Let’s Talk About… MSG

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Since starting my holistic nutrition course in January I have learnt SO many new facts & tips on healthy and our food. At the beginning of March I started taking a course titled Nutrition and the Environment. I thought I would hate this course but I was seriously wrong. This is my favourite course thus far; we learn so many new things each day, that are extremely eye opening and some what scary. Obviously one of the things we touched on the other day was MSG.

Now I’v known for many many years that MSG is not good for you. So when we started talking about that aspect of it I was not surprised. What really shocked me was how MSG really effects the body AND even more so how hidden MSG can be in our foods. I decided to look upon my class notes and do my own research into MSG to provide you guys with the basics on MSG and the truth behind it.

What is MSG?

Monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG is a food additive that is added to many foods. It is used to enhance the flavours of our foods, thus making them taste better and irresistible.

MSG is an excitotoxin ( I will explain what an excitotoxin is shortly), where glutamate or glutamic acid is the main triggering ingredient. Glutamate easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, stimulating cell death. Now, many people say that glutamate is a natural ingredient the body makes, and that is true. But, the body makes glutamate when it NEEDS to, this is significantly different then flooding our bodies with dietary glutamate.

What Are Excitotoxins?

Excitotoxins are a type of chemical (typically an amino acid) that over stimulates the neuron receptors. These neuron receptors allow brain cells to communicate, but when exposed to excitotoxins they fire impulses so rapidly that they die (meaning brain cell death).
It has been noted that this effect occurs mainly in the hypothalamus and temporal lobes. The areas responsible to control behaviours, emotions, the onset of puberty, sleep cycles, and immunity.

Side Effects Associated with MSG Consumption:

headaches
sweating
numbness/ tingling in the face and neck
chest pain
nausea
weakness
rapid heart beat

The fact that surprised me most about MSG was the numerous titles it can have. You think when looking at a food label if you don’t see the word monosodium glutamate or simply MSG your food is free from this additive… but you’re wrong. MSG has numerous names & I will share some of those with you.

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 Foods That May Contain MSG

processed foods( everything from your morning cereal and protein powder to baby formula)

dairy products (cottage cheese, low fat or no fat milk, ice cream, yogurt)

organic foods are not all free from msg

I also want to share with you some food labels of products that either do contain MSG or could be containing MSG.

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What I conclude from my research is this. You will never be able to completely eliminate all additives from your diet, unless you only eat grass for the rest of your life and I’m sure even that has toxins. The main thing I want to express is to read your labels and at least be aware of what you are consuming. Eating as whole and natural as possible will always be the best way to go and that is how I strive to live my life. As long as you are happy and healthy that is all that you can do!

A Vegan Potato Salad

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This is a recipe I just couldn’t wait to share. I made it on the fly the other day for lunch and boy was it good. It is both vegan, gluten free and very healthy for you, PLUS

It keeps you full all day long, & I am not kidding about this one…

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I had this at about noon and by 6PM I still wasn’t very hungry (which really isn’t like me) so I just needed a light salad for dinner.

To be honest I’ve been obsessed with ketchup lately, & I have been using it on basically everything, so I did put some ketchup on top and it made this dish even better to me… but that is just a side note!

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The ingredient list and process are both pretty simple.

I just used some little blushing belle potatoes, purple potatoes, a tiny bit of almond milk, some garlic, salt & pepper and finally some green onions.

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I didn’t use exact amounts because I wasn’t planning on sharing this but to be approximate, I used about 12 mini potatoes total, 1/4 cup of almond milk and then I just seasoned it to taste with the garlic, salt & pepper.

I simply boiled my potatoes until they were tender, I placed about 5 of them in a food processor along with the almond milk, garlic, salt and pepper, blended that up until it was smooth. I cut up the remaining potatoes, put them in a bowl, mixed in the potato “cream” I had just made and topped it with green onions. Voila I had a winning dish.

Grocery Haul 03.21.15

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Since I spent a week at home recently I had to use up the majority of my groceries, therefore I thought when I got back it would be a perfect time to do a grocery haul. This haul is a really good sample of what I would buy in a typical week.

Like I have stated many times, I am not vegan, nor vegetarian but I do eat a primarily plant based diet that is why I purchase a high abundance of fruits and vegetables.

I am a student so I do have to be budget conscience when I grocery shop. Some of my little tricks are…

1. I  immediately go to the discount rack and get as much of my fruit and vegetables from there, because most of the time the stuff they have on that rack is perfectly fine.

2. The only things I go in knowing that i’m going to buy are bananas, oranges, sweet potatoes, maple syrup (if I need it at the time) and almond milk. As for the other stuff I look for whats on sale at the time and those are the other fruits and veggies that I purchase.

On this trip I spent about $60.00, I do not know the exact price of every single thing I bought and I have already thrown out the receipt but I will list the prices for the things I do remember.

Now, lets get to the haul, I hope you enjoy it!

 

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two packs of ripe bananas ($2.00 each)

1 finger of unripe bananas (.79 cents/ lb)

5 gala apples (.99 cents/lb)

bag of oranges

bag of lemons

2 packs of strawberries ($3.00 each)

canary melon ($1.99)

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1 pack of purple potatoes ($2.00)

1 cucumber

2 green peppers ($1.99/lb)

1 package of celery ($1.99)

3 beets (.99 cents/lb)

7 sweet potatoes (.99 cents/lb) such a steal

1 package of romaine lettuce

bag of blushing bell potatoes

1 head of red lettuce

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1 bottle of pure maple syrup

1 container of original unsweetened almond milk

1 bottle of organic ketchup ( my obsession)