I am not a nutritionist. A dietician. A doctor. A nurse. Or anything with a fancy title or initials after my name, for that matter.
I am Stephanie Howard and I simply have a degree in Health Education and Promotion. I've spent the last 5 years of my life in the Health & Wellness industry where I have read hundreds of books on food, nutrition, hormones, wellness, diet, and fitness...to list just a few of the major topics. I've been a health blogger on the side for 3 years now and not to mention, a self-proclaimed health junkie so learning all I can about food, nutrition, wellness and fitness is just my cup of tea.
That being said...this is all taken from what I've learned from reading, research and my own personal experience. Take it for what's it's worth. Mmmmkay?
12 Foods you will never find in my kitchen...
Milk. Cow's milk...specifically. Ick! Dairy is one of the biggest allergens out there. Not only are most people allergic to milk/milk products/dairy in general, but it messes with your gut and can royally screw with your hormones. Milk is processed, people. Cows are fed hormones and antibiotics and if that's where you get your milk from, guess what? You've ingested those same hormones and antibiotics. I've been 95% dairy-free for almost a year now and I cannot even begin to tell you what a difference it's made in my gut (not near as many stomach aches as before) and it's even helped improve my skin tone (slightly). I don't have any issues with my hormones yet (praise God) but I can only imagine how this is helping my endocrine system. Almond milk is this girl's best friend and if you're worried about my calcium intake, shockingly enough, almond milk (& many other health foods) has calcium in it, too!
Cereals. Processed, processed and more processed. Breakfast cereals (I'm looking at YOU, Lucky Charms!) are loaded with grains, flours, dyes, sugar, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors and preservatives. Not just this, but 9 times out of 10, cereal is paired with what? MILK.
Chicken pot pie. I don't know why but you will never, I repeat, NEVER find this in my freezer. SO caloric and loaded with sodium and fat it's not even funny. One of my health education professors once told me this was one of the worst foods you can eat and I've taken her word for it ever since. Not to mention, it just looks nasty and reminds me of middle school cafeteria food. Vom city.
Packaged breads. Again...processed like nobody's business! If enriched wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup and yeast are at the top of your "must eat" list, than packaged breads are just for you. If flabby thighs, stomach rolls and chubby cheeks are also your thing, have at it. As for me and my kitchen, we will not serve Mrs. Baird's.
Soda. Regular and diet soda. All of the above. If you remove ONE thing from your diet, let it be this one. Sodas are nothing but empty calories. The sugar load does nothing but reduce good (HDL) cholesterol and raise blood triglyceride levels. Not to mention, sugar causes inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation throughout the body can be and has been linked to certain cancers and diseases. I gave up sodas 7 years ago and have never looked back. Water...plain water
Hot dogs. Yahoo named this food one of the top cancer-causing food many, many moons ago and though I've never been a huge hot dog eater to begin with (the texture alone...gag me with a spoon. Or a weiner?) this is definitely not something you will ever see me eat. Unless I'm intoxicated to a point of no return. Ingredients: mechanically separated what? Potassium lactate who? Sodium phosphate where? Along with a whole mess of other ingredients I won't even bother listing... I can't. Just can't.
Pasta. 'Tis true. No ca-noodling for this chick. Spaghetti squash is where it's AT! And occasionally...when I'm really, and I mean really, feening for carbs, I'll cheat and have a tiny bit of gluten-free organic brown rice pasta. But that's it. Regular spaghetti noodles are made of none other than white flour...or if we're calling a spade a spade here, simple carbs. AKA: they do nothing for you but sit there in your body. Your body doesn't know how to process simple carbs and therefore, they are left to convert to sugar and eventually, are what you can blame for your cottage cheese legs. Complex carbs, like the brown rice pasta I spoke of previously, is broken down easier and actually provides your body with at least some form nutrition.
Frozen meals. Processed? Guilty. Sodium laden? Guilty. Loaded with corn syrup, sugar, wheat and yeast? Guilty, again. Guilty on ALL accounts, Smart Ones. Weight Watchers can kiss my badonkadonk for this one. Just do me and YOU a favor and don't waste your money on this junk.
Soy products. If genetically modified foods are your thing, have at it but just about all soy products (processed tofu, soy milk, soy ice cream, soy "butter", etc...) are basically the cheapest form of "protein" you will find in cheap foods. Soy can interfere BIG TIME with the absorption of your body's naturally producing hormones and even certain minerals, think calcium, magnesium and zinc...all essential minerals to our health. Not to mention, soy consumption has been linked to infertility, cancers of the endocrine system, premature puberty in kids, etc...If you can avoid soy, please, for the sake of humanity do it. I do, however, have but ONE exception when it comes to soy and that's edamame. Soybeans are the purest form of soy and from what I've ready, is "ok" to eat on occasion. Key words: ON OCCASION.
Canned soups. Step 1: walk into your pantry. Step 2: identify all canned soups. Step 3: throw them away immediately. Every last one of 'em! Step 4: never buy them again. Step 5: Consider repeating steps 1 through 4 to the rest of your canned goods too because you're not going to like what I'm about to say. The lining on the inside of the can is called Bisphenol A, better known as "BPA". BPA is the KING of disrupting hormones and totally effing up your endocrine system. Aside from this...canned soups are stuffed with sodium and fat. Have you ever actually seen how much sodium is in one single can of soup?! For reference, one can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup contains 1700 mg of sodium. There. I said it. Thanks but no thanks, Campbells. You are mm mmm BAD.
Artificial sweeteners. Look here...Splenda (sucralose), Sweet n Lo (saccahrin), Equal (aspartame) and all the other teeny little colored packets you find in the middle of your table at every single restaurant in the world...all terrible for you. Take my word for it and NEVER sprinkle this shit in your drinks ever again. If you're looking for a safe alternative to sugar, here ya go.
Ice cream. Refer to #1 (milk). Unless it's coconut milk or almond milk ice cream, you will never find this in my kitchen...unless , of course, it's my husband's. :)
Don't get me wrong...just because I don't buy these things doesn't mean I don't have my little slip ups when I'm out and about. I'm a normal person, y'all, with normal cravings and "wants" and I forbid to give up my social life because of the way I eat. Bite of ice cream there, sip of Dr. Pepper here and even a slice of bread from Outback if I'm really living on the edge. ;) It's okay to "cheat"...so long as it doesn't become a habit. There-you have my permission.
Stay tuned...next up is a list of foods you will always...and I mean always, find in my kitchen! Hint: they're real foods.