Saturday, January 19, 2013

Making a Good Athlete Great

"Nutrition...It Can Make a 

Good Athlete Great, 

or a Great Athlete Good."

...As stated by Brandon Marcello, director of sports performance at Stanford University. What about nutrition CAN make a good athlete great?

     Every athlete wants to become bigger, better, faster, stronger...the best. Similarly, all parents and coaches want these things from their children and athletes, too. However, becoming a better athlete doesn't just come from mediocre training. It doesn't come from steroids. Although there are some players out there who have raw talent and are prodigies for the rest of us, for most, becoming better does not happen over night. It takes the intense training. It takes the two-a-days and three-a-days. It takes the mental toughness and motivation. But, what most people do not realize is that nutrition plays a tremendous role in making someone better. Like Marcello said, "It can make a good athlete great." Along with the exercise and training comes the diet.
     So, the first question is then: "Well, then what do I eat?" No, the answer is not McDonalds or Burger King. It is also not candy bars and sodas for energy or chips from the gas station. I mean, this couldn't make any more sense: "If you have a diesel-fueled vehicle, you don't put regular gas in your car. You can't expect your car to run with the wrong fuel in it." To transform a good athlete into a great one, you must eat healthy foods that provide the natural antioxidants, energy, anti-inflammatory "powers" and so on. Foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and plant and white meat animal proteins. Crazy, right? No, just smart.
     Here's another one of my "personal stories." If you have read one of my previous blogs called "My Nutrition Journey - Story, Personal Temptations, Stuff I've Learned, and Advice," then you have heard about how I used to eat incredulous amounts of junk/processed foods (example: ice cream three nights a week; red meat - ALL of the time). But, I'd like to go in more detail about how I've changed as an athlete. I am not trying to "brag" about myself or anything, but I want you, the reader, to understand just how much better I have been able to perform. I started eating cleaner around March 2012, but when school ended, I completely changed my diet.
     First off, 1) my stamina (endurance you could say) has exponentially increased. When comparing my cross country times from last year to this year in the 2 mile, it is about a 2 minute difference. I know that does not sound huge, but every minute counts in a cross country race. Additionally, last year I could barely run a 5k. This year in cross country, not only did I run a 5k every race (except for 2 races), I finished in the top 10-20 almost every time. Last year if I ran in the varsity races I probably would have placed in the 30s. 2) I am stronger. Of course I have done weight training, but that training would not be as significant if I did not eat a diet rich in organic white meat protein (chicken) and plant protein to help bulk myself up more. 3) I am more awake at school, especially in the mornings. Waking up and doing a little bit of core and eating protein and whole grains do wonders. I am more alert. 4) Other than times when I have been dehydrated or just really thirsty at the moment, I cannot remember the last time I had a headache from being tired or from the food I ate, etc.
    So, for the athletes out there who want to make themselves even better, follow my advice. Quit with the daily stops to Dairy Queen to purchase a large chocolate blizzard to "bulk up." Do not go through the drive thru at Sonic and purchase a large chili dog with extra cheese and a soda for "protein and energy." Instead, increase your stamina. Make yourself stronger both mentally and physically. All of this can be done by what food you put in your mouth. Want to be able to stay in the game for the last 10 minutes? Want to jump over the last two hurdles in the 300? Eat better. As crazy as it does sound, nutrition can change your game.

Here are some good snack ideas for you below. There are a plethora of meals you can eat but these are just a few:

Pre-Game Energy Snacks 

-Banana (with peanut butter)
-Toasted Ezekiel bread with either peanut butter, bananas, strawberries,...
-Poached egg on toasted Ezekiel bread
-Plain Greek yogurt with any type of berries

Post-Game Recovery Snacks

-Egg Yolks
-Chocolate Milk
-Whey Protein

Other Healthy Snacks

-Celery with peanut butter and blueberries
-Overnight oats: Soak overnight in unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon, and honey and frozen blueberries. In the morning, add chopped up strawberry and banana (gotten from an Instagrammer - thank you!).
-Green Monster Smoothie: 1 banana, blueberries, spinach, kale, chia seeds, honey, nonfat plain greek yogurt, almond milk and ice (gotten from an Instagrammer).
-Oats with plain nonfat greek yogurt, half and banana, and honey (gotten from an Instagrammer).
-Dinner: 1 egg, 3 egg whites, 1 tomato, 1/2 cucumber, 1/2 green pepper, steamed broccoli, balsalmic vinaigrette (gotten from an Instagrammer).
-Dinner: Chicken and salad with spinach, grape tomatoes, walnuts, chia seeds, vinegar, and coconut oil (gotten from an Instagrammer).
-Dinner: Chicken, spinach, tomatoes, black beans, cheese, salsa - either as a salad or in a tortilla.
-Need something sweet? Try this as a dessert: Oats topped with peanut butter, (fried) banana, dark chocolate, melted berries and honey (gotten from an Instagrammer).
*I suggest you buy as much as you can organic in order to avoid the bioengineering, pesticide residue, and other unmentionables.

And lastly, avoid soda. That stuff can ruin your performance and bring down your energy!

Got more questions? Just contact me or comment below!


Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions: Making 2013 the Best Yet

New Years. The Time of Festivities, Fun, and Watching the Big Ball Drop on TV...Oh, and Resolutions. 

For the people who want to see a difference in their bodies in 2013 and the years to come -
Each year, people always talk about resolutions. As a young adult, I've noticed more and more often how short the lifespan of those resolutions are. For instance, I've heard of people saying: "I'm not going to eat any sugar!" or, "I'm going to go to the gym 5 days a week!" And when the regular gym-goer goes to the gym the first week of January and it's packed, and then they go the next week and it's not nearly as packed, it is really just sad. Unfortunately, a lot of these goals that seem great and easy to do (at first) are just not accomplished. Learn how to make the best of your resolution and how to make it into a habit by reading below.

     To get to the root of the problem - it is the lack of motivation. It is going to the gym during the first week all ready to go, and then quitting the second week because it's too hard. It is standing in the kitchen with those warm chocolate chip cookies and eating five of them when you swore to yourself that you'd only eat one. And it is waking up early the first few mornings to go to spin, and then not seeing any results a few days later so you give up.
     I have learned throughout my young adult years that if you want to see and make a difference for yourself, you have to be self-motivated. No, it is not solely the trainer that will help you change your body, but yourself. And unfortunately, getting up to go to spin or body pump early in the morning is not easy at all. It is not supposed to be, but that's what makes changing your body so amazing. Whether you are trying to lose 20 pounds or just trying to eat better, the journey is tough yet so rewarding.
    To those of you who want to lose weight this year, truth is, you will not see results at first. Losing weight the hard way (eating better, exercising) is not a fad diet that makes you lose 20 pounds each week. And remember also that diet and exercise come as a pair. If you want to see a difference in your body, you need to do both. Contact me if you'd like guidance and/or advice!


  • Work out with friends who also want to lose weight, eat better, etc.
  • Talk to a nutrition consultant about better food habits.
  • Make working out a hobby. Try fun group exercise classes! You will never know if you actually love it if you never try it!
  • Buy healthy cook books.
  • Act now.
  • Motivate yourself.
  • Develop mental toughness.
  • Don't expect immediate results.
  • Don't be afraid to go to the gym.

     As cliché as this is, do not make 2013 just another year where you quit in the first two weeks trying to reach your health goal. You have to start somewhere - don't wait until later to meet your goals. Later will never happen. Make 2013 the year where you change your body for life for good. It won't be easy. It won't be fun. Do it for yourself and for your family. Be a happier and a healthier person. Healthy eating and exercise is a lifestyle - a fun one at that!

Again, don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions or want help!

       With Love,
            Caroline R.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Nutrition Journey - Story, Personal Temptations, Stuff I've Learned, and Advice

Okay so I was thinking...some of you might be wondering why I randomly started blogging about nutrition a few months ago. Also about why I'm so passionate about it all. 

And NO, what I do is NOT called a "health kick" or "health crusade." Healthy eating is a way of life! 

If you want to read my story followed by my every day junk food temptations, things I've learned, and advice, continue below:

     All right, here I go. So during my junior year of high school (I am a senior now), I was obsessed with food. And I don't mean like "Oh, yeah, I love food so much," I mean like "I LOVE FOOD SO MUCH." I guess you could say that I was like head-over-heels for food. For instance, if any of you know what the Chuy Gooey is at Chuy's (if not, Google it), I could down that thing all by myself with two baskets of chips, plus eat a plate of salty quesadillas. And if any of y'all have ever had the deep dish pizza at BJ's Brewhouse, I could eat a medium dish (which is HUGE) on my own easily. Every time I ate something bad for me, like those two meals, I would use the common phrase: "Oh Caroline, it's just this one time. You're skinny anyway and you went up some stairs today, so you're all good." The problem, though, is that I said that every, single, time. I didn't care that I was consuming too much sodium and fat. I didn't care that I was feeling more tired and miserable every day because of what I ate; all I cared about was how good the food was. But it was that one day during class when my favorite teacher went on what she calls a "rabbit trail" - a divergence from the discussion - and she talked about the meat industry and really just the way the American food system works today. What my teacher said really intrigued me. Heck, it FREAKED me out. As soon as I got home that day, I started researching because I was a little skeptical. Come to find out, she was completely right on everything. From the way most meat is processed in this country to the additives, artificial colors, and preservatives put in processed foods to make it last longer, all of what she said was exactly true! I was scared out of my mind. It was at that moment when I decided to take action and change my eating habits for good. 
     I went extreme and became a vegetarian. However, I approached it all the wrong way. For instance, instead of eating like a yummy sandwich on Ezekiel bread with spinach, tomatoes, organic cheese, and hummus for lunch (what I eat now), I would eat the generic bread everyone buys with a slice of processed cheese on it. I considered that healthy because there was no meat on it (As the months have gone by, I have obviously learned what I should and shouldn't eat). As I've continued to research, I've realized that nutrition is my passion. To be honest, every time I see or hear the word nutrition, my head pops up in excitement. Also, I have a folder on my Mac called "Heath and Nutrition," and right now I have around 110 saved pages in it about healthy eating. And yes, I am aware that most people think I am crazy. :)

My Temptations
     BUT, what people don't realize about what I do is this: Eating healthy foods is EXTREMELY difficult for me sometimes. Again, to be honest, every single day of my life I struggle with wanting to eat junk food. This is especially hard being in America but I try not to consider that an excuse. I mean, come on - who doesn't love some Nutella or some Oreos? And who doesn't crave ice cream every single night of their life? I certainly crave all that stuff. Whenever I am at a get-together at someone's house, it takes all of me, and I mean ALL OF ME, not to eat the whole plate of chocolate chip cookies on the counter. I'm totally serious if y'all don't believe me! The thing is, people think that I hate junk food and that I think it is gross. This is true in some cases - Cheez Its make me want to throw up...and those heart-attack Hot Pockets? Heck no. "Caramel?" I'd rather have a needle in my eye. But, do I believe that junk food is okay every once in a while? Sure I guess, but not excessively. What I'm most definitely not saying is that we should say over and over again, "Oh, just this one time." The truth is, like I said earlier, we'll just keep saying that. 
     To those of you who have read some of my previous entries, especially "Rethink Yolo," one of the points I tried to make is that food is supposed to heal us, fill us with the proper nutrients, and so on. Junk food does the opposite.

What I Have Learned

  • Eating healthier has completely changed my life. I am more fit (my stamina and strength have increased exponentially). I am a happier person. When I get sick (which is not often at all, knock on wood), I am usually completely fine by the next day or two. 
  • The earlier you or your child starts eating healthy, the earlier you'll start developing better eating habits. 
  • I have fallen in love with going to the grocery store (especially FRESH by Brookshires or Central Market in Dallas) and buying cool, healthy foods. It's so cool to experiment! You never know, you may discover a recipe you love.
  • You just gotta be open to change. In other words, don't be afraid to buy healthier options, even if your friends or and family don't want to try it.
  • = one amazing website! There are so many unique and tasty ideas to try!
  • Zucchini and squash together is so good.
  • You may be spending more for healthier foods but in my opinion, it's worth every dime.
  • Everything in moderation.
  • I gag at the thought of processed foods.


  • If you eat processed meat (such as the cheap and generic pre sliced kind or like the cheapest brand at the store of steak, chicken, etc. that isn't organic), I HIGHLY recommend going organic (Message me for details if you're curious as to why).
  • If you want to start changing your eating habits (unhealthy --> healthy), take baby steps. Start with buying more fruits and vegetables. Also try buying whole grain bread (I suggest Ezekiel bread - it's the BEST!). Don't do an extreme switch. Research and learn!
  • Cut the amount of red meat you eat.
  • If you are trying to eat more healthy (especially for those of you who are trying to lose weight), treat yourself to a meal once or twice a week that is unhealthy so you won't go completely crazy! :)
  • For those of you who live in a town with a Whole Foods, Central Market, or for those of us Tyler people with FRESH by Brookshires, there are certain brands of cereal that are a lot healthier, such as the Ezekiel, Nature's Path, and Heartland brands.
  • Drink lots of water (this especially applies to me...I don't drink nearly enough!)
  • Instead of Ranch dressing or all of those other dressings with really high amounts of sodium or fat, try Balsalmic Vinaigrette!
  • Looking for a great chip brand that is corn-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, delicious, and that you can use with all dips? Try Beanitos! They're incredible. I can testify. :)
  • Reduce the amount of junk around the house. Aka, detoxify your pantry. If you want help, hit me up
  • Google some fast, easy-to-make meals for you and your children to take to school and work! 
  • When around a plethora of junk food at a party, limit yourself. You'll gain mental toughness! Trust me on that one.
  • Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup/Corn Syrup.

I hope y'all learned from my story, temptations, the things I've learned throughout my journey, and advice! Let me know if you have any questions. 
     ~Blessings, Caroline

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Personal Hygiene - The Truth Behind Hair, Skin, and Oral Products


  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate 
Polyethelyne Glycol
Propylene Glycol
Cetylpyridinium Chloride

Do you know what these are? If not, continue reading to find out what you are using for "personal hygiene" that come from hair products, skin products, and mouth products.

     Okay, so if you haven't gotten the memo, this blog entry is about external hygiene products. And I know you're probably thinking, "FINALLY, an entry about something other than eating healthy!" But see, the thing is, personal health and wellness extends beyond food - it includes these external products as well. 
     Unfortunately, there are just so many products out there - food and hygiene - that contain harmful ingredients that we don't know about. It's not that most of us KNOW about these chemical ingredients in our products and then choose to ignore's really that we haven't been educated and informed about them! And no, I'm not saying you need to go all-natural and organic (okay, I have to admit that I have, but that doesn't mean that you necessarily have to, too, if you don't want) or anything. BUT, my goal out of this entry is for your eyes to be opened to the reality that your hygiene products may not be the safest.
     So we all know the popular shampoo brands such as Pantene, Fructis, and Herbal Essence, the skin products such as Cetaphil and Clinique, the deodorant products such as Secret and Suave, the lip products such as Carmex and Lipsmacker, aaaaand the mouth products such as Crest and Oral-B. However, have you ever looked at the ingredients? I know, weird. Most people don't pay attention to the ingredients because come on, it's shampoo, face wash, deodorant and toothpaste! It's not like you're eating the stuff, so what's the big deal? That, however, is the common misconception. Yes, you may not be ingesting it, but these chemicals ARE absorbed through your skin, swallowed, accidentally rubbed in the eyes, and so on. 
     Am I calling these brands bad? No, but am I trying to highlight the fact that some of the ingredients used in their products are in some ways? Yes. For example, the sulfates - sodium lauryl, ammonium lauryl, and ammonium laureth - aren't necessarily the greatest of products. Studies have shown that Sodium lauryl sulfate, unfortunately, is linked to organ toxicity, irritation, and mutations. Taken from, though, it's not so much the one-time use of a product that can cause these things, but rather "it's the gradual, cumulative effects of long-term, repeated exposures that are the real concern." And that is exactly right. Again, the problem isn't the one-time use, but the long-term use. 
    Let's discuss parabens. In my opinion, parabens even sound scary. used a quote as well from that said: "Parabens can mimic hormones in the body and disrupt functions of the endocrine system." There was also a study conducted in 2004 that linked parabens to breast cancer. Please note once again that all of these chemicals do not harm people in small amounts but in large amounts. The problem is that if you consider the amounts of these chemicals, whether through shampoo, skin products, and so on that we use daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, these chemicals are being used in rather large amounts.
    Also, let me tell you about Plyethylene glycol. Let me say it right out in front - According to, large amounts can cause diarrhea. It can also cause skin toxicity, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. What? I know.  
    I would continue listing the various chemicals and health concerns they bring but I think all of you get the point. Even though I'm not yelling at y'all to go "all natural and organic," I do hope that this blog really did switch on some lights and make you all think. To be honest, even though I don't "feel better" by using pure and organic products, let me say two things: 1) In all honesty, my skin is clearing up. 2) I know that I am going the safest route and protecting myself more from diseases and potential toxins.
    Ah, and to answer the "all-natural and organic question" that some of you may be thinking...
When I say that, I am talking about products without the use of harsh and dangerous chemicals. Safe brands to use are:
Shampoo - Avalon, Nature's Gate, Kiss My Face, Aloe 80 Organics
Body Wash - Aloe 80 Organics, Jasön, Alba
Lotion - Dr. Bronner's Magic, Nature's Gate, Avalon
Deodorant - Toms, Lafes, Nature's Gate
Chapstick - Dr. Bronner's Magic, Alba, Kiss My Face
Toothpaste - Jasön, Nature's Gate, Miessence
Mouthwash - Jasön, Riddell's Creek Organic, Toms



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Several Reasons to Go Organic

So, it's been a while since I last posted (thanks school ;D)...but this was really on my heart tonight. It seems kind of random that God would just "place something on my heart" about food, but it's true! 
You've seen at the grocery stores, on TV, in the newspaper, and on the internet that "this" or "that" certain product is "Certified Organic." Why should I go organic? Are there any health hazards for which I should be on the lookout? In this entry, I'm going to try to answer some of these questions to the best of my ability. Let this health journey continue!

Several Reasons to Go Organic
    First off, let me begin by defining the word "organic." According to, "simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones." Therefore, the food that you buy at the store that is "organic" is real, live, and fresh...basically it's the naturally grown foods.
Sooo, here are the reasons to go organic.
    1) You see that I have underlined the phrase "genetically modified organisms" up above. If you've never seen or heard of this phrase before, this is basically what it means. states that genetic modification "is a special set of technologies that alter the genetic makeup of organisms such as animals, plants, or bacteria." To me, this just sounds completely sketchy. In addition, GMOs can cause food allergies, possible mutations, and more. And, to be honest, it's unethical. Our foods are being stripped from their natural, live ways and being injected with stuff to make them live longer, taste better, and look better. Sounds familiar, right? (Think about it).
    2) Organic foods are better to buy because they do not have chemical toxins and pesticides. stated that "these chemicals are designed to kill other forms of life and you may very well be eating them." And this is totally true! 
    3) Going organic especially pertains to dairy. Conventional farmers inject their livestock with hormones and antibiotics to produce more dairy, fatten them up, and protect them from sickness. But how do these additives harm us, the consumers? a) Studies have shown that these antibiotics could potentially cause various types of cancer. b) Less toxins c) Non-organic milk is chemically and nutritionally different from organic milk d) No rBGH -- a genetically modified replication of the naturally-occurring hormone in cows. rBGH is contaminated and can make cows sick. EW!
    4) Organic foods taste better and are better for you. They are not genetically modified nor sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, etc. They are in their natural "element" and that is how they should be!
    5) Lastly, organic foods really DO help you lose weight. Why? Read this. clearly says that "the chemicals in non-organic foods can disrupt the endocrine system. One type of chemical called obesogens disrupts the function of human hormonal systems, leading to weight gain." Therefore, if you want to lose weight, go organic!

Additionally, the up-top healthy people have devised a list of foods to ALWAYS buy organic. They call it the Dirty Dozen. Here ya go (plus a few more):

1) Peaches 
2) Apples
3) Sweet Bell Peppers
4) Celery
5) Nectarines
6) Strawberries
7) Cherries
8) Pears
9) Imported Grapes
10) Spinach
11) Lettuce
12) Tomatoes
13) Domestic Blueberries
14) Kale, collards, and leafy greens
15) Bananas

Clearly, buying organic groceries is the way to go. Despite the extra dollars, buying organic foods keeps you healthy, doesn't mess with your body, and they taste amazing and nutritious. Thanks for reading! Hope you all enjoyed this one. I definitely enjoyed writing it up! And I hope that this went straight from my heart to yours.  ~Caroline 

If you would like to read more about going organic/how going organic helps you lose weight, read this!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Legumes, Legumes...

Legumes, Legumes, A Musical Fruit...

   ...And, you know the rest of the song...Anyway, here's the deal. Legumes, aka beans...we've all eaten them and we all like them, for the most part.  But what is it about beans that make them so healthy? You don't want to miss this blog entry! I'll be discussing the different types, health benefits, and how to prepare them!

   The Different Types and Some of Their Health Benefits?
-Lima: good source of manganese (which helps with metabolism); fiber 
-Pinto: vitamins and minerals; activating enzymes in the body; fiber 
-Green: good source of folates; no saturated fat; fiber
-Black: help the digestive tract; antioxidants; fiber
-Navy: low glycemic index; can help prevent cancerous tumors; fiber
-Kidney: good for diabetics; detoxifies sulfates; fiber
-White: Loaded with antioxidants; a good source of magnesium; fiber
-Garbanzo (Chickpea): vitamins and minerals; eases inflammation; fiber
And lots more!

   The Health Benefits in General?
   Certain legumes can lower cholesterol (the LDL levels - the bad ones), detoxify sulfates, and help with blood sugar. Plus, they're low in fat, high in complex carbohydrates (the good carbs), and they're a great source of protein. And, according to, "legumes provide B vitamins, which keep your nervous system healthy; folic acid, which prevents birth defects; iron, which keeps your circulatory system healthy; and calcium, which builds strong bones." Wow! I'd say legumes are pretty amazing for you, don't you think? 

But wait! You might be asking yourself...
   Are Canned Beans Okay?
   Canned beans are fine...however, they are high in sodium to keep them fresh longer (because they are processed and need to stay on the shelves). If you eat canned beans excessively, that is they could become a problem. Too much sodium can potentially lead to cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, just like dried beans, they are a great source of fiber and they are low in fat. Although I prefer dried beans because they taste fresher, canned beans in moderation are okay.

   How do You Prepare Beans?
   With dried beans, I found that this is a relatively simple way. At Fresh, the store I work at, we sell dried beans in the Bulk section and when you print out the price tag from the scale, directions are printed off on the sticker. This is what it reads: "Wash beans and drain. Cover with cold water. Discard floaters. Soak 4-8 in a cool place. Drain and add three cups of fresh water for every cup of beans. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until softer. Approx. 1 1/2 hours." Now obviously dried beans, these take a lot longer than out of the can. But trust me, they're full of nutrients with no sodium and they're simply delicious!
   With canned beans, you simply open the can and heat them up over a stove in a pan. Obviously, canned beans do not take as long.

Eat your beans, despite the...side effects... -C 



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Processed Foods: What's the Big Deal? Digging Deeper

   In the Words of Peyton's Mother, Leslie, from Dance Moms, 

"I'm Baaaaaack!" 

   All right, so I know that I got back some input for my next blog the other day on Facebook. And I also know that this entry will sound really similar to my first blog, "Rethinking YOLO." But this digs even deeper into the reality of processed foods. 

   A day later after posting my Facebook status about blog topics, I felt like this topic needed to be discussed first. I'll start blogging y'all's topics next time. And before I start, be careful about reading this! Not all of you will like hearing this stuff. Nevertheless, enjoy!

   Okay, so, processed food. What is the big deal? It's pretty looking, it smells good, and come on, it tastes good. With all of these great qualities and the media and society saying how great it is, it must be pretty good, and good for you. But wait a second, there's more to it than that. Let's continue.
   First off, I need to define processed foods. In general terms, "food processing is any deliberate change in a food that occurs before available for us to eat" ( So, really, food processing has been done to almost all foods we eat. But here's the dividing line. Food processing can simply be something that is done to a food, like being washed or pasteurized, to eliminate bad bacteria and things like that. On the other hand, food processing can also refer to foods that have been GMOd, aka genetically modified, enhanced with additives like preservatives, chemicals, and flavors, or packaged and ready-to-eat foods. You get the point. There is definitely a dividing line here! 
   See, the foods that are undergoing the processing in the second category are the ones that are bad for us. Here's why. When foods go through this kind of processing to keep the food fresh and good, they are being stripped away of their nutritional content because of the intense heating or cooling processes. Also, to take out the "bad fat and bad sugar" in food, foods are processed. And because of that, the food industry fills these foods back up with additives to make the food appealing and delicious to the consumers and preservatives to keep the food "fresh." Some of these fake additives include MSG, BHT, colors such as Yellow 6 and Red 40, and aspartame. These additives over time are toxic, people. They can cause cancer, chronic disease, etc. and so on. Wow.
   In addition to keeping food fresh and readily available, one of the reasons why the food industry does this food processing is because of demand. Our country is obsessed with more, more, and more. Here is an AWESOME quote that I found that digs deep on what I'm talking about: "Americans treat food as a source of immediate gratification. We want it tasty, we want it cheap and we want it now. To meet this demand, American manufacturers pump their food full of sugar, salt, hydrogenated oils, saturated fats, preservatives, dyes, artificial flavors, and a host of bizarre, unpronounceable chemicals that, if you saw them in their pre-processed state, you would never consider putting in your mouth. Our food is almost unrecognizable as food" ( Caitlin, whoever you are, you hit it right on the spot. This processed food isn't food. And that's the issue - Americans eat too much fake food and too little real food. And this is why us Americans are struggling so badly with our health.
   Let me leave y'all with one basic thing. Get yourself OFF of the bad processed foods. This means the chips, the twinkies, the canned meat...and others. You are only hurting yourself more. Get the fresh stuff that doesn't have all that added trash in it. God put all of the natural herbs, fruits, vegetables, and sprouted grains on the earth in the beginning for a reason. Embrace it! Instead of eating these foods that are harmful for you, eat the REAL good stuff. God didn't put these "man-made" foods like the chips, hot dogs, spam, and twinkies in the beginning for a reason! GO NATURAL!

If you have any questions, let me know. I'd be glad to answer whatever I can! Thank you all ~~ Caroline