I’m Eating WHAT?!?!

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I regularly post articles about the scary chemicals in processed “food.” That phrase really is ironic, isn’t it? The word “processed” is the past tense of process which is defined as to convert (an agricultural commodity) into marketable form by special series of steps… According to Dictionary.com, “food” is defined as any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, etc.”
The key word in the definition of process is, marketable. How could chemicals like CANTHAXANTHIN, POTASSIUM BROMATE or ASTAXANTHIN be marketed? They can’t, so manufacturers use words like “wholesome, low fat, healthy and sugar-free” along with brightly colored packaging to entice people to purchase their chemical-laden products. In case you are not familiar with the additives listed above, let me introduce you! Our friends as Phys.org created a more detailed list that you can visit here.

CANTHAXANTHIN is a pigment added to egg yolks to make them more visually appealing. Tests have shown that large amounts of this chemical can cause retinal damage
POTASSIUM BROMATE increases volume in white flour, breads and rolls. Most bromate rapidly breaks down to an innocuous form, but it’s known to cause cancer in animals _ and even small amounts in bread can create a risk for humans. California requires a cancer warning on the product label if potassium bromate is an ingredient.
ASTAXANTHIN – Almost 90-percent of salmon sold in supermarkets today come from farms. The diet of farmed salmon doesn’t include crustaceans, which contains a natural astaxanthin that causes pink flesh in wild salmon. As a result, producers add astaxanthin to farm-salmon diets for that fresh-from-the-water appearance. Astaxanthin is manufactured from coal tar.

Nothing like loading up your cart with some nice omega-3’s and topping it off with a bit of coal tar!
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So what do we do? To begin, educate yourself! How often do you pick up a box or package off the supermarket shelf and throw it in the basket without even taking a look at the nutrition label or ingredients? I have been guilty of making a purchase simply based on the photo on the package knowing full well the photo isn’t even real food. It is a perfectly molded art project designed to draw my attention away from the actual package contents. Take a look at this quick video to see how they make chemicals look so tasty!

Read labels! This is key when making healthy choices for your family. While it will take some time to completely eliminate chemicals from your diet, this will get you started. A great tip is that if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!

Another great tip is to stay in the outside perimeter of the grocery store isles. Most of the processed foods are located in the center isles. The perimeter is where you find dairy, produce and meat.

Start with small, attainable goals like reading labels and eliminating processed foods from one meal per day or from school lunches. You control what your children eat, so packing their lunch is key! School menus are atrocious! Check out this video of a talk by chef Jamie Oliver. He has made a campaign to educate children (and parents) about food and reform the school lunch programs in western culture.

Try cooking classes as a family. Many grocery store chains and local civic centers offer free or inexpensive cooking classes. Getting the kids involved will make the process smoother because they will have an opportunity to experience the food before they eat it! This also applies to getting the family involved in the grocery shopping. If the kids get to help choose the ingredients, they will be more likely to try new things.

Check out 100 Days of Real Food for some terrific resources to get you started on your journey to a real food lifestyle!

Applying all or some of these tips will help you begin your journey to a healthier lifestyle for your and your family!
If you have already begun, share some ideas to help others in the comment section below. You never know who you may inspire!

Cheers!

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Summer Slim-Down Challenge!

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Summer Slim-Down Challenge
June 2-July 14

Get ready for the summer by shedding those unwanted pounds and making a lifestyle change you can implement permanently!

Join me on a six-week journey as we share recipes, motivate one another and share success stories.

You can find recipes and other helpful information on my website www.iveynutritionandwellness.com/challenge.

The Facebook event page will also serve as the hub for important information throughout the six weeks.
There is no cost to participate; simply join the event and get ready to start your journey to a healthy lifestyle!

Delicious & Easy Chicken Salad

Wow, it has been a long time since I posted! I have started writing about various topics but I have been blocked for some reason. We were also out of town for my birthday weekend. Want to guess where we were? Give up? Disney! Anyone who knows me is not surprised by that statement. This entire month has been filled with overindulgence and my waistline is the tattletale! The picture below is at the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review at Fort Wilderness. It is a great dinner show for the whole family!

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As of yesterday, the fun was over! I am back to my healthy eating and hopefully I can shed these extra inches I have added to my waistline!
Here is my recipe for healthy chicken salad! Enjoy!

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Delicious and Easy Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt (I used Fage 2% plain)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 medium apple, finely diced or shredded
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 10-12 almonds, toasted and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Mix well and serve over lettuce or in whole wheat wrap!
I served mine over a bed of organic baby spinach with tomatoes and cucumber.

Confessions of a Nutrition Consultant

If you ever read the gossip magazines, they have that feature “Stars, They Are Just Like Us!” and they show them doing everyday things like getting groceries, getting gas or washing their car. I always laugh at that because celebrities are humans just like us even though they may have luxuries we will never know.
As a nutrition consultant, I often have friends and family members make comments when I am with them asking for permission or forgiveness for what they are eating. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a health food fanatic. I love to eat healthy and try to do so as often as possible, but there are days when I just want to splurge!

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Last night was a perfect example. My father is in town so we went out to eat for BBQ and then we came home and my dad and I dove into the gelato. I am happy to report, I did not eat the whole pint, but I did eat 3/4’s. I felt pretty guilty but I went to the gym this morning to ease that guilt 🙂
My point is, don’t apologize for your food choices. If you eat a healthy diet regularly and splurge every once in awhile, no big deal. The earth will not spin off its axis or open up and swallow you if you polish off a pint of Haagen Dazs. Just start over the next day and commit to trying harder!

Happy Friday!!!

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Veggie Overload Chili

I was told by my husband this is the best chili recipe yet so I had to share it with you. Chili is one of those dishes that you can really make your own. We hosted a Salad Master dinner party about a month ago and as a gift received the SaladMaster tool! For those of you unfamiliar with the SaladMaster brand, it is a US company that has been around since the 40’s. They sell water-less/oil-less cookware titanium cookware. The Salad Master tool is their signature piece and it is my new favorite kitchen tool! There are five different cones that fit to the tool to grate, slice and shred vegetables and fruit to your liking! When we decided to make chili, we used the tool to add a ton of veggies. You can use any tool to prepare your vegetables.

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Veggie Overload Chili
Serves 15
Nutrition Info: Calories 124, Fat 1g, Protein 9g, Sugar 5g, Carbs 21g Sodium 508mg

Ingredients

  • 3 cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 oz lean ground turkey, browned
  • 2 – 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes (low sodium is best)
  • 1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 raw medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini squash, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • chili powder to taste (I used 5 tbsp, but we like it spicy)
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  • Cook the turkey in a skillet until cooked through
  • Add all ingredients to crock pot and mix well
  • Cook on HIGH for 1 hour, then LOW for 3-4 hours (if you are leaving it all day, cook it on low)

You can add as many vegetables as you like! This is your creation 🙂 Enjoy!