Check this out:

“They may have been touted as the ultimate diet food during the low-fat/no-fat craze of the late 1980s and 1990s, but don’t be fooled. Rice cakes can have a glycemic index rating as high as 91 (pure glucose has a rating of 100), making it the kind of carbohydrate that will send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride. This is bad for weight loss and for your health.”

That’s right….It is the Rice Cake…my son’s [paternal] grandma’s favorite snack. She likes them too much. Fortunately, I have rejected the taste of them on my tongue even when my son put it on my mouth. I knew there was something to it, like most  American processed snacks. They are too good to be true. 
For one thing, I am so proud of myself. I go to the grocery store, and walk through those aisles with colored juices and processed foods without picking any ONE of them! It is empowering to resist all the temptations of picking up a bag of chips, plantain peanuts, granola bars, chocolate bars, alphabets, a large bag of frozen french fries (at ONLY $2.99) and all of that I call “junk” And they are available everywhere – healthy and regular aisles! Instead, I stuff up on fresh veggies and fruits, 100% juice (but I might be suspending some of it), fresh salmon, eggs, a couple of meatless frozen dishes, oat and corn cereal, almond milk, coconut and soy yogurt (taking a break from Almond yogurt) and canned beans, peas and carrots and garbanzo chick peas. I will not tell you what my bill comes up to. But, think “twice”, what it takes to feed healthy decisions for a family of two. But, eating health is way not under a $100 bill.  Still, I try the best I can to eat as health as possible, shouldering the cost. It is a smart investment, for myself and my son.
I have a five-year old, who needs to grow up with the value of “eating healthy”. I have boasted several times that I homemade ALL my his meals when he started supplementing breastfeeding with solids at six months. I boiled or grilled carrots, squash, peas, apples, plums. Then pureed each on its own to make meals for my son, which I would then froze, and serve whenever he was ready to eat. Since then, I started out on a strict diet for him, primarily vegetarian. I am not much of a meat eater, but don’t be surprised to catch me enjoying a piece or two in places where meat is a routine. Plus, he was lactose and wheat intolerant, and got lots of hardship constipation, and restless days and sleepless nights. Not even prune juice, plums and tomato juice broke it easily.  Plus, because American food is rather bad by international standards- I kept most of it away from him. You know these a whole list of popular American foods and beverages banned in Europe but ONLY served in America, right?
Yet, my dietary routine for my son and I suffers peer and social pressure. Depending on where we are, we might not be able to get certain things and have to supplement. In South Africa, we could not easily find Soy yogurt, except a very small stock in Woolworths, when in was available. So, baby had to adjust to cow milk yogurt. In Uganda, it was predominantly cow milk yogurt, so we settled for the “nutritional content”. In fact, there is so much eating I can really control, especially when I leave my son in the hands of child minders at home, at the neighbors and at school.
 In Norway, he ate his first meatballs in Norway at the daycare, even though I had told then that my son does not eat meatballs. In Uganda, he had plenty of bread and had sugar added to his tea, even though I laid down the script from the start of our arrival in the country. But my objections got “lost in translation”.  I could not help it! So, I made up the excuse was, it was all natural and fresh food, except for a few times I took him out to enjoy American food. Yes! We had our outings at Javas Cafe or Endiro Coffee – the latter being the favorite! for the most part, he fed on corn and millet. Tried to keep rice at a distance – but my family has a different take on eating. They are not into fastidious  “organic”, GMO, fat and no unnecessarily food color eating. Typical of many places around the world that  tend to associate imported processed foods as “better than local”. Think  how well Coca Cola thrives internationally with all its food coloring, caffeine, over and above water – the most healthy natural drink!. 
Which brings me back to rice cakes and gluten free. So, does it mean that, if it is not wheat it is ok? because it is Gluten or fat-free or less fat, then it is supposedly healthy? My son’s grandmother tends to think so. Well, I do not buy into it….and turns out, my suspicions were right on the Rice Cakes. –good for nothing kinda food. So, I will stick to making my own meals or making sure my purchases are too far from these “eat-quick-easy options”. They are harmful to your body and blood system…and can get so addictive. Plus, I will get all my nutrients from fresh and healthy eating. Just because we are back to America with its plenty of options and quick fixes don’t mean we should start consuming it all. Even if it says “gluten free”, I still check on the content table…to make sure the ingredients and nutritional content is right…. and so should you!w

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