A Day Off!

I finally have a day off! No gigs this weekend. What was the first thing I wanted to do today? (Besides coffee.) I wanted to write a blog. I wasn’t sure of what to write about until my mother-in-law Dorothy sent me a video. And it totally reminded me of something!

You know what the biggest piece of advice I have for people who want to eat healthy?

Be in charge of your food. Make it yourself. Make your own soup, your own salad, your own snacks. (When possible, of course.) But…why??
Imagine cooking a pot of soup at home for 4 people. What might you put in it? Maybe water, garlic, onions, tomatoes, etc. Depends what kind of soup you are making. What else? If you were cooking for a group of 4, would you put 12 tsp of sugar in it?┬áCuz that’s what this food label for roasted red pepper and tomato soup shows. [Important note: Notice the label shows 12 grams of sugar per serving, and there are 4 servings in the box. There are 4 grams of sugar in every teaspoon. This means there are 3 tsp (or 12 g) sugar per serving, or 3 x 4 = 12 tsp (or 48 g) per box.]
12 teaspoons of sugar in a pot of soup? That’s crazy talk. Sure, maybe you would use 12 tsp sugar if you were making cookies or fudge. Or homemade icing. [You actually don’t need tons of sugar to make a good dessert. See HERE. But I digress.] But soup?? Why would you put that much sugar in homemade soup?! Why would you put ANY sugar in soup?! Well, I wouldn’t. And you probably wouldn’t either!

We should ask food companies this question.

Like Pacific organics. Why are they adding 12 tsp of sugar to their box of soup? It’s simple: Because the sugar will make the packaged soup taste good. The sugar will dissolve and people won’t even realize they’re eating it with their lunch. And sugar has proven to be extremely addictive. And if organic pre-made vegetable soup tastes amazing and makes people crave more, people will continue to buy it.
I might not trust that a can of Campbell’s is healthy. But I have been more likely to trust that a box of organic vegetable soup is healthy. This is a mistake that I’ve been making. We cannot blindly trust. It is not Pacific’s job to keep us healthy. It is their job to sell soup. There are definitely some brands out there that I trust! Companies that really do focus on health. But if a company is putting a day’s worth of sugar into soup, I don’t trust them. The same goes with restaurants or any kind of prepared food. I love the kale quinoa cakes from Wegman’s. But what is really in them? Are they fried? Baked? We can look carefully at the labels. But many people don’t do that; or many of us have trouble understanding all those terms (e.g. what the heck is sodium citrate? What is guar gum?? Is it a superfood?! Is it a chemical? Who knows.)

So what should we do?

Make your own soup when you can. Make your own salad dressing (combine oil and vinegar). Use your own seasonings instead of a flavor packet. Make your own cereal or prepare another breakfast when you can. And I don’t mean it has to be fancy cooking. It could just be putting real foods on a plate. Like, fixing a plate of sliced avocado, berries, and almonds. The more you can prepare your own food, the more control you have over the ingredients that go into your body. And that’s the trick, baby! We can be more certain of what we are feeding to our loved ones.

But…I’m so busy.

I get it! I’m busy too. But when something is very important to us, we often try to find a way to make it work. If your kid broke his leg and had to go to physical therapy, you’d probably take him. You’re already busy but you’d just figure it out. And that’s what I do; I do what I can. I don’t always have the time to prepare my own food. If I work 9 to 5 on a Friday and then head straight to a gig, there’s no way I will cook dinner that night. So here are some options:
  • Prepare a big healthy meal on Thur and eat the leftovers for dinner on Fri.
  • Eat at the gig, but be mindful of my food choices.
  • Screw it. The venue has GREAT burgers and I’m gonna have one on Fri. So I’ll just prepare healthy meals Mon to Thur, knowing I will splurge on Fri.
Any of these options are fine! I just gotta be mindful.
Oh…and HERE is the short but wonderful video that Dorothy sent to me. I think you might need a Facebook account to watch it. Feel free to leave a comment if you have questions!
Thank you for reading!