Mission: Eliminate the Killers in Your Pantry

Posted on 27. Oct, 2011 by in Get Motivated, What to Eat

I threw away a trash bag full of food! At the time, I didn’t realize the great importance of this mission to my Paleo diet. Two months later, I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner! I’ve noticed three very important benefits to my lifestyle. I spend much less money on processed foods at the store, my pantry is completely free of clutter, and I have absolutely NO “junk” cravings like I use to have throughout the day. My cravings for food in between meals have almost disappeared, and I owe a lot of that to my fridge and my pantry looking the way they do. (I work mostly from home too which is not helpful with a “killer infested” pantry!)

Most of the food I threw out was past it’s time anyway, a bunch of it leftover from the Christmas parties of last year. But it was more to signify the lifestyle change I wanted to make in my diet.  It was OUT with the processed snacks and wheat products that I once saw as “healthy”, and IN with filling the fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables. Sadly, it had been those fruits and vegetables that would make their way to the trash bags as they spoiled quickly while I was busy grabbing for whole-grain snacks and such on the go. 

There is no denying that our food lifestyle starts and ends at the store. If we make the right choices when we are food shopping, we can ultimately control the quality of our meals at home. At this point, I’d like to sarcastically put most of the blame on Publix’s Buy 1, Get 1 Free deals.  As I was tossing away most of my “junk food” I noticed they almost always came in pairs, or were a pair at one time.

I use the words “junk food” loosely because people may see what I was throwing out, and say “well that’s not junk food at all!”  In a Paleo or Primal eating lifestyle, there is nothing further from optimal health food.  Many of these foods have labels that try to convince you that you’re eating well, when in fact they truly have no nutritional benefit at all.

I listed some of the foods below that made their way to the trash can, despite their claims to be healthy.

Remember, in a Paleo/Primal lifestyle, we want our carbs to come from fruits and vegetables, not from wheat and grain products, and especially not processed ones. And fat isn’t a bad thing if we get it from the right sources, Shark Bites are not the right sources.

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, Everything flavor. As labeled, “All Natural”, “0g Trans Fat”, “0g Saturated Fat”, “0mg Cholesterol”. But there’s no denying the 23g carbohydrates per 11 Crisps. 

Wheat Thins Stix, Honey Wheat flavor. Check out their tagline, “Natural flavor with other natural flavors”.  Does this sound healthy or what? It must have to me at one time.

Ritz Crackers, Reduced Fat. “50% less fat than original ritz!” (2g fat, 11 carbs per 5 crackers).  You certainly could do worse, but it’s not worth the refined carbs.  I now opt for celery sticks instead.

Honey Nut Cheerios. 22 g of carbs, 9 g of sugar per ¾ cup! The box is covered with the benefits of being a WHOLE GRAIN SOURCE! But is that really a health benefit?

Lucky Charms Cereal. They don’t try to mask this cereal with fake health promises like Cheerios does, but that doesn’t stop them from advertising this as part of the “balanced breakfast”.

Jolly Time Healthy Pop Butter Popcorn. “Endorsed by Weight Watchers with only a 1 point value”. I think that’s the ad that pulled my wife and I in. But there is MUCH hidden behind this statement. Reading below the weight watchers claim in print that would make a mouse squint, says “per serving, 5 cups popped pop corn”.  By taking that tiny piece of information and putting it together with the Nutrition facts on the back label, we see that the label speaks in 1 cup popped terms. So we have to do a little math to figure out the true nutrition facts. *Many people forget to do the math when looking at labels.*  1 cup popped has 4g carbs and 40mg of sodium.  One full bag of popped popcorn is equal to a whopping 12.5 cups, which is equal to 50g carbs and 500 mg of sodium. Ouch! Not so Jolly anymore.

And last but not least, SHARK BITES fruit snacks. Surprisingly enough, this one also has nutritious facts on the label. “Excellent source of vitamin c, fat free, gluten free.” And I think I was pulled into buying this one because it reminded me of my childhood and I craved having them again. So throwing this box away really signified how I was committing fully to a new lifestyle change, even if it was 20 years after my first Shark Bites.

In order to live a Superhuman lifestyle we need to eat Superhuman foods. This means natural, unprocessed foods. It all starts with what we buy at the supermarket and making the right choices. Check the nutrition labels and don’t just read the colorful advertising. When we eat crap, our body craves more crap; it is as simple as that. If you are having trouble with a diet or healthier eating lifestyle, take this first step to eliminate the killers that are sabotaging your efforts. I’m interested in hearing what kind of killers you eliminated from your pantry or fridge.

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