I don’t know if you’ve seen this little book or not, but you really should check it out.
That being said, I’m going to be totally honest here. When I first opened this book up to check it out, I said to my husband, “This book is ridiculous. This has got to be the dumbest book I’ve ever seen.” Seriously… I think that’s what I said, word for word.
So, what is this dumb book? ;)
It is your guide to what junk foods to buy to replace the junk foods you currently buy. Ummmm, what? Okay, stick with me here. Hear me out.
Let’s say you love pop tarts. Well, clearly, that is super bad for you, right? So you open up Unjunk Your Junk Food and turn to the section titled, ‘granola bars and other on-the-go snacks and you will find pop tarts a few pages in. THEN, you look to the opposite page and it gives you an alternative to your pop tarts. An alternative that has better ingredients. ( An alternative that we eat on occasion, as a treat)
On the side of the page with the pop tarts (or other product), it tells you why that product sucks. And on the side of the page with the ‘natural’ product, it explains why that product is a better choice. It gives the nutrition facts for both products, little vocab facts, and other tips on choosing healthier products.
They also have lots of great info and teach about ‘The Scary Seven’. The scary seven are:
- HFCS: High-Fructose Corn Syrup (AKA glucose-fructose in Canada);
- TRANS-FATS: Anything listed as ‘partially hydrogenated’ or ‘hydrogenated’ (includes vegetable shortening);
- MSG: Monosodium glutamate;
- ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS: Any artificial flavoring;
- ARTIFICIAL COLORS: Any type of artificial dyes;
- ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: Chemical sweeteners including Aspartame, Splenda (sucralose), Ace-K (Acesulfame Potassium), Saccharine, etc.
- PRESERVATIVES: Polysorbate 60, 65 & 80, TBHQ, Sodium Benzoate, BHA, BHT, Sulfur Dioxide (sulfites).
I’m happy to report that none of them are in my house (except for some Easter candy I still need to throw away). You probably already knew that though, if you read my series of posts on 5 ingredients to avoid while grocery shopping. I didn’t talk about all the preservatives. I concentrated on sodium benzoate, but I totally agree to just stay away from all of those listed above! I also didn’t talk about artificial flavors and colors, but again, I agree with the authors on those. Stay away from all of those as much as you can. This book makes it easier to stay away from all of them!
So, getting back to my ‘this is ridiculous… the dumbest book I’ve ever seen’ comment I made to hubby. As I thumbed through the book a little more, I started saying things like, “Well, actually, this is kinda cool.” and “Hey, look at this one.” and “Hmmmm, this would be a really great book for people that are just starting out on their health journey.”… yeah, never judge a book by its’ cover! (I know… cheesy joke, but I had to do it.)
Hubby totally called me out. He may have said something to the effect of how I may have judged the book too soon and ‘hmmm, maybe this isn’t such a bad book after all huh?’. Yeah… he may have.
All that to say… I think this book is really neat. Basically, the reason I ‘judged’ it so quickly is because sometimes I forget that not everyone knows what I know about different foods. Most of my close friends eat the same way I do, so I guess we kind of live in a bubble. So, I looked at this book, and was kinda like, ‘no kidding these are bad and these are better.’ I know, sounds kinda ‘know-it-all-ish’. I definitely don’t think I know it all when it comes to food. I’m always learning. And, I’m sure, the more I peruse this book, it will teach me something I don’t know. I look forward to that!
Another note about this book is that it is the perfect size for a diaper bag or large purse so you can totally take it with you to the grocery store and check it out while you shop! I may wear sunglasses and a hat one day and bring it to the store, myself. Kidding! … about the sunglasses and hat part. ;)
Bottom line is this book will help you be able to indulge on the junk foods you’ve come to enjoy, but gives you healthier alternatives. You can still eat your chips, cookies, candy, gum, pop tarts, and so on… you just need to change brands if you want to stay healthy!