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If you can’t pronounce it, don’t put it on your plate (or in your mouth)

March 13th, 2018 | no comments

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The great thing about eating a predominantly Earthfood-based diet is that you don’t have to worry about ingredients. You aren’t likely to see an ingredient list on an apple, a head of cauliflower, or a piece of fresh turmeric root because the food itself is the ingredient.

I am absolutely astounded at some of the ingredients in processed foods. Just the other day, I went to the store to purchase cat litter. As I was standing in line I noticed a display of what seemed like fifty barrels of cheese ball snacks stacked on top of one another. The front label boasted “Made with Real Cheese” and “Gluten Free.” I chuckled to myself and just for fun inspected the ingredient list. Holy Moly! Among the 26 ingredients were: disodium phosphate, yellow #6, yellow #5, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, and artificial flavor. I quickly put it back on the shelf and thought to myself…this isn’t even food!  

Did you know there are literally thousands of food additives approved by the FDA and most artificial additives and pollutants in our food have never been thoroughly tested for long-term health effects?

When it comes to foods located outside of the produce department, you will need to become a bit of a label detective by paying closer attention to the list of ingredients. Don’t worry, I’m going to make it really easy for you. Follow this simple guideline when grocery shopping:

Nourish Guideline #8: If you don’t recognize an ingredient in a food product and can’t pronounce it, don’t put it in your shopping cart or on your plate!

Here are just a few products with ingredients my grandparents surely wouldn’t recognize:

  • Gardetto’s Reduced Fat Snack Mix:
    • Sugar: contains GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
    • Disodium inosinate: food additive
    • Monosodium glutamate (MSG): food additive
    • Sodium diacetate: food additive
    • Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT): preservative

*InsteadJackson’s Honest Coconut Oil Potato Chips  (these chips are seriously to die for!)

  • Yoplait Light Yogurt:
    • Potassium sorbate: preservative
    • Sucralose: artificial sweetener
    • Acesulfame potassium: artificial sweetener

*Instead: Wallaby Plain Organic Whole Milk Greek Yogurt or Siggi’s 4% Milkfat Icelandic Yogurt

  • Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Bread:
    • Calcium propionate: antifungal agent added to bread to prevent mold growth (the last I checked, bread is supposed to eventually mold…isn’t it??)
    • Sugar: contains GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
    • Soybean oil: contains GMOs

*Instead: Ezekiel Sprouted Whole Grain Bread (frozen)

  • DiGiorno Original Pepperoni Frozen Pizza:
    • Dextrose: a form of sugar
    • Sodium nitrite: food additive
    • BHA: preservative
    • BHT: preservative
    • Sugar

*Instead: Amy’s Cheese Pizza (frozen)

I challenge you to reach into your pantry or refrigerator, pull out a few items, and read the labels carefully. Don’t be fooled by the front of the package, it’s nothing but a giant billboard— a marketing ploy to suck you in. Be strong. Be informed. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way…

Mel’s weekly food pick:
Spiralized Veggie “Noodles”

Spiralized vegetables are the hottest trend to hit the produce department at your local grocery store. And why not? How could you not love the idea of scoring more servings of vegetables, and yet not feel like you are eating vegetables? Dress it with your favorite red or pesto sauce and I promise you won’t miss that carb-heavy traditional pasta of yesteryear. 

From spiralized beets, to butternut squash, sweet potato, and zucchini, you’ll surely find a flavor and texture to suite your tastes. 

If you’re looking to cut back on cost, pick up one of these handy tools and do the job yourself. It’s so easy and takes only minutes! 

My weekly recipe pick–Pesto Zucchini & Bean Pasta— uses a combination of spiralized zucchini noodles and Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame & Mung Bean Fettuccine. 

Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Pesto Zucchini & Bean Pasta

  • Healthy fat? Check!
  • Oodles of plant protein? Check!
  • One-third of your daily fiber requirement? Check!
  • Diabetic-friendly? Double check!
  • Earthfood abundant? Check…at 5 Earthfoods per serving!

I may be a bit biased, but I think it’s fair to say this recipe has it all—AND you’ll have it on the table in less than 30 minutes.

If you love the flavor of pesto, you will LOVE this recipe. It’s delicious served hot or cold, and is vegan and allergen-friendly (gluten/dairy-free). Can’t find pomegranate this time of year? No problem! Simply leave them out or substitute with a sprinkle of dried cranberries. It’s more the color I’m after here.

This is the second recipe I’ve shared using Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine. I love this pasta because it is made strictly from beans. That’s it! Here’s the other recipe if you’d like to give it a whirl: Basil & Sun-Dried Tomato Bean Pasta.

Print Recipe
Pesto Zucchini & Bean Pasta (low glycemic, gluten free, dairy free, vegan)
A light dish, gentle on the blood sugar and chock full of nutrition! Serve it warm or cold and top with a piece of wild salmon if desired! 5 Earthfoods per serving: ♥♥♥♥♥
Course Dinner, Lunch
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 box Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine -cooked according to package instructions and drained
  • 16 oz. spiralized zucchini -or two large zucchini if spiralizing on your own!
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil
  • 4 cloves garlic -peeled and chopped into big chunks
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans -chopped and toasted
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils -arils are the seeds of the pomegranate
Course Dinner, Lunch
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 box Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine -cooked according to package instructions and drained
  • 16 oz. spiralized zucchini -or two large zucchini if spiralizing on your own!
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil
  • 4 cloves garlic -peeled and chopped into big chunks
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans -chopped and toasted
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils -arils are the seeds of the pomegranate
Instructions
  1. Add basil, garlic, and pine nuts to food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add olive oil and salt and pulse until blended. If it's too thick, add a little more olive oil.
  3. Mix fettuccine with sauce until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in zucchini, pecans, and pomegranate. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts per serving: Calories: 310; Total Fat: 25 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Sodium: 225 mg; Potassium: 700 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 16 g; Dietary fiber: 9 g; Net Carbohydrates: 7 grams; Sugar: 5 g; Protein: 14 g

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