10 & Under

My love of activity goes way back to my childhood. I adored playing outside and spending 3 days a week in dance and gymnastics. During the summertime in Idaho, I swam as often as I could, which thanks to my grandmother was quite often.

As I got older, the activity continued. I've always had a gym membership and started yoga in my mid-20s.

It wasn't until my late 20s though that I started to pay more attention to what went in my body. Don't get me wrong - I knew that the more fruits and veggies you ate, the better. What I wasn't quite aware of was the ingredients in some foods I loved and purchased from the grocery store.

It all started with an infomercial for Barry's Bootcamp. This workout plan looked fun to me, so I purchased it. Along with it came a suggested meal plan for a week.

When I went to the grocery store and started looking at items, I was mortified. It was the bread that astounded me first. 'Why are there so many ingredients?' I remember thinking.

(Just by looking at this bread, you'd think it is very healthy. The plus - first ingredient is whole red wheat flour; the negative - why is this ingredient list a mile long?)

I had never made bread (only pizza dough, so pretty close); I knew that the ingredient list shouldn't being measuring 3 inches.

Next, I looked at dressings, yogurts, and snacks. Each time I looked, I was more surprised.

When I started to talk with people about my findings, I realized that so many people were driven to buy things based on convenience (being familiar with the product) or advertisement. Not many people read the ingredients before making the purchase.

Why would someone start though? Why change what you're eating? When I changed my diet, I noticed I had more energy. (It's one of the reasons I named my company Zestful Vitality.) I was also in a better mood; 'challenges' didn't effect my mood as easily.

So, are you up for increasing your energy and being happy? Can you give it a shot for a week?

You'll start by finding foods with 10 ingredients or less. Whole foods are the best way to go - fruits, vegetables, meats, rice, beans; anything that doesn't come in a can or package. If it does have an ingredient label (even drinks), read it! Do you know the ingredients? Are there less than 10?

(Good job, Triscuit, only 3 ingredients.)

Give it a shot! I'd love to know how it goes for you and what difference it makes in your life.

To your health!

xx Nikki

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