“This is great! I can have this? I would eat this but if I saw it in a store how would I know it was healthy?”
This is what my fiance’s mother asked me after I made her a cauliflower & chickpea salad (click here for the recipe!) the other day. I don’t blame her, it’s confusing.
We live in a world where practically every food is being marketed as being a health food. Ice cream that’s “good for your digestion”, sugary drinks that are “good for your workouts”, and processed, chemical-ridden snacks that are “natural and gluten-free. It’s easy to be deceived.
When I first got started in this business, people used to hire me to clean out their pantries. I wish I still had the time to do that with all my clients, because I love nothing more than the shock and awe that their seemingly simple and healthy foods were in fact not so simple nor healthy.
I believe in buying mostly from the fresh produce section. But I’m not completely delusional, of course we are buying foods besides vegetables. It’s in the condiments and sweeteners and packaged items that it gets really confusing.
I’ve laid out some common deceiving grocery items and some easy, healthy replacements:
Toss: refined, white table salt
Why: Traditional white table salt is super processed & striped of all it’s nutrients
Replace with: Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
Toss: Canned tomatoes and beans
Why: Their cans are loaded with BPA, a carcinogenic toxin
Replace with: Bulk dry beans that you cook yourself or cardboard boxed beans + tomatoes
Toss: Roasted/salted/flavored nuts and all peanuts
Why: These items are super processed and loaded with salt and sugars and artificial flavorings. Peanuts aren’t even really a nut and most people cannot digest them properly.
Replace with: Sprouted, raw nuts. If you like the roasted, salted flavor, toss them with a little bit of olive oil, pink sea salt and fresh black pepper and roast in your oven.
Toss: Soy sauce
Why: Massively high sodium levels
Replace with: Gluten-free tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Amino (for recipes that call for soy sauce, I substitute with one of theses, use half what the recipes calls for and add other liquids such as water, citrus or apple cider vinegar for the other half)
Toss: Whole wheat or white baking flour
Why: Very processed, stripped of all ingredients and loaded with gluten
Replace with: Bob’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour, Almond Flour and/or Coconut flour
Toss: Raw cane sugar, white sugar, splenda, sweet n’ low
Why: All of these items are extremely addicting and cancer-causing
Replace with: Stevia, coconut palm sugar, date sugar
Why: Causes issues with digestion, inflammation and leads to weight gain
Replace with: Nutritional Yeast and Daiya cheese products- I sprinkle Nutritional Yeast on everything from salads to veggies and use Daiya on enchiladas, pasta and more.
Toss: Tortilla chips, potato chips, pita chips
Why: Again, extremely processed foods loaded with salt, sugar & fake, toxin-loaded ingredients
Replace with: Kale chips, roasted seaweed and if you must have a potato chip (don’t worry, I’ve been there), try making homemade baked sweet potato chips
Toss: Gatorade, Vitamin Water or any other “sports drink”
Why: Sugar, sugar, sugar and zero benefits
Replace with: Ultima Replinisher powder for your water (my favorite flavor is lemon)
Toss: Store-bought salad dressing
Why: Processed food full of sugar
Replace with: Simple homemade dressing (2 parts good quality extra virgin olive oil, 1 parts apple cider vinegar, juice from one lemon or lime, salt and pepper)
Look through your pantry and make sure you make these swaps today. A good rule of thumb is to read the ingredients and don’t buy anything with a word you don’t know. If the shelf life is more than a couple of weeks- ask questions. Google ingredients you aren’t sure about. It’s important.
What didn’t I cover? Leave me a comment below and I’ll give you a healthy swap for anything in your pantry.