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How to Eat Clean & Why it’s so Important

There are a lot of good “one-liners” out there, and I’m about to add another to your repertoire. Ready?

If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it.

I’m not talking about foods that require some amount of cultural dexterity to understand (escargot anyone?). Or healthy deliciousness with an interesting combination of vowels (hello acai bowls). I’m talking about the food additives. The preservatives. The chemicals. The stuff that has no place in the foods that we eat. The stuff that you would have no idea is even in your food if it weren’t for the trusty ingredient list on the side of your beloved late night cereal box.

If you suspect that food might be to blame for why you are not feeling your best, it can be virtually impossible to figure out what is causing your symptoms when there are 20 something dyes, preservatives and additives hiding in your seemingly healthy “rice crackers”.

That’s why I am here to say that when it comes to food LESS IS MORE.

No seriously…..Less. Is. More.

This was one of the most eye-opening revelations to come out of my years of struggling with autoimmune disease. The same could probably be said for anyone who has done any form of elimination diet or kept a food diary. When trying to track every single ingredient you are putting into your body, you realize just how many other ingredients are hiding in the store-bought foods that you buy.

Take almond milk for example. You pick up that carton of Silk unsweetened almond milk thinking you are the pinnacle of health only to read the ingredients and learn that it is full of cane sugar, sunflower lecithin, locust bean gum, and ascorbic acid. So much for almond milk???

That’s not to say that all these ingredients are harmful. But if you are not feeling well, have concluded that almonds are not the source of your problems, but are still having unpleasant symptoms, it very well could be one of the other ingredients that is giving you grief. And if you are not careful enough to read every dang ingredient list on the products you buy, you would never know that these other ingredients are in there.

That is why I have become such a huge proponent for always giving the ingredient list not a once, but a twice over so I know exactly what I am putting in my body. Similarly, if you drink pure almond milk (almonds. water. that’s it) and you don’t feel good afterwards, bing bing bing! You probably need to consider cutting out almonds. See how much easier that was to identify?!

So, what are some common foods full of hidden (unnecessary) ingredients? The list is exhaustive but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Canned foods (beans, vegetables, fruit)
  • Lunchmeat
  • Sauces! These are a major offender
  • Chips & crackers
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Pasta
  • Bread, wraps and tortillas
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Nut butter
  • Jelly
  • Protein powder

One thing that you will probably notice from the list above is that a lot of these foods are processed. The more your diet consists of organic, whole foods such as fresh fruits and veggies or fresh meats and fish, the less ingredients you are likely to encounter. And personally, I have found that frozen foods tend to have less additives and preservatives over something in a can or a box. This is because frozen foods have a longer shelf life and therefore do not require all of the additives that are added to non-frozen foods. But still, FRESH is best!

I plan to do a post soon detailing some of my favorite, simple ingredient foods with links where to purchase. In the meantime, please comment below some of your favorite simple-ingredient foods! That’s all for now.




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