Happily Whole

Living well from the inside out

Some Clean Snacks & Reading Ingredients

May 13, 2015, written by katie
Clean Eating Snacks

As we continue on with our 30 Day Challenge, I want to add to your tool box steadily but without overwhelming you. There's so much to say and so little time! SO, bear with me and take one step at a time. Remember, this is YOUR 30 days. There's no benefit in perfection. Instead, look at this as a process. And, as with any process, you'll have some struggles and some successes along the way. I've even shared with you some of my self-sabotaging tendencies! (Here's where I shared...and I hope you completed your assignment, too!)

With all that said, to start the week off with a few more tangible tools in your box, I'm giving some snack suggestions and then covering a couple lists of common ingredients for you to look for (or avoid according to our Tips and Guidelines). 

When it comes to convenient snacking and clean eating, the two ideas truly clash. Most convenience foods come in packaging and contain additives, chemicals, preservatives, GMOs, food dyes and more (all of which we want to AVOID). That's why I wanted to give you a few ideas to look for in the store and also provide you with a list of common ingredients to look for on labels (YES, we all need to read labels!). 

Clean Eating SnacksClean Eating Snacks

The photos here show a few of the items I like to snack on. Each of them has high nutritional density and NO processed ingredients. I'm showing chick peas (aka garbanzo beans) because I love to soak and simply eat them or roast them and eat them like THIS RECIPE or you can make your own homemade hummus with them. The eggs are hardboiled and I'll sometimes grab one for a snack or I often include one at lunchtime for some solid protein. Raw nuts and seeds offer good fats, fiber and protein. So, I sprinkle them on salads or simply eat a small handful when I'm getting those mid-afternoon hunger pangs. Roasting nuts can also make a delicious snack, as in this recipe for roasted pecans. These Lara Bars are about the least processed I can find at a typical grocery store. Although there are others at health food stores. Or BETTER YET, make your own, like these delicious ones: homemade bars: Dark Chocolate, Toasted Seed-n-Nut Bars or these: Homemade Granola Bars, Gluten Free and GREAT!  A piece of raw cheese (permissible in moderation from our list) can be eaten alone or I love to combine that with a piece of fruit. Combining fruit and a protein makes a great snack that nourishes and keeps the blood sugar stable. I also want to mention these freeze dried peas I found at Target. The ONLY ingredient on the label is the PEAS! Yes! I love that. It offers a nice little crunch and peas actually contain more protein than you might think so they make a perfect snack to munch on. 

Clean Eating Snacks

Now these packaged snacks might be a bit less conventional in flavor and texture if you're not used to foods made with raw and/or sprouted ingredients. But, that's exactly what I love about these two brand names! The Seedsters clusters a uniquely nourishing collection of seeds. The Go Raw brand offers tiny round 'cookies' and a several granola varieties. You've got to give them a try to see what you think! These are some of my favorite flavors.

And now, on to a simple, abridged ingredient list that might help you as you look at those labels. This is by far not everything you'll read. But these will give you some general ideas, especially if you're a beginner to reading labels. This first list of grains is not complete, but these are the most common ones you'll find in a general grocery store and some of the most likely to try and dupe the unassuming shopper. Remember, we are avoiding refined flours and sugars and when we DO eat grains, we are aiming for the ancient ones or sprouted grains (see the LISTS POST if you need a refersher on that).  

Common Grains 

Ingredient Name What It Really Means
Unbleached Enriched Flour (Refined) White Flour
Enriched Flour (Refined) White Flour
Wheat Flour (without the word whole) (Refined) White Flour
Semolina / Semolina Wheat (Refined) White Flour
Wheat Pasta (any variety) (Refined) White Flour Pasta
Enriched Macaroni Product (Refined) White Flour Pasta
Whole Wheat / Whole Wheat Flour Whole Grain Flour (made from wheat) 
Whole Grain Wheat /Whole Grain Wheat Flour Whole Grain Flour (made from wheat)
Whole Durum Wheat / Whole Durum Wheat Flour Whole Grain Flour (made from wheat)
Whole Wheat Shell Pasta Whole Grain Pasta (made from wheat)
Whole Grain Soft White Wheat Whole Grain Flour (made from wheat)
Rice Refined White Rice
Brown Rice Whole Grain Rice
Oats Whole Grain Oats (whether rolled, steel-cut, quick cooking, etc.)
Oat Bran Not the whole grain – just the bran 
Whole Grain Corn Whole Grain Corn
Whole Grain Cornmeal / Whole Grain Corn Flour Whole Grain Corn Meal/Flour
Popcorn Whole Grain Corn
Cornmeal / Enriched Cornmeal Refined Corn
Corn Flour Refined Corn
Degerminated Corn Refined Corn
Corn Starch Refined Corn
Quinoa Whole Grain (usually only sold whole)

Common Sugars*

Be on the lookout for just about any term with the word “syrup” or “cane” or ending in the letters “-ose” – those are all pretty much refined (white) sugars that are best consumed only in great moderation and, during the 30 Day Challenge, we are staying away completely if possible ( and afterwards, it's best if not consumed every meal or even every day)!

Ingredient Name What It Really Means
Brown Rice Syrup Refined sugar
Cane Juice / Evaporated Cane Juice Refined sugar
Raw Sugar Refined sugar
Corn Syrup / Corn Syrup Solids Refined sugar
High Fructose Corn Syrup Refined sugar
Cane Sugar Refined sugar
Invert Sugar Refined sugar
Rice Bran Syrup Refined sugar
Tapioca Syrup Refined sugar
Dried Cane Syrup Refined sugar
Dextrose / Fructose / Sucrose Refined sugar
Agave Nectar Refined sugar (in most cases)
Stevia It depends, the leaf itself is obviously natural, but the refined powdery stuff – not so much. Some liquid versions are better

Grape Juice Concentrate / Pear Juice Concentrate/fruit concentrates

Depends on how refined it is – this one is a gray area, but no matter what it’s still a “sugar”. Just be weary. 
Honey This is still “sugar” but does contain nutrients. I encourage RAW and local if possible.
Pure Maple Syrup This is still “sugar” but does contain some trace nutrients and is acceptable in small amounts.

*The important thing here is that MANY products will use 2 or 3 or even 4 different types of sugar so just because you see “cane juice” listed as the 4th item used on the ingredient list – don’t stop there. Keep reading because chances are the product also contains brown rice syrup, honey and possibly some others. If you added all the sweeteners together it could end up as one of the top 3 ingredients (what the product contains the most of).Breaking up the sweeteners like that is no accident.

Artificial Ingredients-Avoid

Ingredient Name What It Really Means
Aspartame Artificial Sweetener
Sucralose Artificial Sweetener
Saccharin Artificial Sweetener
Acesulfame K / Acesulfame Potassium Artificial Sweetener
Neotame Artificial Sweetener
Blue 1 Artificial Color
Blue 2 Artificial Color
Green 3 Artificial Color
Red 3 Artificial Color
Red 40 Artificial Color
Yellow 5 Artificial Color
Yellow 6 Artificial Color
FD&C Lakes Artificial Color
Citrus Red 2 Artificial Color
Artificial Color Artificial Color
Artificial Flavor Who knows what this really is – just avoid it!

Others Worth Mentioning

Ingredient Name What It Really Means
Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil Trans fat (that’s likely GMO)
Partially Hydrogenated [Insert Type] Oil Trans fat


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