February 25, 2013
Podcast from: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/nutrition-podcasts/healthy-grocery-shopping-list/
[02:22] Rich Food, Poor Food
[04:46] Why Comparing Nutrition Facts Isn't Enough
[09:39] Villainous Variables
[14:34] Biggest Dairy Mistakes Made by People
[19:57] Buying Meats
[23:09] Produce Tips and Tricks
[26:34] Vegetable Washes
[28:34] Making Your Own Mayonnaise
[30:47] What Makes A Good Ketchup
[40:12] Seeds and Nuts
[47:00] End of Podcast
Ben: Hey, folks. It's Ben Greenfield. And as I was just telling the guests who I have on today's interview, and yes, that's plural because I've got two people on with me, there are just a few select books that I recommend all my clients go out and read and put into their libraries right away. And I have this meal plan that I have that gets sent out to the people who I'm working with, who I'm coaching and whatnot. And on that meal plan, it says, “Okay, get this book, get this book, get this book,” and the people who wrote the book that we're about to talk about are on the call with me today, and that book happens to be one that I highly recommend as the guide book, period, for grocery shopping. So, the name of the book is “Rich Food, Poor Food”, and if you feel dumb 'cause you have never heard of it, that's okay 'cause it just came out. And the people who wrote it who are on the call with me are Jayson and Mira Calton, and they have a ton of nutritional experience and a bio that is a million miles along. So, let's just say that Jayson's got his doctorate in nutrition and he has completed post-doctoral, continuing education at places like Harvard and Yale. And Mira is a licensed, certified nutritionist. She's a chef and she also knows a ton of stuff about food and eating. So, guys, thanks for coming on the call.
Jayson: Thanks for having us!
Mira: Thank you so much, Ben!
Ben: Alright. Cool. There was a little bit of a delay there. Hopefully I don't have a Skype delay today. Can you guys hear me if I say “Hello”? Can you hear that right now?
Mira: Yeah. We are getting, just so you know, we are getting a little bit of a hiccup every now and again.
Ben: Okay. So, to the listener, there might be a little bit of a delay here in there as we go through this, and hopefully that will sort itself out as we go through Skype. Sometimes it's a little bit jumpy like that. So, anyways though, like I mentioned, the name of the book is called “Rich Food, Poor Food”. And Jayson and Mira, give me the 30-second pitch in terms of why you wrote this book and what it's all about.
Mira: The real quick 30-second pitch, okay. For those of you don't know, I had advanced osteoporosis. When I turned 30, I had 80-year old bone density. We needed to find out what was wrong with me in a natural way. I wasn't going take medication and we wanted to reverse my bone disease. We found out micronutrients matter, people. Vitamins, minerals, essential fats. So, we started really delving into these. And after two years, we were able to completely reverse my osteoporosis. It came down to eating better-quality foods, supplementing, and having better lifestyle habits. So, after doing that, we wrote “Naked Calories”. We wrote Naked Calories and we traveled around the world for six years, kind of in a Weston A. Price mission. And after, well first, we got married, and then we traveled around the world together. And basically what we found out was that micronutrient deficiency is the most widespread and dangerous pandemic going out across the world right now. It's basically the cause most of the lifestyle diseases and health conditions that were debilitating our country and around the world today. And that was “Naked Calories”.
And people started asking us, “Okay. I understand you want us to eat better-quality foods, but where do we find them?” And we got so many people asking us that constantly that we really started just making a list like you do for your clients and for people you know. “This is better than that,” and it just started growing and growing to the point that we were like, “You know what? There is nothing in this space. Nobody has answered the question of where to find better foods yet.” And by better food mean, rich foods, or foods that are rich in micronutrients and that are devoid of the potentially harmful ingredients of which we name 150 in the book.
Ben: Right. Right there in the beginning of your book, you've got kind of a cool comparison. Because when I first saw this book, I thought, “Well, why not get Men's Health, “Eat This, Not That”, 'cause they have this whole comparison of the nutrition facts label on one food versus another. And you have a really good point in your book about why you've got to go beyond that nutrition facts label, and the example that you use is Lay's Classic Potato Chips versus Baked Lay's Potato Crisps. Can you go into why you would be in trouble if you were just turning those around and comparing the nutrition facts on 'em?
Jayson: Yeah. So, you mentioned “Eat This, Not That”, and that's really our competition in this space. But like you said, “Eat This, Not That” focuses in on calories, fats, and sodium. And we think that the time for that, there's a time and a place for it, but it's kind of gone. What we want to really focus in is on food quality and the micronutrient levels. And then like Mira said, the non-inclusion of what we consider to be poor food ingredients or ingredients that could be potentially dangerous. So the Lay's and the Baked Lay's are a perfect example of a company, this is both done by Lay's Potato Chips. They have their Classic Lay's, which everybody knows is just potato chips. They come in a shiny bag. It's the same chip you've been eating since you were a kid and your parents have been eating since they were a kid. And now you've got the new Baked Lay's, and it's got this huge “BAKED” across the front of the billboard, which we call the front of the package. It's got some kind of, it looks an official-looking symbol that says “No Preservatives” and, what does it say on here. It says “No Preservatives”…
Mira: “No MSG”, “Now All Natural”.
Jayson: “No MSG” and “Now All Natural”. So, it's got this little sticker on there that makes it look like the old chips aren't very good anymore. And when you turn it around and you look at the ingredient list of this particular food, I'm sorry, the nutritional value, which is where “Eat This, Not That” tells you to go, it shows you that they've lowered the calories from 160 to 120, so, that's a 25% reduction. They've lowered the sodium from 170 milligrams to 135, a 21% reduction. They've reduced the amount of fat from 10 grams to two grams, that's a huge 80% reduction. So, it checks all the boxes for being a “healthy food” by the “Eat This, Not That” standard. But what they forgot to tell you is that it increased the sugar content, increased the carbohydrate content. And it went from using just three basic ingredients, potatoes, vegetable oil, and salt, to using six ingredients, dried potatoes, which are not even real potatoes anymore. They don't just slice the potato, this is potato flakes. These are somehow weird, dried granules that they've pressed together. Corn starch, sugar, corn oil, salt, soy lecithin, and corn sugar. So, now we've got six ingredients, we've got corn and soy in this potato chips.
Mira: GMO nightmare.
Jayson: When “Eat This, Not That” named these potato crisps their go-to choice, this is what they said, “Baked Lay's represents the classic potato chip at its absolute best.” And we think there's something very wrong with this society that tells you that all you got to do is just find the lower calorie, lower sodium, and lower fat chip, and that equals health. It doesn't equal health. We don't want genetically modified soy and corn in our potato chips. We want to find a potato chip, if we're going to eat a potato chip, that has organic potatoes, is done within a coconut oil, and uses unrefined salt. That's what's healthy in our opinion. So, we do go into that in this book. We tried to delve in and we tried to educate the consumer and try to make them from looking over here all the way left, which is where we kind of been brainwashed to look, we want you to look at the food quality, which happens to be 180 degrees all the way right.
Ben: Right. Gotcha. So, yeah. I mean, just like you illustrated, if people just look at the nutrition facts label, yeah, they made a bunch of really, what on the surface look like cool adjustments to the classic unhealthy chip and, yeah, I mean when you look at it, the new chip does have some changes made but you guys dove way into how to go above beyond just those numbers and those facts in the book. So, I think that's…
Mira: It always to go all the way to the ingredients list. That is the last bastion of hope for a health-conscious individual. So, we say divide and conquer. Get past the first part, which is the billboard, that's the packaging on the front, and what they're trying to tell you there. Get past the nutrition facts and get to the third part, which is the ingredients list, 'cause that's where you're going to find the truth.
Ben: Yup. Okay. Cool. So, let's jump into the ingredients list. Now, you go over a ton of stuff in the book in terms of some of the main things to look for and some of the things we've talked about on this podcast before like artificial sweeteners and you list a few on there that I actually wasn't really familiar with like Neotame, artificial colors, and MSG. But then you get into a chapter that you call “Villainous Variables”, and there's actually some stuff in there that I think a lot of people don't really know to look for when they're looking at the ingredients label, like wouldn't know to avoid. What do you think are some of the more common villainous variables that we're going to see in foods that people may not have known to look for on ingredient labels?
Mira: Yeah. We actually found a bunch of, by villainous variables, meaning things that are banned in other countries because they are so dangerous, the countries have said, “No more. We're not going to have it in our foods.” And yet, the US has absolutely no problem with putting it in our foods. One of them is BVO, it's getting a lot of news lately, a lot of play. BVO is brominated vegetable oil, and by brominated, that's bromine that's actually in the product. It's corrosive and it's toxic, it's really bad for the body. But one thing is that, what it causes is a brominated thyroid. And that means elevated bromine levels are implicated in every single thyroid disease from simple hypothyroidism, to autoimmune diseases, to cancer. That mean that basically, you're not allowing the iodine to get into your thyroid, you're going to cause health problems. Now, it's banned in a hundred countries, it's found in a lot of our beverages here in the states, and even our own FDA actually only allowed it “on an interim basis until some more studies to be done”. That was 42 years ago. They haven't yet decided. Although a hundred other countries have decided it's not safe, they are still sort of uneasy about this decision. So, we just know that it's really bad for people and then we have to, it's our responsibility to understand what that is when we see it on a label, to leave it out of our cart 'cause we can't wait for the government to make these changes. Obviously, they're slow-moving.
Ben: Right. Yeah. It makes sense. And I know that brominated vegetable oil, like I think Gatorade just came under attack for that, and I think they ended up taking it out of their sports drink, but it's in a bunch of other sports drinks and I know that's a…
Mira: Yeah. The thing is they're owned by Pepsi, and they took it out of their's, but they didn't take it out of their other brother and sister companies. Like Amp still has it. Same…
Jayson: Mountain Dew.
Mira: Mountain Dew still has it, and they're the same exact company. So, it's kind of like, “Hi, we're guilty over here. But we're just not going to, we didn't get any heat yet, so we're still going to leave it in these products.”
Jayson: Yeah. It just goes to show that these companies aren't interested in our health. What they're interested in is they're getting away from bad press. You're absolutely right, they took it out of the Gatorade, they came out, “Look at us! Look at us! We're taking out of Gatorade. We're listening to you, the people.” But they know perfectly well it's in their other products. If they really wanted to do something about it, they'd take it out of all their products. They haven't done that, they're not going to do that, and I think it speaks volumes as to exactly how manufacturers feel about the health of this country.
Ben: How about thickeners, like emulsifiers and stuff like that? Are there things that people should steer clear of that tend to be in a lot of these canned or processed foods?
Jayson: Yeah. I mean, one of the big…This is kind of one of the ones that I think is tricky on the label. You often see it as mono- and digylcerides. Now after this big scare with the trans fats and making sure that they're trying to take trans fats out of our food. And, of course, whenever you see trans fats in the label, at least most Americans now realize that that's bad, and that comes from partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated soybean oils or vegetable oils in general. And these are man-made trans fats that we're talking about. We're not talking about the good trans fats like CLA, which is a naturally-occurring conjugated linoleic acid found in grass-fed meets and things like that. But now they've created something different, they've found a loophole, and this is, the mono- and diglycerides is listed under an emulsifier. So, it's not technically a lipid. So, it doesn't have to be put under the fat category on the nutrition label, which is the subcategory of that fat is trans fats. So, it doesn't have to list them, but you can put 'em in there is much as you want to. The mono- and diglycerides are made the exact same way. They are created when hydrogen gas passes through heated, hardened palm oil, and this creates trans fats in the process. And when they put those on the label now, they've just been popping up over the last few years, it's hidden trans fats in the food, and this is something that health-conscious people definitely want to be aware of, and we pointed out here in “Rich Food, Poor Food”.
Ben: Yeah. And I didn't know that 'til I was reading you guys' this book, and I'm pretty geeked out when it comes to nutrition and picked up some stuff like that in here that I didn't actually know. So, you have a bunch of chapters that you go into after you kind of go over some of the things that we really need to be careful of when you're looking at ingredient labels, which for any of us who ever shop at a grocery store, were going to end up doing every now and again. It's pretty hard just to like not have labels at all. You get into the different aisles of the grocery store, like the dairy aisle, and the meat aisle, and the produce, and all that jazz. You start off with the dairy aisle. What do you think, in terms of the biggest dairy mistakes that people make when they're grabbing dairy, yogurt, milk, eggs, whatever, from their typical local grocery store, what are the biggest dairy mistakes that people make?
Mira: Organic versus non-organic. And that's the difference between a big link to cancer and not having that. Non-organic dairy cows are given RBGH or RBST, which is a synthetic hormone to make them be more productive. And it's only really 10% more productive. So, really that needless, we should not be giving this. It's not just bad for the cows, it's horrible for the humans. The cows end up lame and they end up with infected udders. If you can imagine milking a cow with infected udders, that's the milk you're drinking if it's non-organic. Besides, if the gross-out isn't enough, the fact is it also increases IGF-1, or insulin growth factor-1, up to 70%. Now that's been linked to cancer, all sorts of kinds of cancer in humans who drank the milk. So, overnight, as they all said that it's the fact that they were drinking milk, and this, and that brought about the cancer. It's what we've done to the animals and it's what we've done to the products that is leading to our own demise, that's leading to our own illness. And so, that's one of the quick changes you can make is just buy that organic dairy as a first step to protect yourself in that way.
Ben: Now, in terms of dairy, even when you're looking at organic, what if you want to take it to the next level? Are there other things that you could look for that go above and beyond just choosing organic over non-organic if you want to go from good to really good?
Jayson: Yeah. I think one of the big mistakes is people also just mistake grass-fed and organic. Grass-fed means something very specific. It means it's 100% grass-fed. And of course, what we really want to look forward to is we want it to be 100% grass-fed dairy, and that's going to help to get all those micronutrients that come from the grass, we talked about the CLA earlier, that comes from eating the grass. So, cows are grass eaters. I know your listeners know this, but somehow the government has fooled 95% of middle America to think that grain-fed beef is the healthy beef. It's not the healthy beef. We want to be eating grass-fed meat and we want to drink grass-fed milk. But grass-fed milk does not mean organic. So, if you want to take it to the top step, you want that grass-fed milk and the organic milk that's going to keep it hormone-free, antibiotic-free, free of GMOs, free of pesticides, free of synthetic fertilizers, free of those hormones that Mira talked about, and it's going to give you your highest micronutrient value. And that, for us is, that's what we shoot for.
Mira: We can up it even more than that, Jay. We can also say that we want it non-homogenized.
Jayson: Well, yes.
Mira: And absolutely. We could keep adding to this list of things that you can look for. It gets harder and harder to find these in the grocery store the more we add these extra perks in. Homogenization, we want to get rid of pasteurization, we want to get rid of. If you asked us what kind of milk we drink…
Jayson: Our number one pick.
Mira: Our number one pick in the “Steer Here” section is basically milk directly from the cow at the farm where we know the farmers. So, it's unpastuerized, it's raw, it's obviously not homogenized, it's grass-fed, it's organic, and that's going to offer you both the highest micronutrients and also the safest product.
Jayson: Yeah. If you haven't tried raw milk from your local farmers, I urge you to try it. I think that it's completely different than the milk you probably grew up on. So many people are saying, “Well, I can't take milk. I don't digest lactose very well,” raw milk has a lot more lactase in it, which is the enzyme that breaks down lactose. So, oftentimes we don't even have this problem when you're drinking raw milk. And of course, a lot of times, people are really allergic to the homogenization process that regular milk goes through and the pastuerization process as well.
Ben: But the thing that I like about your book is that, 'cause there's so many people I know who are listening who do not freaking have the desire or sometimes the ability to go and hunt down a cow. And what I like about this book is you go into, like you've got Organic Valley Grassmilk, Traders Point Creamery, Creamline Milk, Great Value Organic Milk by Walmart, Meyenberg Goat Milk. You've got a bunch of options in here that would be pretty much okay.
Jayson: Yeah! Oh, yeah!
Mira: Yeah! And the cool thing is we also tell people there's whole area that says “Say No To GMOs” and there's a lot of companies that don't use RBGH, and we actually have a whole list of all of them. And so, sometimes even if you're not buying organic milk, you don't have the money in your budget right now to spend on that, like for example, Walmart, a lot of people don't know this, they have taken it out of all of their dairy. They do not use it. So, there's a lot of tips in here on how to save money on these products without having to go to get the more expensive products.
Ben: Yeah. I think that's cool. And speaking of Walmart, that leads into the next question that I wanted to ask you, and that is meat. How much should we have to worry if we're going to, say, Walmart, Rosauers, Albertsons, Cosco, whatever, for going to those places to get our meat? And kind of as a follow-up to that question, when we were shopping at the typical grocery store for our meat, how can we buy stuff and make sure we're not getting the antibiotics, and the hormones, and stuff like that? Is it even possible, basically, to go to Walmart and get steak?
Jayson: Absolutely. In fact, we eat Jones Creek Beef. That's a name, if you shop at Walmart, you're going to want to know. They are the grass-fed beef people out at Walmart and Kroger. So, you can get it there, Walmart, actually, in my opinion, is perfectly positioned to really become a leader in some of these rich food options because they have their a global company, they have the ability to do it, and they're starting to do it, but they're going to want their shoppers to request these foods. They need to know that the demand is there. So, this Jones Creek just went into Walmart and Kroger's and they're one of our favorite beef companies.
Ben: Gotcha. Okay, cool.
Mira: Yeah. And if you can't do it, like we said, there's always another level. For example, chicken is one of those things a lot of people don't realize how much arsenic, how much antibiotics go into the average chicken. Now if you can get, our favor would obviously be an organic, pasture-raised, air chilled chicken, but that's not available of Walmart yet. If you don't have the money again, like we were saying, to put it into the absolute best quality, we also tell you what tips you do need to know to be practical for you. Buy the white meat because a lot of the toxins end up in the fat. A lot of people think that there's more health in the dark meat 'cause it has the fat, but if you're buying organic, you don't really want to eat the fat. Again, a whole chicken, much cheaper than just buying the pieces. So, we give you lots of little ways to save money as you're moving to the grocery store.
Ben: You just said air chilled. What do you mean by that?
Jayson: So, this is kind of the new craze in chicken. So, typically when chickens go through their processing, they're killed and then they're thrown into these water baths, these chlorinated water baths. They're can communal. And the FDA allows the absorption of water in poultry of up to 12%. Oftentimes, this is where that absorption takes place. And so you don't want to be paying the same price you're paying for your chicken meat for water. So, some companies now are doing something called air chilling where they hang the chickens and they chill them in an air-conditioned unit and it doesn't put the birds in a communal bath, it doesn't have the bacterial potential that the other way does, and it helps for the chickens to taste great, and then they don't absorb any water.
Ben: Interesting. Air chilled isn't a term that I'd come across before, but that's good.
Mira: Yeah. Bell & Evans has a great air chilled chicken. We really, really like theirs. You can definitely taste difference because when you're cooking a chicken, a lot of times, there's a lot of liquid that comes out of it. That's that water that it's been soaked in at the end.
Jayson: Mary's Free Range Air Chilled Organic Chickens and Turkeys both do air chilling now.
Ben: Okay. Cool. Alright. We could geek out on meat forever 'cause I love that chapter of your book. There's some good stuff in there and I do like meat.
Mira: So do we.
Ben: How about produce? What I liked about the produce chapter was you talked about numbers and how these little numbers that they have on a lot of produce when you're shopping at the grocery store, what they actually meal, and you call it the PLU decoder. Can you go into, when we're looking at those numbers, what some of the little tips and tricks we can use are?
Mira: Sure. I'm going to geek out real quick. To pick the perfect piece of produce, put the PLUs to practice. Yeah, that's me being queer. But it's an easy way to remember what the PLUs do. The PLUs basically tell you exactly what you're buying. There's a little sticker that's annoying to take off your fruits and vegetables sometimes. That is a clue. It's not there for any other reason. Obviously, it's there for the people to know what you're buying, but it's really there for you. Start looking at that and paying attention to those stickers. Anytime you see a four-digit code that starts with a three or a four, that means it was grown conventionally. So, that means it was grown with pesticides and chemicals, and there's certain times that's okay, and then there's certain times that's not okay, but we'll explain that a little after. If you see five-digit code that starts with a 9, bingo! That's organic. And that means it was grown without chemicals and pesticides, and that is always a safe choice. Sometimes an expensive choice that you can do without, but we'll get to that one later too.
The last one is a five-digit code that starts with the number 8, and that's the big old warning. That's genetically modified fruits and vegetables that's grown unnaturally through genetic modifications. Currently, there's not so many things that you have to worry about, but the list of what they're currently genetically modifying is astounding. So, that's going to be your Hawaiian papayas. It's going to be your zucchini, your crookneck squash, your corn. I don't think you're going to find [0:24:31] ______ at the store, so I think we're safe there. So, basically those are going to be the vegetables that you're really going to have to worry about. But if that's if you see an eight and find a five-digit number.
Ben: Okay. So, be careful of the eight and the five-digit number. The 9 is the good one because that shows organic. Anything else…
Mira: It's nice to have a nine.
Ben: Any other biggies with the PLU decoder or are those kind of main things to remember?
Jayson: Yeah. Those are the main things to remember. And this is as close as we're going to get right now to labeling GMOs. There's a quote that's on that same page, and this is by the president of Asgrow Seed Company, which is a subsidiary of Monsanto's. And he said, “If you put a label on genetically engineered foods, you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.” And that's the way the manufacturers are looking at it. That's why we lost that proposition in California. They spent millions upon millions of dollars to stop the labeling of genetically modified food. They don't want Americans to realize that, literally, we're surrounded with this frankenfood. But these PLUs will help you to do it.
Another tip that I think a lot of people that, I'm an athlete as well and I'm a certified sports nutritionist and I deal with a lot of athletes, and one of our favorite vegetables are those zucchinis and crookneck squash. We think we can eat these. They're great. We cook 'em up real fast and they're easy to have at night, no starchy carbs in there. But America grows 25,000 acres, that's a lot, that's a ton of zucchini and crookneck squash. 25,000 acres, genetically modified. This is not something we're thinking about when we eat at the restaurants or when we're preparing these things at home.
Ben: Now, let's just say that I've got vegetables and I didn't get the organic version or I want to really make sure that I don't have pesticides and herbicides on them. There's all these different kind of vegetable washes that you can buy at the grocery store. And you guys have a little recipe in here for making your own vegetable washes.
Mira: Yeah. You can save your money.
Ben: Fill us in.
Mira: We have a really easy recipe because we have a study in there that actually shows what happens to the different pesticide and the dirt that's on there using different things, just cold water, anti-bacterial soap, water, scrub with a brush, and just rinsing water, and you really do need to have some sort of vegetable spray. So, what you can do, and I'll just tell your listeners right now, is a cup of water, a cup of white vinegar, a tablespoon of baking soda, and a half a lemon. And when you mix them all together, just be careful because the baking soda is going to make the water and the vinegar sort of erupt.
Jayson: A volcano.
Mira: A little volcano there. So, you just add it slowly. You keep it in a spray bottle, you spray it on your vegetables, you let it sit there for about 10 minutes, and then you just rinse it off, and then they're going to be nice and safe, and they're going to be clean fruits and vegetables.
Jayson: Yeah. It'll get rid of the pesticides and also the wax coating that we put on so many of our, I mean, obviously apples and these type of things don't come off the tree shiny. But in the grocery stores, they're all waxed up, you're going to want to get that off of there, especially if you're going to eat the skins. So, this wash will help to do that too.
Ben: Awesome. Okay. Let's go into the condiments chapter. I'm probably not the only person out there that's a mayonnaise fan. And of course, when I initially found out, and I knew this before I read your book, but a lot of mayonnaises use canola oil or soybean oil, and those are not only chock full of fats that are not all that great for you, but also, and I did learn this from your book, that those are two pretty GMO-laden fats as well. There are mayonnaises made with olive oil, but what really caught my eye was that you actually have a recipe in here for making your own mayonnaise, and it looks a lot easier than I think what people may have the impression of making your own mayonnaise would involve. So, how do you actually make your own mayonnaise if you don't want to buy it from the grocery store?
Mira: Well, this is one of the, condiments was one of the aisles where the grocery store has just fallen down really badly. So, you'll find a lot of recipes in Rich Food, Poor Food in the condiment aisle. For this, ketchup, horse radish, and basically all of the condiments are going to be found here. Mayonnaise is so simple and it terrifies most people because most people have tried it once and they tried it literally sitting there with their whisk, and the egg, and trying to get the little bit started, and getting it to thicken. It is a nightmare to do it that way. I mean, I can tell you, I've tried it that way, we will never make it that way again. It takes us two minutes, maybe tops, in the blender, and we've tried numerous blenders, it's not just that we have a Vitamix, and it works in our old blender. And we have the recipe in here, I'll be happy to go over it, but you can use some cool different options. Sometimes we use coconut oil and olive oil combination, but other times when we're just, sometimes when we don't feel like having olive oil 'cause it's got a very specific flavor, we'll do MCT and coconut, and that's the one of the cleanest-tasting mayonnaises you can make. It's really, really amazing. And we make a big jar of it. Not the recipe in the book. We like make four times that, and then we take a little bit out and we flavor each of them differently. So, we split into four containers and we'll make like a…
Jayson: Curry mayonnaise.
Mira: Curry mayonnaise, a…
Jayson: Like a Cajun rub mayonnaise.
Mira: Blue cheese dressing. And that's a great thing to do because, basically, you can start with one big base and then just add some different things into it. And I've got an assortment of really great safe toppings. And people can come to our website, we're going to have the video of us making it right in our Rich Food Resource Center so that people can see we're not kidding, it works every time, it takes two minutes, and it's fail-proof.
Ben: Nice. And it looks absolutely delicious. Yeah, you did make a good point there though, that a lot of condiments, it's almost worth it to go out of the way and kind of make your own. And it's easier than I think a lot of people may think. But you still do have a few listed in here that are okay. Like for example, ketchup. There are brands, aside from Heinz, that are actually decent. What is it that makes a good ketchup a good ketchup?
Jayson: Well, for us, it's a combination of things. We want to make sure that those tomatoes are organic, and that's because tomatoes are on the Terrible 20. So, again, when you think thin skinned fruits and vegetables, anything that a pesticide could go through and easily get into, then those are going to be things that are going to be really susceptible to pesticides. So, we want to make sure it's organic. And for us, were real sticklers on sugar. Sugar is one of those everyday micronutrient depleters. It's just all kinds of negative ramifications to do with sugar. Now, almost every ketchup had some. And because the choices that we chose were organic, sometimes in the book, if we can't find something, we'll put something on red. And so, some of our choices, like the Muir Glen, and the Wegmans, and the Annie's Organic Ketchup, they're great. They've got high lycopene content, they're organic. They checked all the boxes except they still have a little bit of sugar, and then we highlight that in red for you. But there is one brand, Rejuvenative Raw Live Ketchup.
Mira: It's really awesome.
Jayson: What I love about it is it's a probiotic too. It's a raw and live. It's sugar-free, it's organic, it's phenomenal. It's really good.
Mira: It's purple! Yes, it's purple.
Ben: So, it's a probiotic ketchup?
Jayson: Yeah. I mean, talk about a superfood. It's great.
Mira: Their products, a lot of people don't know about them yet. Another cool thing is we have a coupon for this product. We have a coupon for all the Rejuvenative products, and they kick butt. I mean, they're all probiotic products. There's a salsa that's probiotic. Really interesting stuff.
Jayson: Yeah. And we also have a recipe for a ketchup on your own. Now if you haven't made a homemade ketchup before, it's super easy and you make it, and wonder, “Why didn't I do this?” I actually like it when it's warm, when it comes right off the stove. It's delicious. You can make it with your own tomatoes or just an organic tomato paste that we recommend. And again, it's one of those simple things that everybody should be doing. If you have like 15, 20 minutes on a Saturday afternoon, you can make mayonnaise, you can make mustard, you can make ketchup, you can make a couple of these things literally in 20 minutes with a blender, and you've got them stored up in your refrigerator for the week.
Ben: Nice. I like it. Okay. So, let's go ahead and move into grains. And we have a lot of healthy listeners that listen into this show that, for example, heard my interview with Dr. William Davis about how wheat is not all that good for you, and I think a lot of people are kind of realizing more and more that grains might not be the best thing for your body in many cases. You had a few interesting anecdotes in your book though, and one of them was about the way that they make some of these grains into shapes, and this was something new to me. Cheerios, and macaroni and cheese, and stuff like that. How is it exactly that they form those into their shapes?
Jayson: Yeah. That's in one of our little “Food for Thought” sections. So, as you go through the book, anytime we've found something that we thought, well, we can't find out where it fits in the book, but for inquisitive people like all of us, I just thought it was really interesting. You get these things like Cheerios or these macaronis, how are they formed in the wagon wheel shapes or letter shapes, like when we were kids we used to eat, what is it, Campbell's Chicken Soup, or Alphabet Soup, and all that stuff. So, there's a process…
Mira: You just aged yourself.
Jayson: Yeah. I guess I did. The excrusion process.
Jayson: Yes. Extrusion process. They use a pre-conditioned mix and they pass it through and extruder, which just means a very long tube where it is forced through a dye mould into its desired shape and it's cut to the desired length. But the problem is there's a lot of heat given off during this process. And any time you think about heat, you want to think about things like pasteurization and heat is a micronutrient depleter and it also is a denaturer of proteins. Anytime we change the shape or denature of the shape of a protein, then it basically just throws it off. It doesn't work the same way in the body. And this process does this. This process, it's used in, oftentimes, in cereals, pastas, cookie doughs, french fries, baby foods, even pet food uses this process. So, it's just one of those processing…
Jayson: No-nos. When you think about what's really wrong with processed foods, it's just one of them that we don't think about often, that a lot of foods go through this process.
Ben: Interesting. That was just something…
Mira: You don't see foods in nature shaped like hearts or letters.
Ben: Yeah. And I love the picture in your book where you have the picture of the cereal box with the huge list of ingredients like GMO corn syrup, and caramel color, which is a possible carcinogen, and sugar that's from corn meal, and sugar that's from whole wheat grains. And my question for you is for the person that does actually want to get a box of cereal and have that box of cereal with, maybe, one of those milk choices that you have in your book, is there anything out there that would be acceptable at a grocery store that someone could have?
Mira: Yeah! We've found cereal.
Ben: Alright. I'm all ears.
Mira: Absolutely! We're not against cereal. Yeah, we're not against cereal. A lot of people want to get that higher carb breakfast in before they're going to go do something active. A couple of our favorites, there's one called Lydia's Organic Sprouted Cinnamon Cereal. First of all, everything is wheat free that we talk about. Lydia's Organic is made from all sprouted seeds and nuts. Incredibly cool! It's a vegan food. But they've actually gone not just putting seeds and nuts in it. They've pre-sprouted them so that all the anti-nutrients are gone. It's sweeter-free, it's organic. It's really amazing. There's Louise's Grain-Free Granola, which we just featured on Fox this week. They use chia, which adds an extra boost of omega 3. Again, that one's sweetened with stevia and it uses a coconut flour and some chia flour. Sometimes, you can get chia and hemp, like the Nature's Path Superfood Cereal. That actually has buckwheat, which is obviously, it's a seed, not a grain. So, that's so cool. Cream of buckwheat, if you're like me, you like a creamy, warm cereal on a cold day. Pocono brand Cream of Buckwheat is fantastic. So, we have, I think, five or six different cereals in the book that we gave thumbs up to. We gave a seal of approval.
Jayson: Yeah. Even if you want flakes, we've got quinoa, Ancient Quinoa Harvest Quinoa Flakes. So, it's just like corn flake or something, you just pour in the bowl, and that's at our local grocery store at least.
Ben: Nice. And that's what I like is, again, and throughout the book, there are things that kind of allow for if you do want to get something at a grocery store and, a lot of brands in here that I wouldn't have thought of. And I would imagine with some of this stuff, you could just order it off Amazon as well, like some of these quinoa flakes and stuff like that. Have you guys been able to find some of this stuff on the internet?
Jayson: Well, absolutely. And we've got certain sections in here as well for the online section. We did that a lot for the meat. But we're opening something called The Rich Food Resource Center. It opens up on February 26th. People can go sign up for it now. But when they go into the Resource Center, we're going to have all kinds of interesting things. And one of the things that we did to help people save money was we went to the rich food manufacturers and we said, “Guys, we need coupons for the good food. There's plenty of coupons for the Twinkies, and the Ho Hos, and the chocolate chip cookies, and the ice cream, but where are the coupons for the good cereals, and the good meats, and the good cheeses?” And so, about 75% of the companies came up to bat. They gave us the coupons that we're going to offer exclusively to Rich Food, Poor Food readers. So, for instance, that Louise's Grain-Free Granola Cereal, they're offering 20% off their cereal. This is a grain-free, wheat-free, sugar-free, preservative-free, GMO-free cereal that is delicious. You can use it as a snack, you can pack it in your kid's lunch, you can use it for breakfast, you can put it in your yogurt. It's great! And we've got a lot more things for people to discover in that Rich Food Resource Center as well.
Mira: Yeah. And rather than going online all the time, one of the other things in there is a request list. It basically has the… what is it? The CPU codes?
Jayson: The UPC codes.
Mira: I get that wrong every time. One of these days, I'll learn those letters. The UPC code for every single product that we recommend. And what we want people to do is print it out, circle the products you want, and go to the grocery store and request them. Because the grocery store, look, they're just trying to make money, and it's supply and demand. So, if you turn in the foods you want, if enough people start doing this, we can make a change in the grocery store itself and actually have the good foods that we want being brought in so that we don't have to spend the money on shipping it from Amazon and everything else. We can actually just have them stock it.
Ben: Okay. Great. Cool. So, I wanted to, since we have time, get into a couple of other things. One would be seeds and nuts. There are, if you duck down the snack aisle of the grocery store, a ton of different seed and nut and trail mix options. So, if you're trying to choose which one is best, are there certain things to look for when you're choosing something like a trail mix or like packaged seeds or nuts?
Jayson: Yeah. I think so. I mean, when I think of seeds and nuts, they're a natural food, they're such a powerhouse food. I think they're a really go-to choice for a lot of athletes 'cause they're easy to pack with you. But I think we forget to look at the ratio between the omega 3 and the omega 6 fatty acids in nuts and seeds. And so we created a, on page 229 in our book, there's kind of a diagram where you can look at how much omega 3 to how much omega 6 there are in your certain nuts. And we don't like to get that omega 6 too high because sometimes that ratio is so great, of omega 6 to omega 3 in your nuts, and we eat oftentimes so many of these nuts and seeds that it's very hard to get the omega 3 ratio back up in other foods during the day. So, I think that's an important point. And again, a lot of times too, when you buy prepackaged nuts, they've put canola oil and soybean oil, you don't want that stuff. And their salt, make sure it's unrefined salt, and most times it's not. BHA and BHT, those are two of those villainous variables. That's the butylated brothers. The National Institute of Heath says that BHA is reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen. The state of California lists BHA as a carcinogen. Why do we want to put it into our nuts? So, just read the ingredient list. Of course, Rich Food, Poor Food guides you perfectly to find the snacks that don't contain these things. But if you're out in the grocery store and you remember some of these things, flip it over, if you see it on the ingredient list, put it down yet.
Mira: And also, there's a lot of companies out there doing sprouting, and that's for you. If you don't want to, I mean it's not hard to sprout your nuts, people. Basically, just soak 'em in water.
Jayson: We have a recipe on how to do it.
Mira: We tell you exactly how to do it, we tell you exactly how much salt you need to put it in and how long it has to soak. It is very, very simple to do, but you have to imagine that basically these nuts don't want to be eat by bugs, so they have all these things to protect themselves. Those same things that they protect themselves are not good for the human body. So, if we sprout them, we get rid of some of these anti-nutrients, and now they're better for you. What we'd like to do is if you don't have the energy to go and do that yourself or you just have a busy lifestyle and you just want to buy 'em, there's a lot of companies that are doing it for you now. And we highly recommend that. Because if not, it just binds up so many of the micronutrients, and that's why you're really eating them in the first place is to get that nutrition. So, you just want to sprout 'em if you can.
Ben: Okay. I'm looking at one of these companies in here, the Kaia Sea Salt and Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds. They're organic…
Mira: Ooh! So good!
Ben: Sprouted. Now, are those heated and stuff? I mean, are they roasted or can you eat them knowing that they haven't been exposed to a ton of heat?
Jayson: No! They're sprouted! When they're sprouted like that…
Mira: Yeah. The Kaia is actually by a company called Alive and Radiant. It's actually the same company. And most everything they have is raw, so, I'm going to assume that those are as well. They have great products. They also have it an amazing Kale Crunch, which is absolutely my favorite. They even sprout their cashews, which coat the kale. That's how far some of these companies are going.
Jayson: Yeah. And one of our favorite foods on this page too, for people who like potato chips, here's a healthy choice. If you're like us, you've got parents, you've got friends, you've got brothers, you've got sisters, and these people still eat junk food. I mean, constantly, we're always trying to say, “Eat healthy!” And they're like, “Well, I love 'em! I want to eat 'em!” Well, here you go! Jackson's Honest Potato Chips. Organic potatoes, unrefined sea salt, organic coconut oil. No soybean oil, no canola oil, it's all non-GMO. An excellent, excellent company, the potato chips are amazing. They're hand-made, hand-packed.
Mira: And delicious.
Jayson: And a coupon. We have a coupon on the site for that one as well.
Ben: Awesome resources in here. Okay. I want to ask one more question, and that is about beverages. Come on. I know you guys love to talk about this stuff.
Jayson: We love to talk about this stuff!
Mira: No. I know. I'm kidding! Beverages! A lot of wasted calories in that department usually.
Ben: Yes. And everybody knows that, like herbal teas are healthier, and you can drink soda water as a way to have a beverage during the day and not be dumping artificial sweeteners and crap into your body. But what about people who like soda? They like pop, and they want the taste of soda, and they want maybe, whatever, the taste of root beer, or Coke, or something like that. Are there any healthy options out there?
Mira: Yeah! We don't knock out anything in your grocery store. We're just making lateral shifts, just to better products. Zevia, it's a soda, it's made with stevia. It rhymes. Some of the flavors still have caramel color, but it's a much better soda alternative. It gets rid of the phosphoric acid, it gets rid of the sugar…
Mira: The GMOs. Then if you like something that's sort of fruity and delicious, I really, really like the Kevitas. Kevita is a sprouted probiotic. Have you ever tasted them?
Ben: I just found them at the Safeway. They're awesome.
Mira: So good!
Jayson: They don't use sugar like a regular kombucha does. She uses stevia to start the process. And it uses four strands of live cultures. It's an excellent product. And it's really, it's like a light soda flavor, and it's delicious.
Ben: I love it. Alright. So, we could go on, and on, and on, but what I would like for you to do, if you're listening right now, is just do me a favor and grab the book. It is going to be one of the better book purchases that you'll make this year. It's just super practical, super handy. Keep it in your car, whatever, if you go to the grocery store, or in your kitchen to help you grab the right ingredients when you're prepping a meal. And like I mentioned, there are certain books that I really like, like the “Nourishing Traditions” for a really good cookbook. I like “The Perfect Health Diet” as a really good way to kind of delve into the science of how the human body should optimally have carbs, and proteins, and fats put into it. But as far as like a grocery shopping guide, this is the best one I've seen. So, I recommend you get it. I will, of course, put a link to it in the show notes to this episode over at bengreenfieldfitness.com. If you want to support the podcast and get it off Amazon, you can click and use that link. And again, the name of the book is “Rich Food, Poor Food”. So, check it out. “Rich Food, Poor Food”. Jayson and Mira, thank you so much for coming on the call today.
Jayson: Ben, it was an absolute pleasure. Thanks so much for having us.
Mira: Can't wait to see you in person again.
The book pictured above is called “Rich Food, Poor Food”.
If you watched my “Top Fitness & Nutrition Book Recommendations of 2012″ video, then you may have noticed this book made a cameo appearance as the top book I recommend to all my clients and athletes when it comes to getting a healthy grocery shopping list and learning exactly how to compare foods at the grocery store.
For example, it turns out that Baked Lay’s potato chips are just as unhealthy as regular Lay’s potato chips.
But you wouldn’t know that by looking at the nutrition facts label.
Instead, you have to delve in and inspect the actual ingredients, and that’s exactly what Jayson and Mira Calton teach you how to do in the Rich Food, Poor Food book.
In today’s audio episode, you’re going take an adventure through every aisle of the grocery store and learn the biggest dairy mistakes, whether you can actually find healthy meat at Walmart, how to use the produce numbering system, delicious homemade mayonnaise tips, what to look for when buying nuts and seeds, how to beat a soda addiction, and much more!
Click here to get Rich Food, Poor Food now – and leave your questions, comments or feedback below, as I’m sure Jayson or Mira would be happy to reply!