Food Marketing Traps and Weekend Relaxation
Hi friends! :)
Hope your Thursday is getting off to a good start. The weekend is almost here! I'm looking forward to getting out of town and visiting my parents. They live in Menlo Park, about 45 minutes from me, and it's so relaxing to leave my life here and have a very mini-vacay out there. My parents are so wonderful and have always been so supportive of me and I feel so lucky to have them :) They live close enough that I can see them regularly, yet far enough away that is allows me to unplug and unwind....which is often hard to do in my own home if you know what I mean :) There's always something that needs to be done in my house that it's often a bit challenging to relax....and I could use some relaxation right now. While I wouldn't have it any other way, it is exhausting working the way Pascha and I have been since we opened our studio....teaching 8 or 9 classes a week, training clients one-on-one between 20-30 hours a week, and then running and managing our business in all our
spare time. Whew!! Anyway, I'd love to hear what your plans are for the weekend....that's always my favorite stretching topic in my classes or with my clients; I enjoy hearing what people do in their free time.
As many of you already know, we hosted the "Eating Healthy On The Go" workshop last weekend. Like I mentioned in my previous blogpost, it was a great success. It was our first workshop since we've opened in June, and our goal is to host one a month. We would absolutely LOVE to hear ideas on what type of workshops you might be interested in.
Back to last weekend's workshop....Pascha and I thought it would be very informative to expand on it a bit and discuss foods that fool people. What I mean by that are foods that are marketed towards the consumer to trick them into thinking it's healthy for them. Sound confusing? It is a bit....food marketing folks have it down--they know how to suspend your disbelief and get you to buy their product. Take low-fat or non-fat, fruit flavored yogurt. Sounds healthy, right? The packaging makes sure to say in big letters on the front that it's low-fat and low-calorie. There's usually a pretty picture of some piece of fruit, representing the flavor of the yogurt. How could you go wrong, this is surely healthy for you. Well, take a look at the ingredients....sugar is usually in the top 2 or 3 ingredients. A Yopait, low-fat banana yogurt has 26 grams of sugar in it, equivalent to 6.5 teaspoons! That's a lot of unnecessary sugar that is not good for you. The best way to enjoy yogurt is to buy plain yogurt and doctor it up yourself. If it's too sour for you, add some fresh fruit and a small amount of unrefined, natural sugar, such as honey or agave. One of my favorite snacks is whole milk, Greek yogurt, mixed with sliced banana, strawberries, slivered almonds, unsweetened coconut and chia seeds. Healthy, delicious, plenty sweet because of the fruit!
Another common trap when it comes to buying food is wheat bread. We all know that we're supposed to eat whole grains, so white bread is out. But little do we know that plain wheat bread isn't much better for you. Another marketing trick which does nothing for our health. Unless the package says 100% Whole Wheat Bread, you may as well buy white bread. What's the difference you ask? White and wheat bread are made with wheat flour, which the bran and the germ have been removed through a process known as milling. Milling gives white flour a longer shelf life by removing the bran which contains oil, allowing products made with it, like white bread, the ability to survive storage. In other words, it's processed. If the product is 100% Whole Wheat Bread, it has to use whole wheat flour that hasn't been processed or stripped of its nutrients. It may not stay fresh as long on the shelf, but who really wants to eat bread that weirdly doesn't go bad for weeks?
What I want you to take away from this is that it is absolutely necessary to read the nutrition facts and not get sucked into the marketing of a product. Even more important is to check the ingredient list. If sugar is in the top 1-3 ingredients, think again. Jarred pasta sauce is often another food that fools people--it's usually loaded with added sugar. You wouldn't know until you glanced at the nutrition facts and ingredients. Also, if the ingredient list has a whole bunch of items on it that you have no clue as to what the heck they are, do you really want that going into your body? Food is what fuels and nourishes every cell in our bodies...it's important to give it things that are healthy.
I challenge you to look past packaging and key-words marketers use, such as "organic," "low-fat," and "gluten-free" and to immediately draw your eyes to what really matters....the ingredients in that food and the nutrition facts. Don't be fooled by a processed, junky snack item that says in big, bold letters on front, "Only 100 calories per serving!" It may just be 100 calories, but if it's processed and junky, it has no benefit to you or your body.
Cheers to moving past food marketing traps and forward into healthy food choices. Please share your thoughts on this topic!
Yours in Health,
The Fuse Fitness