Before I went through my personal health transformation, I used to eat whatever, whenever. I really didn’t care about ingredients; I just ate what I pleased. You name it, I unquestioningly ate it. Chemical additives, artificial colorings and flavorings, hydrogenated oil, and synthetic sweeteners; it was all the same for me. I never gave any thought to how the food I was shoving into my mouth would nourish and sustain my body. I had no awareness around the concept that foods can either heal or kill you.

Made With All Natural Ingredients…Oh, Really?
The single most important thing you can start doing that will help transform your health is to read ingredient labels. I am not saying to look at the amount of calories or carbs and fat content which are stated in the nutrition facts, either. There are so many fad diet books that have brainwashed millions of people into obsessing over counting calories, eliminating carbs, and reducing fats. Although doing the aforementioned may provide some results, it is definitely not the answer for everyone.

Read The Labels And Listen To Your Body!
Remember, you are unique in your own individuality, so a one size fits all diet will not be suitable to all people. Reading the actual ingredients on labels is the only way to see and know what exactly is in the food you are consuming (if it is processed). There are many toxic chemicals added to our food. Please don’t be fooled by what the front label says! Many giant food manufacturers get away with disguising chemicals as pseudo ingredients and marketing an “all natural” product, or a product “made with natural ingredients.” The laws on what is allowable on front labels for food packaging are vague at best. Just because the front says it is natural, does not always mean it truly is. Deceptive and aggravating, isn’t it?

Pseudo Blanket Ingredients
Some of the lies and deception big food corporations get away with are hiding these chemicals under a blanket name. For example, what would you think if you saw the following ingredients listed: “natural flavors”, “spices” or “organic spices”? Wouldn’t you think, okay great, this really is an all-natural product? That is what I thought until I did some research into it.

You Have The Right To Question Everything!
I invite you to start questioning the validity and integrity of ingredient labels. I would also recommend questioning the motives of the corporations behind the products, and who they are being manufactured by. When you start to think about it, there is no description as to what these ingredients really are. Spices? What spices? There are many times I see salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika listed as individual ingredients before “spices” is listed. Ok, so if those ingredients are not spices, then what are they? My question is: why are those four real spices individually listed and then we have an ingredient such as “spices” also listed? The same thing goes for natural flavorings. What natural flavorings? If the flavors are so natural then why are they not listed individually? It really makes you wonder if they are trying to hide something. There are seriously hundreds of pseudo blanket ingredients like this, but I just named a few of them.

Is It Truly All Natural?
In my opinion, if a product is truly all natural, every ingredient should be listed on the ingredient label, individually. If you are not already, I would be very concerned about this; especially if you have kids. In fact, I have noticed that ingredients in children’s foods are actually worse with deceptive labeling. It is frightening, but true. I am not trying to instill fear. On the contrary, I share this information to empower you to wake up, and become aware of your food choices.

Natural Flavors = Artificial Deception
One of my favorite ingredients to question is called “natural flavors.” What natural flavors? If it is really natural and you have nothing to hide, then why are the natural flavors not disclosed as individual ingredients on the ingredient list? Food manufacturers, including so-called natural ones, have the ability, by law, to list chemicals like MSG, trans-fat, and other non-natural chemically toxic additives as “natural flavors”. Although the natural flavor debate can be considered controversial, just remember that any food product claiming to be natural should have every single ingredient specifically listed on the ingredient list. Natural flavors is not an actual ingredient, it is a phrase that can be used to legally disguise whatever chemicals that they want.

Don’t Count Calories - Count Chemicals Instead!
Did you know that there are hundreds of new chemicals introduced to our food supply each year? How about the fact that our tap water is polluted with pharmaceutical and pesticide residue? Did you know that our air is filled with noxious gases and heavy particulate matter every day? Well, those are just some of the chemicals that we deal with on a daily basis. Having awareness around what you are putting into your body can make a considerable difference. Synthetic ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, synthetic colorings, and MSG, can be highly toxic to the body; especially the lymphatic system. These chemicals can place a huge burden on our organs and cause health implications. Our bodies have an intuitive intelligence and know when there are foreign or toxic substances introduced. Instead of focusing on counting calories, consider counting the amount of chemicals in the foods you consume and the products you use instead. You can burn off calories; chemicals on the other hand, can remain stored in the cells and organs of your body for many years.

Are you Ready to Crash the Chemical Party?
Aside from reading the actual ingredients and counting chemicals instead of calories, you are probably wondering what you can do to protect yourself from these toxins and chemicals. Well, having awareness about it (like reading this article) is the first and foremost important thing you can do. In fact, I encourage you to keep reading and researching.

Here are some helpful tips you can keep in mind when it comes to chemicals in your food and personal care products:

  • Just say no to GMOs! You are not Frankenstein. Make it known that you and your loved ones are not going to partake in science experiments being conducted on your body through food any longer. GMOs are not labeled, so buying certified organic is the best thing you can do to avoid GMOs.
  • Bigger is NOT better. Hormones are another potentially dangerous addition to the food supply. Hormones are given to dairy cows so they can produce more milk. They are given to beef cattle to fatten them up, so they produce much more meat. They are also given to poultry so they grow bigger, and produce more eggs. Hormones, just like GMOs, are not fully tested for safety. Demand meats and dairy that is free of hormones – you have the right. This is especially important if you have children as their bodies are still growing and developing. Unfortunately, hormones are also not labeled, so you want to go with organic products that are certified to be hormone free.
  • Chlorine is for disinfecting, not drinking. It is a well-known fact that chlorine is a carcinogenic substance. It is meant to disinfect water, not intended to be ingested. Even bathing in non-chlorinated water makes a difference. I have a triple stage under the sink filter to provide me with clean, safe drinking water. I also have a shower filter that removes chlorine and other toxic chemicals. My skin and hair are not as dry and I can definitely smell the difference in the water; no more “pool smell.” I highly recommend using a high quality drinking water and shower filter.
  • Avoid MSG, Aspartame, and High Fructose Corn Syrup at all costs. They are all highly toxic substances which can cause damage to organs and make you addicted to junk food. When reading ingredients, make sure to look for these commonly used chemicals, and always choose to pass for a more natural option if it contains any of them.

Just remember to always ask questions – lots of them! It is up to you and only you to educate yourself by learning all you can. When you do this, you are discovering the most effective way to actually know what is in your food, and in your children’s food. It also empowers you to make your own informed decision, not taking my word for it, or anyone else’s version of what they label as the truth.