Sunday, January 29, 2012

Official Book Review: Unjunk Your Junk Food

Here we are at Sunday. The end of another week, and my guess is that many of you are prepping for the new week to come. Perhaps that involves some grocery shopping. And if you're grocery shopping, the odds are fairly good that your list contains a few...shall we call them...snacks. Am I right? Am I also right that some of these snacks might not be so good for you, which is why they might otherwise be referred to as junk? If so, there's a new book on the shelf that might be of use to you.

It's called Unjunk your Junk Food, by Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer. They created a website called Naturally Savvy, which you might already be familiar with as an online guide to natural, organic and green living. This book carries on that tradition by providing "healthy alternatives to conventional snacks."

If I'm being completely honest, the concept of Unjunk your Junk Food very much reminds me of those Eat This, Not That! books. The difference? Unjunk is filled with more information and is even more focused on providing healthier alternatives that lack artificial ingredients and other nasty junk.

That's not to say the other series is no good, but I'm liking this one better...well, it's not a series. But I'm hoping it becomes one. (Hint to Andrea and Randy to keep writing!) Let's dive in for a closer look.

The following is a comparison taken straight from a chapter in the book, "Granola Bars & Other On-The-Go Snacks." I happen to really like the healthy alternative in this case:

As you can see, one of the main things this book hopes to do is educate the reader about nutrition labels. They can, as shown above, be completely deceiving. "The key is to know how to decipher the nutrition label," the authors explain. "Instead of immediately looking  at the quantity (calories, fat and serving size), look first at the quality of the ingredients (nutrients, chemical preservatives, artificial additives, and food colorings)." As you can also see by the example above, it makes a huge difference.

That and other facts and tips are peppered throughout the entire book.

I think my only complaint about the book lies in the fact that many of the healthier alternatives are missing from my local grocery stores—and they all look so good in comparison! But, I am still able to get a better idea of what's good and what's not so good. So even if I can't buy the specific product referenced in the book, I at least know which one NOT to buy. And that, in the end, helps me pick a better option out of what's available to me.

Oh, and did I mention that the book is perfectly sized for a purse or bag of sorts? You could take it to the grocery store with you if you really wanted to.

Click here to download a few sample pages, then click here to purchase a copy of your own.

Question: Have you replaced any standard junk foods in your diet with healthier alternatives? If so, let me know about them in the comments below.

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