Okay, Maybe Not…?

I’ve been thinking about my eating habits and my newly found desire to explore vegetarianism.  And after some thought and some incredible insight from some of you, I think my focus should be on scaling back on the amount of processed foods I eat.  I definitely eat processed foods less than I did two years ago, but I’m ready to take it to the next level.  (I’m also a little nervous about eating too much tofu so I need to learn more about that first.)

Obviously, I know that I should avoid high fructos corn syrup.  That feels like common sense, but in my mind, eating processed foods means eating 100-calorie snack packs, chips, frozen dinners, poptarts and other foods that I try to avoid these days.  And while I may be late to the party, it has never really occurred to me that bread is processed.  Nor have I ever really considered the affects of eating too much soy – something that I believe I’m allergic to.

So I have a lot to learn, and I don’t want to live on vitamin supplements so instead I’m going to work earnestly to learn more about fueling my body with what it needs.  I feel so much better when I limit the amount of junk that I put in my body, and I want that light, not-so-bloated from artificial crap to become my new normal.

I’ve decided that I probably don’t need to become a vegetarian for that to happen though I think I could live comfortably without meat most of the time.  Instead, I’m going to try replacing frozen dinners with vegetable-dense replacements.  I’ll let you know how it goes…

How have your habits evolved since you became aware of your intake?  Are you conscious of the amount of processed foods you eat?

 

 

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Julia
    September 1, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    I think this is great, Kenlie. I am all about eating only “real” foods. Two suggestions would be to watch the documentary Food, Inc. and read the book “Mastering Your Metabolism” by Jillian Michaels. These two things changed the way I eat and both have helped me a lot. Now I eat only “real” foods and when I do eat meat and other animal products I be sure to eat and purchase only high quality. And, I also have an allergy to soy so I understand that piece of it as well. Soy is in everything so if you ever have any questions about how I manage feel free to email and ask. 🙂 ….I would love to be able to help!

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  • Reply
    Kris
    September 1, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    I am more and more aware of the processed foods I eat – reading a couple of Michael Pollan’s books mae me start reading my labels much closer! We no longer use margarine, I scour my yogurt labels (you would not believe the chemicals most yogurts contain!), I’ve switched to natural almond butter (but haven’t given up my commercial peanut butter yet), etc.

    Giving up bread and pasta was more a personal choice – there are good products on the market, but I find that if I eat too many grains I feel bloated and get cravings. Quinoa and oatmeal don’t trigger the same issues though.

    My diet is ever evolving as I learn more and try new things – good luck!

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  • Reply
    Jane
    September 1, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Awesome! What a great decision. I consider HFCS the devil and processed foods are absolutely killing us. I have neither and I am maintaining a weight loss of between 215-220 pounds total for several years now. You can do this. I know you can. I hope you will visit my blog and read some of the posts about HFCS and processed foods. It is not easy at first but it gets better quickly.

    Jane~
    Keepingthepoundsoff.com

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  • Reply
    Carrie@shrinkingcarrie
    September 1, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    I cannot eat bread carbs. at. all. I’m doing Weight Watchers, and it doesn’t matter if I keep it in my points I will not lose if I eat them. It’s the same with most grains, they bloat me and I just don’t lose. I eat a diet high in protein (wether meat, protein powder, or dairy). I have a protein shake for breakfast (after my workout) and I almost always have eggs for at least one meal ( I REALLY like eggs). I see the biggest results when I am eating REAL foods. Lean meats, fruit, vegetables and some dairy. I try to cut out ALL processed foods because I find that when I eat those foods, I crave more of those foods.
    But you have to find what works best for you! Every body is different and some times it takes a while to figure out what your body like and dislikes!

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  • Reply
    teresa
    September 2, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Sounds like a great plan. I’ve been loving Clean Eating Magazine. It’s become my main resource. Lots of good, easy ideas for clean, healthy foods, great recipes and even budget conscious healthy eating.
    You can’t go wrong and I think it would be impossible not to lose weight if you don’t eat processed foods.
    Good luck and enjoy this adventure!

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  • Reply
    Sierra
    September 2, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I agree…..EVERY BODY is different and has different needs. Don’t let people sway or scare you into eating one way or another. Find out for yourself what your specific body needs. It sounds like you’re on the right track!

    I personally cut out all animal products from my diet 14 months ago. I have never felt better! There are learning curves, yes, but I personally believe this is what my body needs. My mom, on the other hand, eats mostly like me, but she has to eat meat. I respect that and know that she knows what is best for her body.

    I believe the next best thing to cutting out processed foods is way upping your vegetable intake. Good luck, Kenlie…..can’t wait to hear about your journey! 🙂

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  • Reply
    Sierra
    September 2, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Oh, and P.S. Complex carbs are essential to brain function. They are the brain’s fuel. What about eating brown rice instead of bread or pasta? Just a suggestion. 🙂

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  • Reply
    Jill
    September 2, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Instead of going full board vegetarian you can always take what you like from it (more veggies, beans, legumes, etc) and work with that. Avoiding processed foods is a great way to go. From your post yesterday and today I get the feeling that you want to try for fresh “real” food, which is a great way to go. 🙂

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  • Reply
    Princess Dieter
    September 2, 2011 at 2:15 am

    I shop 3x a week to keep in fresh produce and proteins (pork, beef, chicken,a s I’m allergic to all seafood and won’t eat tofu due to hypothyroidism ). I make nearly all my meals and focus on FRESH and WHOLE and REAL. I stopped buying canned soups, canned or bottle stuff in general, other than staples like tomato sauce and olive oil and vinegar, mustard, etc.

    My nighttime snacking urges pretty much disappeared after we gave up wheat/gluten and grains other than rice. I am a zen evening girl 99% of the time. 🙂 And the 1% I’m snacky is generally a day I let carbs get above 100-120 grams.

    Focus on fresh real food and you can’t go wrong. Veggies will fill you up, protein will build you up, healthy fats will help you absorb some nutrients, add rich flavor, and improve certain lipid profile items.
    Real food works. We were created (for those who believe) and/or evolved (for those who go that way), EITHER WAY, for real food. REAL food. 🙂

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  • Reply
    Ryan Yewell
    September 2, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Great to hear you are listening to others, and then ultimately yourself and your inner guide as to what will work for you!

    I believe one (of the several) revelations that are slowly making their way through our world is how processed foods are, to put it plainly, anti-health.

    An apple makes sense. An apple chip, from a nutrition perspective, is a pale shadow.

    From the body’s perspective, it’s about nutrients. There are countless (known and unknown) nutrients in natural food. Once you manufacture something, you begin stripping away everything nature put in there that our bodies have adapted to use.

    So yes, eat more fresh veggies, more fresh fruits, more raw seeds and nuts, and beans, and all that great stuff that comes straight from the ground.

    And then let yourself have meat/cheese/milk so that it doesn’t become forbidden in your mind, and thus instantly something you might just start craving and turning into something compulsive and unhealthy.

    I recently heard the term “nutritarian”, a person who takes an interest in the nutritional quality of your food… Maybe you are a nutritarian! 🙂

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  • Reply
    auntiekim
    September 2, 2011 at 8:42 am

    I agree with Julia…see Food Inc. That movie literally changed my life. We now shop the perimeter of the store almost exclusively. We buy a few things from the inside aisles, but very few. If I could offer you only one piece of advice it would be to see a nutritionist. Of all the changes I’ve made in my life over the past couple of years, the one that has benefited me the most has been the nutritionist. I love meat way too much to be a vegetarian, but we do eat less meat than we used to. We try to eat grass fed, organic and free range whenever possible. It’s a little more expensive but I think it’s worth it. And call me crazy but grass fed beef seems to taste better to me. Good luck. The quest for better health never ends. Baby steps all add up.

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  • Reply
    Peg
    September 2, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I never really thought about how much processed food I eat. I think it would be a bigger challenge for me to eat clean than just limit my meat intake, but it is worth thinking about.

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  • Reply
    Heather B
    September 2, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I am a big fan of meat & veggies with some dairy added in there. When Im not preggo this is how I eat! I am naturally not a big bread/pasta fan so giving those up doesn’t bother me in the least!! I have added some of that back since I am pregnant. but once this baby is born I will get back to my meat and veggie diet!! With all that said, you have to do what works best for you and your body! Everyone is different and their body responds differently to everything! Good Luck!!!

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  • Reply
    Stacey
    September 2, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Please please please read “Real Food: What to Eat and Why” by Nina Planck. It’s absolutely the best food book I’ve ever read and completely changed the way I look at food.

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  • Reply
    Amanda
    September 2, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I think that’s a wonderful decision, Kenlie. I know I’ve become way more conscious of processed foods and what I put in my body. I’ve gone from NutriSystem and Lean Cuisine meals to cooking almost everything myself. And because I’m cheap, I’m now working to make sure I eat in a more season-conscious manner with my fresh fruits and vegetables.

    Hungry Girl’s website has a great recipe for butternut squash “fries” you might want to try. I baked them the other week and they were amazing! My next plan is to bake those on a night when I make the mustard maple pork tenderloin recipe I found on the Eating Well website along with some broccoli. I think the flavors will work well together.

    I’ve turned into an insane foodie. It’s unreal.

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  • Reply
    fatboy kris
    September 2, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Why wonder if you’re allergy to soy, get tested.

    I found an interesting blog the other day regarding “real” foods.

    http://www.100daysofrealfood.com

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  • Reply
    KCLAnderson (Karen)
    September 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    To be honest, I have gotten so angry at what the “food” industry passes off as food that I am no longer even tempted by it…how are we supposed to feel satiated with fillers and chemicals? We’re not! And that’s why we keep going back for more and gain weight…because we’re not eating food!

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  • Reply
    Gail @ Shrinking Sisters
    September 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Just think “leaner, greener, cleaner” whenever you eat a meal or snack. Keeps things simple.

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  • Reply
    Foodie McBody
    September 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I think it’s a great step in a good direction.

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  • Reply
    Missy
    September 3, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Reading Tosca Reno’s The Eat Clean Diet http://www.eatcleandiet.com/tosca_reno.aspx really helped me get started down the right path of preservative free eating. Watching documentaries like Food Inc, King of Corn and Ingredients also helped to point me in the right direction. The more you educate yourself the better choices you can make.

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  • Reply
    Jill
    September 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I highly recommend the Primal Diet. Lean meats, tons of veggies/fruits, nothing processed. Nothing from a box. contrary to popular belief, Primal peeps should NOT consume endless amounts of red meat and bacon. Lean meat is the key term ;p I shop the “edge” of the grocery store. I try to avoid the aisles where there are premade/boxed things.

    And honestly, I don’t watch my intake (I do eat on smaller plates) – but I’ve noticed I’m satisfied sooner and with less food! I used to eat SOOO MUCH!!

    Maybe it has something to do with the quality of the food. I’m upping the stakes this month and shopping strictly organic produce and grass fed, wild caught meats/fish.

    Nothing wrong with being a vegetarian if you do it right 🙂 I wish you luck finding your nitche!

    this page link below isn’t “smoothies and sweets” only… I changed the title. It’s a little overview of what Primal is… I totally feel like I’ve mentioned this before.. hahaha!! I’m sorry if I have talked about it on your page and you’re just not interested. I’m pretty enthusiastic about it.

    http://jillianleighwrites.blogspot.com/p/smoothies-and-sweets.html

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  • Reply
    Becki
    September 4, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I would suggest the eat clean diet. Or at least read the book, it addresses exactly what yountalking about and gives some really great in sites.

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  • Reply
    Deb Willbefree
    September 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Hey, Kenz. I haven’t been by for awhile, so my comment may reflect others you have rec’d, but have you consideredd going gluten-free?

    You may remember that I found out that I was gluten-intolerant last year. When I’m gluten-free, I feel so much better–and the weight drops off. My problem is that if I eat gluten–one day of significant gluten–I gain six pounds overnight. 😮 And I keep doing that one day. So don’t judge by my results.

    Anyway, I’ve just come across a a new book that explains what has happened r/t this gluten thing. I mean gluten had never been a problem. Celiacs was rare–I’ve often wondered what’s up with this now. (And that has let me talk myself into thinking that I’ve been making this whole gluten-intoleerant thing up. Hence the one day binge on gluten. The fact that 3 MDs have told me to stay clear of guten….)

    He explains that the wheat we’ve been eating for the last 50 years is dramatically different from the wheat that was consumed for the thousands of years before that due to scientific “improvements” r/t yield, etc.

    Anyway, it is an easy and entertaining read despite the scientific info–in fact I found it a bit tedundant in his effort to explain thoroughly, so it’s also an easy skim. :} Tthe title is “Wheat Belly” and is available in e-book.

    Maybe check out the reviews?

    Deb

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