I am that one girl who is always giving products a 180 degree turn- you might have guessed it… to read ingredient lists and nutrition labels! HA! I saw this post and laughed so hard I cried, because #IF_THIS_ISNT_MY_ENTIRE_LIFE_IN_ONE_PHOTO!
With all seriousness, I believe it’s about time we talked about this. Once upon a time, life was just as ‘easy’, as reading the label of a can or bottle and dropping it in the cart. Life was just as easy as calling myself ‘vegan’. Life was just as easy as not trying to make sense of all the names of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce.
But easy isn’t always meaningful. Easy isn’t always sensible. Easy isn’t always the right thing to do.
DID YOU KNOW…
Beyond the carbonated drinks and ice cream you are religiously cutting down on, there are TONS of grams of hidden sugars in the processed (canned/boxed/packaged) foods you buy. These include foods like ketchup, salad dressings, breads, crackers, ‘organic/healthy’ cereals (whatever fancy names they may come with), chips, cookies, ‘organic’ juices, etc.
So now, for a second, imagine the amount of refined sugar you end up eating in a day even when you don’t add them yourself!
“The (new) bad news is that sugar does more damage to our bodies than we originally thought. It was once considered to be just another marker for an unhealthy diet and obesity. Now, sugar is considered an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, as well as many other chronic diseases, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.”
Here is my one definition of added sugar:The one purported “empty calorie” food that adds nothing to your body; only subtracts.
I started my journey of no added sugar in April, at a point when I was doing all things right with body care (because I make my own and know exactly what goes into it),but still had these messy breakouts! Plus I realized I was gaining weight I wasn’t expecting! I was frustrated! So I did some reading and resolved to go on a 30-day sugar free, salt-free detox. It was a lot because in addition to that, I was mostly eating raw and I am sure I had a lot more items on the list of what I didn’t eat for 30 days that I can’t even remember. Hashtag: IT.GETS.REAL! laugh out loud.
I loved every bit of the challenge( and it was one h-o-a challenge!!), the intentional discipline, and the ability to wean my precious body off all the yucky stuff! Don’t think this was something I was used to, no-no. But great news is, 7 months down the line, not to toot my own horn but I don’t even need bananas and apples in my oatmeal everytime! I can eat it raw with some nuts and seeds.
We can’t do much about stuff like the polluted air we breathe in; but as much as it depends on us, we have to show some concern as to what we put in and on our bodies. I personally choose not to identify with any trendy name given to a particular group of people on some diet. Here’s why: I have come to realize there’s not a single point in that. 3 years ago when I started this journey, I definitely thought it fancy to be ‘all-vegan and such!’ Today, I know I am not on the same journey as the habitual fries-and-ketchup-eating vegan, the sugar-saturated-ice-cream-eating vegetarian, or the skimmed/ 2% fat-milk-drinking lady/gentleman on a low-fat diet. None of the above is real food but their titles are quite the catchy ones in the industry today so where do we stand with the big titles?
I am no Nutritionist; As a matter of fact, I have never been to a culinary arts class. I believe my love for the kitchen stems from having a mother who literally lives for her kitchen! (and I hated dishes 🙄). I can’t say I was one of those who always stayed in the kitchen and understudied their mothers. My life schedule at the time was packed with unnecessary texting and movies (laugh out loud). But when the food was good (!!! which was always the case), I would be the one asking how to make it. Best believe I would be in the kitchen trying out the recipe and even wanting to make a better version of it the next time. And you guys, if my mother (aka chef extraordinaire in a league of her own gave you a thumbs up?…. cloud 9 is where you will be!)
Several years down the line, 3 years in as a vegan (what I set out to call myself), 1 year in really deep on a whole food, mostly plant-based diet and the most health conscious person I have ever met, I guess I shouldn’t be amazed that I am high maintenance with all things food, still customizing and testing recipes with ingredients as naturally existing as possible!
I enjoy this life of nutrition education – especially being a native of a country where a healthy lifestyle (should be but) is very uncommon, currently affiliated with trends and done the wrong way ( skimmed milk, soy (controversial) milk, healthy cereals, organic brown sugar, etc – because I strongly believe that whoever sets out to transition into a healthy diet must have all the necessary information to do it right. PLUS if we are being honest, we all seriously crave some moist decadent chocolate cake with ice cream, waffles and whipped cream, and some great refreshing beverages, more than once in a while!
PLEASE let the record reflect that I am not against animal protein! I am against what humans are doing to God-given foods with all the hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, ingredients we can’t mention even with all the education in the world! #WhySway?!
I can’t say it enough: now more than ever, let’s try and make some conscious efforts towards our health and wellness. Forget the dietary plans and the trendy names! Let’s focus on nourishing our temples. Diets are helpful in giving some perspective on a healthful diet. But we also have to admit that these dietary plans tend to omit foods that play an important role in our well-being. We are called to so much more than stress-giving added weights and the frustration that comes with it. And what’s more awesome is, our bodies and the earth have been equipped with so much more than we tend to give credit for. Let’s invest in those!
So happy to have you on this journey with me!
OH! and BY THE WAY!! Have you all seen Nature’s Spoonfuls’ Newest Logo? I say LOVE!!! Tell me what you think!
In Love and Health,