Well the first few pages in the book talks about how when Kristin got pregnant she became very aware of what she was putting in her body and changed to eating only good quality food "real" food. But she goes on to talk about avoiding GMO's, the worst chemicals in foods that you will NEVER find in her home and gives ideas on what to swap out white flour and other processed ingredients for. It struck me.
Now, I've always had an interest in controversial ingredients and how they could possibly lead to cancer. I mean, when Hunter was born I was BPA paranoid and used glass bottles. Then I couldn't find a nipple that he would take to with the glass bottles so that was that. But I kept seeing BPA free on everything plastic which made me feel better. Then I was a working mom with one kid, and then two kids, and well eating healthy for the past few years has just meant eating your vegetables. Side Note: In chatting with a girlfriend about my new found interest she informed me that some reports have shown that sure plastics are mostly BPA free now but they are doing tests because there's likely a chance that what they replaced BPA with is just as bad!!! Geez la weez.
Back to the book. So Kristin's book really opened my eyes again and led me to do a little internet research myself. I started googling things like synthetic dyes, sodium nitrates. I had known to avoid high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners but HELLO...where was I with the synthetic dyes one. I regret to inform ya'll that for probably a year now my child has had a popsicle after dinner every night and yes it has blue, green, and yellow artificial colors (insert sad face emoji).
Okay I'll cut to the chase. I'm not about to throw away everything in our pantry and reality stays that I'm a working mom who doesn't have time to make her child a quality "real" food meal every morning and night...the freezer is my friend people. BUT.... I found this website www.fooducate.com and its allowing me to make more informed decisions. Just search for a food and it will give you rating A to D- and tell you WHY it has that rating. It's states what ingredients are in the food that are controversial and will give you better alternatives. For example, my kids LOVE Eggos. They eat waffles and pancakes two or three times a week. Well if you look up Eggos on fooducate.com it will tell you that its rated a C because it contains controversial artificial colors, controversial additive TBHQ and is highly processed. I love that most that it tells you WHY these things are controversial like below:
Then folks figured out that food looks better and sells more when it can be enlivened through dyes. For most of food history, the dyes were from natural sources – beet juice for red, turmeric for yellow,etc…
However, in the quest to increase color intensity and lower manufacturing costs, cheap artificial dyes were introduced to market.
Unfortunately they pose a risk for hyperactivity in children, cancer, and allergic reactions.
Then over to the right it show's some better alternatives like the Van's brand of frozen waffles. Or how easy is it to just whip up a batch on Sunday for the week, freeze them then pop them in the toaster like so. That still takes time on Sunday, that is sometimes not there, so I will always have a need for already prepared convenience. And just like the better alternatives for Eggos there are actually popsicles that don't have synthetic dyes too... I just didn't KNOW.
Needless to say I have done a search on every food that is a regular in our home and made sure it is a B or higher rating and has none of the major controversial ingredients. I'm not ready to go all no processed foods yet...maybe i'll get there, maybe i won't but I feel much better just being educated and aware about the ingredients going into my kids body.
Here are the things I have purchased and am trying to swap out at Kristin's recommendations:
White flour - instead use spelt flour, brown rice flour or oat flower (I found the spelt flour at Harris Teeter pretty easily. I had to order the oat flour on amazon although I'm sure they have it at whole foods)
White sugar - use coconut sugar instead. (apparently i'm late to the party on this one because when i purchased coconut sugar the other day it was the last bag on the shelf. plenty of white sugar...no coconut sugar left)
White table salt - pink himalayan salt or celtic sea salt ( i got the pink salt - duh) :)
Canola oil instead use coconut oil or olive oils (most have jumped on this band wagon i feel like. We've been using coconut oil for a while now and really love it. My favorite brand is actually from wild tree. www.wildtree.com
I've also purchased flax seeds, chia seeds, cacoa powder, spirlina powder, maca powder, and cacoa nibs. Mostly to try out her smoothie recipes but also for her recipe for oat balls and overnight chia-oat cups. I tried her green banana muffin recipe today and to say I'm hooked is an understatement. They have 4 cups of spinach in them and are the most delicious healthy muffin I've ever had. You'll likely have to make a grocery store run before you make them for spelt flour, spinach, and flax seed to name a few but it will be well worth it, James ate 3!!
GREEN BANANA MUFFINS
2 cups spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 bag (6 ounces baby spinach) about 4 cups - remember its part of dirty dozen so buy organic!
3/4 cup REAL maple syrup
1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
1 flax egg* (vegan recipe bonus!)
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (3 small or 2 large)
Pick up Kristin's book here for the full recipe!!