Nobody likes a poser, so why would you eat one? There are those foods out there that for whatever reason people have gotten into their heads are healthy, but are really sabotaging their success. Let’s look at 5 examples of poser foods to avoid…
1. Peanut Butter – Although peanut butter may conjure up images of childhood bliss eating PB&J sandwhiches out on the schoolyard, the truth is that “normal” peanut butter is crap! That’s right, the chunky PB is in fact making YOU chunky. All it takes is one look at the ingredients list on a jar of peanut butter to know I’m right on this one. That jar of Kraft or Skippy is filled with sugar (usually in multiple forms), hydrogenated oils and other ingredients sure to help you pack on the pounds.
Alternative: A better solution is to pick up a jar of almond butter, cashew butter or one of the other “nut” butters. The key is taking the time to read the ingredients! Ideally there should only be one…nuts or roasted nuts! Some of these happen to have a little salt or sunflower oil and well they are a little less desirable, they are still better than “normal” peanut butter!
2. Granola – Think all hippies are healthy? Think again! The majority of granola you will find on the shelf at your local grocer is packed full of sugar, manipulated oils and has a ton of calories! Don’t believe me? Do yourself a favour and read the nutritional information and ingredient list on most granola…then we’ll talk.
Alternative: Make your own! If you want to keep the grains in your diet, go to your local grocer or health food store. Go to the bulk food bins and make a mix of old-fashioned rolled oats, raisins, seeds (raw sunflower seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, etc) and even throw in a little unsweetened flaked coconut if you’d like. Add some almond milk, cinnamon and chopped apples to the mix and you’re in heaven. OR, find a recipe for a healthier granola that just happens to be paleo at the end of this post = ).
3. Fruit Juice – I used to be extremely guilty of chugging down this “poser” food. As a teenager and young adult I would often drink several glasses of orange juice in the morning and throughout the day. I would always buy the “natural” stuff (not from concentrate) and I had convinced myself I was doing my body a favour by ingesting this “healthy” beverage. At the same time I would wonder why I always felt great right after these couple of glasses of juice, then felt terribly tired about 15 minutes later. Looking back it was obvious…your body treats fruit juice like pure sugar! Your body, which naturally craves sugar, loves the stuff because you’ve taken away all of the boundaries. You’ve taken out all of the solid matter (such as skin and the majority of the pulp) that your body would have to break down to get to the sugar it wants and instead ingested a pure liquid form which is easily accessible and instantly spikes your blood sugar levels. For those of you interested…that’s a BAD thing!
Alternative: Drink water…and eat whole fruit! That’s right, have a glass of water and eat the apple…skin and all! Trust me, you’re body, waistline and blood-work will thank you.
4. Frozen Yogurt – Think you’re doing yourself a favour by putting down the Ben & Jerry’s and picking up some frozen yogurt…think again! Yeah yeah, the yogurt might have fewer calories but in most cases they’ve taken out the fat and loaded up more sugar! Forget about it.
Alternative: I occasionally indulge in the “So Delicious” brand coconut iced dessert. It’s like ice cream, but made with coconut milk instead of dairy and with a relatively small amount of sugar. Yum!
5. A TON of “healthy” organic foods! – Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not hating on the organic movement. In fact, I tend to support the idea and purchase organic fruit and vegetables for the most part. The problem is, there are those products out there that hide behind the term organic and hope that people immediately read that label as “healthy”. The truth is there are just as many sugar laden, overly processed organic foods as there are non-organic. Organic products may hide behind fancy names for sugar as well, so when reading the ingredients you see such innocent sounding items as brown rice syrup, organic cane juice, organic cane syrup and agave nectar. Guess what…they are all forms of sugar!
Alternative: The key is to simply be a savvy shopper. Read labels. Educate yourself. Look for the amount of sugar per serving in the nutritional information column and watch out for sugar masquerading as innocent sounding ingredients! Organic foods can be great, but just because it’s organic doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
I’m not against a cheat now and again (if you’ve earned it through a streak of healthy eating and discipline), but if you’re going to cheat…do it eyes wide open! These poser foods might sound healthy but can sabotage your success. Educate yourself about what’s on the shelf and you’ll be one step closer to a healthier you!
PS Sorry for the delay, here is the paleo granola recipe courtesy of the awesome Dawn Krpan!
This is for all you cold cereal lovers out there…..
7 cups of seeds and nuts ( hemp hearts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesameseeds, chia seeds, slivered almonds, walnut pieces,pecan pieces, pistachios, pinenuts, brazil nuts pieces, unsweetened dehydrated coconut flakes, etc any combo youcan think of but about a 50/50 split between seeds and nuts is nice )
1 cup ground sprouted or regular flax” wet ingrediants”
3 tbsp Honey or Maple syrup, or agave syrup
3 tbsp nut oil (hazelnut, sesame, walnut, etc)
1 cup of mashable fruit ( like raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, orunsweetened applesauce, pineapple etc or any combo of them)
2 big pinches of sea salt( I know it’s not wet but trust me you want it here so that itgets evenly distributed)
Optional flavours:cinnamon, vanilla powder or extract, ginger, cardomom, cloves, almond extract,lemon or lime or orange zest,Get creative with your flavour combos!! The possibilities are endless.
1. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Mix nuts, seeds and flax in a larger bowl.
3. In a food processor or blender combine all the wet ingredients and blendthoroughly.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the nuts and seeds and mix until everything isevenly coated.
5. Line 2 baking trays with parchement paper or a silicon baking sheet, thendistribute the granola mix evenly between the 2 trays and place in the oven. Littleclumps are a good thing, so don’t try to break everything up.
6. At about 30-40 min, or when the mix starts to brown, stir the granola around so itcan get brown evenly.
7. Bake for another 30-40 mins or until nice and golden. As the mix cools it shouldget nice and crunchy just like “real granola”.Your baking times will vary depending on the type of oven.
I have a convection ovenso things bake a lot quicker. So just keep an eye on your granola and adjust thebaking time or temperature as need.
Serve with almond milk and some fruit.