When we think of MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate), we tend to think of Chinese food. The sauces that they drench their veggies and noodles in are most of the time jam packed with it, unless they specifically say that no MSG is added to their food (although I would still question that statement). The scary thing is, MSG is in way more food than just Chinese take out. MSG is pervasively hidden under other names and aliases so as to go undetected in products. And I'm talking about "health foods" too. That's why it's SO important to keep on reading those labels!
MSG is a white, salt-like substance made from amino acids. It has little flavor of its own, but is used as a flavor enhancer and is sometimes called an "excitogen". Some people are exquisitely sensitive to MSG, and if they ingest even a small amount, they experience symptoms such as anxiety, arrhythmia, chest tightness, restless sleep, headaches, cramping, depression, diarrhea, sweating, dizziness, or migraine.
The FDA says that MSG is "generally recognized as safe," which is the most ridiculous statement ever created. Riding in a car is generally recognized as safe, but I would clarify that statement by saying riding in a car is generally safe, unless the driver is drunk, teenaged, or texting. Generally recognized as safe is simply a term the government is using to cover their posterior.
These ingredients always contain MSG: hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, plant protein extract, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, yeast extract, textured protein, autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed oat flour.
These ingredients frequently contain MSG: malt extract, malt flavoring, bouillon, broth stock, flavoring, natural flavoring, natural beef or chicken flavoring, seasoning and spices.
These ingredients may contain MSG: carrageenan, enzymes, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate and whey protein isolate.
I've come to the conclusion that you can't avoid MSG. Our food system makes that impossible (again unless you can move to a desert island somewhere and eat only raw foods). MSG is like so many other things that aren't good for you but aren't necessarily going to kill you by themselves. The problem is when you have too many of those things like MSG, transfats, GMOs, sugar, caffeine, etc. All of them together can weaken your system and make you more susceptible to loads of bad things.
So, here is one more reason to eat more vegetables, fruit, grass-fed dairy and meat products! It's one more reason to make your own food and buy food from local farmers you know. The foods most likely to contain MSG are junk food, fast food, processed food, and cheap food. Limit the junk you eat and you'll limit the MSG you ingest. The cool thing about following those guidelines is that you'll get healthier and may feel better!
Lauren Forney, HHC, RYT * Holistic Health Coach * Registered Yoga Teacher
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It turns out gelatin, or as most of us know it better as, Jello, is actually good for you. It's made from the bones and hides (skins) of cows and pigs. Rich in collagen, jello actually gives you beautiful skin, strong bones, teeth, and cartilage. It also helps to repair the gut, making it a great treat for your belly in more ways than one! This great article from the Wellness Mama
goes into more benefits of gelatin along with tons of creative ways to get it into your diet.
Unfortunately, boxed Jello is not a good choice since it's made from feedlot cows and pigs. These animals are fed large quantities of antibiotics and GMO (genetically modified) feed. (Sick animals make us sick when we eat them) It also contains artificial food coloring and additives, and of course, high fructose corn syrup. Uh, no thanks. Here is a modified recipe for Jello. Remember how much fun it was when Bill Cosby introduced Jello Jigglers in the early 90s? Sometimes I use my mustache and star-shaped cookie cutters for jigglers!
I don't recommend using just any old brand of gelatin powder though. Try Great Lakes
brand, from pastured animals and does not
contain MSG. Also, this is one of the few times where I'll say it's cool to use store-bought juice but only if it's organic with no sugar added. (Juice is way too high in sugar and we shouldn't be consuming much of it because of that...if you like it, cut it by adding a splash or two of juice to a glass of water).
It's a great dessert, especially in summer. Ingredients
: (I usually cut this recipe in half, it still yields lots of jello!)
4 cups of your favorite organic/no sugar added fruit juice (my favorite for jello is Cranberry Lemonade)
3 tablespoons grass fed gelatin (keep in mind, the more gelatin you add, the more firm your jello will be (may help for jigglers!))Directions:
Pour juice in a medium size saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin powder slowly over juice and stir. Turn the heat on medium-low bringing juice to a simmer, mixing until gelatin is dissolved. Turn off heat and pour into a 8×8 square baking dish. Refrigerate until jello is set, about 2 hours. Either spoon into a dish to enjoy, or cut out with cookie cutters for fun!
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Coconut Oil Ghee
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