My intention for today’s writing was to share with you an overview on some things that I have learned about real wholesome eating through my Natural Health studies. I concluded that the world of natural health and the real deal on wholesome foods was too big for one single story. Hence, a shift in the topic occurred and a story about breakfast transpired!
The food marketplace has become such a complex place. We all struggle when reading confusing labels and trying to set up healthy meal plans for our households. Big companies mislead us with their flashy gimmicks on “wholesome” foods when really what we are consuming are fake or dead foods. Our bodies are unable to process these types of foods and that is why so many of us are trying to function under the strain of illnesses, disorders and even behaviors. Let’s get a jump start on making changes by beginning with breakfast-our most important meal of the day!
Here are some things that I know for sure about the breakfast foods that we are eating today:(Recommendations and alternatives are included)
- Greek yoghurt seems to be the present food fad. It certainly is a great source of protein, but beware of sodium and sugar content when selecting a brand.
- Sugar is toxic! Toss the sugar! Stevia is a better alternative when considering a sugar substitute. Study labels/packaging on its origin, organics and processing before purchasing. Although Stevia is a natural sweetener, it may interact with certain prescribed medications.
- Replacing sugar with bees honey? Know your source. You don’t want to spend money on “honey” with hidden ingredients such corn syrup or water. Ensure you are buying from a reputable apiarist.
- Avoid all pancake syrups and corn syrup.
- Maple syrup is a healthier alternative which contains zinc and manganese. Again-ensure you are buying from a reputable organic maple syrup farm.
- Agave syrup is a nectar that has been processed from the agave plant. By the time it reaches our tables, it has very little nutritional value.
- Did you know that buckwheat is not really a wheat and is gluten free? Whip up a batch of nutrient rich buckwheat pancakes or waffles. They freeze well and can be reheated in your toaster.
- Beware of the gluten free craze! Not all gluten free products are always better for you. You really need to do your homework if you are planning gluten free breakfasts.
- Whole wheat and white breads are equivalent. Due to the processing method, neither contain much nutritional value. Buy whole grain breads.
- A muffin is equivalent to a doughnut. Both are high in sugar and low in nutritional value.
- Eat fresh fruit rather than drinking juice. If you choose juice, ensure the label reads “pure juice”, not fruit cocktail or fruit punch. Such misleading labels are generally high in sugar. Even the “pure” juices can contain artificial flavoring.
- Citrus fruits are great choices to include in your breakfast. However, grapefruit is not recommended when taking certain medications.
- Avoid commercial breakfast shakes and cereal/granola bars. These fakes are disguised by false labels, are over processed, and high in sodium and sugar.
- Eggs and cheese are great sources of protein.
- Companies claim their breakfast meats to be an optimum source of protein. Turkey and/or pork bacon is processed and high in sodium. Breakfast sausages wrapped in artificial casings are also processed and include additives and fillers.
- So many boxed cereals stand out with enticing but misleading labels. These cereals cannot be truly wholesome as almost every nutritional grain has been removed during processing. Sugar, sodium and dyes often top the main ingredients.
- There is nothing wholesome about prepackaged instant oatmeal! These small, almost powder like oats have been so over processed that most of the nutritional value has been depleted. These oats are high in sugar, sodium and artificial flavors. Whole steel cut oats take a little longer to prepare but they are sure to fill you up and are a good source of protein and fiber.
- Smoothies can certainly be a healthy blend, but to avoid high sugar content, be cautious of the ingredients you include. Choose protein alternatives other than the powders-another modified/processed product.
- Nuts and seeds can be added to almost any breakfast food. They are great sources of fiber, protein and Omega 3’s. A seed that I highly recommend is flax. Our bodies digest flax better when the seeds are freshly ground. Ground flax and oils can be purchased at various stores, but consider processing and preservatives before purchasing.
- There are many health benefits to choosing green tea for your breakfast drink. I enjoy an occasional cup throughout the day, but personally, my day must begin with coffee!
There is so much to learn about what is real and what is fake. Labels and packaging on our foods are not dependable. We need to educate ourselves for our own health benefits and for the people we love. Support your local markets-the bakers, the butchers and the farmers. As you patronize their business, ask them questions about the products they provide. A reputable business owner will appreciate your interest and your investment.
If you have any tips that you would like to share with us, feel free to leave us a comment. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.