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How to Read a Nutrition Label

How are you to go about reading a nutrition label? It’s simple: stop reading it, and start feeling it. It’s no big secret that the most healing, weight-loss promoting, skin super-glowing foods in the world are the ones that come straight out of the ground. No sticker, no label, no number included. And it’s also no big secret that quality rules over quantity any day of the week. We’re in such a sweet spot in time, where these things are being talked about (all press is good press, right?). It's the fact that whole, plant-based foods over the packaged, processed, caloric equivalents are what're actually good for us, not the purposed "food pyramid" ways of before. This is where the FDA comes into play - from the 1860s to the 1960s, many unsanitary and dangerous working conditions were popping up (anyone remember The Jungle?) around the world's supply of packaged food. Thus, the need for the government to hold companies accountable for the "food" they were packaging and selling. And this was a good thing, because, duh, we all have the right to know what we choose to buy and swallow. Though, this is also where the weight-loss industry comes into play - points, calories, carbs, sugars, fats, protein and fiber…the obsessive calculation of all these numbers has made minds go mad. When we're solely focused on numbers on the scale and letters on the package, rather than the connection to our daily needs and intuition around food, we're depleting our ability to read the life-force energy of the nourishment we desire. At Sakara, we don’t count points, calories, or carbs, because we’ve experienced first hand the magic that lies behind converting that calculative energy into something that goes beyond nourishment and weight-loss: it's about the nourishment of all pillars of life, and spirit. And it starts with the food that you're taking in. Eating is the most intimate thing. We are choosing, chewing, swallowing, and digesting something. Energetically, we must begin to see that food as giving us life - not grams of fat or sugar. So then what should we do?
  • Avoid empty calories. Empty calories are dense goods, low in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and overall nutritional value. Aka - breads, pastas, processed snacks and candies. Stick to the locally made sourdough, mama’s home-made fettuccine noodles, Clean Boutique goodies and juicy fruit. Cheerios are not your friend. Superfood granola is.
  • Convert calories into health-giving information. Discovering what digests and assimilates best in your unique body is the fun part of what seems like a grueling process, because it causes no mental strain, and no numerical calculations. Feel your food by observing it's colors, smells, textures and water content.
  • Go organic! And stay local as much as possible. Support your farmer’s market, and become friends with the farmers themselves. Be inquisitive about how their crops are grown. That way, when you’re cooking and eating them, you’ll have that history and hand-made love in the back of your mind. That kind of positive energy will do more wonders for your mind and body than a freezer meal, any day.
  • Go low-glycemic. Though, it’s important to remember that the glycemic index pertains differently to every different type of body. What spikes your blood sugar may be very different than your neighbors. Notice what fruits and food combinations leave your blood sugar and energy levels feeling wonky. Don’t rely on the grams of sugar on the pack of a bag to determine how something is going to make you feel your best. Decide for yourself.
And when it does come to labels, some things actually are really helpful: look for those NON-GMO, Fair Trade, Free-Range and Gluten-Free symbols. But other than that, trust your intuition to guide you to what is most nourishing + energy promoting in every hunger situation. Trust your gut, it's what's doing all the work here, after all.
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    “How to Read a Nutrition Label”
  • Nutrition says:

    If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want. ~Elbert Hubbard

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