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


Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Proper Breakfast Meal

Wanna Know What to Eat for Breakfast? Read This.

   So, most of you know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It starts your metabolism and gets you going. But to get you going, it is important to know what to eat. Many of us Americans are busy with our lives and sometimes barely have enough time to eat in the mornings, and I completely understand that. However, my goal in this entry is help you with your food choices in the mornings that are quick and easy. Let's get started!
   First off, I need to clarify exactly why you should eat breakfast. 
Besides starting your metabolism, breakfast is really helps control your appetite for the day and helps keep you full longer. Breakfast prevents excessive snacking, especially in the morning when you're completely starving. Plus, with the obesity epidemic, eating breakfast can help you LOSE WEIGHT! Whaaaat? People who eat breakfast start their metabolism, tend to eat less calories during the day and also do less empty-calorie snacking. There's so many more reasons why breakfast can help you lose weight but let's continue.

Soooo, what exactly should you eat for breakfast?
a) Protein.
   Protein gives you energy for the day to help keep you going.
   Also, protein is full of amino acids, which are the main parts of protein and metabolism (hmm...there's that word again, which is a good thing). But says it better: "Amino acids that come from the protein you eat are the building blocks of your brain’s network." Therefore, protein keeps your brain and mind focused throughout the day and is essential for breakfast.

b) Carbohydrates.
   Wait, what? Carbs? Yes, carbs. And I'm not talking about the sugary-cereal carbs or the "breakfast pastries." I'm talking about the carbs that are high in fiber and come from good sources, like fruit or whole wheat bread. The good carbs are great sources of nutrients, energy, and fiber. Besides giving you energy and nutrients, fiber is a big one because it is good for you and fills you up.

"But I really hate breakfast. It's so boring!" Not with these yummy recipes and ideas! Here are some easy, quick ones.
1) Banana and a nut butter (i.e. peanut butter, almond butter, etc.)
2) Whole wheat bread, a nut butter, a thin layer of honey (to give it some kick), and strawberries on top (or bananas, or both!)
3) Oatmeal: Oats, milk, walnuts or any type of nut, any type of fruit(s), granola (optional)
4) Low sugar, whole grain cereal with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
5) Smoothies! This one's my favorite: 1 cup pomegranate juice, 1 cup milk/almond milk, 1 cup strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, 3-5 small carrots, and an optional 1 scoop protein powder
6) Whole wheat toast with with egg whites
7) "Burrito:" Whole wheat tortilla, spinach (optional), tomatoes (optional), cheese, bacon (if you're not a vegetarian ;)), egg whites
8) Plain Greek yogurt with granola and your favorite fruit in it
9) Fruit and a meat (a fresh, healthy, safe meat please ;))
10) Cottage cheese with any of your favorite fruits and nuts
NOTE: If you're wanting to eat a regular egg (not egg whites), make a poached egg. 

These are packed with protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. You'll be ready to go in the morning with these fun ideas. I hope this helps! Blessings to all ~