After reading that the government has decided pizza can count as a vegetable I had to say something. So here I go, I'm on my soapbox! First, tomatoes aren't a vegetable. Second, do you know any farms that grow greasy bread with tomato paste? No? Me either. This is just another example as to why you need to know what you're eating. When I did some research into food labels and ingredients I was disgusted. Ignorance is bliss until you realize all the garbage you are putting into your system.
My family never practiced good, healthy eating habits when I was growing up. They consistently stocked junk food, soda, tv dinners, and frequented fast food restaurants. In fact my mother still does and it has made my sister overweight. I'm amazed I wasn't obese. I've always been “curvy” and overweight. Partly it's genetics but mostly I think it was the lifestyle. In college I decided I was tired of eating crappy food and feeling crappy about myself. I started going to the gym, but it ended up being more of a social scene then serious business.
After having my daughter I got serious about eating right and exercising. We switched to wheat bread, no soda, tried to cut back on junk. I had a friend to work out with and started losing some weight and toning up. Of course when I started really getting into the groove I got pregnant again. After my son was born, I resolved to eat even healthier, adding more organic/natural food to our diets. I didn't realize that even though I was choosing “healthier” options, sometimes they were just as bad for us.
After hitting a plateau in my weight loss a friend suggested knowing my food labels. She said I would be amazed if I knew what was really in my food. But, I'm choosing “whole grain” snacks, wheat bread, wheat cereal, so I have nothing to worry about right? Wrong. So I started doing research. If I couldn't pronounce something I looked it up. If there was only initials I looked it up. If the name was a mile long, I looked it up. I was horrified. Hydrogenated oils, BHT, color dyes, bleached flour, enriched flour, preservatives galore. Further investigation and I was nauseated by what else these food additives are used in; petroleum, gym matting, formaldehyde, yuck! I don't want that in my body.
Artificial dyes have been linked to ADD and ADHD in studies in Europe. They even require food packaging to identify this risk to the consumers. As a migraine sufferer I've tried all the medicine under the sun, looked for triggers and tried to find natural ways to get rid of them. A friend suggested cutting out anything with color dyes. I don't know if there is any official research to support this but I do know that I have seen tremendous improvement. Instead of getting them every other day or weekly, it is down to almost once a month (and that's related to women things, sorry guys!)
With all that being said, I now try to eat “clean.” If it comes in a box no more then 3 or 4 ingredients. As a rule, if I can't pronounce it or it's name is a mile long I avoid it. I also continue to look up any ingredients I'm unfamiliar with. Thanks to technology I can do that right in the store. Some only sound scary but they are actually natural (example: inulin, lecithin). I just want to encourage you to educate yourself about what you are eating.
Pizza is NOT a vegetable, partially hydrogenated/hydrogenated oils are bad news, and what you intake affects your health. A lot of diseases can be treated, symptoms lessened, and some even cured just by eating the right food and getting exercise. So do yourself and your family a favor, do your research and know your food.
Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader
Agreed! This is a great post – I switched to clean eating after discovering that packaged foods were often a cause of depression. After I began eating cleaner and exercising more my depression faded away (slowly) and I lost 25lbs that I had been struggling to lose.
Thank you! That’s a great testimony. I never thought about what was in the package and how that could be making me plateau or depressed. I fought that for years as well, but I never made that connection, but it definitely makes sense.