***This will be a short post, because I’m not concerned with you reading what I have to say. I’m just a lone lunatic. After looking over my brief rantings, I want you to check out the resources toward the end of this post.***
I know making the transition to clean eating is overwhelming and daunting. It can make you want to pull your hair and say, Well, what in the hell CAN I eat???” Here are a few points that may help you discern the real food from the overly-processed.
“Gluten-free”: All that’s gluten-free is not good to eat. Tortilla chips are gluten-free. Cocoa Krispies are gluten-free. Hand sanitizer is gluten free. Gasoline is gluten-free. You should try to avoid ingesting these items, and only drink gasoline in moderation. (I shouldn’t have to say this, but that was a joke. Please don’t drink gasoline. Not even oh-so delicious diesel.)
Oils: Heavily processed oils like corn oil, canola oil, soybean oil and margarine are not the “healthy alternatives” I grew up hearing they were. Even the term “vegetable oil” can be misleading (or an outright lie). A few “vegetable” oils – corn oil (corn is a grain, NOT a vegetable), soybean oil (legume, NOT a vegetable), and canola oil (canola is a cultivar of rapeseed… Wait, rapeseed? No thanks). The oils I just mentioned go through such an ungodly manufacturing process, your body can’t even recognize them as food. The good news – there are others that are also considered vegetable oils which are derived without the ridiculous amount of processing. When looking for oils closest to their original state, opt for those like olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, butter, and animal fat.
Labels: You won’t get the vital information from the front of package (such as “all natural”, “gluten-free”, “low fat”, or “possibly maybe hopefully safe for human consumption”). Read the ingredients on the back. If you can’t pronounce it, then it probably isn’t good for you. Also, “natural flavors” is NOT an ingredient… I’ve never had any luck growing a “natural flavors tree”. The details of this “ingredient” are noticeably absent. Oh, and if you see the vague “vegetable oil” as an ingredient, it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that it comes from a quality source.
Of all the literature I’ve read that is geared toward regular people, the following resource has to be one of the most useful and easiest to digest. (Pun absolutely intended.) Liz Wolfe co-authored THIS AWESOME GUIDE that will hit many of the above points in greater detail.
In addition to this guide, I recommend Liz as a source of information and inspiration. She shares her knowledge an research in a way that is not only funny, but also easy for the average person to understand. (In my case, a below-average person.) For some entertaining posts/podcasts/recipes on topics from clean eating, to skin care, to homesteading, check out one of her blogs HERE.
Take the next step. Apply this information. Research it for yourself. Most importantly, DON’T GIVE UP! Or, if you have to give something up, give up highly-processed oils.