Processed foods. Doesn't sound THAT scary, right? Well you'd think not really, after all it's just a can of green beans, or a few crackers. Well ever wonder how these items are able to stay on the shelf for such a long time? They're processed!
It is a little time consuming to go through and look at every single label. Okay, I take that back, it's VERY time consuming. Especially with a toddler who wants to buy the whole store (Mommy I want Oreo cookies, no not this time... yeah you get the picture), and a baby who likes to be held almost 100% of the time we're in the store. But I still like to look at the labels. If I can't read it, I don't buy it, or the more ingredients, the worse it is for you. So what's the best way to go around getting all the right foods? Well we start off by shopping the perimeter (you know, the meats veggies, fruits).
We stock up on as many fresh fruits and vegetables as we possibly can. When we get home, we prep all the veggies, blanch them (which is only putting them in a boiling pot of water for 3-5 minutes), letting them cool a minute, then bag and freeze. It's super easy! And when it's time to eat, we just pull a bag out of the freezer, and heat it up! We do this with fruits as well to make smoothies:) Only, blanching isn't necessary.
Next we buy the freshest possible ground beef and turkey (though not as much turkey until the salmonella outbreak is gone) and separate them into roughly 1 lb sized bags and freeze. Same with chicken breasts, pork, and steaks. I personally don't like to get the pre-packaged meats (think the log of beef), because I recently found out that those companies add chemicals to them to preserve them. Not cool. Not only that, the FDA has made it to where they don't have to print the chemical on the package. Double not cool. I like it when the butcher can grind up the meats. Though, my husband doesn't always get the fresh meat, but that's okay. It's always a work in progress.
Now what about breads, rice, and pastas....or anything else for that matter? Well I recently have purchased ingredients to make my own bread. I know it will take a lot of practice, and I may or may not be able to keep up with it, but it's worth a shot. I mean, the worst that can happen is I'm no good at it. But on a good note, my husband is an excellent baker! Strange, but so true! Pastas...since we don't have a pasta machine, we buy that. But actually as of this past week, we have completely switched to whole wheat pasta (I did it for the fiber:) ). Rice, I prefer to have it brown.
Cereals is something that's hard for me still to skimp on. I love me some cereal! However. We don't buy the sugary stuff (think Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops). My favorite is Grape Nuts! I love that stuff!! Not the flakey kind, but the crunchy, yummy goodness kind:) I like to make a bowl of it, pour milk to just cover the top of the cereal, then microwave it to make it soggy and warm. That's the absolute BEST way to eat it! I won't eat it any other way! Well then there's the hot cereal. I like to get the 7, 10, or 12 grain cereals. I cook that over the stove and add some brown sugar or honey to it.
Since I have started this new dietary change, I have noticed that I have more energy and I just feel better physically and mentally. I obviously don't drink sodas and I don't eat sugary foods either. It feels great to have accomplished this much so far!