This is a topic that is very important to me and really changed my life. About 5 years ago, one morning as I was getting ready for work I flipped on the TV and there was an infomercial on where a man was selling a book on healthy living. He spoke about food additives, and processed foods in particular.

It piqued my curiousity and I began to do a lot of research on holistic medicine, natural foods, and natural living in general.

I looked in my refrigerator and cupboards and did an inventory of everything I had. I threw out everything that had food additives in it. By food additives I mean any ingredients that are not made by nature. For example, Heinz ketchup has a lot of food additives in it that are not natural and don’t need to be there. Natural ketchup that I buy now has only tomato puree, sugar, white vinegar, salt and onion powder.

After I threw out all of the unnatural products I realized, there was not much left in my kitchen. I was shocked at what I had been eating. I was eating mostly processed foods. I had very little fruits and veggies in my fridge. No wonder I was always so tired!

I went to the grocery store and chose carefully. Reading all ingredients. I highly recommend Trader Joes or any organic market if you want to eat healthy. Trader Joes’ inventory is not completely healthy or food additive free so you should still read the ingredients on what you buy. You will have a much easier time in that store or an organic market than in the larger supermarkets in finding healthy food.

Going to Trader Joes I thought would be more expensive but it really ended up being a lot cheaper than any other grocery stores I have ever been to, which surprised me. Other stores who carry organic products like Whole Foods were unfortunately more expensive than the large traditional supermarkets like Safeway or Giant. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you I recommend that you go there first.

When you are shopping be on the look out for products that claim to be “natural”. That doesn’t mean anything. Read the ingredients. Many times the so-called natural products have un-natural food additives. If you are looking for organic, it will say organic on the package. “natural” does not mean organic. They like to trick people with the packaging so be vigilant and read your ingredients.

Cutting out processed foods left room for more fruits, veggies, chicken, fish and healthier snacks. I started on whole food vitamins as well. Whole food vitamins come in powder form. They are better than the pill form because your body will absorb the nutrients better.

I also began juicing fruits and veggies. A lot of people are intimidated by this because they think it’s not going to taste good but really if you mix sweet fruits such as pear, kiwi and apples with veggies, you will only taste a delicious sweet juice drink with no veggie bitter taste.

After two weeks of eating like this I noticed an overall change. I had more energy. I no longer had that tired feeling I got at the end of the day. My moods even improved, headaches went away, and my skin looked healthier.

It made me realize how much processed foods are in the American diet. Why do they put so many food additives in there when they don’t need to be? For example, have you ever really looked at the ingredients on a bag of Doritos? There are too many and most not from nature. Compare that to a bag of delicious tortilla chips you can get from an organic market that only have 3 ingredients: corn, oil, sea salt. It raises the question, what are the other extra ingredients for?

Why are there so many unnecessary ingredients in some foods? Are they really good for the body? The human body was created to handle food from nature and nothing else. It begs the question, what happens to the body when we overload it with unnatural ingredients? Is there a link between that and the illnesses that people have such as diabetes, cancer and any other disease you can think of?

All I can tell you for sure is that I felt better in general once I cut unnecessary food additives from my diet.

Take this information however you must. Maybe it will inspire you to take inventory too or maybe you won’t. Either way its up to you. I just really wanted to bring up this subject that is important to me. If it could change the way just one person thinks about what they are eating then I feel like I’ve done something good here.

Wishing you a healthy life! :)

Caroline

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