An Epic Battle

Nutrition Vs Convenience An Epic Battle

An ongoing battle is being waged every time we go to the grocery store, the gas station, the vending machine, the drug store.  The battle between buying nutritious, healthy food or using our hard-earned dollars to buy packaged convenience food. You know food right? Real food can be grown in the garden like tomatoes, carrots, lettuce. Grown on trees or bushes like apples, blueberries, pears. Raised in the barn like, chicken,  pork or beef. Not all food is created equal. Real food doesn’t usually come with packaging nor does it need nutrition labels to tell you what is inside.

In this corner...
In this corner…

The current state of convenience food makes it incredibly difficult to determine what is the best option in terms of promoting health. Low fat, reduced fat, sugar-free all used to seem like good choices in terms of eating healthier. But think about it. If the fat is removed what takes its place? If the sugar is removed – what provides the sweetness. As the food companies remove fat and sugar what are they left with? Food that tastes like cardboard. I don’t really care for cardboard. How about you?

I have watched lots of food documentaries, read some books and checked out plenty of food labels. When the fat is removed so is the flavor. The flavor is replaced by sugar. Sugar is empty calories, which simply fill us up temporarily, make us crave more, so we eat more. Empty calories are devoid of nutrition so we consume too many calories but still don’t meet nutritional requirements. We pack on the pounds but are not getting adequate nutrition.

There is obvious junk food that the food companies label fun food. Cookies, cakes, chips, etc. You know – they look like this.

Junk Food
Junk Food

There is what are called “better for you choices” that make us think we are being healthy by choosing them.  Be leery about labels that sound good for you. Terms such as low-fat, reduced fat, lean, natural, sugar-free, natural flavors. Be careful of ingredients that you can’t even pronounce much less understand why they are in you food. Much of our food has been engineered in the lab instead of grown in the garden or raised in the barn. It is covered, coated, sprayed doctored beyond recognition and then sold to us as something edible.

I don't want my dinner prepared here
I don’t want my dinner prepared here
Not how I want to envision my dinner being prepared!
Or here…

Chicken companies used to sell – well – they used to sell fresh and frozen chicken breasts with no ingredient list needed – well other than chicken. Here are some ingredients I found listed on chicken products sold today. Water, soy sauce solids, lactic acid, dextrose, soybeans, sugar, sodium phosphates, yeast extracts, disodium inosinate, modified food starch, and lots more.

Don’t you love when they put grill marks on their products as if the chicken was lovingly prepared on the grill. Nope – throw in some smoky flavors and have a machine press those marks into the chicken. Better yet, cut back on the amount of actual chicken by adding water and soy, Have a machine press it into fun shapes, bred it with refined flours and seasoning and sell it to families and school systems for the kids. Yeah!

Convenience on the go
Convenience on the go
Convenience at home

When did gas stations start selling more junk food than gasoline? The advertisements in the window of these mini stores seems to be 99% for junk. Buying food from the same place you buy gas just seems wrong.

We don’t see a lot of advertisements for fresh or frozen chicken that hasn’t been altered in some way. We don’t see commercials for the intact apple or stalk of broccoli.

9broccoli - 1238250__180
Let’s here a cheer for broccoli!

I read this on Pepsi’s web page “As one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, PepsiCo plays an important role in helping people lead healthier lives.” Seriously? Drinking soda will help us be healthy?

I just listened to a book on tape called “Pandora’s Lunchbox” which I liked a lot. She talks about experiments she has conducted in her refrigerator with processed food. My favorite was a chicken strip product that turned to liquid after sitting in the fridge well beyond its expiration date. And the  processed american cheese product that still looked exactly the same after sitting in her fridge for months.

Who is winning in your home? CONVENIENCE OR NUTRITION?

Ok  so this was my rant for the day. I apologize…

Maybe I am just missing my daily smoothie! My mom asked for her Nutri-Bullet back last month and I only broke down and bought myself a brand spanking new one today. It is time to break it out and make myself a yummy, healthy breakfast made from real fruits and vegetables.  Or maybe blend us some fresh fruit and get it into the freezer for dessert. It is time to reclaim my Smoothie Habit!

Blend fruit and freeze
Blend fruit and freeze

The more I  learn about processed food, the more I  want to completely eliminate them from your diet (oops I mean my diet)!

I am taking back my kitchen by choosing REAL food. Nutrition beats convenience in my little blue kayak!

Lake Girl

Oh what a feeling!