Last week I shared with you some guidelines and suggestions to help cut out processed food from your diet. I’ve had many people ask me “how do you do it?” and “what are you eating?”
I thought I would share with you some things that I am surviving on. I will tell you that I am probably one of the pickiest eaters on the planet, but I am actually doing well. The biggest (and I mean biggest) challenge for me has been giving up Ketchup. All those who know me in real life are collectively gasping right now, I’m sure of it. Ketchup has been the staple on 90% of my meals since I was 3 years old. No joke. One day I will get brave enough to make my own, but today is not that day.
Below is a list of real and/or minimally processed foods that work for me. Remember, I am trying for 10 ingredients or less. I know there are other things I need to be looking at, especially oils, but I’m still in the learning process.
I’ve always loved cheese! In my former, processed food eating days, I couldn’t get enough of Kraft cheese blocks, pre-shredded cheese, and American cheese slices.
The better alternative to this is really just raw cheese. I’m slowly working on switching out the Kraft cheese to more natural, raw cheeses. However, even in the Kraft (or similar/generic brands) selections, there are less than 10 ingredients. You will need to skip on the American cheese slices, though.
Whether you like them scrambled, hard boiled, or over easy, eggs are a great meal or snack, and a great source of protein. I know that it would be better if I were eating “pastured” eggs, but I just haven’t had the courage to make this switch.
You think you’re doing a good thing by buying 100% whole wheat bread. And then you check out all the ingredients in what seemed like a healthy food. Yikes!! Great Harvest Honey Whole Wheat bread has only five ingredients. It is also very filling. I don’t use two slices of bread anymore, just one. This helps offset some of the cost.
I’m still learning the ins and outs of what shouldn’t be in the food we eat and oils is one of them. There is soybean oil in Triscuits, but I’m not sure where that particular oil falls on the list of “don’ts.” But friends, there are only 3 ingredients total in them so I’m eating them!
Trader Joe’s McIntosh Apple Juice
Ingredients- apple juice from McIntosh apples. That’s it! And it’s delicious!
Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pita Bread
I think there are 6 ingredients in this pita bread, but much less than the average. You can use pita bread for all kinds of different meals!
Fruits & Vegetables
Like I said before, I’m leaning towards mostly organic fruits and vegetables, but trying to consume more fruits and vegetables in general. It is better to purchase local produce and what’s in season. But fruit’s fruit. And veggies are veggies. Eat lots of them!
I’m not a fan of seafood, but if you are, there are tons of options out there for you. I’ve tried to cut back on my red meat consumption, which pretty much leaves chicken as my only option. Though I hadn’t ever before this journey, I try to buy chicken that is antibiotic free.
My favorite place to buy chicken is Earth Fare. We were lucky enough to have one open in town recently. I buy their chicken breasts and their roasted chicken. It is a little more expensive, but worth it in my opinion.
Okay, I know that my old standby- Jif- is not good because of the hydrogenated oils, but I can’t bring myself to eat the really natural, one ingredient peanut butter. Yuck!
I’ve made a compromise (which probably still isn’t the best for me, but I’m trying) by eating Jif Natural (creamy). It is made with palm oil (again, still learning), no preservatives, and only five ingredients. Good enough for now!
I have to admit, I am not a fan of water. I know it’s good for the body, but I can’t stand drinking it. I recently read that you should actually drink half your body weight in water a day- more if you are active. I’ve tried very hard to meet that goal since I’ve been on this journey. I’ve surprised myself by meeting (or getting close to) this goal most days.
Here’s a trick I learned: Drink a full glass (I’m talking 12-16 ounces) of water prior to eating anything. This has worked wonders for me! I get a huge part of my water intake “over with” and I don’t overeat. Plus, I’m definitely hydrated!
Of course, I’m eating other things, too, but this is a pretty good representation of what I eat on a regular basis. Nuts are often suggested when researching real food ideas, but I’m just not that crazy about them. When I’m really needing something different or something extra, I will eat a handful of almonds or walnuts.
The best thing is to set goals for yourself and stick to them. You have to do what works for you. I am on a mission to eat foods with 10 ingredients or less, and so far I’ve stuck to that at least 75% of the time. I’ll be honest and tell you that eating real food is sometimes harder and more time consuming, but the ideas above are all quick and easy staples that will help.
Have any other food suggestions? Like I said, I’ll take any help I can get!
Coming soon in the series: “meal ideas” and “real food with kids.”
Life happens when we eat real food.
I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesdays.
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