Filling Foods Healthy Eating Junk Food Whole Foods

Good or Bad?

There’s a disclaimer at the bottom of this page for a reason. While I do my best to share accurate information that will never be harmful to myself or others, I cannot possibly know the long-term implications of eating processed foods. Many choose to eat organic/whole foods leaving processed foods behind, but is that realistic for me today? Nope…not quite.

I eat more unprocessed foods today than I have in my entire life, but I still like potato chips from time to time. I also like yogurt, cereal and tons of other foods that have been processed in some fashion. Do I eat it everyday? Not all of it, no…but I do eat processed foods on a regular basis.

My idea of health does stretch beyond weight-loss, but I have a long way to go. And I don’t know if I could do it if my goal was to be perfect or to give up everything I’ve ever liked eating. That’s not realistic for me. I believe in moderation which is what has taken me as far as I’ve come. I know that some will disagree, but in my world it’s better to eat the 1 point smoothie that I shared with you yesterday than to eat a serving of Ben & Jerry’s (no offense tastes great.) They’re both processed and equally satisfying, but the smoothie has two servings of fresh fruit. And I can enjoy it while reaching my weight-loss goals.

So I’m no a doctor or a scientist, but I understand that processed foods are not as good for me as natural foods. And while I’ve cut out a substantial portion of processed garbage, I’m not ready to let it go completely. I’m not sure if I’ll ever reach a point in which I refuse to eat low-fat cheese.

All I can do is what I believe is best for me. Ultimately, that’s what this blog is about. It’s not about preaching to anyone to do what I do. It’s about keeping myself accountable from day to day while exploring my thoughts and ideas regarding weight-loss. I’m doing my best today, and that’s enough for me.

How do you feel about processed foods? Are they part of your everyday life? If not, when did it change for you?

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  • Reply
    May 12, 2010 at 5:44 am

    Girlfriend (I can call you that right, even though we've never met?)

    Keep on doin' whatcha' doin'. You are amazing. And putting yourself out here in the big ol'bloggin' world takes lots of courage.

    If you want yogurt in your smoothie then go for it and make no apologies (or feel the need to explain….)

    Love ya babe and keep on rockin' the workouts and make the right choices for YOU!

  • Reply
    May 12, 2010 at 5:47 am

    I would love to eliminate process foods from my diet but it's hard and I like many things because of taste and convenience.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2010 at 5:51 am

    Ah, one of today's great debates.

    I always try to look for the option with the fewest artificial ingredients. Take maple syrup for example. Instead of buying a "flavored" syrup (Mrs. Butterworth anyone?)full of artificial ingredients, I buy pure maple syrup – no added ingredients.

    Hmmm, maybe not the best example when thinking about losing weight and getting healthy but you get my point.

    I wrote about my struggles with trying to provide an all organic, non processed diet to my family back in March. If your interested you can read about it here…

  • Reply
    May 12, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Hungry Girl is answering a similar question in her email today. I eat processed foods, along with whole foods. I think most people in America do. So, I agree with you and Hungry Girl – pick the best choice of the processed foods. Obviously, the less processing the better. I had a nurse practitioner tell me once, "If God made it, eat it. If man made it, leave it alone." I think that's good advice — most of the time.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Lots of talk about this going around. Part of what I like about the South Beach diet is that it promotes eating real, not processed food. I think that it is best to eat that way when possible but okay to have some processed, convenience stuff now and again to make life easier. For me, it is the protein bars that I keep in my purse if I am away from home and really truly need a snack. Lots of unpronounceable ingredients in those. I am working towards not eating processed stuff, but I fine with some in my life. But I sure eat less now on my healthy lifestyle plan than I did before.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I eat a Paleo diet of high fat and protein, very low carb, which translates into very little processing of food. I would love to afford to eat only grass fed meat and free range eggs from animals that haven't been given hormones, etc. Financially, I'm not there yet.

    But my way of eating is not some moral crusade that I advocate for others! People must eat in a way that makes sense for them (including dollars and cents.) If I could eat like you do and feel good (physically), I would. In fact, your style of eating was just fine for me until I hit my late forties. Then I was compelled to find a way of eating and living that fits who I am now.

    So, enjoy! You sound very sensible in your approach. Keep listening to your body and your own good sense.

    I love your blog. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 12, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I eat very little process foods, but there are some that are just to easy to use. I like frozen veggies to stir fry. So I guess you can say I also do a combo so sorts..

  • Reply
    Deb Willbefree
    May 12, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Hmmm. It appears that people have different definitions of what exactly "processed food" means.

    For example, the comment above me seems to indicate that frozen veggies are a processed food item.

    If you read the package and the only ingredient is "cauliflower" for instance, that's just frozen. Nothing has been added. I wouldn't call that processed.

    So, I guess in this debate their are purists and then "relaxed" whole food eaters. chuckle.

    I am a relaxed one. I've elimated most processed food–expecially packaged food. But, I do not bake my own taco shells. Or make my own yogurt–although I no longer eat the chemical-laden yogurt. It doesn't agree with me physically. Aspartame makes me stupid. Really–has an effect on my brain functioning.

    It's the chemicals for me that are at the root of my concern, really. Little more than that.

    I'm trying to avoid making eating healthy food a cause. sigh. I have enough causes already.

    You do what works for you, Kenz. One improvement at a time, girlfriend.


  • Reply
    May 12, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    I eat Milky Ways – lots of them – every day. Oh crap – I don't think that was your question was it? Hmmm….what's organic? LOL

  • Reply
    Jon and Steph
    May 13, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I think that you can do one thing at a time…and I know that "organic is better" but frankly I've been to whole foods. Most of the stuff there is NOT USDA organic which means that only part, some, or none at all is actually
    organic. You can get things there that are the same as those at regular supermarkets, although they cost 2-3 times as much. Not my cup of tea, but then again you know that I am the cheapest person on the planet! I will keep half my money, and the "granolas" here where I live can have their organic!

  • Reply
    May 13, 2010 at 12:10 am

    I try to just be AWARE of what I'm eating. I try to make healthy smart choices but I could not agree with you more. If its not practical for me I won't do it… not for long anyway, and aren't we all in this for a lifetime.

  • Reply
    May 13, 2010 at 1:56 am

    I try to follow the 5 ingredients or at least ingredients I recognize. That means no Hostess 100 calories stuff where the ingredient list is bigger then the contents and stuff like Fiber One bars with chellac in them.

  • Reply
    May 13, 2010 at 4:17 am

    These days its way to hard to stay away from processed foods, I wish I had as much strength as you have shown. Keep up the good work, you must be doing something right!

  • Reply
    Beth @ fatbustermack
    May 14, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    I'm trying to stay away from processed foods, but I've been known to much on a little bit of processed deliciousness every now and again….

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