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    June 22, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    Depending on your family’s eating habits, the process of eliminating nonfoods from the menu may require very little change, or a huge overhaul. Personally, I am not much for change of any sort. I don’t like moving. I wear the same clothes all the time. Trying to build new habits requires some mental gymnastics for me. And it might for you, too.

    There are two approaches to making the change. I chose the “positive” route for our food adjustments. This means that I decided, about five years ago, to cook from scratch, and began to build a menu based on recipes utilizing “real” foods {think flour, sugar, eggs, meat, and fresh veggies rather than a can of this and a box of that}. The “negative” way would be to check the labels on every item in your fridge and pantry and then see what needs replacing.

    In The Evolution of a Family Recipe, I discussed the idea of making a recipe your own. Take a standardized recipe, cater it to your family’s tastes, and make it healthier all at the same time. This is one avenue for making changes.

    Replacing store-bought, artificially-flavored and -colored popsicles with frozen fruit smoothies is another example.

    Because changes might inevitably involve budget-muscle flexing and shopping at unfamiliar stores, I find that it is easier for me to make small changes successively rather than trying to do a total overhaul in a few days. For instance, this month I decided to tackle what is put on our family’s skin {because skin is permeable and most topicals contain chemicals}. I purchased real soap {not beauty bars or bath gels with chemical fragrances} and toothpaste that is full of xylitol, fennel and myrrh, rather than fluoride, saccharin and FD&C blue 1. I am still searching for an {economical} replacement in the shampoo department.

    And, by the way, eliminating nonfoods might also help with the gluttony issues. There is some evidence that artifical sweetners {especially asparatame} can make you feel hungrier. I recently read that sugar cravings are a sign for the need of chromium in fruit. In general, hunger is a sign that the body is requiring nutrition. Eating foods that are nutrient-dense are the best ways to curb hunger. There is rising evidence that obesity is tied to malnutrition, especially a severe lack of micronutrients and phytonutrients. Of course, I have anecdotal evidence that it can also be directly linked to bedrest during pregnancy.

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  • Reply Anonymous June 25, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    One more thing about the shampoo bar. I just wash my scalp and rinse it off. I never scrub the length of my hair with it. My hair is to my bra strap. My ends are shiny and healthy. I think shampoo must wash away all the natural oils from your hair. My older boys use it and love it. Their hair looks so thick! Let me know how you like it!


  • Reply Brandy June 25, 2007 at 3:27 am

    Thank you so much for this suggestion! This sounds exactly like what I have been looking for. I have looked at a number of bar shampoos, but usually they contain lavender, which is something we wish to avoid putting on our son. But, in looking at the website, they seem to have a Baby Bee Bar that will be perfect.

    Truly appreciate the suggestion.

  • Reply Anonymous June 24, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    Bert’s Bees has a wonderful bar shampoo that has no chemicals. I have been using it for a long time without anything else (no conditioner, etc.) and my hair is thicker, holds a curl forever, needs cleaning much less often, and is very healthy!

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