Are you feeding your kids this poison for breakfast?

Are you feeding your kids this poison for breakfast?

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I had an opportunity for a blog post this weekend while at my parents’ house that I couldn’t pass up (sorry mom and dad). My kids found some Pillsbury Toaster Strudels in the freezer and asked if they could have one. I don’t buy these conventional brands of food (because 9 out 10 times they’re full of crap and GMOs and come from companies that put profit before health) so I decided to take a look at the ingredients, I knew I wasn’t going to find a picture of health on the back of that box, but what I found was much more disturbing than even I imagined.

The first sign of trouble was the very LONGGGG list of ingredients, that’s usually never a good sign. So let’s break this down. ts2

We start with some good ole’ enriched bleached flour. So, why is this bad? Well enriched flour means that the most important part of the seed, the germ, and the bran, have been removed. The bleached part means just what it says… BLEACHED, using chemicals to make it white, just like you would do to your clothes.

Chloride oxide is one of the chemicals sometimes used for bleaching flour and when it’s combined with leftover proteins in the bread it actually produces a poison called Alloxon. Alloxon has been used to create diabetes in laboratory animals. Enough said? Let’s move on.

Palm and/or soybean oil, unless this product labels itself NON-GMO, which it doesn’t, you can bet these oils are genetically modified.

And the next 4 ingredients after that… are… all… SUGAR! Yes you read it right the NEXT 4 ingredients are all sugar!

High fructose corn syrup, Sugar, Maltodextrin, & Dextrose.

Hydrogenated palm oil- let’s stay away from anything ‘hydrogenated’ because once something is hydrogenated it basically becomes plastic once in your body and it makes your blood move slower, one of the reasons why people get high blood pressure.

Corn syrup solids- used as a sweetener and a thickener and basically more sugar! (and just wait there’s more coming).

Mono and diglycerides– a genetically modified synthetic fat used to help ingredients blend more easily together which otherwise wouldn’t.

TBHQ- It’s abbreviated because the word is so long it would take up half the package. Its petroleum based (YUM) and it’s banned in most countries, but not here!

Polysorbate 60– commonly contaminated with dioxane which is known to cause cancer in animals – and it’s also petroleum based!

Red 40– it’s banned in Denmark, Belgium, France, Sweden and Switzerland and a host of other countries require a warning label on foods that contain it stating “may have an adverse effect on activity in children”… can you say ADHD? Oh yes… and it’s made from petroleum too!

Blue 1– Animal studies indicate that it can cause tumors and be carcinogenic to certain organs. It’s a coal tar derivative.

All those dangers just for the sake of an appealing color!

Natural and artificial flavor– this could be a million different things and we will never know. Natural in this case usually doesn’t mean natural at all, please don’t even be fooled by “natural flavors”.

And then finally just in case there wasn’t enough sugar in this product already lets add one more touch of Sucralose, which in an artificial form of sugar.

Did you see the front? “Now with 30% more icing” Yay, because there wasn’t enough sugar in it to begin with.

Food companies should be ashamed that they are marketing this junk to your kids, but they’re not because it’s all about profit for them.

This is not a healthy way to start your day, full of sugar, artificial ingredients and chemicals. You vote with your money the kind of food you want, please stop buying this garbage!

Health and love to you,

Stacia

 

Sources:
http://www.befoodsmart.com
http://www.naturalnews.com/008191.html
http://www.hungryforchange.tv/article/how-to-spot-sugar-on-food-labels

Mac and Cheese with Hidden Veggies

 Mac and cheese with hidden veggies… I promise they won’t know, husbands included. 

If you are a parent, than there is no doubt in my mind at some point or another you’ve struggled with getting your kids to eat their veggies!

I like to think that since the time my babes were little, I’ve positively encouraged healthy eating and have been a good example to them… but even with this effort; sometimes kids just don’t like them.  Sometimes it’s the taste, sometimes it’s the texture, sometimes it’s just the mere look of those veggies, and sometimes they just like to remind you who’s really the “boss!”

Well this just doesn’t work for this nutrition nut, I’ve been mildly successful at sneaking veggies into some of my kid’s favorite dishes… and I’m tellin’ you, they HAVE NO CLUE!!!

So, I thought I’d share with you all!  Here’s my recipe for Mac and Cheese with  hidden veggies and you know what’s hidden in it? YELLOW SQUASH! Shhh…. Yes, and it’s actually delish (even my hubby likes it!)  It gives the dish a hint of sweetness, especially when yellow squash is in season!

It can even be made gluten free!  See details at the bottom of the post ↓

Mac and Cheese with squash

Mac and Cheese with Hidden Veggies

Serves 5
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Main Dish, Side Dish
Misc Child Friendly
This recipe has a crunchy top and a cheesy, yummy center. A comfort food that's healthy and kid friendly! Mac and cheese with hidden veggies.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cup Dried elbow macaroni ((8 ounces))
  • 1/2 cup Chopped onion ((1 Medium))
  • 1 Small Yellow Squash ((Sliced))
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons All purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon Fresh black pepper
  • 2.5 cups Milk
  • 1.5 cups Colby Jack cheese- cubed ((6 ounces of a brick))
  • 1.5 cups American cheese - cubed ((6 ounces of a brick))

Optional

  • handful Buttery round crackers

Note

Please try and use all organic or GMO free ingredients when possible!

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350F and start a pot of water for the noodles.
Step 2
Meanwhile, for cheese sauce, in a medium/large sauté/saucepan, sauté squash and onion in butter over medium heat long enough to soften slightly. About 5 minutes.
Step 3
Once the squash and onions are soft, stir in flour and pepper. Add the milk all at once and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly.

Next I pour the mixture into a food processor or blender and puree to even out the texture.*

**this step is optional and I have made it without doing this and it's just as yummy, just make sure your squash and onions are chopped small, otherwise those little detectives will be suspicious ;)**
Step 4
Pour the pureed mixture back into the pan and add all your cubed cheeses and continue stirring until completely melted.
Step 5
Stir in cooked macaroni and then transfer mixture to a 2 quart casserole dish. Bake, uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
Step 6
While it's baking, take a sandwich/freezer baggie and crush up about 7-10 buttery round crackers. I toss them in a few teaspoons of butter in my sauté pan and add them to the top of the casserole 5 minutes before it's done!

 

If you’d like to make this recipe gluten free, which I do every now and again.  I use these in replacement of traditional pasta and they really are good and my family doesn’t even mind!  Also, a good way to ‘sneak’ in another super healthy grain- Quinoa!

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Please, as always, comment with any questions and share!

Health and love to you!

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Why Unhealthy Food is so Addicting

Good vs. bad

Why does unhealthy food taste so good?  Why is it so addicting?  Why does it always have us craving more?  I have people tell me all the time, “healthy food is bland and boring!”  Well that’s because conventional food companies use chemical additives in their foods that trick your taste buds into thinking their food actually tastes better than it does and these chemicals make your brain remember those flavors and crave them again and again.

MSG-

This food additive and flavor enhancer is added to conventional food to make foods taste salty without the added sodium.

MSG or Monosodium Glutamate- excites your taste buds in a way that makes you crave that food and can be found in everything from tomatoes to cheese to soups to dressings.

The FDA commissioned a study that found these as the side effects of consuming MSG:

  • Burning sensation in the back of the neck, forearms and chest
  • Numbness in the back of the neck, radiating to the arms and back
  • Tingling, warmth and weakness in the face, temples, upper back, neck and arms
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing in people with asthma
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness

—Yet, it’s still permitted in our food???—

 I’d avoid this ingredient at all costs.  Remember to look for Monosodium Glutamate on the ingredient label and say “good-bye” to that food.

Buy an organic alternative and it won’t have this harmful ingredient in it!

I Promise 🙂

Aspartame-

Should be called “sweet poison,” and is added to almost everything labeled diet or sugar free! If you think you are making a health decision by choosing diet anything, you are very mistaken my friends!

Diet soda is very addicting and aspartame is the reason why!

It takes much less of an artificial sweetener to trigger the sweet receptors on our tongues; therefore companies can eliminate a lot of calories by removing the sugar.

The side effects of aspartame are so long I wouldn’t even have room to list them all, but here’s a few:

  • Vision problems
  • Headaches, dizziness, confusion
  • Anxiety, depression, phobias
  • Insomnia, irritability, aggression
  • Breathing issues
  • Stomach problems
  • Skin rashes
  • Allergies
  • Birth defects and can cause long term illnesses like:

Alzheimer’s, ADD, ALS, and MS (to names a few)

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but these symptoms are real (Do the research yourself)!

Look for aspartame on the ingredient label and PUT IT BACK!

Also, found in 99% of chewing gum!

I’m not a fan of any artificial sweetener, but I won’t ruin all your fun in one day and we’ll get to that in another post!

and once again…. If you buy organic, you won’t have to worry about aspartame! 🙂

Sodium Nitrate-

A preservative, antimicrobial agent, color fixative and flavoring used in cured meats and other products.

Here’s one that I started avoiding once I discovered it was triggering my migraines.

Pregnant women are advised to avoid processed meats like hotdogs and cold meat and sodium nitrate is the reason, since it’s been shown to cause problems to unborn babies.

 I, of course avoided these products while pregnant and guess what?  Hardly any migraines in 9 months!!  Made me start to wonder if sodium nitrate was triggering migraines and turns out it was!  Sodium Nitrate IS a trigger for headaches and migraines!

Besides migraines, sodium nitrate is linked to many cancers and I avoid it like the plague.

Sodium nitrate does occur naturally in some foods, even in fruits and veggies, but when it’s added artificially to a food, that’s when it causes problems.

Buy organic, and avoid added nitrates in your food!

These are just a few ingredients that trick your taste buds and a reason why healthy, natural and organic food may taste bland to you if your taste buds are used to being overly excited by these chemical food additives.  It’s getting harder and harder for people this day in age to lose weight because they are literally becoming addicted to the food they eat.

Here are some other ingredients I’d avoid at all costs:

  • BHA and BHT
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  • Artificial Coloring (The word “artificial” in general!)
  • Potassium Bromate
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Any ingredient you can’t pronounce or read!

Some people will not see immediate effects from these food additives but with continued consumption, will almost surely be setting themselves up for long term damage and diseases later in life.

Here’s the bottom line, when you put chemicals in your body, your body has to work hard to rid of those chemicals.  When your body’s working hard riding of chemicals it can’t focus on more important things like fighting off cancer and other illness!!

I personally do everything I can to stay healthy and keep my kids healthy and thriving!

People in our country are sicker than ever and cancer is on the rise.   According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the number of new cancer cases is expected to increase nearly 45% by 2030, from 1.6 million cases to 2.3 million cases annually.  These harmful ingredients in our food system are part of the reason why.

I don’t know about you but I’d like to avoid cancer and all other disease at all costs and changing the way you eat is the first step!

If you ever have any questions about ingredients, foods, or healthy alternatives, please feel free to email me or leave a comment!

Health and love to you,
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