Thursday, September 2, 2010

Kitchen Conversations By Michelle Goldbach (Guest Post)

Kitchen Conversations

By Michelle Goldbach
 Not long ago some family and friends were gathered in my kitchen on a beautiful morning in San Diego. As each person helped themselves to breakfast, coffee, and juice, conversations were provoked by some missing items in my kitchen. These items included, diet soda, margarine, artificial sweetener, regular peanut butter and coffee creamer. As each guest asked if I had one of the items I found myself saying, "no, but I do have..." I also gave them the rationale as to why they are absent, which I would like to share with my readers.

First of all, let me clarify, even though I am a nurse and I am well educated in proper nutrition and healthy lifestyles, I do not eat 100% clean nor do I only eat raw and organic foods. I love food way too much for that! But I have made some simple changes to improve the way I do eat and live a healthier lifestyle. It is a known fact that what we eat or do not eat has a direct effect on our overall health and has been linked to several chronic, inflammatory diseases. Over 90% of those in our hospital system are suffering from such diseases. Now, nutrition is only component. Daily movement, mental stimulation, and practices to maintain spiritual and emotional health is also vital. Today, I am going to focus on the nutrition component.

No, but I do have sparkling water or club soda. Did you know that diet sodas actually retain fat in your body and deplete it of crucial minerals such as Calcium and Phosphate? While regular soda is better for you than diet, just remember that a can of soda contains approximately 14 sugar packets, plus sodium and caffeine. Best alternative is water, but if you like a little "fizz" now and then like I do, try sparkling water.

No, but I do have butter. What! I thought margarine, especially the new ones better for you than butter! Chemicals! Chemicals! Chemicals! Did I say that margarine is full of chemicals and processed ingredients including partially hydrated oils? Margarine is probably the closest thing to eating plastic! Best Alternative is not using anything at all. I cannot believe the taste of really good bread without the use of butter. Or use it sparingly. Another alternative is natural peanut butter, macadamia butter, or almond butter. Again, watch your serving size! Note: You can also use avocados instead of butter when baking!

Artificial Sweeteners
No, but I do have organic raw sugar or honey. Stevia is another option. The pink stuff, the blue stuff and the yellow stuff are all just chemicals! Best Alternative- no sweeteners or use a small amount of the real stuff like organic raw sugar or honey or try Stevia.

Coffee creamer- plain or flavored
No, but I have low fat milk. Again, partially hydrated oils and chemicals! Best Alternative- use cream, half and half or milk (sparingly)

So, do you see a theme here? Try to avoid chemicals and things that are processed. Can we completely? Yes, you can. It is possible but not easy and it will take a lot of planning for shopping and preparation of your meals. And a lot of times it is not feasible to avoid all chemicals and processed food. However, am I able to make simple changes to improve my diet and still eat foods I love in small portions, yes? I do suggest, however that you try to eliminate the items above entirely. Start with one and be patient to yourself. Change takes time and focus.

I would love to hear from you on your thoughts on these food items and others. Visit my website to sign up for my Newsletter or check out my blog at
Michelle Goldbach, RNC, BSN, MHA
Health and Wellness Resource
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1 comment:

Eastlyn and co. said...

Great guest post. I don't consider myself a "Health Nut" but I do prefer the natural over chemical. Good to know I'm on the right track. Now, if I could just modify (i.e., decrease) the amounts! Often wondered about the butter vs margarine. Glad to know real butter prevails.