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A paleo Alternative to Fruit-min

Alternative to Fruit?

I hate “food” products that masquerades as healthy and natural.  I fear that well some meaning parents will buy these products for their children, believing that they are giving them healthy nutritious food.

So many products have packaging covered in words like “natural”, “made with real fruit“, “no artificial colours or flavourings” which I think are very misleading.

Alternative to Fruit- Nuggets-min

I’ve seen so many packaged “fruit snacks” in the supermarket, that are clearly aimed at children.  I’m not even sure that it’s appropriate for children to eat a lot of fruit on a daily basis, but the idea of eating a processed fruit alternative seems to be a ridiculous idea.

I’ve found the ingredients for two of these fruit snacks – they contain a lot more than just fruit!  Along with reconstituted fruit juice, the products also contain high volumes of sugar (presumably fruit doesn’t have enough as it is) – even in the form of corn syrup!  They also contain the ever too frequent non-Paleo suspects of “vegetable” oils, “natural” flavourings and other ingredients I certainly don’t recognise as whole foods.

Is it really too difficult to give a child Paleo lunch options, such as boiled eggs, olives, real fruit, carrot sticks or coconut?

Nice and Natural Mixed Berry Fruit Snacks Ingredients:

Reconstituted Fruit Juices (65%) (Apple Juice (62%), Strawberry Juice (3%) or Raspberry Juice (3%) or Blackcurrant juice(3%) or Blueberry Juice (3%)), Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Gelatine (Halal), Food Acid (Citric Acid), Gelling Agent (Agar), Natural Flavours, Starch (Maize), Glazing Agent (Vegetable Oil, Carnauba Wax), Natural Colours (Turmeric, Carmine, Anthocyanin).

Florida’s Natural All’some Fruit Nuggets Ingredients:

Fruit Juices & Purees (90%) (Pear Juice from Concentrate (68%), Pear Puree from Concentrate (20%), Strawberry Juice from Concentrate (1%), Blueberry Juice from Concentrate (1%)), Natural Raw Sugar (5%), Tapioca Starch, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Apple Fibre, Acidity Regulators (Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate), Natural Strawberry Flavouring, Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Gelling Agent (Pectin), Natural Colour (Anthocyanins), Glazing Agent (Carnauba Wax), Corn Maltodextrin.

What do you think about processed foods like these being marketed as a good, natural alternative for children?

A paleo Alternative to Fruit-min

Can you eat paleo healthily on a budget finances-min

Can you eat healthily on a budget?

I wrote the other day about my $50 weekly food budget – and how hyper aware I’ve become about how much food costs.  I’m only shopping for one, I work from home, love cooking and have time to shop around. How hard must if be for families on tight budgets to eat well?

Can you eat paleo healthily on a budget finances-min

I really struck me how difficult it must be for families when I saw this in my local Aldi store:

Aldi-cheap-pizza-paleo-network-food
That’s just $3 for a big pizza. Assuming you’d need two to feed a family of four that’s $1.50 per person for dinner. Preparation time is zero and cooking time less than 20 minutes.

Contrast this with a healthy paleo meal? Let’s say a large free range chicken: $12, some steamed kale $5 and spinach $3 and some $4 cauliflower made into rice. That’s $24 – so $6 a head. For families living on tight budgets there’s a huge difference between spending $6 on dinner and spending $24.

And how about lunch? You can buy an entire loaf of bread for about 85 cents and some cheap processed meat for about $3. That’s a cheap lunch, well under a dollar a head. Contrast that with a typical paleo lunch – that wouldn’t even cover a decent cut of meat, never mind salad or veggies.

As for breakfast I doubt anyone could make an free-range egg and veggie omelette for less than the $2.2o an entire box of cornflakes costs.

So what’s the answer?

Wouldn’t it be good if fresh whole food could be subsidised? Unfortunately I can’t see how that could ever be implemented, since everyone has such wildly different ideas about exactly what is healthy and what isn’t.

Do you think families struggling to make ends meet are priced out of eating healthily? What do you think the answer is?

Did you guess the health food rights from the ingredients answers revealed-min

Did you guess the health foods right?

Last week I showed you the ingredients from five “health” foods – did you guess them right? Well, none of them are what I would class as a health food. Wouldn’t you agree?

Did-you-guess-the-health-food-rights-from-the-ingredients-answers-revealed-labels-min

Product one – this will help you lose weight

Atkins: Endulge Caramel Nut Chew Bar

Another reason why Atkins just isn’t paleo. Just because it’s low carb, doesn’t make it healthy as the chemicals in this ingredients list demonstrate. What ever happened to eating real food?

atkins_endulge_bar_guess_health_product_ingredients_paleo_conventional_wisdom_healthy_answers

Product two – it’s never too young to start being healthy

S-26: Gold Soy Baby Formula

I assume for babies who are intolerant to dairy or for vegan parents? Introducing Soy baby formula….
s-26_gold_soy_formula_baby_milk_guess_health_product_ingredients_paleo_conventional_wisdom_healthy_answers

Product three – start your day the right way

Sanitarium: Up & Go Chocolate Flavoured Milk

This is marketed as a good nutritious way to start your day. Right. I think I’ll just have a normal paleo breakfast instead, thanks…
sanitarium_up_&_go_chocolate_flavoured_breakfast_milk_guess_health_product_ingredients_paleo_conventional_wisdom_healthy_answers

 

Product four – the best bet for children everywhere

Cottee’s: Coola No Added Sugar Cordial

No added sugar – so it must be good for you, right? Surely no one needs any of these chemicals. Is it so hard to drink water?
cottee_coola_no_added_sugar_cordial_guess_health_product_ingredients_paleo_conventional_wisdom_healthy_answers

 

Product five – watch your cholesterol

Flora: Salt Reduced Sunflower Margarine Tub

And the biggest scam of them all. Avoid butter and have margarine instead….
flora_salt_reduced_margarine_guess_health_product_ingredients_paleo_conventional_wisdom_healthy_answers

 

How many did you guess the health food from the ingredients right? Any “health” foods with ingredients that shock you? Share in the comments below!

9 surprising ways to get your five a day

9 surprising ways to get your five a day

We all know we’re supposed to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Apparently it doesn’t really matter what you choose for your five portions, more fruit than veg, it makes no difference. Whether your portions are frozen, canned, dried or part of a drink – it’s all good.

Agree?

Well, in the interest of your health, I now present nine different ways you can get to your five a day. And of course once you’ve got there, you can eat whatever you like for the rest of the day!

1. A bottle of fruit juice

That’s right, 150ml of processed fruit juice is enough to tick of one of your 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables. So they may have up to 8 teaspoons of sugar in a bottle – but that’s not important enough for us to worry about.

Paleo diet five a day fruit veg orange juice

2. Baked Beans

Who knew? Apparently the sauce alone is nutritious enough to count as a portion. Don’t worry yourself about the added sugar, they’re clearly a health food.

Paleo-diet-five-a-day-fruit-veg-heinz-baked-beans-min

3. Fruit Chips/ Crisps

Just replace the potato chips with fruit chips and you’re winning! The best thing is that as they’re dried, the sugars are concentrated making them even more appealing!

Paleo-diet-five-a-day-fruit-veg-apple-crisps

4. Sweets/ Lollies/ Candy

Why have broccoli as one of your portions when you have have the sweet stuff!

Paleo-diet-five-a-day-fruit-veg-sea-snacks-min

5. More Sweets/ Lollies/ Candy

Best to have two packets, rather than one, to get you closer to your five a day…

Paleo diet five a day fruit veg raspberry crispie tiddlers
6. Fruit Juice

Water you say? No – that won’t help you get to your five a day target. Have a fruit shoot instead. (Ingredients: Water, Sugar, Orange Juice from Concentrate (8%), Citric Acid, Natural Flavouring, Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Preservatives (Potassium Sorbate, Dimethyl Dicarbonate), Stabiliser (Xanthan Gum), Natural Colour (Carotenes) – that’s all healthy good stuff, right?)
Paleo diet five a day fruit veg robinsons fruit shoot

7. McDonalds Soda

You know those days when it’s really hard to find anywhere to buy fruit and vegetables? Well luckily for you McDonalds can help you get your five a day.
Paleo diet five a day fruit veg mcdonalds soda fruitizz

8. Pasta Shapes

Pasta. Shapes. Are. Good. For. You.
Paleo diet five a day fruit veg heinz pasta shapes

9. Strawberry Bars

Marketed directly at school children make sure you incorporate these in your diet. They’ve even got healthy vegetable oil them.

Ingredients: Concentrated Apple Puree (an average of 282g Apple used to prepare 100g of School Bars®), Dehydrated Apple (20%), Maltodextrin, Oligofructose, Vegetable Oil, Concentrated Juices of Apple (3%), Strawberry (1.8%) and Pear (1%), Gelling Agent (Pectin), Natural Colour (Anthocyanins), Natural Flavouring, Malic Acid, Preservative (Sodium Metabisulphite)
Paleo-diet-five-a-day-fruit-veg-fruit-bar-school-bars-min

I hope this post has helped you out. Have you had your five a day today?

9 surprising ways to get your five a day

7 Most Pointless Foods paleo diet-min

7 Most Pointless Foods

As a fan of real food, some of the things I see on sale completely baffle me. This is my list of the seven most pointless “foods” on sale in a store near you…

1. Packet egg whites.

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Where to start with this one? What’s wrong with the poor victimised yolk and all of the nutrition it offers? And exactly how hard is it to crack open an actual real egg?

2. Coconut oil spray.

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I wrote a whole post about this one – the point of spray oil is to make sure we have a low fat diet – so given that we aren’t scared of fat, coconut oil in a spray can is a complete contradiction…

3. Avocado spread.

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My avocados turn brown not longer after I’ve cut them – yet this stuff stays mysteriously green…

4. Mashed pumpkin.

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How hard is it to cook up a pumpkin and mash it?

5. Light coconut milk.

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I eat coconut milk and revel in what an incredible fat source it is. They reduce the fat? In coconut milk? There would have to be a national shortage in coconut milk before I’d buy this.

6. Meat in a can.

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I just don’t get it?

7. Fruit sugar.

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Given that fructose is the sugar we want to avoid – they’ve cleverly separated it so we can get a huge hit in one go.

Do you agree with my list? What would be on your list of the most pointless foods – and why?

7 Most Pointless Foods paleo diet-min

Is this paleo friendly ingredients-min

Is It Paleo?

I’m sure, like me, you’ve seen lots of question on Paleo forums, asking if a particular processed food is Paleo.  Perhaps friends, inspired by your positive changes, are making similar nutritional moves themselves –asking for your guidance on what is and isn’t “Paleo” along the way.

Is this paleo friendly ingredients-min

A Return to SAD Foods?

The food raising the question generally seems to be some kind of snack or sauce, perhaps a nod towards the person’s previous SAD diet.  Often the first ingredient is arguably “Paleo”, perhaps some kind of meat, vegetable – or as it often the case in processed foods – water.  But the further down the list you go, the ingredients become less and less agreeable.  There is often some form of sugar or sweeteners, preservatives, stabilisers, my favourite “natural flavours” – which really could mean just about anything  – and perhaps the catch all “spices”.  So maybe there isn’t a lot of wheat; but not a lot is still some wheat!  Things like gluten seem to linger in the body for a long time, so complete abstinence makes a lot of sense – there’s no such thing as low-gluten.

The other issue is that nutritional information panels don’t display the quality of the ingredients.  If they don’t specify that the beef is organic and grass-fed – I think we can assume it almost certainly is not.  Would you have bought the ingredients yourself – and if not, why are they suddenly acceptable just because they’re in a packet or bottle?

Unless you’ve made something, from ingredients you’ve sourced and understand; can you ever really know what you’re eating?

No Time?

Processed foods are, no doubt, easier, quicker and cheaper.  That’s surely part of the reason we’re in this nutritional mess in the first place.  As with lots of things in life, the best things generally aren’t the easiest things!  Yes, you can buy mayonnaise for a few dollars and use it instantly – or you can invest time and make your own Paleo Mayonnaise knowing exactly what you’re eating – and what you’re not.  I know which I’d rather.

I often wonder whether the person asking the question is hoping to gain approval to revert, at least in part, to their old pre-Paleo ways.  Whilst some processed foods are clearly a lot more Paleo-friendly than others, I do wonder where to draw the line.  If you “allow” a mass-produced tomato sauce with a few dubious ingredients – perhaps that canned chicken soup doesn’t look so bad?

So, is it Paleo?

Almost everything I buy doesn’t have a nutritional label.  Meat from the butcher, eggs and vegetables generally don’t come in packets with nutritional information – and if they do, they are the only ingredient – or I don’t buy it.  The only exceptions in my supermarket trolley that I can think of are coconut milk (if I could grow my own, I would!) and nut butters, which I very rarely use.

As a general rule, I think it’s fair to say; if you have to ask, it isn’t Paleo!

Are there some border-line foods that you consider Paleo?  What do you buy that has an ingredients list?