Journey Toward Healthy Living- Trading Junk for Health

Photo Credit: Lori Greig

Well, we are about halfway through winter which means our first three months of our journey is ending soon. I hope you were able to eliminate some of the harmful foods from your home. If you were not able to do this yet, don’t fret, you still have time. Below is a list of foods from the “Remove From Your Home List” I posted in a previous post and some alternatives to these unhealthy foods.

Trading Junk for Health
  1. High Fructose Corn Syrup and White Sugar – Many sweetened processed foods have sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Instead of buying these try making your own snacks and use honey, sucanat, maple syrup, molasses or sorghum. Remember though, a sweetener is still a sweetener and should still be limited. But if you are going to choose a sweetener choose one that has some nutritional benefits.
  2. Hydrogenated oils and Partially Hydrogenated oils – Most processed foods contain some form of hydrogenated oils. Avoid foods that contain these types of oils. The best way to avoid these foods is to make your own healthier versions using butter, olive oil or coconut oil. If you are unable to make your own then shop for foods that contain healthy oils and fats.
  3. Soy– Soy requires a special fermentation process in order to be digestible. Most soy products on the shelves have not been fermented therefore are harmful if consumed. Soy also contains phytoestrogens which are an estrogen-like hormone. I have had personal experience with soy changing hormone levels so I am convinced it is not a product that should be consumed. Small amounts may be fine but that is it. Unfortunately since the government subsidies soy in the US there is far too much of it in this country. This means most processed snacks contain some sort of soy product. Not to mention most of the soy grown in the US has been genetically modified.
  4. Sodium Nitrite – Unless marked “Nitrate Free” or “Nitrite Free”, most lunch meats contain nitrites. You can find nitrate/nitrite free products in health food stores like Trader Joes. Azure Standard also carries nitrate/nitrite free lunch meats and hot dogs. If you can not find lunch meats without this harmful additive then use your own meats for sandwiches. The meat from chicken or beef roasts make excellent sandwich meats.
  5. Excitotoxins – Excitotoxins include artificial sweeteners and  monosodium glutamate. These too ingredients are in a lot of processed foods as well. Eliminating these junk foods from your diet is a must. In moderation, healthy sweeteners (like honey, pure maple syrup and molasses) are beneficial. Do not opt for artificial sweeteners thinking it is a healthy option. They are harmful.

Healthy Foods To Eat

You may have noticed that processed foods contain a lot of the bad ingredients we want to avoid. If you can, stay away from processed foods as much as possible. However, this does require making a lot of things from scratch and eating less snack foods. Most of the foods I have at home only include one or two ingredients. For example, we eat bananas which contain bananas as the only ingredient ;). My point is, to simplify your eating habits by buying foods that contain one or two ingredients. And if you cook your own foods, I guarantee they will contain less ingredients than the store bought processed foods.

Healthy Foods

  • Whole grain breads and  sourdough whole grain breads. Sourdough or sprouted grains are best.
  • Chicken and beef bone broths
  • Raw milk, yogurt and raw milk cheeses
  • Butter, olive oil and coconut oil
  • Raw honey ( in moderation)
  • Fermented vegetables
  • Raw vegetables and fruits
  • Wild fish, beef and chicken
  • Brown rice and legumes
  • Dried fruits (not sulfur dried), nuts and seeds

I am still working on incorporating fermented veggies and sourdough breads in our diet. We are all a work in progress so don’t give up your journey toward healthy living.

Check out other posts I have written for the Journey Toward Healthy Living.

Please note: I am not a health professional nor am I a nutritionist. I am a women, wife, mother, sister, friend and Christ follower that is concerned about the health state of America. I am trying to do my part to help my family, friends and blog readers take steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

8 Responses to “Journey Toward Healthy Living- Trading Junk for Health”

  • Glad to know that Azure carries nitrate free lunch meats! I never buy them because of the nitrates, so my family gets a bit bored with my alternatives. Sometimes they just crave a good meat sandwich (especially my husband!).

  • your blog looks very interesting and right up my alley! i would love to homestead someday… in the meantime, i read about it as much as i can. i had a thought or two related to your comment on beet kvass that i replied to, just to let you know. 🙂

  • Mona:

    Amy @ Homestead Revival,

    Yes, it’s nice Azure carries it but I wish it was cheaper.


    Thanks for stopping by Stacey. I will check out the reply now 🙂

  • Kaylie:

    what about soy beans? What are the benefits/disadvantages of them?

  • Mona:


    Hey Kaylie! Soy and soy beans are the same thing. Soy beans can be made into oil, soy sauce and flour or the beans can be cooked. There are two problems with soybeans- they are high in phytic acid and they produce and estrogen-like hormone. According to research phytic acid inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc and iron. These are very important minerals. Soy can also depress thyroid function and the estrogen-like hormone can mess with proper hormone function in men and women.
    There are too many harmful side affects for soy to have any advantages. The only exception I would make is if use a little soy sauce or fermented soybean (Natto )now and then.
    You can read more about it :

    I hope that helps 🙂

  • hi mona,
    i replied to you back on my blog, just in case someone else had a similar question. i wish i new more about it, but i’m pretty new at it too! thanks for your patience. hope you have a great week!

  • Alicia:

    I’ve cut all the above out of my diet long ago. It feels good to have you confirm that what Im doing is the right thing.

  • […] that contains mostly organic foods. Yes, it’s hard work but if you are determined as I am to live a healthy lifestyle and trust that God can make it happen for you, you will see great things come from it. Hard work is […]

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