January is the time when many will spend a lot of money on things they perceive as healthy. They will join gyms, buy equipment, and set lofty goals to do a 30, 60, or 90 day challenge; then once done will revert back to before and be back to where they started. Ironically many do this year after year. Health is not complicated; it is simple, you just have do it. The thing that you have the most control over is what you eat and what you feed your family. The following is what we do. Really there are only two rules that I follow when I do the grocery shopping.
Rule #1: If it has sugar added to it, don’t buy it.
Like every parent today, there has never been a time when I was worried that my children were getting enough sugar. Manufacturers put sugar in almost everything, doubt me? Go and read the labels on the food in your home. For as simple as this rule sounds, as you start to read labels, you will see how hard this is to follow. Know that this also includes anything that is a sweetener which would include things like high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, honey, maple syrup, and all of the other natural and artificial sweeteners. Why do this you ask? This ties back to the Warburg Effect talked about in the last post.
Rule #2: If you can’t read it or don’t know what it is then don’t buy it.
Since you are already reading the label to see if it has sugar and you come across an ingredient that looks like it should be given in the national spelling bee, then chances are it is not all that good for you. If you don’t know what the ingredients are then don’t buy it. For me, if the list of ingredients is really long I don’t even bother to read them, I just put the item back. The simpler the better. The litmus test is being able to read the ingredients, however as you go along you will find many things are renamed or called something that is readable. Be wary of descriptions that are vague–like natural favors, spices, or caramel coloring. If need be take your phone out of airplane mode and search for the ingredient listed.
If you are trying to apply these rules at all times, then the places that you can eat out at and also the items that you can eat from there just became very, very small. Traveling was and is the hardest thing to do because of the way we eat. However, with a little forethought you can avoid having a hungry, angry family.