November 12, 2009

Re-learning how to eat

November 12, 2009
It all started last spring when my parents started to reduce their salt intake and therefore their blood pressure.  I started to look a little closer when reading labels on packages and cans.  What I found was typically if a product was trying to be 'low calorie' the sodium would increase...often double.  I found this article by the Mayo Clinic, which stated that 77 percent of our sodium intake comes from eating prepared or processed foods.  And lets face it, it is hard to find foods that are not prepared or processed.  Even more startling in this article was that the recommend range for daily sodium intake is between 1,500 and 2,400mg.  Did you know that one tablespoon of soy sauce has about 1,000mg of sodium.  

After learning all about sodium, I became curious about prepared and processed foods.  What effect all of the ingredients in these items had on your body, energy level, and nutrition level.  What I found - highly refined sugars, nutritionally barren flour, agricultural chemicals, which often strip most of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and flavor from many products.

For me it wasn't just the negative effects for your body, but the negative effects on our environment.

I have always been in support of farmers markets and organically grown produce, but my excuse was that I didn't have the time to research products to know what really is/isn't natural, organic, or whatever term was 'trendy' at the time.  Well as of today, I've decided their is no reason to continue making excuses, but rather to jump in and start with the information I do know, and learn along the way.  My body deserves it, and the environment deserves it!

The best part of this whole process is learning all new foods.  The thought may be overwhelming, but believe me it becomes fun!  Just take it one new ingredient at a time.  Before you know you, Quinoa (KEEN-wah) will be easy to pronounce, and you will clear out all of the white rice in your cabinets and replace it with Couscous (it is quicker and easier to make - ask my husband!)

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