When I first began my “life detox” AKA paying attention to/caring about the foods I ate, products I consumed and environment I was in, it felt fairly overwhelming and difficult to know where to start.
Because of the whole “occasionally wanting to roll over and die after a sip of alcohol” situation, it made the most sense to begin with focusing on food. In my research, I slowly but surely realized how much more important ingredients and quality were over my previous allegiance to counting calories and low fat/sugar free foods.
My trips to the grocery store totally changed with a newfound, simple approach:
1. Read the label.
2. Ignore pretty much everything in the “amount/serving” section except for sugar. Pay attention to sugar!
3. Scour the ingredients list.
You would think an organic label would equal a good option…and while it might be a better option than something full of chemicals, pesticides, etc., not all organics are created equally.
For example…pasta sauce! The jars below were sitting side by side on the shelf. Both organic, both tomato basil. Pretty much identical, right? Well…
One of the biggest differences between the two jars is the sugar content: 1st jar: 8g, 2nd jar: 2g.
Wait. What? Why a 6g difference?
Looking at the ingredient list, you’ll see the first jar includes evaporated cane syrup, the 2nd doesn’t. Organic or not, sugar is still sugar…which I’m fairly convinced is the root of all evil.
And because I’m currently hearing a chorus of, “…well, I bet the 2nd (non-sugar) one costs an arm and a leg!”, I’d like to point out the fact that the non-sugar sauce was actually the less expensive of the two. A common misconception – healthier absolutely does not automatically mean more expensive.
Changing habits can feel extremely overwhelming; it certainly did for me. At the end of the day, the best thing we can do for ourselves is research, experiment & figure out whatever it is that makes us feel the best.
Drastic cold turkey changes are not required for beginning to live a healthier life. For me, a cold turkey approach made the entire thing feel completely unattainable, unrealistic and fairly discouraging.
What has worked me? Realizing that choosing to do something, instead of nothing is a step in the right direction. And sometimes that something is as simple as comparing the sugar content within two jars of pasta sauce. (: