People frequently ask me, “Would you eat this?” I would like to set the record straight, I will eat pretty much anything. However, I like to make sure the things I eat on a regular basis are nutritious and make me feel good. Also, I am not a registered dietitian nor do I have any formal nutrition training. My food knowledge comes from a pure obsession with all things food, doing my own research, and experiencing my own trials and errors in the kitchen.
My favorite response to this aforementioned question is, “Well, what’s in it?” This usually takes people by surprise. They may rattle off the daily value of fat listed or how many carbs there are, but that’s not what I really want to know. I want to know what is actually in the food. What am I actually putting in my body? I don’t think the food label should go ignored, but I think the ingredient list tells us a lot more. This is why I ask myself the following questions when choosing what to put in my body:
- How many ingredients are listed? The fewer the better.
- Can I pronounce the ingredients? If I can’t, then it probably isn’t something I want to nourish my body with on a regular basis, because it’s likely a preservative, chemical or something formulated in a laboratory.
- If I had the time, effort, skills and ingredients at home, could I make this food? Let’s be honest, sometimes we just want food to be prepared for us. We can’t always make everything homemade, but we can buy premade food with whole ingredients. I see whole ingredients as foods that are not processed or very minimally processed. Foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and eggs are whole foods and would be considered whole ingredients, in my book at least.
- What order are the ingredients listed? Ingredients are listed in order of weight, so if sugar is listed first then there’s more sugar in that food than anything else. Sugar has a lot of disguises too, don’t let them fool you.
At this point I have a pretty good idea what the food label will tell me before I even look at it. One things to look out for is sugar alcohol, if it’s listed then the product will likely be low in sugar. But don’t be fooled, that’s only because they used sugar alcohols instead of sugar or a natural sweetener. I’ll pass. It’s easy to be obsessed with the numbers on the food label. How many calories, how much protein, how much fat? Let’s ask ourselves instead, how much real food?
This Week’s Grub:
- Sunday: Strawberry, avocado and goat cheese salad with pretzel bun croutons
- Monday: Buffalo grilled chicken tacos + coleslaw
- I had leftover grilled chicken last week, so I threw it in the freezer. I took it out tonight and tossed it in some buffalo sauce for a super easy and delicious dinner!
- Tuesday: Kalua pork taco salad
- Rub a pork shoulder with pink himalayan salt and throw it in the slow cooker with a few pieces of bacon, whole garlic cloves, garlic powder and liquid smoke. Set on low for 12 hours. AH-MAZING.
- Wednesday: Brinner! I need to restock our frozen waffle supply.
- Thursday: Zucchini stuffed enchiladas with leftover pork
- Friday: Out!
Questions for you:
- Do you read the ingredient list? If so, what do you ask yourself?
- What are you eating this week?