In my last post about artificial colors (Would you put whiskey in your kid's cereal? Then don't let them ingest artificial colors), there were some comments posted regarding the dangers of natural color alternatives. And they're absolutely correct. Many companies are quite aware that consumers are avoiding certain ingredients, so they substitute others which may sound natural yet have their own list of questionable side effects.
Not long ago, Starbucks came under scrutiny for using cochineal extract (carmine) to color their strawberry frappaccinos.
Cochineal extract is naturally sourced, but that source is crushed Cochineal Beetles. Needless to say, the vegan community was not pleased, and some people were disgusted on principal.
Natural yes, without fault no....
allergic reactions have been linked here too.
What I've learned from speaking at classes and workshops with hundreds of individuals wanting to make healthy changes, is that most people are paralyzed by too much information...
So they don't start anywhere...
rather than starting SOMEWHERE.
I believe that a healthy lifestyle is a never ending staircase. You'll never reach the top, raise your arms above your head, and shout
"I did it! I'm the healthiest I can be! There is nothing else I can possibly do for a healthier lifestyle."
There's always something else.
Maybe it's hanging sheets to dry...
Maybe it's growing your own food...
But it doesn't mean those things fit into your lifestyle at this time. And I think that's the important part...
making the healthiest changes you can that fit into your life NOW.
By starting with the elimination of artificial colors or synthetic sugars, you generally don't alter your grocery bill. And that's hugely important.
I believe once people notice health changes: headache relief, improved energy, better quality of sleep...
they're ready for the next step and to look a little further at how diet affects health...
...how sustainable farming affects our environment. And in essence, how they all work together.
We are all busy.
I don't want to double your time at the grocery store because now you have to spend 15 minutes reading EVERY label. A quick scan for one or two ingredients (or artificial color numbers) takes a couple seconds.
Once that become second nature, then you can move on and add new changes.
I don't believe a healthy lifestyle is all or nothing. We can't make every change all at once and expect them to last.
It's not feasible.
It's not CONVENIENT.
You're making changes because the fads don't work. You've tried that.
I'll keep walking up the proverbial staircase, as slowly or quickly as you'd like.
Sorry. There is no elevator.
Change takes work...
Change takes time...
But it's a fascinating journey.
mountaintop photo credit
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