Going Additive Free Part 3

I’ve been amazed at how popular our Going Additive Free Series has been. I know that in recent times I’ve felt increasingly drawn to addressing the various aspects of my own wellbeing. This has involved looking at the foods we eat as you recall I might have mentioned in this post. I’ve also started coming across conversations and articles around GMO foods, food additives and chemicals in cosmetics and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to ignore it all.

I’ll start with sharing my story on taking inventory of my pantry. I felt drawn towards understanding more about additives, not so much because of any major problems, but really because part of me knows, even with my limited knowledge of food science, that these additives can’t be good for me or my kids. I’ve for too long, not taken good enough care of my own body and so a progression into eating a mainly plant based diet, full of the fresh stuff was something I felt I needed to move towards anyway. My husband is Italian and I lived in Italy for several years so microwave or packet food has never really made it’s way into our home. Rather, we work with simple ingredients. So when I went to tackle my pantry and fridge, I was actually quite surprised to see that most of the things were ok. Thankfully my kids love their fruit and veg (my son actually asks for broccoli in his lunchbox) but the problem foods were more like things like processed cheese, bread, crackers, pasta sauces and so on. There are some things I find “tricky” to replace, but I found as I became more informed, which is still a work in progress, the transition was actually quite easy.

I think that if you’re interested in making the change, the key is to start with informing yourself and making it a habit to read the labels which I know can be confusing. And that’s exactly where part of the problem lies. I’ve put many items back onto the shelf sending a mental note of  ”thanks but no thanks” to the manufacturer when I see that something I could easily make at home with four ingredients, is filled with 3 or 4 times that many ingredients, many of which I can’t pronounce. If I don’t know what it is, or what it’s for, I’ll pass.

The main changes I’ve made are:

- “Fresh is best” policy. If I can substitute it with something fresh or from the garden then that’s what I’ll do. My kids are more than happy munching on fruit and vegetables instead of packet foods and will happily sip on green juices and healthy smoothies with twisty straws.

- I’m careful of what bread we buy, or I make my own

- I learnt to make my own dips (and it’s really so quick and easy) Instead of crackers, I’ll chop up some carrot and celery for the kids to have a healthy dip snack.

- I try to avoid packaged foods (as per my explanation above)

- A veggie patch is much easier to pull off than what I could have ever thought. There’s something special that comes with appreciating what comes from the ground.  Knowing where my food was grown, how it was grown, and how it made it’s way onto my plate, gives me a beautiful sense of peace.

As I’m tapping away at this blog post, Dr Oz is on the TV in the background and they’re talking about young girls going through puberty as young as seven years old. They’re looking at possible causes being changes in our diet and the spread of chemicals in products. They’re saying this is becoming a bigger and bigger problem, and it can affect life expectancy. Do you think we’re missing the boat somewhere? I don’t think we can ignore this any longer. As a mother of two children, I’m a fairly cruisy mum; I rely a lot on intuition and go with the flow. But I just can’t continue to ignore some of these these that just don’t sit right with me anymore. I blogged about my concerns with sunscreen recently too. I feel as though our health is not in the best interests of those that sell us products; whether for consuming, cleaning or cosmetic. So the best way I feel to deal with this stuff that won’t go away overnight is to be as informed as possible and use the voice we do have. Your wallet can speak, as can your words. Sharing of information, and taking steps to make changes in our own lives which as my lovely friend Rhiannon from the Wellbeing Web says “will create a positive ripple effect” for all.

I realise that it’s challenging completely eliminating all additives from our diets. I’m sure there are some people out there that have managed to do this. Until I find replacement products for everything, I know we’ve made great progress all the same. And that’s what really matters.

This week, I’ll be posting a review of some of the awesome products I’ve been using from Superfoods for Kidz, so make sure you’re subscribed to the blog or keep checking back.

Please jump in and share your thoughts. Leave a comment. What’s your take on all of this stuff? Are you making changes in your life?

Until next time,



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{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Nyssa Millington January 14, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Hi Vanessa,

    Very well written post. “Until I find replacement products for everything, I know we’ve made great progress all the same. And that’s what really matters.” Absolutely! Every small step you take on the additive-aware journey is a worthwhile.

    I love the Berry Choc Crunch from Superfoods for Kidz, yummo!


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