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I began my food journey, like most people, by following the standard American diet. As a successful management consultant, I was either in the office eating whatever take-out was available, or I was on the road eating every meal out. Although this lifestyle allowed me to fit in with my peers and work crazy hours, it also took a huge toll on my body and I became very ill. Over the holiday season over ten years ago, I found myself in a hospital bed. I was sick, overweight, and I was ready to change! I made a personal promise that from that point on that I was going to make health my number one priority. FoodBabe.com was born from my years of learning, investigating and researching how to live a healthy lifestyle in this overly processed world. As I learned more about the habits needed for a healthy lifestyle and what dangerous ingredients to avoid, my friends and family begged me to start a blog in order to share everything I had uncovered. Over the past three years, FoodBabe.com has grown to have a readership of over 4 million inspired individuals who are seeking to lead heather lives and rid our food system of deadly ingredients. It is through the help of the entire Food Babe Army that the investigations and petitions on FoodBabe.com have been able to force some of the largest food corporations to change, including Kraft, Chick-fil-a, Chipotle, Subway, Anheuser-Busch, and Starbucks.

FAQ
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The guidelines to my diet are simple. I eat whole, organic foods with a heavy emphasis on plant-based foods like dark leafy greens, a large variety of other vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, fruit and the occasional dairy or meat product. I cook often to ensure the quality of my food. I avoid fast food, refined sugar, factory-farmed meat, heavily processed food and questionable ingredients. I love superfoods like hemp seeds, chia seeds, and quinoa, fermented foods like kimchi and drink a lot of green juices and green smoothies too!

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I make a point to exercise daily. It’s my daily stress prevention medicine! It is easier for me to make healthy food choices during a day when I have been active too. I love yoga, hiking, scuba diving, running, spin class, pilates and barre class.

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I created the Food Babe Shop so that you can see the products I use on a regular basis. You can check out everything from what staples are in my pantry to kitchen supplies to what books I love. Note: I don’t mention every product I love on the shop. I will occasionally mention other great products I try on my email list, blog posts or social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest), so make sure you are following those too!

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The search tool at the top left of the website is a great way to explore what investigations or information I have reported on specific products. Try searching your specific product name first. For instance, if you want to know about Fig Newtons, you could simply type Fig Newton in the search box. If a name specific search is not yielding the information you need, try searching within the category. For instance, if you want more information on a specific protein powder and you could not find an article on that brand, try searching “protein powders”. Many of my investigations have charts and explanations that may cover the specific product you are looking for.

If your product is not mentioned in any investigation, article or chart, then it may help you to do some investigating of your own. Read the key points of my investigations and see if those guidelines apply to your food or personal care item. Read the labels, symbols and ingredients on packages and research them. If you are not sure of a certain ingredient on your label, you can always place that ingredient in the search box on FoodBabe.com too.

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First join the FBA – “Food Babe Army” here. Joining our group will teach you how to change the food system by voting with your dollars. Every time you purchase a product you are sending a message to the manufacturer that says “I support what you are doing.” When we all vote with our dollars, we not only help strengthen the companies that are doing the right thing by supplying healthy and sustainably grown food, but we also send a clear message of disapproval to those companies who are putting harmful products into the marketplace. One of the fastest ways to get a company to change is to affect their sales and profit. Companies feel the impact of our opinions when we stop financially supporting their products. When we vote with our dollars, we actively shape the marketplace around us by sending a clear message of what we want. Food companies have no choice but to fill the demand we create with our purchases if they wish to continue doing business.

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I would love to try every product under the sun, but I really don’t want to be a human guinea pig. If you have a product that is organic, non-GMO, sustainable and environmentally friendly you can tell us about it here, but I can’t promise I will try it or write about it. If your product does not meet this criteria, please do not submit a request.

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I don’t like refined white sugar. Instead I choose healthier alternatives like organic coconut palm sugar, local raw honey, real maple syrup, date sugar, or I simply use naturally sweet fruits, such as bananas or dates, to sweeten my recipes. On a rare occasion, I may also use 100% pure organic stevia.

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I prefer to use coconut oil, grass-fed organic butter and ghee for medium to high heat cooking. I will also use extra virgin olive oil or hemp oil for low heat cooking and salad dressings.

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I have created an index of recipes here. If you would like even more healthy recipes, a grocery shopping list and all your planning done each month, sign up for my Meal Plans For Health. All you need to do is follow the monthly meal plans and you will be feeling great and learning new skills for living a life full of health and vibrance!

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I drink both smoothies and juices on a regular basis as they both have health benefits that I don’t want to miss. I drink green juice to deliver as many nutrients to my body as possible at once and I drink green smoothies for the beneficial fiber. Smoothies can help you feel fuller longer while juicing is a great way to give your digestive system a rest and help you feel lighter while giving you a dose of energy. For more juicing tips, check out this post.

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GMO stands for “genetically modified organism” and is a plant or animal that has been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or other plants or animals. The intended purpose of this type of unnatural manipulation is to produce a crop that is either resistant to pesticides or one that also creates its own insecticides. Many countries outside of the U.S. require labeling or have outright banned GMOs. There have been no long term studies on the consumption of GMOs.

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One of the best ways to avoid GMOs is to buy organic. GMOs are not allowed in organic produce or organic packaged food with the label “100% organic”. If you are not buying organic, it will help to know which crops are the most high risk for being GMO. When choosing conventionally grown/non organic food, avoid corn, soy, sugar, papaya, canola, cotton (cotton seed oil), zucchini, yellow squash and conventional dairy and meat. Also, you can check your packaged food for a Non-GMO Project verified seal. Please note that USDA organic certified seal only means 95% of the ingredients are organic. Look at the ingredient list to make sure all of the ingredients are organic.

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Both if you can find them! Many local farmers use organic practices, they are just not certified organic. If you get to know local farmers at a farmers market, you can ask them about their practices. I love supporting local farmers because their food tastes delicious and I can help support the local economy. I also love knowing that my food hasn’t traveled across the country (or world) which is so much better for the environment and nutrient content. When I do not have access to local and organic foods, I always choose certified organic foods at the supermarket. I’ll buy organic frozen fruits and vegetables if fresh isn’t available to avoid pesticides too.

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Who would you rather pay – the farmer or the hospital? Eating a diet rich in whole organic foods is one of the most powerful forms of preventative medicine. I put together over 75 tips on how to eat organic on a budget here to help you ease into this new habit.

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When I am reading labels, I look to make sure the ingredients in the product are real food. If you find an ingredient that you are unsure of, I recommend putting the food item back on the shelf until you do some more investigating. In reading product labels it may help for you to use my GMO ingredient A-Z list. This list will let you know which ingredients in your food could be made with GMOs. Also you’ll want to use the list below to avoid certain additives and ingredients too.

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I prefer to consume a variety of organic whole foods that emphasizes the use of antibiotic-free and hormone-free sustainable meat and dairy, whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds to achieve my daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Many popular nutrition products and weight management supplements can contain ingredients that I choose to avoid such as non-organic fruits and vegetables, GMOs, natural flavors, artificial sweeteners and/or other food chemical additives that are highly processed. I prefer to supplement with certified organic protein and green powders. If the product isn’t organic, I put it back on the shelf.

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  1. Trans fats – oils that have hydrogen added to them to increase shelf life. Trans fats can raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol. They can be found in many shelf staple food items like crackers, cookies, bakery items, doughs, pies and snack foods. Try and choose foods that do not have partially hydrogenated oils listed on the label and that use healthy oils instead like olive oil or coconut oil.
  2. Preservatives – used to make foods last longer. Some common examples are Parabens, BHA, BHT and TBHQ. These additives are potentially cancer causing and they are endocrine disruptors. Preservatives are commonly found in cereals, crackers, snack foods, cakes. Try choosing fresh foods that do not have a long shelf life or certified organic brands that do not allow these preservatives.
  3. MSG & hidden additives like yeast extract, autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed protein – MSG is used as a flavor enhancer. Food manufacturers use it to create an addictive taste in processed food. MSG can cause adverse reactions in some people including skin rashes, itching, hives, nausea, vomiting, migraine headaches, asthma, heart irregularities, depression and even seizures. It is commonly found in restaurant foods, chips, dips, frozen dinners, salad dressings and soups. Hidden forms of it can be listed as yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed protein, natural flavor or textured protein. Try and choose fresh foods instead of processed foods to avoid this tricky ingredient.
  4. Artificial Sweeteners and Refined Sugars – Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose, Erythritol and Acesulfame Potassium, are some common artificial sweeteners. Some common refined sugars are table sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup and brown rice syrup. There are many dangerous side effects associated with these like diabetes, autoimmune disorders, depression and heart disease. They can be found in soda, candy, desserts and many other processed foods. Try and find foods that are sweetened with natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, dates, 100% pure organic stevia or coconut palm sugar and eat these foods in moderation.
  5. GMOs – Genetically Modified Organisms – plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from viruses, bacteria, plants or animals. Most commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicides and/or pesticides or produce their own insecticide. The most common GMO ingredients are soy, corn, canola, zucchini and squash, cottonseed, papaya, sugar beets and conventionally raised meat and dairy. Try and buy certified organic foods or foods that do not contain these ingredients.
  6. Nitrates – used as a preservative and to add coloring or flavoring to meat products. Commonly used in making cured meat like bacon and hot dogs, this chemical is associated with an increased risk of cancer. To reduce your intake of nitrates, avoid processed conventional meats such as bacon, ham, pastrami, salami, pepperoni, hot dogs, some sausages and hamburger. Choose meats that are cured naturally without nitrates added to the ingredients.
  7. Artificial colors – are made from synthetic sources like petroleum. They are found in sodas, candies, fruit snacks, cereals, mac & cheese, baked goods, and used to dye some fruit such as cherries and fruit cocktails. Avoid packages with the ingredients red 40, blue 1, blue 2, Red 3, Green 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, etc. Choose products that do not need to be dyed and contain real food.
  8. Dough Conditioners- chemicals added to bread dough to strengthen its texture or alter it in some way. Be on the look out for chemicals such as azodicarbonamide, DATEM, and potassium bromate. Read all the ingredients on any bread you purchase and make sure it only has the basic ingredients – flour, water, salt, yeast and maybe honey. Here’s a great list of health breads at the grocery store.
  9. Carrageenan – an inflammatory agent found in most milk substitute products, infant formula, cottage cheese and some flavored coconut waters. Carrageenan is used as a thickener, stabilizer, and or emulsifier. Make sure to read ingredients to make sure you are not consuming carrageenan and please note that carrageenan is still allowed in USDA organic certified products.
  10. Natural flavors – this term could refer to an array of chemicals and can be derived from anything under the sun that is natural. In order to avoid unknown “natural” flavors, purchase products that clearly label each of their ingredients. Here’s a video that highlights just one of the ingredients that could be hiding in natural flavors. Also find out more about natural flavors here.
  11. One of the best ways to learn to avoid these ingredients is to sign up for my Meal Plans For Health. This program will teach you how to make real, nutritiously dense, amazingly good food at your own house. You can learn more and sign up for the meal plans here.

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The best way to make sure you are included on any upcoming employment opportunities is to follow the blog regularly and join my email list. When I am hiring I will be sure to announce it. I will also have interview questions and a place to submit your resume at that time.

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Try and keep it simple. Eat real, unprocessed foods, organic meats and dairy, wild sustainable fish, lots of fruits and vegetables (organic whenever possible), beans, legumes and healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds. Avoid processed foods with long ingredient lists or ingredients that you don’t recognize. Avoid artificial or natural flavors, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, partially hydrogenated oils and GMO’s. Read every ingredients list.

Try not to feel like you have to do everything at once. Just make small changes and gradually keep adding to it. Next time you go to the grocery store, make it a point to buy more organic food and less processed foods. Try cutting back on animal products. Start cooking at home and take control of the ingredients you are eating. Creating a meatless Monday is a great way to start. If you have a juicer in the pantry collecting dust, bring it out and start juicing! Take baby steps!

I also have a program I started called the Meal Plans For Health that can help. Check it out here. This program will give you an easy step by step meal plan that will keep things simple so that you never have to deal with feeling overwhelmed.

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The sharing of investigations and recipes is one of the ways that FoodBabe.com is able to effect change so quickly. The more people who know the truth about eating healthy, the quicker we can shape the food marketplace. If you would like to share a Food Babe article or recipe on your website, I ask that you follow these guidelines. Please do not post the entire article on your site. Every article is original material copyrighted on FoodBabe.com. If you would like to share information I can allow you to use one picture directly from the article along with a couple sentences taken directly from the article. In order for your readers to see the entire article, you must then place a link back to the article on FoodBabe.com.

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Check out the press page here.

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I travel often to different cities across the world speaking about my story,  food investigations and natural living. If you want to know when and where I will be next you can check out my speaking schedule here and join my email list to stay up to date.

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This term grew out of love for my readers who are changing the world. They are a powerful group of people committed to demanding and actively creating change in the food supply. The Food Babe Army consists of thousands of people who sign petitions, call major company headquarters, share reports and investigations with their friends and use their voice to make sure we are heard. You can learn more about the Food Babe Army and how you can get involved here.

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Please start by reading this investigation to see if your powder meets Food Babe standards. Start by asking these questions: Is it organic and free of pesticides? Is it GMO free? How is it processed? Does the processing retain its nutritional quality, vitamins and minerals? Does it contain artificial or refined sugars? Does it contain heavy metals? Does the protein powder use synthetic vitamins?

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Meal Plans For Health is a great resource of recipes, tips and monthly shopping guides I put together to give you an easy way to eat healthy and feel amazing.  Each meal plan follows a monthly schedule that will have you feeling energized, dropping any unnecessary pounds and creating a new relationship with food. For more information on the meal plans check it out here.

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You can find a list of Food Babe approved grocery store brands and items by checking out the “Shop” section of the website here. You can find everything from the types of pasta I approve to the make-up I choose to wear. You can also order any items that you would like to try from the “Shop” section via my referral links to Amazon.com.

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You can check out a list of some of my favorite restaurants in my home town of Charlotte, NC here. In the Meal Plans For Health program, I share several eating out tips, meals you can order from major national chain restaurants and how to throw together quick meals in grocery stores when you are away from home.

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I prefer to take organic, non-GMO, whole foods based supplements. Good choices are Mega Food or Garden of Life.

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Based on prior experience with several different brands such as NyQuil, Mucinex and Halls it is very important to read the ingredients list, especially those that are “hidden” under the label inactive ingredients. This is where artificial colors, flavoring, high fructose corn syrup and chemical preservatives can hide. There are a lot of natural remedies that you can take when you feel the onset of a cold or to help arm your body with necessary defenses to help fight it. Check out this post here for some great information on different cold medicines and 5 natural cold remedies I personally follow.

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Yes, check out the “For your Brain” section of the Food Babe shop. Here, you will find a list of my favorite books, some of which were a great catalyst to the lifestyle I live today. You can also visit the “investigations” tab to study my research into major fast food and corporations.

 

Disclaimer: Before starting any new diet and exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise and/or diet changes with them. I am not a doctor or registered dietitian. The information presented herein is not presented with the intention of diagnosing or treating any disease or condition. This information is for educational purposes only. No responsibility is assumed by the author nor anyone connected with this website for the use of this information and no guarantees of any kind are made for the performance or effectiveness of the recommendations provided.

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