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The Crunchy Trail: Food Additives : Week 1 Challenge


Here we are, the end of week 1.  How did you do?  Did you read labels?  Did you replace some foods?  Many of us here in the South were snowed in, so maybe  you didn’t get to the store.  In this quick post we will look at some ingredients that are at the top of the AVOID list. πŸ™‚

Come along, the hiking is still easy.  You’ll be glad you joined us.

This is Part 3 in a series of posts.  In case you missed them, here are the links to Part 1 & Part 2 :

Part 1: The Crunchy Trail Mile 1

Part 2: The Crunchy Trail Mile 1- Step 1

Since I am not intending to create a blog totally dedicated to “Real Food” but instead want to touch on many “crunchy lifestyle” topics this post will be mostly composed of links and graphics I have found to be extra useful. Real food is a HUGE topic,  I simply want to get you started on a healthier eating lifestyle, show you how easy it can be, and then let you explore this part of the mountain as you see fit.

So before I get into things I personally avoid  I want to share some websites that are much more in depth and researched than mine.

1.  Wikipedia Food Additives  :  Here you can look at every food additive individually and then look it up.  This is a comprehensive list of food additives.

2.  100 Days of Real Food  : This is THE most comprehensive “real food” site I know about. This is where I started learning.  I HIGHLY recommend that everyone start here.  There are recipes, shopping list, school lunch ideas, all designed for busy, working folks.  She is frugal and fast, she lives in the real world and still eats real food.   If you only check out one link MAKE IT THIS ONE!!

3.  Foods to Avoid  : This is a great list of foods to avoid and why. A short read.  This saves me a TON of typing because this is EXACTLY what I would tell you. πŸ™‚ This is a printable list to make shopping easy.
5.  Center for Science in the Public Interest :  Since 1971, CSPI has been a strong advocate for nutrition and health, food safety, alcohol policy, and sound science.
9.  Wellness Mama  :  I just found this one today, but from what I have looked at she has some great tips and recipes.  πŸ™‚
10.  Nourishing Home  :  Another new find. I look forward to exploring this site also.
11.  Mommypotamus  :  Real food on a budget and recipe ideas, plus tons of  great info.
12.  Eat Nourishing  :  Another great site I just found, with recipes, info, directions, budgets, shopping lists, etc.

So above you find 12 links to get you started, there are MANY more, but the ones listed I have found to be the most comprehensive and complete.


Below is a list of the BIG no-no’s in my house.  These are the ones I avoid MOST. Of course we somethings we can’t avoid all the time but we try our best.  I am not a nazi, I do allow chemical crap storm junk maybe %5 of the time.  Who doesn’t love some Cheetos here and there? πŸ˜‰

  1. Dyes
  2. Chemicals and additives I cannot pronounce
  3. High Fructose Corn Syrup; aka : HFCS or Corn Syrup (you would be surprised what all this is in)
  4. Sugar (more on this later) If it is a sweet treat then I prefer sugar over HFCS
  5. Nitrates and Nitrites
  6. Aluminum ( look in your flour, breads etc)
  7. MSG aka: Mono-sodium Glutamate
  8. Aspartame, Stevia and other artificial sweeteners.

Yes I listed Stevia.  Natural stevia is a leaf from a plant, it comes as  dried leaves. I  use it in herbal teas and remedies.  It tastes nor looks anything like the over processed stevia you find in white powder form or liquid form at the store.

I prefer pure raw honey, molasses, pure Maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc.  These should still be used in moderation.  They are still sugars, just sugars that are less refined than white sugar and not full of chemicals used in the refining process. READ THE INGREDIENTS on maple syrup, molasses, honey, etc sometimes you end up with HFCS or Corn Syrup with coloring in it if you aren’t careful.

ALL sweet tasting items, natural sugar, unrefined sugars, white sugars and artificial sweeteners will still cause an insulin response thus leading to stress on the liver, taxing of the immune system, diabetic type reactions and belly fat.  More on all of this in the sugar post to come.

Yes there are other things I try to avoid, but these are the top of my list.  I would rather have a bag of potato chips with potatoes, oil, salt, than a loaf of whole wheat bread with HFCS and Aluminum in it.  (by the way, chips are a treat we have once or twice a month)

I do the best I can at avoiding these and still staying within budget. Start small and work your way up.  Plan to spend extra time in the grocery store reading the labels.

I have added comments to a few of the pictures below, which are some infographics that I have I have saved from various websites.  Things that make you go hmmmm.

Hidden names for fake sugar and sugar

Hidden names for fake sugar and sugar

Sugar free means fake sugar!!

Sugar free means fake sugar!!

This can be made MUCH healthier and MUCH cheaper by simply combining Cumin, Paprika, Chilipowder, Garlic, and Cayenne (optional) add onions to your meat or skillet instead of onion powder. VOILA!!

This can be made MUCH healthier and MUCH cheaper by simply combining
Cumin, Paprika, Chilipowder, Garlic, and Cayenne (optional) add onions to your meat or skillet instead of onion powder. VOILA!!


Natural Flavor often means MSG (Mono-sodium Glutamate)

Natural Flavor often means MSG (Mono-sodium Glutamate)





Europe US

I LOVE this one. Check out the difference. WHY is America the fattest, sickest country around? Why can’t we have beet juice, paprika etc as our colors? Why do we have Red Dye which is known to cause hyperactivity and increase behavior problems in children.

orange dye

??? So what is in the skin couldn’t possible seep into the orange?


‘Nuff said… BLECH!!

Dirty Dozen



Below are links to Part 1 & Part 2 of this series of posts.

Part 1: The Crunchy Trail Mile 1

Part 2: The Crunchy Trail Mile 1- Step 1

As Always: ALL posts on this blog may or may not contain affiliate links or links to my direct sales websites.  This is because there is a monthly fee to run this blog and it costs time to keep it going.  You are not required to click on any links, but if you do THANK YOU!!  You are helping to support my blogging habit.  (I would say my family but so far I haven’t even made enough to pay 1 month of blogging fees.)  Thanks for stopping by and feel free to use my links or pass them along to friends.  All help is greatly appreciated.