excuse. Last year I committed to drinking more water, which I believe I did. This year... I am still working on it, but I'll let you know just so I've put it in typing. Cheers!

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  22. Pasta, white bread, and candy are my weaknesses. LOL Thanks for posting Michael.

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  23. I LOVE blueberries. I'd also like to challenge anyone who thinks eating healthy is more expensive. You don't have to buy all the unusual grains, like quinoa--yes, those are expensive. But fresh vegies and fruit are so much better and aren't that expensive plus it's so easy to wip up a healthy meal with them.

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  24. Why do I feel like you were wagging the finger at me? LOL I love you and I know that you care so this was a great post to read. I do need to get better at reading labels ad cutting out my bread. I have switched to whole grain bread, I rarely eat white except maybe once a month when I am out with a certain new friend. ;)

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  25. You're so right, Michael. When I eat too many processed foods, I feel all sort of awful symptoms. I need to visit your blog more often to keep my sweet tooth in check. And, yes, eating poorly can contribute to all sorts of negative things, including cancer.

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  26. You are BRILLIANT, Michael. I seriously get so excited every time I see a new post from you. I need to pay more attention to processed foods and such. So far, I've been blessed with good genes regardless of what I eat (though I am a healthy eater), but I haven't thought much in long term benefits. I also do the gluten-free thing which has made me feel a TON better. Such a great reminder post! <3

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  27. Oh, Michael---I have missed your voice, which comes through ultra clearly here. Hey, maybe instead of an interior design show, we need to get you on a health & wellness show! Wait, we could combine it all & call it "Di Gesu's Got it All" eh? eh?

    Thank you for reinforcing how easy it can be to eat healthy---especially the points you make about the extra money on healthy foods actually saving money in the long run. I've never in my life heard of jicama so thanks for that tip too.

    Hey, could you talk about cheese some time? Me love cheese & I can't stop eating it but I'd love to know if certain cheeses are better for you than others.

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  28. Such excellent reminders here. My downfalls are pasta, cheese and sugar.

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  29. I fear processed things. Whenever I read the labels and there are words there I don't know how to say, or look like something I'd write during one of my bad dyslexic days, I get wary. "And what is that, exactly? What are you trying to feed me?"
    Also I found I feel better when I eat natural things, shocking, I know. I've a little bit of dark chocolate a day, and then I don't want tons of sugary things. Bananas help with sugar urges too, I've found. At least with me. (I've found all kinds of things to get around processed foods.)

    Allons-y!

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  30. urgh - we've just been watching news reports on pink slime- have you seen this? eeew!

    I'm making some eating changes for the better - the hours of the new job = more need of energy and less access to cake - thanks goodness! I liked your rant!
    Lx

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