My name is Andrea and I'm the Pharmacy Manager here at Ahuriri Pharmacy..
I am a mother of 3 small children ranging in age from 4 to 8 years old. I work part-time and my children like most others play a variety of sports and other after-school activities. So life is busy!
A few weeks ago I started thinking in depth about the foods my family eats. I realised that I have never really thought too much about nutrition, but rather I eat to not be hungry and for convenience. This doesn't mean that we live on takeaways but we were eating too much "empty foods". By this I mean lots of refined and processed foods. White bread, rice, pasta etc. I have now set myself a goal to make sure that what we are eating is nourishing and in it's purest form whilst being economical! My husband is a keen hunter so we don't need to buy much meat so I am looking at a weekly grocery budget of $150 to $200.
So i started roaming the internet searching for how to do this? To keep it really simple this is what I have found out:
Top foods I have chosen to avoid
- Avoid White bread & refined flours. By definition, white bread and refined flours in general are toxic for your body because they have been stripped of virtually all vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other important nutrients. Because of this, the body does not know how to properly digest and assimilate these so-called foods, which can lead to health problems. Refined white flour has also been bleached with chlorine and brominated with bromide, which are chemicals.
- Avoid White rice. Like white bread, white rice has been stripped of most of its nutrients, and separated from the bran and germ, two natural components that make up rice in its brown form. Even so-called "fortified" white rice is nutritionally deficient, as the body still processes this refined food much differently than brown rice, which is absorbed more slowly and does not cause the same spike in blood sugar that white rice does.
- Avoid White Sugar. To produce sugar, Sugar Cane or Sugar Beets are processed via washing, boiling, centrifuging, filtering and drying, and nearly all of the plants nutritional elements are lost. What remains in the raw sugar product is 95% sucrose along with nutritionally insignificant minerals. "Raw Sugar" is not a raw or natural product at all, but is the highly refined, nutritionally depleted, 95% sucrose product before it is even further refined. To produce the white crystals we call table sugar, bleaching agents such as lime and carbon dioxide are added. The sugar is then further "purified" (refined) and whitened by being filtered in a water-added liquid state through beef bone char. This process removes even more minerals. "Pure" sugar refers to chemical purity, devoid of all nutritional and other elements, and not to a wholesome quality. The completely refined white sugar product is now over 99.9% sucrose and for all practical purposes contains no nutritional elements such as vitamins, minerals, proteins or fibers. This accounts for expressions such as "empty calories" and "junk food". Molasses is a by-product of sugar refining, a sweet thickened liquid obtained from the second extraction; and black-strap molasses in the liquid left after the third extraction. Light and dark brown sugar are simple refined table sugar to which is added 12-13% molasses. Confectioners sugar (powdered sugar) is pulverized white table sugar. Sucrose is widely known by a variety of other names including beet sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, confectioners sugar, invert sugar, powdered sugar, raw sugar, saccherose, table sugar and turbinado.
- Avoid Margarine. Hidden in all sorts of processed foods, margarine, a hydrogenated trans-fat oil, is something you will want to avoid at all costs for your health. Contrary to popular belief, butter and saturated fats in general are not unhealthy, especially when they are derived from pastured animals that feed on grass rather than corn and soy. And if animal-based fats are not for you, stick with extra-virgin coconut oil or olive oil rather than margarine.
- Avoid "Diet" anything. Many so-called "diet" products on the market today contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame (Equal) and sucralose (Splenda). Many diet products also contain added chemical flavoring agents to take the place of fat and other natural components that have been removed to artificially reduce calorie content. Instead, stick with whole foods that are as close to nature as possible, including high-fat foods grown the way nature intended, and your body will respond surprisingly well.
Below are the worst ingredients found in processed foods. To make it simple try to avoid packaged foods which have 5 or more ingredients in them. If you don't recognize the ingredient don't buy it!
Artificial Colours & Flavouring, Benzoate Preservatives (BHT, BHA, TBHQ), Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO), High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), Shortening, Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Palm, Soybean and others)
Armed with this list in hand I hit the supermarket!
Wow - Probably about 80% of the supermarket is out of bounds!
If you would like a printable list of essential pantry ingredients for "eating clean" click here
Remember I am a busy mum so there are no crazy products here that take hours of your time to prepare!
I would love any comments or tips you may have so don't be shy to comment, lets do this together!