You are what you eat. Well, that’s what they tell us anyway. If this is true, and I suspect most people truly believe it to be, why is it that we fill our bodies with preservatives, additives and other garbage?
I suppose the answer to this is fairly uncomplicated: We consume this kind of stuff because it’s basically in everything. Alas, that’s the world we live in. Fortunately, people are becoming more and more aware of the dangers associated with processed foods and as a culture we are slowly becoming more health conscious.
For the most part, I’ve always considered myself a healthy person. I exercise regularly and I have a well-balanced diet. With that being said, until recently, I admit I rarely ever looked at the ingredient labels on the back of the food I was eating. In my mind, if I read, “All natural” on the label I was good to go! Could I have been more wrong? Potassium bromate and sodium benzoate certainly don’t sound all natural to me.
A few months ago I started experiencing painful and unexplainable stomach aches. Dismissing it as acid reflux, I decided not to go to the doctor right away. As the problem progressed and nothing seemed to help, I finally caved and went to see my physician. She immediately ordered some tests and put me on a prescription to help with the acid production. The tests came back negative for everything and weeks later I was still in pain, leaving me feeling incredibly discouraged.
One evening Kevin and I decided to go to one of our favorite Syrian restaurants. After ordering thee most boring item on the menu, the server joked with me saying, “Oh, are you trying to be healthy or something?!” After revealing my current stomach issue he offered a quick solution: Yogurt.
He seemed confident and at this point I was willing to try anything. So the next day I picked up a surplus of yogurt at the grocery store and began eating it before each meal. Astonishingly, to everyone’s surprise, my stomach pain disappeared within days. This really got me thinking.
“Maybe my body isn’t the one causing me problems, maybe it’s what I’m doing to my body.”
After my yogurt revelation, a thought came rushing over me – “Just listen to your body, Hannah.” So I did just that. I created a food diary and started being conscious of what made me feel good and what didn’t. This lead me down a rabbit hole of food documentaries, internet research and mindful grocery shopping.
This is all new to me and I’m incredibly excited to continue learning more about how I can better treat my body and my health but one thing that I’ve been intrigued with are superfoods, which are essentially foods that contain high amounts of necessary vitamins and minerals. I decided to make a “superfood bar” that would make it easy to incorporate into my daily life. Here’s a quick an easy way to make that happen in your own home!
Head to the bulk section
Most stores will sell packaged superfoods at an inflated price. If your store offers a bulk section, go there first to compare prices. Typically, bulk prices are exponentially less than packaged pricing.
What to get:
Chia Seeds – Full of antioxidants, fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids
Goji Berries – Good source of protein, vitamin C, fiber and iron
Flax Seeds – High in fiber and antioxidants
Cacao Nibs – Full of antioxidants, potassium, magnesium and fiber
While they may not be considered superfoods, I also added dried cranberries and roasted almonds to my superfood bar.
Grab some mason jars
For awhile I was keeping my bulk items in the bag they came in from the grocery store and it was a pain in the butt. While this in probably a perfect example of a first world problem, sometimes convenience prevails. I bought a 12-pack of mason jars at Walmart for $8.
Keep them close
I keep these jars on my kitchen counter, right next to my Chemex (the important things in life!). Having them in sight reminds me to add them to whatever I’m concocting at the moment.
Since I started my little superfood bar I’ve incorporated them into my meals every single day. Whether it’s a salad, yogurt bowl, oatmeal or even pancakes, they are an easy and healthy addition to almost any meal.
How do you incorporate healthy foods into your diet?