In a recent Mambo Sprouts newsletter I received via e-mail, there was an article titled “Would your Pantry Make Great-Grandma Proud?” based on Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules”
How do I make her proud? Who wouldn’t want to do that?
Here’s how: Get rid of the artificial ingredients, over-processed junk, and “frankenfoods.” (LOVE that term!)
1. Toss white sugar and go natural.
Stock your shleves with natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, agave, molasses, date sugar, brown rice syrup, palm sugar etc. Did you know some of those chemical compounds we call sugar substitutes are not even allowed in some countries? White sugar contains calories with no nutritional benefits and with natural sweeteners you get minerals and some vitamins along with those sweet calories.
2. Ban MSG from your household
Monosodium Glutimate is one of the most toxic food additives and removing it is one of the quickest, easiest moves to a healthier kitchen
3. Don’t eat white flour
Switch up the white flours for more nutritionally dense almond, rice, teff, barley, chickpea, oat, or organic corn flours.
4. Wake up from the salad dressing nightmare
Salads are supposed to be good for you, right? check the label of that dressing you are dousing your greens in not the calorie count. Do you recognize everything in there? Can you pronounce it? Drizzle your salads with extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, extra virgin coconut oil, and vinegars or citrus juices for a fresher twist on your yummy veggies.
5. Get out of the Crisco rut to try something new
Crisco was “invented” less than 100 years ago. Do you consider something made in a lab food? Try using non-hydrogenated organic pal shortening that is trans-fat free.
6. Quit hanging around those bad eggs
Many eggs these days come from chickens kept in tiny cages with no room to stretch or scratch. This is a stressful life for those chickens and this makes their eggs less healthy. They are higher in bad fats and lower in good fats. Since eggs are a wholesome, natural source of protein, it is worth paying a little extra to get eggs from helathy, happy chickens. Check out the Humane Society’s Egg Label guide.
7. Think outside of the pasta box
Add some healthy variety to your pantry’s pasta supple. Consider what your great-grandmother’s country of origin was to explore new pasta choices including yam, buckwheat/soba, millet, brown rice, quinoa, cassava, tapioca, and the list goes on.
8. Shake yourself out of the salt substitute routine
Salt substitutes contain unhealthy additives such as hydrolized proteins and certain nucelotides. If you eat real salt such as sea salt that humans have consumed for millenia, you don’t have to add as much and it contains trace minerals that are vital to our health.
9. Put yourself in great-grandmas vintage shoes
Check out where great-grandma was from. Did she immigrate here from another country? Maybe look a little further back. Look to the roots of your family and what kinds of foods and preparations they thrived on. Those foods can positively affect your health.
My family origins lie in Sctoland and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t survive on haggis or blood pudding, but I do see some things here that I think are important. Small changes such as the move from white flours and pasta to whole grain or moving away from chemical-laden sugar and salt substitutes to the real deal in smaller amounts makes a lot of sense.
I may also look into Bob Red Mills Scottish oats 🙂 For now, though, I’m enjoying a nice bowl of regular steel cuts and oat bran with some banana and flax. We had a cooler morning today and after an hour run out in the wind, this creamy concoction is hitting the spot. Apparently Scotland is the birthplace of any kind of oatmeal, so seems I’m right on 🙂