Peanut Butter - The Good, The Bad and the Ugly!

I posted the ingredient lists of five different brands of peanut butter (all popular) on my Facebook page and asked which one you would choose? When I ask this question to my 28 Day Healthy Reboot or my Healthy PREboot participants, more times than not, I hear, "oh crap, I need to change my peanut butter!"

Here are the labels from Skippy and Jif, two popular, family brands.
These labels should scare you! Of course, they are not organic, which I feel is imperative with peanut butter, but they have ingredients that will make you sick.  Sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oils such as rapeseed, soybean and cottonseed oils. These are inflammatory omega 6 oils that are genetically modified and often sprayed with pesticides that disrupt the microbiome.

Don't be fooled by organic either. You still need to read the ingredients. Check out 
Maranatha is a popular health food brand of peanut butter. Check out the ingredients. The company has added cane sugar. Ok, it is organic but is it necessary?  They also add organic palm oil - I do not have an issue with palm oil but the label does not say it was sustainably sourced. This is important if you are concerned about the environment. Do they need to add palm oil? It helps with consistency but is it necessary?

Here are two organic brands. One is from Trader Joe's so the price point is good too.  Notice the ingredients, peanuts or peanuts and salt. Either of these or any other organic brand with peanuts and salt are a good choice. 

To make choosing easier, if you see the label "spread" on the jar, put it back. Spread is code for we have added ingredients you do not want in your jar of peanut butter.
If I am being honest, I am not a big fan of peanut butter, even organic.  Peanuts are a legume, so they contain lectins, a protein that can act like a sugar and affect joints, the brain and digestion. I believe it is especially challenging to those who have compromised immune systems or are already affected by digestion issues, brain fog or joint pain. 

Peanuts are also prone to mold. Mold on peanuts contain aflatoxins which can be harmful to humans, even carcinogenic. Aflatoxins may also aggravate symptoms of people who suffers from mold exposure or have a compromised system. If you research peanut butters that contain mold, you will find most brands, even organic, have been shown to contain aflatoxins. Not all, but many. A shout out to Trader Joe's organic peanut butter which was found to have no aflatoxins.  (Other nuts may contain aflatoxins as well but they are more commonly associated with peanut butter.

Do I eat peanut butter? Once in a while. I eat a protein bar that makes a tasty peanut butter chocolate chip bar a few times a month. Other than that, very rarely.

Should you eat peanut butter? That is up to you! My point here is to inspire you to make the best choice possible. 


Veggie Burgers - Bad Things Can Hide In Pretty Packaging!

Veggie Burgers - Bad Things Can Hide In Pretty Packaging!

If you are looking to avoid inflammatory foods, take veggie burgers off your list...unless you are making them yourself! When it comes to the ingredients in veggie burgers, they are a buffet of inflammation! 

Look at the picture. This burger has two omega six oils, canola and sunflower, two types of corn starch, and sugar. It is also loaded with lectins. 

Here are the ingredients from another popular brand, Dr. Praeger's. This is the California Veggie burger: Carrots, Onions, String Beans, Oat Bran, Zucchini, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Peas, Soybeans, Broccoli, Corn, Soy Flour, Spinach, Red Bell Peppers, Arrowroot Powder, Garlic, Corn Starch, Corn Meal, Sea Salt, Spices. Contains: Soy

Once again, you will find an omega 6 oil, expeller pressed canola oil. Don't let the "expeller pressed" fool you! It is still inflammatory.  This burger is also more of a lectin bomb that the first one. Soybeans, soy flour, oat, string beans, zucchini, peas, peppers and corn.  Soy comes with a whole host of issues on top of being a high lectin. Yikes!  This burger claims it is non-GMO but not organic. Non-GMO is better, but the ingredients wipe out the reason to even look at this burger.

How about Amy's Organic California Veggie Burger?  It is no better except that it carries the organic label.  Here are the ingredients: organic mushrooms, organic bulgur wheat, organic onions, organic celery, organic carrots, organic oats, organic walnuts, organic wheat gluten, organic potatoes, sea salt, organic high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, organic garlic.

Wheat is a gluten and a lectin, oats are a lectin and of course, it has an omega 6 oil(s) in it. Don't let the organic high oleic name fool you here either. Safflower and sunflower oil, organic or not, are inflammatory to the body.

I could go on and on with brands of veggie burgers that are better off left on the shelf, but I will stop with these three.  If you are a veggie burger lover, learn how to make your own. They freeze well and you have complete control over what goes into them.

before I close out my rant on veggie burgers, some of you might be asking yourself what a lectin is and why it is so problematic.  Lectins are proteins found in many plants. It is one of the ways plants protect themselves from predators. Lectins are a sugar like molecule that attack the joints, brain, and/or the digestive system of people who eat them.  Ever have brain fog, bloated belly, or joint pain (think ankles, wrists, fingers and hips)? These are just a few of the ways lectins can hurt the body.

 My programs teach people about inflammatory foods like lectins, night shades, omega 6 oils, and sugar. Things like lectins and night shades affect a certain percentage of the population. I find the especially true of folks with autoimmune diseases. Omega 6 oils and sugars affect everyone.  If you would like to learn more about avoiding inflammatory foods, please reach out to me. I am always happy to help out!

What's in Your Beef Jerky? There are some great alternatives!

Beef Jerky, beef sticks and snack sausages are convenient and tasty...They can also be one of the worst choices you make! If you saw my post, these items can be loaded with sugar, soy, hydrolyzed corn, MSG, wheat, sucralose, and nitrates. The list goes on and on. I will post the "NOT approved by Susan" picture below.

If you are a beef jerky junky (or sticks/sausages), there are healthy options! You might pay a little more, but your health is worth it!  Here are just a few but you can find local brands that pride themselves on clean ingredients. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Paleo Valley is exceptional, online only but offer good sales. 
  • Chomps can be found at many retailers including Trader Joe’s and Costco. 
  • Epic bars and snacks are offered in many retailers in single bars or by the box. 
Other good options include Country Archer Provisions, Biltong, Perky Jerky and Chef's Cut.  Of course, check your local retailers and specialty stores. Many times, there are local brands that are clean and tasty!

I challenge you to read the label on Jack Links and Old Trapper - soy (often part of the teriyaki flavoring), corn, nitrates, sugar - in different forms can be found. Even Cattleman's, which the plain is not bad, had terrible ingredients in their flavored brands.

And Buc-ee's...forget it! Soy in every flavor except one. I think it is a turkey jerky and I do not remember it tasting all that good (Yes, I had to try it!). 
Want to know what's in your favorite brand or find a clean alternative?  go to

Let me know how your favorite rated!  If it is clean, send me the name! I love adding to my stash of clean foods!

Here is the label I mentioned. I found this in a gas station convenience store.

Should You Eat Bugs?

I don't know about you, but the thought of eating bugs, even ground into flour, does not appeal to me!  

The latest craze to get protein is eating crickets.  No thank you and my advice, just say "no!"

I love following Doctor Robert Malone - He is a no nonsense guy and not afraid to be wrong or bring up new science. I feel that is really important as science is constantly changing.

Here is a great substack (an article stored online) by Doctor Malone:

Read it and comment - I can't wait to hear what you have to say!

You Need to Watch Your Spices Too! Look What is In this Expensive Brand

You Need to Watch Your Spices Too!  Look What is In this Expensive Brand
Spices are one place you need to use your label reading skills!  This is a very popular and expensive Carnitas Blend from Pampered Chef.  I know I paid over $10 for this bottle. I wanted to support the person hosting and we love spices.  I never thought I would get it and wish I hadn't.  I love Pampered Chef products, so this surprised me.  

The truth is, it is not uncommon in expensive brands.  Whether it is a food, beverage, a beauty care product or a spice, bad things can lurk in expensive brands.  

I am not sure if you can see the ingredients but the two that would have me putting this back on the shelf are maltodextrin and canola oil.  Maltodextrin can be made of rice, corn or wheat.  This does say it is gluten free so it is probably corn or rice.  This is not an ingredient I like to see. This is not labeled organic so both the rice and the corn have probably been sprayed with pesticides like Round-Up.

Canola oil is an omega 6 oil. Highly inflammatory to the body and known to raise LDL cholesterol.  It is also most likely a GMO product as most omega 6 oils are.   If you see Canola, corn, sunflower, safflower, or vegetable oil on a label, put it back! Even organic foods with any of these. They are slowly killing you. 

We get too much omega 6 oil in our diet and not enough omega 3.  They should be consumed in a 1 to 1 to a 1 to 4 ratio. This is near impossible with a Standard American Diet.

There are plenty of quality spices out there to use. Have some fun. Clean out your spice closet and go shopping for some healthy new ones!

Let me know your favorite spices!  We love to add new ones to our spice closet. 

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