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The first step to a healthy lifestyle is to eliminate ingredients that are toxic for your body and substitute them with something that has nutritional value.
I recently came across a documentary, “Supersize Me” (2004), that follows the life of filmmaker Morgan Spurlock as he decides to eat only McDonald’s, three meals for one month straight. Results? He gained 24 pounds within a month which led to a drastic effect on Spurlock’s mental and physical health. It then took him more than a year to get back to normal. (Yep!!)
Let me ask you straight up:
Are you aware of what’s present in your food? Is it really healthy?
The first step to a healthy lifestyle is to eliminate ingredients that are toxic for your body and substitute them with something that has nutritional value. Here’s what I replaced:
This does not limit to table sugar. Sugar is everywhere.
It’s sneaking in your peanut butter, yogurt, cereal, pasta sauce, oatmeal, salad dressings, etc. The Food Industry is pushing sugar-laden products to us by fancy advertisements, masking the Ingredients and making them easily accessible (majorly).
Why would they do that?
Well, Sugar enhances the taste of food (and I mean spicy food too), makes it addictive for the brain, and thus keeps us wanting more and more of it.
(So, it’s actually controlling you, not vice versa)
It is toxic to the body and gut. It offers ZERO nutrition, minerals or vitamins and has negative effects on your metabolism which leads to several health disorders. There is a clear link between diabetes and sugar consumption. Apart from that, sugar increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity, fatty liver, and depression (now you know why you’ve been feeling that way). It causes harm to your kidneys (not keto) and drastically decreases cognitive ability (hello Alzheimers).
Reduce consumption of packed food! If you have to, read nutritional labels of food products before buying them. Identify harmful sugar substitutes like
Honey (unless raw)
High-fructose corn syrup
Evaporated cane juice
We understand that it is practically impossible to give up on sweet things which is why we recommend replacing sugar with something equally sweet but healthy.
Stevia, derived from a plant, acts as a natural sweetener. It contains zero calories and has shown to lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and insulin levels.
2. Refined Oil
It is not the good fats that are causing the epidemic heart conditions, It is the oil you use.
What you are cooking with matters the most! Most oils that you consume these days are refined using chemicals that disturb the body.
What are refined oils?
During processing, refined oils are heated up to a very high temperature leading to oxidation of the oil. This leads to the creation of free radicals that can damage the cells of our body. And several health disorders like digestive, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases occur.
Now the question is, why do manufacturers use a process that’s hazardous for the body? = It simply increases the shelf life of the product.
We suggest you go for oils that are not refined and organic. Homemade ghee, butter, cheese, unrefined coconut and avocado oils are some healthy substitutes. Good fats like these enhance memory, satisfy hunger and control appetite as well as aid in weight loss.
3. Refined Carbohydrates (White Breads, Packed Cookies, Pasta, Cereals, etc)
Carbs are a part of our everyday life. Cutting them off is quite difficult. We know how much you love having bread. But not all carbs are the same. We are talking about refined carbs — mostly sugars and processed grains — that are stripped of nutrients and linked to diseases like obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. These carbs have zero fiber, vitamins or minerals. Some of the examples of refined carbs are flour, bread, white rice, pastries, cookies, pasta, sweets and cereals. Moreover, most of the above-mentioned products are made from GMO Wheat (modern wheat) which is responsible for several chronic health disorders including PCOD, diabetes, depression and even cancer.
Replace these refined carbohydrate-rich products with healthy and natural alternatives such as leafy and cruciferous vegetables. Eat more seeds, nuts, and whole foods.
4. Processed Meat
Most of us are aware of how unhealthy processed meat is. But, thanks to their easy availability, accessibility and taste, we regularly consume them.
Let’s talk about the long-term implications of consuming processed meat.
There are numerous reports on how processed meat is linked to diseases like hypertension, COPD, obesity, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Any meat that has been smoked, dried, canned, preserved or cured falls under the processed meat category.
Salami, hot dogs, sausages, cured ham or bacon and canned meat products fall under this category. The preservatives used in this meat have cancer-causing substances.
Start consuming fresh meat that is free from toxic chemicals. Know the source of your meat. Freshly cut chicken, salmon and boiled eggs are a few of the many alternatives to choose from.
5. Packaged Milk
One should avoid consuming Packed milk even if you are not lactose intolerant!
It contributes to type 2 diabetes, heart disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, increases the risk of breast, prostate and ovarian cancers.
Milk producing animals nowadays are made to consume a high dose of antibiotics which help in increased milk production. These antibiotics cause harm to the human body. Packaged milk that is easily available these days has no nutrition and is full of preservatives.
What should you have then? Switch to homemade almond, soy or coconut milk as they have low-calorie content and higher amounts of vitamins.
6. Sauces and Ketchup
When you add ketchup and sauce to your food it enhances its taste. BUT, we neglect the fact that these sauces are made with artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and chemicals.
Ketchup contains sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and low-quality salt which are responsible for diseases like hypertension, diabetes and cause digestive stress. You’ll also want to skip sauces such as Mayonnaise, BBQ sauce and sweet chili sauce once you look at the content of trans fat and sugar in each.
Don’t be disheartened, there are condiments that boost flavor without sabotaging your health. You can go for freshly made salsa, sun-dried tomato, hummus, almond pesto and a coconut sauce. They not only boost flavor but are also packed with nutrients.
What we consume today is GMO Wheat. It is different from the wheat our ancestors had.
GMO Wheat is altered to such an extent that all the nutrients fade off and this change in the quality of wheat has given rise to chronic diseases like diabetes, PCOD, Cancer and several mental disorders. Modern wheat has a high-carb content that will spike blood sugar levels. It also contains gliadin, the most harmful part of gluten.
Net-Net, the sooner you stop consuming all of the above, the better! Limit your intake of processed foods and base your diet on fresh whole foods. When I started baking healthy desserts, free from grains, gluten, sugar or any processed elements or preservatives, my inspiration was to implement the healthy lifestyle I follow to curate guilt-free indulgences for you to relish.
Try for yourself and feel the difference.