13 Health Foods That Are NOT So Healthy

13 Health Foods

That Are NOT So Healthy...

caution

Proceed with

1. Brown Sugar:  Brown sugar used to be sugar that did have the molasses intact.  Modern brown sugar is merely refined "white" sugar that has added caramel coloring to make you THINK it is real brown sugar.  Action to take: Use sucanat, read the label and look for sugar that is simply dehydrated, sugar cane juice... nothing added, nothing removed. Another good brand is Rapunzel Rapadura Sugar.

sugar
rapunzel

2.  Greek Yogurt: Real Greek yogurt is truly just cultured milk that has been strained to make it thicker, creamier, and higher in protein.  If refined ingredients have been added to thicken the yogurt, it is not real Greek yogurt.  Most Greek yogurts, on the market, are not real.  Action to take:  Read labels on everything that a food manufacturing facility makes for you.  Read those labels for 100% whole food ingredients.  Do not settle for less; your cellular health depends on this.

While I am on the subject, eat plain yogurt*, not the flavored varieties.  Again, read labels, flavored yogurts are loaded with crap ingredients and sugar.  These crap ingredients and sugar do not create vibrant, healthy body cells.

Real yogurt should be milk and active cultures, period.  No thickeners, no flavorings, no sugars, etc!  Want a recipe for making a yummy snack with yogurt, fruit, and nuts... email me!  pyoumell@gmail.com

3.  Frozen Yogurt:  OK, so this is a fun one.  People order frozen yogurt instead of ice cream... well, because "it is yogurt. Yogurt is good for me,  so frozen yogurt is a healthy treat, right?"  No, it is not.  See above info on plain yogurt.  No good gut microbes survive freezing, so thinking frozen yogurt is good for gut health is a flawed thought (yes, perpetuated by marketing, but flawed none the less).  Action to take:  *Eat plain yogurt you have made yummy and fun with fruit, berries, cinnamon, vanilla.  Want a recipe? Email me, pyoumell@gmail.com.

yogurt

4. Ginger Ale: "Ginger ale is good for me when I am sick, have a fever, correct?" "It settles my stomach if I have a nasty, gut bug sickness, correct?"  No, sorry. Modern sodas are just a source of liquid corn syrup, artificial flavors, and other artificial ingredients.  Action to take: Make ginger tea, use the ginger tea with seltzer water to make your own ginger soda; buy a natural brand of ginger soda that has real ginger in it!

ginger beer

5.  Bran Muffins: Running late for work or an appointment, no time for breakfast, so one stops at the mini-mart and grabs a bran muffin.  It is the health option in the mini-mart, correct?  NO, it is loaded with refined and toxic ingredients: white sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, white flour, artificial flavors, fillers, dough conditioners, etc., and a small amount of bran.  Action to take:  Make your own and have them handy.  Want a recipe, email me.  Take the time for a real breakfast.

6.  Wheat Bread:  Lots of issues here:  modern wheat is not all it is cracked up to be, most wheat breads have minimal whole grains in them, and most manufactured wheat bread is loaded with refined and crap ingredients.  Again, read labels.Action to take: Read labels and make certain breads are 100% whole grains for 100% whole cellular health.  Sprouted whole grain breads are another nourishing option.

bread

7.  Commercial Fruit Smoothies: Ok, so the fruit does not exist in powdered smoothie mixes.  Many are artificially fruit flavored or have dried fruit powders in them.  Action to take: Make at home with 100% whole food ingredients, whole fruit, and only buy fruit smoothies in shops that make them the same way.  If the fruit smoothie is a powdered mix, RUN, fast, get away from the powdered world crap.  I don't care how healthy they say their protein powder fruit smoothies are for you.  They are not real food!

8.  Vitamin Water: One word: crap.  Ok, so vitamin water has a marvelous marketing campaign. This is a big clue here, any product with a marketing campaign most likely is worthless and not nourishing to your body cells.  Fresh produce does not need to be marketed as healthy.  We all innately know it is! Action to take: Drink water from your tap, if it has not been poisoned with chlorine and fluoride.  If it has, filter it.  If you think you need to have added vitamins in your water, go to Nature's Storehouse and find a 100% whole food liquid vitamin supplement and add it to your water.  Your health and cells will be grateful.

9.  Non-Calorie Sweeteners:  Nature did not make many non-calorie sweeteners. Food laboratories do; that is your clue to avoid them.  Nature makes real food, "food" labs do not.  These sweeteners are toxic to your liver and toxic to all of your body cells.  Now stevia... yes, if you are using real, green stevia.  The powdered green herb form of stevia is a real non-calorie sweetener.  Stevia that is the white powder or clear liquids, refined in food labs, in not healthy cell food.  Action to take:  Get a hold on your sugar usage.  Is it really something we were meant to eat every day?  Nah... it's not!

stevia

10.  Diet Soda and Diet Drinks:  Toxic to liver and body cells. See Non calorie sweetener above.  Action to take: Always put your body cells first and foremost in your mind when choosing foods and food products.  Make herb teas and enjoy them sweet free or use a tiny bit of raw, local honey.  Make "soda" with seltzer water and a wee bit of organic fruit juice concentrate.

11.  Gluten Free Food Products:  A word of caution:  when a health problem arises, manufacturers are quick to respond with ' "food products" to help solve your problem.  Many gluten free products are HIGHLY processed and full of junk ingredients.

Gluten free does not mean it is healthy.  There are thousands of gluten free products on the market:  cakes, cookies, breads, pizza crusts, boxed mixes; processed food heaven!  Learn to read labels.  Many of these products are full of fillers.  Yes the “fillers” in question are gluten free, but they are also refined, nutritionally devoid foods.  If the natural, whole food nutrition is not in the food, the refined food product will rob your body cells of nutrients and contribute to degenerative diseases. You are trading off one huge health problem for another of equal degenerative quality.

Things to look for are:  white rice flour, corn starch, potato starch*, tapioca starch*, tapioca flour*, potato flour*.  Basically these are cheap, filler ingredients not real food, not food that nourishes your beautiful body cells. These fillers create a host of health problems in your body including blood sugar and insulin issues that contribute to inflammation and exacerbate health issues.  

Action to take:  

Keep refined ingredients out of your diet for vibrant health. Read labels, buy food products that are 100% whole food ingredients only, including gluten free products.

Want to learn more?  I do gluten free workshops, contact me: pyoumell@paulayoumellrn.com 

Want gluten free bread & pizza dough recipes?  See my recipes under FREE STUFF link at the top of my web page. Or contact me for more suggestions.

*Note: Some brands of tapioca flour and potato flour are the whole roots ground into flour.  Check with the individual companies to know that what you are buying is a whole food flour, not a refined food flour.

12.  Fat Free Dairy: There are many reasons to avoid animal fat.  My big issue is that they are contaminated with all the toxins that have been created on this divine planet.  So, I advise buying organic and naturally raised animal products.  I even try to avoid animals products from animals that are fed GMO foods: corn and soybeans.  These are no easy tasks, I admit, and can leave one throwing up their arms in despair.  With this said, fat is needed in your body!   The manufacture of your bodily hormones depends on ingested fat.  Action to take:  Get to know your farmers, ask them how they raise their animals, what they feed them, if the corn /soy is GMO free, if they get fed very little corn and soy and mostly have access to pasture.  (Yes, winter in the north country complicates the pasture grazing issue!)  www.gardenshare.org  Go ahead, click the link, and start finding local farmers to grow your food!

13.  Chocolate: Ok, I know there are people who will want to strangle me for adding this one to the list.  Let's get serious, anti-oxidants aside, we all intuitively know that eating processed chocolate, every day, is not what nature intended.  It has been well marketed to us as a healthy superfood.  (Please see the above comments about marketing campaigns and food.)  Yes, I am certain chocolate, cocoa beans, have antioxidants, why wouldn't they?  Nature did make them.  But humans take those beans and process them into 554 million different chocolateproductsand then market them as a necessary daily food.  Our culture has certainly bought into this food campaign: hook,  line, and sinker.  Perhaps we could all thrive ingesting just chocolate, red wine, and coffee... all are loaded with antioxidants, right?!  Ok, ok, I know I am being a smart ass.  Action to take:  See it for what it is;  a tasty, fun, occasional treat.  Buy organic and fair trade to support the farmers that grow these amazing beans and enjoy it, with a smile, on occasion.

choc

Questions to ask yourself about a food product: 

Was this nature made or man-made?

Were the ingredients nature made or man-made?

Was this made in a food factory?

Does this product have a huge marketing campaign?

If you would like to know more about how to heal your body with real food, how to incorporate healing-whole health strategies into your life, enter your name (above and on the right side of the page) to subscribe to my blog newsletter.  Come to a class I teach or give me a shout and we can work one on one.  Your health will soar, you will feel great, your cells will bounce with amazing energy!   Blessings, Paula

Seductive Sugar....and our calamitous relationship

Sugar... oh so sweet and so seductive

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Like heroin, cocaine and caffeine, sugar is an addictive, destructive drug, yet we consume it daily in everything from cigarettes to bread.   -William Dufty, author of Sugar Blues.

We know sugar and refined sweeteners are a leading contributor to many health problems:  diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis to name but a very few.  Yet, as a culture, we continue to consume it in heaping piles on an annual basis.

How did we get here as a culture?  The use of sugar has been on the rise for hundreds of years.

Consumption in the USA:

  • In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 2009, more than 50 percent of Americans consume 1/2 pound of sugar per day, which is 180 pounds of sugar per year! YIKES!

Sugar's history is an amazing tale to be told.

US citizens are the world's largest (no pun intended) consumers of sugar.  The first sugar refinery was built in NYC in 1689, sweet breakfast porridge became popular and consumption soared to 4 pounds per year. We now consume 100 pounds per year on average.  For those of us who consume very little, where does that leave others in this average consumption?

Loving sweet tasting foods is a natural human desire.  Whole foods that are sweet nourish the body cells with complex carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and all sorts of nutrients yet to be "discovered."  Whole sweet foods release a slow and steady level of carbohydrates into our blood streams.  Not so for the refined stuff....

Refined sweeteners have been stripped of most of their nutritional value.  No nourishment to offer to the body cells?  Then the "food" item actually robs nutrition from your body cells.  The body must deplete its own store of nutrients to digest and absorb sucrose properly. This creates nutritional deficiencies. This is an empty calorie syndrome.

Refined sugar enters the blood stream very quickly raising the blood sugar to very high levels and the resultant high levels of insulin crash the blood sugar.  This is how we get swings of hyper excitability followed by lethargy and depression.  We feel good for a microscopic period of time, a sugar high, then we crash and burn turning into moody, frustrated, tired individuals.

Sugar is highly addictive.  A little bit raises and crashes the blood sugar leaving you craving more, more, more! And did I mention more, NOW?  When we go through sugar withdrawal we have mood swings, severe cravings, headaches, fatigue, irritability... symptoms akin to drug and alcohol withdrawal.

Sugar is put into all manufactured foods, those factory made "food products."  The reason is clear, sugar is addictive, add it to food and people will buy and eat more.  What a great sales campaign!

The health consequences of sugar are profound. Excess sugar intake is associated with weight gain and obesity. Being overweight raises your risk for many health conditions: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, gallbladder and liver diseases, osteoarthritis, gynecological problems such as infertility, respiratory problems, sleep apnea, and colon, breast and endometrial cancers, to name but a few.

I find it amazing that rarely does a diabetic (or anyone else with metabolic health issues resulting from refined foods and sugars) get advised to remove all sugar from their diets in order to regulate their blood sugar and insulin levels and heal their bodies.  If a person had liver disease or lung cancer, would we not advise that they remove the offenders: alcohol and tobacco?

If sugar is so bad...why do we crave it?  Sugar in the bloodstream stimulates the same pleasure centers of the brain that respond to heroin and cocaine but in a very pronounced way compared to other yummy foods.  Sugar becomes an uncontrollable habit.  One feels great while consuming, bottoms out when it leaves our blood stream, and rush to find more.

Leaving sugar out of the diet for 2 weeks ends this yo-yo affair with the sweet, white stuff.

Interestingly enough, until the middle of the 1800's, refined, "white" sugar was a luxury.  The wealthy could afford refined sugar cane sugar.  Most common people used maple syrup, honey, and crude forms of molasses and the true molasses rich brown sugars (not the modern grocery store variety that is merely white sugar with caramel coloring added).

Take yourself back to the Little House On The Prairie books and recall how they consumed sugar.  Manufactured sugar and sweets were truly a rare treat, only at holidays.  (Keep in mind that the sugar and food indulgent holidays were far fewer in Laura Ingall’s days. Another testimony to where our collective health has gone and why!)

Think how long a hard candy or small piece of chocolate, given as a Christmas gift, would last Laura.  Now think about how we pack away candy and whole, large chocolate bars on a daily basis.  Any wonder why and how  our health suffers the degenerative consequences?  Can you imagine how long an Equal Exchange large chocolate bar would last Laura… weeks upon weeks, turning into months!

Want to return to vibrant health?  Removing sugar from your diet is a huge step in the direction of restoring metabolic health. How to do this sugar detox is a question of your style of functioning.  Are you an all or nothing type that can completely cut sugar now and never look back (trust me, you will feel so good you will not want to look back!) or do you function better weaning yourself slowly?  Knowing what works for you and doing it, surrounding yourself with loving support, and finding ways to  sweeten your life without sugar are key components to kicking the sugar habit.

PS  Stay tuned for my thoughts on kids' parties and sugar!

Fun Food Focus

Satisfy that sweet tooth with 1/2 an apple and a handful of raw walnuts or pecans.  The nuts add fat and protein to balance your blood sugar and insulin reaction.  You won't feel a blood sugar crash 30 minutes or so after eating the apple.  

Fresh fruits are gentler on your blood sugar.  Dried fruits are very concentrated fruit sugars and will elevate and crash your blood sugar, leaving you craving more sweetness to drive your blood sugar back up.  Dried fruits will contribute to the same yo-yo cycle with blood sugar rushes and crashes.  Eat them with divine respect for the concentrated source of fruit sugar that they are;  be mindful of this sugar effect even with natural foods.