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The Blueprint 1.3: Pantry Purge

Hello Friends! Our backyard cherry tree is blooming, and that means Easter is almost here! This is my favorite time of year, minus the pollen of course. I discovered this super simple recipe for ham steaks that can be prepared as a sheet pan dinner, and thought I’d pass it along to you as a potential yummy holiday meal. My crew loves it, and I love how easily it comes together.

Upcoming Events for the Locals: Sunday, April 21 is the new date for our workshop on children’s health, milling grains, and baking bread. I think I will call it Healthy Babies and Homemade Bread! It begins at 3:30PM and I still have a few spots open, so be sure to RSVP soon if you’d like to attend. Coming in May: Body Stewardship and Our Cycles, which will be hosted by the Women’s Ministry at Redeemer Bible Church in Spotsylvania. Details to come in the next newsletter. Coming this summer: Blood Chemistry 101. Come and learn the fundamentals of labs so you can converse with more confidence with your health care provider, understand your options, and know the right questions to ask. Perhaps this will inspire you!

Challenge #4: Stock your pantry with real food that supports your health goals.

I’d say by now we have laid the basic groundwork for optimal health: eat well, sleep well, think well, move well, and do our best to avoid toxins. We also take responsibility for what is, right now, whether it’s a result of our own poor choices, circumstances outside our control, or some mix of the two. Nothing ever changes if nothing ever changes. So, with that in mind, let’s dive in and get to work, approaching our pantries with some fear and trembling, and a good dose of enthusiasm. Some of you might just need to refine a few shelves. Others need to armor up and get medieval on this thing! Your body, and every body in your household, will thank you for it.

Here are three red flag ingredients alerting you to the fact: THIS ITEM IS A POOR QUALITY FOOD! Understand that these substances won’t usually appear in isolation, but instead will be squeezed into a long list of ingredients of highly processed fare.

3 Items to Purge from Your Pantry ASAP

  1. INDUSTRIAL SEED OILS - Make this your top priority! If you are not familiar with this group of toxic fats, let me give you a quick list of the oils: canola/rapeseed, soybean, corn, and cottonseed. Plus, don’t forget hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats like Crisco or other vegetable shortening. I won’t take time and space now to explain the reasoning in detail, but the short of it is this - these are manmade fats that require freakish chemistry lab-like chemical transformations before they ever make it to your pantry. Give this video a careful watch and listen, but don’t be deceived by the peppy narrator telling you how supposedly normal and healthy this process is. Instead, listen for words like “chemical solvent,” “deodorizer,” and “bleach,” and let it sink in that these are the toxic substances entering your body every time you consume these industrial fats. They might belong in your car, but definitely not your in your cells! And they are found everywhere - from baked goods to snack foods to salad dressings, and in almost all restaurant food.

  2. HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP - This ubiquitous ingredient is like sugar on steroids. It does not exist in nature, but can only be concocted in a lab using corn and its byproducts. HFCS is a nightmare for your liver as well as your waistline, and as Dr. Mark Hyman states, “The average American increased their consumption of HFCS (mostly from sugar sweetened drinks and processed food) from zero to over 60 pounds per person per year. During that time period, obesity rates have more than tripled and diabetes incidence has increased more than seven fold. Not perhaps the only cause, but a fact that cannot be ignored.” Yikes! Ban this ingredient from your home and keep your children far from it!

  3. MSG - Monosodium Glutamate is a potent neurotoxin/excito-toxin (attacking the brain) and “flavor enhancer” that is formed during the production of soy. Like those seed oils above, MSG is used in many different foods and goes by a number of different deceptive names: “hydrolyzed vegetable protein,” “vegetable protein,” “natural flavorings,” and even simply “spices.” Look for it in canned soups, sauces and marinades, poor quality deli meats, and many kinds of restaurant food (like Asian food and also barbeque…often dishes with a sweet/salty combination of flavors). Even though the FDA says it’s safe to consume, we know MSG triggers hunger and carb cravings, so you’ll eat more of that food. In fact, MSG is given to lab rats in experiments to make them pack on the pounds!

An easy way to avoid all three of these harmful substances, and more (because you know there are more than three to avoid, right?) is to REFUSE TO BUY any product that contains ingredients your great grandmother would not have recognized and/or that you can’t pronounce. Another way is to avoid products with a total of more than five or six ingredients (not counting real herbs and spices), or anything with artificial flavors or food dyes. And the most sure-fire way to avoid these three nasties is to buy foods that don’t even require an ingredients list, because the food IS the only ingredient.

Weekly Podcast Recommendation: The Deep Well, Season 13, Episode 1: The Dream of the Healthier Church. Oh my goodness, this one is so powerful! Make sure you’re sitting down when you listen and be certain to take notes.

And with that, I wish you many sunny outdoor days ahead, in which you take the time to reflect on your health and stewardship of your body.

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