- The Basics You Should Know - Is This Happening in Your Home? - Benefits of Cutting the Chemicals - So What Additives & Preservatives Should We Avoid? - How To Read a Food Ingredients Label! - The Golden Rules to Follow While Getting Started
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The Basics You Should Know!
You know you want to do it? You want to cut the chemicals from your diet but just don’t know how to do it! You know you should start cutting the junk food out because it’s healthier not to eat it, but it all seems so overwhelming. Let’s face it a hot dog is a lot more appealing than a tofu burger so it's easier to just keep doing what you're doing.
But you also suspect that every time your child has come home from a birthday party the food he ate there is what’s causing the complete meltdown his having now? And this is not good.
In fact, you wouldn’t be looking at this site if you didn’t already believe that chemicals in our foods are hurting our families. And you would be right!
Foods are nothing like what they were when our parents were younger or even when we were younger, and they can’t possibly stay on those shelves in that pretty packaging, not going mouldy without some chemical intervention.
So before you look at the rest of the site start here to learn some basic information about what is in your food and why we should avoid it and eat good healthy foods instead.
Is This Happening in Your Home?
You don’t have to have behavioral issues occurring in your home to want to make a healthier lifestyle change, however if you can identify any of the below behaviors occurring in your home then this site and the eBook will be of particular importance to you.
There are essentially three categories that a person with food intolerance falls into. Your family member/s may display traits from one group solely, or they may show traits from across the spectrum.
Just remember however, no two people are the same, so what might be happening to one child may not be an issue for another. Likewise for adults. What's important to keep in mind is that chemicals in food are based on measurements that are tolerable to an adults body mass, not a child's, so what may not affect an adult may have severe consequences for a young child.
1. The Quiet Ones
Inattentive, dreamy or lethargic, anxious, depressed or has panic attacks, grizzly, miserable (mostly in babies and young children), debilitating fatigue.
2. The Restless Ones
Irritable, restless, easily distracted, wakes at night, difficulty falling asleep, mood swings, speech delay, learning difficulties (essentially what you might think when you imagine an ADHD child).
3. The Defiant Ones
Loses temper, argues with adults, refuses requests, defies rules, deliberately annoys others, blames others, touchy or easily annoyed, angry and resentful (sounds like most teenagers huh?).
These other physical issues in your home experienced by adults or children could be contributed to food intolerance:
- Hives, eczema, dermatitis, other itchy skin and rashes - Headaches, migraines - Tinnitus(ringing in the ears) - Sensitive stomach e.g. colic or reflux - Recurrent mouth ulcers - Toddler diarrhoea, bloating, stomach aches, bedwetting, sneaky poos, asthma - Glue ear, chronic stuffy or runny nose, frequent colds, flu, ear infections - Tonsillitis - Swelling of lips - Reflux - Constipation - Constant throat clearing, cough - Joint pain, arthritis - Heart palpitations, racing heartbeat.
By following this site and reading the eBook you have a much more successful chance of ceasing these issues in your home and believe me you will never look back!
Benefits of Cutting the Chemicals.
Listed below are some of the more general benefits of eating chemical free:
- It can lead to a quieter, calmer house hold; children are less annoying toward each other, leading to less bickering between siblings;
- Students are nicer to each other and don’t call out in class so much;
- There is greater cooperative behavior between children;
- Children can focus and concentrate for longer periods;
- Improved coordination and sporting performance;
- There is an overall improvement in all facets of sleep;
- Those horrible physical effects listed before are minimized or disappear entirely;
- It can save you money as foods that are not overly packaged and in their more natural whole state are often cheaper;
- You may lose weight as you are eating less over-refined carbohydrates and sugars’;
- Often changing for one family member has health benefits for others i.e. some asthma sufferers have reduced symptoms’;
And most importantly all these makes everyone HAPPY!
So What Additives & Preservatives Should We Avoid?
There are many resources out there that tell you what nasties are in our store bought foods and they can be very detailed. Listed in the eBook are a list of the worst offenders in their extended names and a further explanation of their harmful effects.
Here is a shortlist of the worst and some of the bad things they can do to you and your family:
Artificial Colors Some natural colors Preservatives such as Nitrates or Nitrites, Sorbates, Benzoates, Sulphites, Propionates Artificial Antioxidants Artificial Sweeteners Flavor Enhancers Unknown flavors (trade secrets).
Essentially they can cause things as mundane as a headache right up to cancer and fatal asthma attacks!
In the U.K., Europe, Australia and New Zealand a number system is used to identify the food nasties. Below is what you should look out for - but be warned - some companies are getting sneakier and starting to use the full names of chemicals instead in order to bamboozle you, the consumer:
natural colour 160b (annatto)
Sorbates 200-203 - in margarine, dips, cakes, fruit products, others Benzoates 210-219 - in juices, soft drinks, cordials, syrups Sulphites 220-228 - in dried fruit, fruit drinks, and many others Nitrates, nitrites 249-252 - in processed meats like ham, bacon, many others Propionates 280-283 - in bread, crumpets, bakery products
Yellow #5 102 tartrazine 104 quinoline yellow 107 yellow 2G Yellow # 6 110 sunset yellow 122 azorubine, Red #2 123 amaranth Red #4 124 ponceau red, Red #3 127 erythrosine 128 red 2G Red #40 129 allura red Blue #2 132 indigotine, Blue #1 133 brilliant blue Green #3 142 green S 151 brilliant black 155 chocolate brown
NATURAL COLOR Annatto (other natural colors are OK)
PRESERVATIVES sorbates - in margarine, dips, cakes, fruit products, others benzoates - in juices, soft drinks, cordials, syrups sulphites - in dried fruit, fruit drinks, and many others propionates - in bread, crumpets, bakery products nitrates, nitrites - in processed meats like ham, bacon, many others
ANTIOXIDANTS - synthetic antioxidants in margarines, vegetable oils, fried foods and foods containing vegetable oils
Gallates TBHQ, BHA, BHT
FLAVOUR ENHANCERS - in tasty foods, fast foods, snack foods MSG, HVP (hydrolysed vegetable protein), HPP (hydrolysed plant protein), yeast extract and many other variations disodium inosinate (DSI or IMP), disodium guanylate (DSG or GMP), nucleotides (combination of IMP and GMP also called I&G)
ADDED FLAVORS There are thousands of artificial flavors that don't have to be identified by name because they are considered to be trade secrets. Flavors can contain unlisted artificial colors and preservatives.
How to Read a Food Ingredients Label!
1. Foods are listed in order of quantity. That means the first item listed has more of it's ingredient in the product than the last item listed.
2. Some foods go by many different names, so you may see sugar as the fourth listed item, but there may also be listed high-fructose corn syrup, glucose and barley malt syrup - these are all a type of sugar. Labels can do this for fats and salts as well.
3. Look for foods that label all the basic components of their ingredients as well as the basic components of added whole ingredients. For example if there are sprinkles added, does it list the ingredients of what is in those sprinkles?
4. Ingredients towards the end of the list are usually the following, added micro nutrients (vitamins & minerals), spices or natural flavorings, or artificial ingredients (flavor enhancers, colors, preservatives, etc.). Although they are in smaller quantities than higher listed ingredients they can still have a significant impact on your health. Try to remember this, nutrients and spices are healthy, while artificial ingredients should be avoided as often as possible.
5. Not all big words are bad ingredients. For example cyanocobalamin, which may sound bad, is actually another name for vitamin B-12.
6. The term "natural flavors" is a general term that includes any flavor that comes from something that can be found in nature. Natural flavors though can be synthesized in a lab so aren't as natural as you think often.
And remember if you don't want to read the labels just buy the Cut the Chemicals Cookbook - we've done all the label reading for you!
These snack size packages of plain biscuits are made by the same company. They are different shapes but these on the left are plain while the others opposite are vanilla flavored.
The ingredients are almost identical, except these biscuits here say 'natural flavors' at the end. Avoid these as the natural flavors could be anything - it's just too vague a term to be sure.
By the way the packet on the left often make their way to my children's lunchbox as they are perfectly safe!
The Golden Rules To Follow While Getting Started.
So now that you have decided to try and go chemical free in your foods it might help to keep these following points in mind while you are still learning the ropes, especially if you are away from your resources.
- Avoid overly bright colors - they are almost always created artificially.
- Packaging is marketing and marketing lies - always read the ingredients label as words like natural and organic don’t always translate into nasty chemical free foods.
- Go plain where possible - choose unflavored versions of foods as opposed to the overly flavored ones.
- If you can’t pronounce the ingredient DUMP IT!
- Go whole foods before packaged and preserved. Fresh is best.