The food industry has a lot of dirty little secrets they don’t want you to know. Terminology that sounds straightforward, like “natural”, sounds so happy and clean but may not really mean much at all.
Let’s just dive right in and examine what “they” don’t want us to know!
Olive oil isn’t a Beauty Food despite the common idea that there are several health benefits to consuming it. Olive oil (or any oil) isn’t found in nature, it’s processed. So I don’t recommend more than just an occasional splash on a salad or cooking at low temperatures.
An interesting article in The New Yorker points out that just because the bottle says you’re getting extra virgin olive oil, that doesn’t make it true. In some cases, extra virgin olive oil is cut with oils of inferior quality (sometimes olive oil, but sometimes other vegetable oils). The FDA says it doesn’t have the resources to test it. Who is looking out for us then? We are left, truly, to fend for ourselves and our own health. The article recommends purchasing your oil directly from the miller, if possible, so you can see it being made.
Instead of cooking with olive oil of questionable quality or sprinkling it onto your salads, get the fats you need from Beauty Fats, like coconut oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds or even whole olives. Don’t think that by replacing olive oil with vegetable oils, thinking that since the word “vegetable” is in the name, it must be good. Polyunsaturated fats like canola, corn, cottonseed grapeseed, safflower, soybean, and sunflower oxidize easily and aren’t whole foods either.
Artificial coloring serves one major purpose: to deceive the consumer. It makes not such great looking stuff look prettier. It makes otherwise bland-looking cereals irresistible to kids. Maybe you steer clear of those sugary cereals and the obvious candy and punch that you know contain dyes (um, Captain Crunch?!). But specially created dyes are in lots of other foods too- like added to food pellets to give farmed salmon a fresher, heathier pink look, while Yellow 5 even makes Mt. Olive and Vlassic jarred pickles look more appealing. Bread, too, often contains caramel coloring simply to look darker.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest warns that Red 40, Yellow 5, and six others contribute to “hyperactivity in children, cancer (in animal studies), and allergic reactions.” When you shop for whole, organic foods either in the supermarket or the farmer’s market, you’re seeing an array of natural beauty, and that feeds your Beauty Energy better than anything pumped full of dyes to look pretty ever could.
Free-range may conjure up images of poultry being allowed to roam around in a large area outside, enjoying a nice life. Sadly, that’s not the case at all. It just means that they have (some) access to the outdoors. That doesn’t specify what has to be out there (like grass), how long they’re allowed outside, or the amount of space they’ll have to roam around in.
Cage-free simply means they poultry isn’t kept in cages. Again, this doesn’t mean they’re living a blissful life in wide-open spaces. The Huffington Post points out that this doesn’t even necessarily mean the chickens are allowed outside. They still may be barely able to move around. They’re simply not in cages.
Add those inhumane practices to the fact that poultry is often pumped full of salt to preserve the meat and make leaner cuts juicier, and the additives like medications, antibiotics, heavy metals, and even Prozac, caffeine, and banned antibiotics (did you know your chicken was depressed?) and you’re eating quite an unfriendly, toxic concoction every time you dig into non-organic poultry.
“Natural” is such a loose, generic term now that it doesn’t really mean a thing…though it does sound comforting. According to an excerpt from Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation at PBS.org, “a natural flavor is not necessarily healthier or purer than an artificial one.” The article goes on to explain that some ingredients are labeled as “artificial” simply because of the way they’re derived, while something considered “natural” can contain cyanide from the use of peach and apricot pits. So in essence, “natural” should be taken with a (large) grain of salt.
Whole grains are good for you, but not everything that makes the “whole grain” claim is safe. It is not only the amount of sugar and oil that can be added to cereals to make them more appealing, but that the extrusion process itself, used to puff up certain types, can alter the proteins inside the grains and turn them into neurotoxins. Eat Beauty Grains that haven’t been put through the extrusion process. I love oat groats and steel-cut oats (Irish oatmeal), and my Raw Rolled Oat Cereal recipe is a quick, delicious breakfast alternative to boxed cereals. You can cook your oatmeal, too, of course, but just steer clear of those packets of instant oatmeal with lots of extra sugar, salt, and other additives.
Different research has shown that using aspartame, saccharine, and acesulfame potassium, and other artificial sweeteners can lead to more weight gain than the sugar you’re trying to avoid. It confuses your body when you feed it something sweet with no calories to go along with it; that leads to more cravings.
So is eating refined sugar okay? No. It will cause wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes, weight gain, and cause constipation. It steals your Beauty Energy and disrupts your body’s ability to consume nutrients and use enzymes. There are plenty of naturally sweet fruits to consume once your body has been cleaned. If you really need to add sweeteners to your food, I recommend small amounts of raw coconut nectar, raw honey (from a bee keeper that uses ethical practices) maple syrup, or stevia. And agave is also big no-no!!
According to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the calorie counts in pre-packaged and restaurant food are not exactly accurate. According to fast food meals averaged 18 percent more calories than stated, while frozen meals from the supermarket averaged eight percent more than their nutrition facts labels claimed. Some restaurant meals actually had up to 245% more of the estimated calories.
Good thing Beauty Detox isn’t about calorie counting in the first place. It’s so much simpler to prepare and eat Beauty Dishes at home because it frees you from hidden calories and the need to count calories at all. You’ll still lose weight, but your mind will be more focused on enjoying the colorful, beautifying foods in front of you than staying caught up in the numbers. But even if you do count, you’ll be far better off and have a much more accurate idea if you limit pre-packaged foods and stick to whole foods.
The main thing the food industry doesn’t want you to know is that they don’t care about you. They care about their bottom line- not your health. Period. They will omit details and use buzzwords to draw consumers in. Labels saying “more protein’ or “reduced fat’ can still have increased amounts of refined flour and sugar, more preservatives, etc.
Generic, catchy phrases like “higher in protein”, “low-fat”, “no sugar added”, “whole grains”, and “heart-healthy” aren’t always as straightforward as they appear, and the food has often been strategically manipulated in other ways—mostly with salt, sugar, and fat as well as preservatives, so that it still tastes good enough to get you hooked. If you’re eating pre-packaged, processed foods without combing through the ingredients lists first, you could be falling victim to marketing tactics.
The truth is, you’re almost never going to find Beauty Foods in the center aisles of the store, with the exception of some seeds and nuts and you’ll be healthier, more beautiful, and less stressed about shopping if you avoid those pre-packaged foods altogether. You’ll actually save money in the end, because whole foods, especially in bulk, can end up saving you more that all the pre-made stuff.
The easiest way to get around most of the deception is to shop the perimeter of the store and visit farmers’ markets. Stock up on fresh, in-season, organic vegetables and fruits and skip processed, packaged items in the middle of the store. Check out our infographic to help you navigate your grocery store! Choose whole foods, and don’t let “them” aka the food industry load up your body with hidden chemicals, sugars, and other nasty ingredients that will drag down your healthy and energy.
Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time. My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.
With kindest regards Samantha
I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.
When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.
I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.
Hey Jessica! I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again
I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!
Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.
Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!
I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).
I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud
My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.
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