As most of you know about me already, I’m pretty tough on my clients when it comes to processed foods. That’s because 99% of processed foods on the market contains harmful additives, preservatives, refined sugars, trans fats, MSGs, and other harmful chemicals that disrupt our bodies. In my ideal world, we’d all be eating organic fruits and vegetables, ethically raised organic meats, wild fish, while sipping on green juice. But for a lot of people that would be a pretty drastic switch… and I totally get that.
Staying off processed foods is a process in itself. That’s why it’s good to go through it in phases. Start by eliminating ingredients such as: artificial additives, colorings, preservatives, trans-fats, refined sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, and sulfites. Then, once you’re comfortable, take it to the next level.
If your goal is to get off processed foods, then keep scrolling down to see my favorite “clean” picks (in no particular order) of Aleks approved food products. You won’t find anything artificial or bad for you on this list (but please be wary of calories!).
1. Fruit Bliss Sulfite-Free Dried Fruit Packs
Before you include dried fruit in your meal plan, check whether or not it’s been treated with sulfur dioxide, a chemical color preserve used to extend shelf life and retain its bright hues. Sulfur dioxide is a toxic gas which often causes allergic reactions in people who turn out to be sulfite sensitive, especially those suffering from asthma.
Fruit Bliss makes several different sulfite-free, sun-sweetened fruit snacks including Turkish Apricots, Turkish Figs, French Agen Plums, Deglet Nour Dates, and Fruit Bliss Medley. The company chooses high-quality whole fruit which is sun dried without added sugars, then steamed with water to ensure moisture. Fruit Bliss’ products really stand out among most of the typical tough and chewy dried fruit. They are sweet, plump, and have a really nice soft texture. Fruit Bliss snacks are available in re-sealable multi-serving bags or individual serving bags that would make a great part of a kids’ lunch.
If you’re allergic to sulphur dioxide or just want natural foods, you’ll be very happy with these! You can use these juicy fruits to sweeten your green smoothie or homemade almond milk, or simply mix into your oatmeal.
2. Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water
INGREDIENTS: Organic Raw Coconut Water
Harmless Harvest really is the best coconut water currently on the market. Why? Because unlike other coconut waters lining the shelves, this company uses all raw ingredients from young green coconuts which are never heated (retaining it’s delicate compounds and highest nutritional values). The company literally takes the fresh liquid inside the young coconuts and puts it into a bottle. Not to mention using 100% organic coconuts with a a distinctly sweet and nutty flavor grown using traditional organic farming methods.
The company protects that flavor through a cutting-edge, proprietary manufacturing systems including straight coconut-to-bottle bottling and high pressure processing. The best part is that sometimes (if you’re lucky), you may get a pink one. Some bottles turn pink with time due to varying levels of antioxidants, or phenols, interacting with light.
How cool is that?
3. Justin's Nut Butter Squeeze Packs
INGREDIENTS (Classic Almond Butter): Dry Roasted Almonds, Palm Fruit Oil.
Since the very first batch of nuts entered Justin Gold’s food processor in his home kitchen in 2004, Justin’s innovations have transformed the conventional world of nut butters and confections by using the highest quality, most delicious ingredients and a proprietary grinding process.
As a health conscious athlete, Justin felt there was something missing. The fact that most of the on-the-go energy packs intended to fuel his mountain biking adventures were filled with sugar, really frustrated him. Why, he thought, had no one ever packaged a clean protein such as nut butter in an on-the-go squeeze pack? With this, came the next game-changing idea.
The portable squeeze packs have since become a staple for a wide set of consumers who have adapted them to a multitude of needs. Not only are they a portion-controlled and convenient source of protein to take cycling or put in a lunchbox, but they are also a great size for sampling different flavors.
• Maple Almond Butter
• Chocolate Hazelnut Butter • Classic Almond Butter
• Classic Peanut Butter
• Honey Peanut Butter
• Vanilla Almond Butter
• Honey Almond Butter
• Chocolate Almond Butter
4. Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted 7-Grain Flatzzas
INGREDIENTS: Whole Sprouted Grains of Red Wheat Berries, Quinoa, Oat Groats, Rye Berries, Barley, Amaranth, and Millet, Water, Wheat Flour, Sunflower Oil, Vital Wheat Gluten, 100% Domestic Honey, Oat Fiber, Cultured Wheat, Salt, Molasses, Yeast.
What if you could indulge AND eat healthy?
This is the question Jenny and James Marino asked before they endeavored on a sprouting adventure. The Wisconsin based founders, wanted to bring to market the best quality products that are nutritionally superior without EVER sacrificing the taste and pure enjoyment of daily bread. And I’ll say they have succeeded.
Angelic Bakehouse sprouts pure, non-GMO grains perfectly to boost nutrition and digestion, then mixes these freshly sprouted grains right into the dough and bakes it within minutes. Unlike other sprouted breads, the company uses the best of the best when creating our sprouted grain mash. Forget cardboard texture or bland taste – they focus on the quality of ingredients and our unique process to give you the best bread you’ve ever enjoyed, sprouted or otherwise.
PREPARATION IDEA: Spread some tomato sauce, and fresh veggies and beans on your Flatzza, and bake it for 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs.
5. Dorot's Frozen Herb Cubes
All Dorot products are chopped and frozen while still fresh and juicy, thus keeping their natural odor and taste. Just pop out a cube – and return the tray to the freezer. No leftovers, and no mess in the kitchen. Use them in stir-frys, omelets, pastas, healthy dips, soups, savory pancakes, and salads.
6. Hail Merry's Raw Miracle Tarts
INGREDIENTS (Chocolate Tart): Organic Maple Syrup, Dark Cocoa, Almond Flour, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Sea Salt.
Hail Merry is a brand that was born out of the yoga culture. The essence of the brand was formulated over thousands of hours spent on a yoga mat in moving meditation. A spiritual awakening transpired over how to make us feel more connected to our natural surroundings and appreciative of the foods given to us by Mother Nature.
The company offers dessert and snacks that provide people not only an easy way to meet special diet requests, such as gluten-free, vegan (dairy-free), raw, and kosher, but also great tasting products made from pure, mostly organic Non-GMO ingredients.
All of Merry’s Miracle® Tarts are so rich, and decadent that you won’t ever realize you’re eating entirely raw, vegan, and gluten free. That’s because the dessert is truly made out of the best stuff on earth. The chocolate version is filled with a heavenly ganache made with coconut oil (instead of heavy cream) and sweetened with organic maple syrup. The crust is made with almond flour and a hint of sea salt. Doesn’t get any better than this. Perfect match between deliciousness & clean ingredients!
Available at any Whole Foods, or for shipment on company website.
7. Kombucha Wonder Drink's Sparkling Fermented Tea
INGREDIENTS (Asian Pear & Ginger Flavor): Filtered water, Organic Brewed Oolong tea (filtered water, organic oolong tea leaves), Organic Kombucha (filtered water, organic cane juice, organic oolong tea leaves, yeast and bacteria cultures), Organic Cane Juice, Organic Ginger Extract, Organic Pear Flavoring with Other Natural Flavors, Carbonation.
Enjoyed around the world for generations, kombucha is a beverage that is now gaining popularity throughout north america. Discovered in Eastern Europe and Asia thousands of years ago, kombucha is valued by many cultures for promoting wellness and for its unique flavor and health benefits. Kombucha Wonder Drink beverages include green, oolong, jasmine and herbal teas packed with antioxidants, while the kombucha fermentation process creates beneficial organic acids – acetic, succinic, quinic, lactic, malic, gluconic – to aid digestion and detoxification.
I just love the Asian Pear & Ginger flavor on ice, especially on a hot summer day. If you are having a tough time quitting soda, this may be also be great alternative to start (only 8 g of sugar per can which comes from organic cane juice).
8. Explore Asia Gluten-Free Organic Bean Pastas
INGREDIENTS: Organic beans, Water.
Explore Asian in an innovative brand working hard to bring healthy and delicious solutions to people with dietary needs including gluten-free and vegan. The bean pastas have 20-25 grams of protein per serving and are low in carbs and sodium while high in fiber and always coming out al dente. The taste of pasta with all the benefits of beans!
The delicious gluten-free black bean spaghetti is made from 92% Black Beans and 8% water to create the perfect blend for al dente Black Bean Spaghetti every time. Try it with your favorite curry sauce, peanut sauce, or pesto. Beats brown rice pasta when it comes to texture and nutrition.
BEAN PASTA VARIETIES:
• Organic Black Bean Sphagetti
• Organic Mung Bean Fettuccine
• Organic Adzuki Bean Sphagetti
• Organic Soybean Sphagetti
9. Angie's BoomChicaPop Popcorn
INGREDIENTS: Popcorn (Non-GMO corn), Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt.
As the Huffington Post wrote: “Dump your Doritos, Fritos, and Cheetos!”
Angie and Dan Bastian is a couple who revolutionized popcorn. Angie was a nurse, Dan was a teacher, and they made popcorn. Boy did they ever. At local events, in their small kitchen and into the wee hours, who knew what was coming next?
The couple started selling Angie’s Kettle Corn at outdoor events and soon it became a local sensation. Perfectly sea-salted, this otherwise classic popcorn clocks in at a mind-boggling 35 calories per cup. But that’s not all. This light snack is also free of artificial colors/ingredients, free of cholesterol, free of high-fructose corn syrup, free of trans fats, free of gluten, NON-GMO, and entirely vegan.
• Sea Salt (35 cal/cup)
• Lightly Sweet Sea Salt (35 cal/cup)
• White Cheddar (60 cal/cup)
• Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn (70 cal/cup)
• Caramel & Cheddar (100 cal/cup)
• Salted Caramel (80 cal/cup)
• Sweet & Spicy (70 cal/cup)
10. Food For Life Organic Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Tortillas
INGREDIENTS: Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Sea Salt.
Food For Life takes the time to sprout the grains in most all of their products to release nutrients that would otherwise remain dormant. They use more than 18 grains and seeds from all over the world in a single loaf of bread, so you can benefit from the most nutrient rich, wholesome products out there. The company has developed yeast-free, gluten-free, vegan and diabetic-friendly selections that promote wellness, happiness and assure peace of mind.
My favorite? The Sesame Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted bread and Ezekiel 4.9 Sprouted Tortillas. You can really make some excellent, clean sandwich wraps or tacos. Just remember to keep the product in your freezer since it doesn’t have any preservatives in it.