Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I'm cutting out processed foods. "Why?"

I've had a few people ask me why I'm hopping on the clean-eating bandwagon. And my answer is always the same: "why not?" I don't blame these people for asking. I never really understood it myself. But after I started reading You Are What You Eat I realized how poorly I was truly eating. I never, ever thought that before. I chose skim milk, fat-free products and low-calorie options whenever possible. What I didn't realize was how much of these so-called healthy products I was eating. Then I really started to think about how long my lifestyle has consisted of those products and how often my weight goes up and down. I will never bash the ways I lost weight in the past because they worked for me, even though I put the weight back on. And they work for millions of people (and some of those people can keep the weight off!). But my weight always crept back up. If I stopped writing my foods down or counting the calories, I was doomed. That's when it really hit me. A normal, healthy lifestyle (for me) cannot be one where I have to record every single thing I'm eating. But rather, look at the ingredients on packaged foods (must be 5 or less, or I won't buy it), buy more fruits and veggies and start eating more fish. When you're eating real food, you don't have to measure your servings. It takes less food to make you full. And what's truly amazing? It keeps you full so much longer!
I drink a lot of water. About 64oz+ daily. I don't drink juices and rarely drink alcohol (but red wine is coming back into some of our dinner meals!). I exercise at least 5 days a week, but lately it has been 6-7. I didn't understand why my weight wasn't going any where. Then I started cutting out processed foods and the pounds are slowly melting away.
Yes, I mainly started this to see my weight change, but the more I learn, the more I refuse to put processed foods into my body. (Yikes! Some of those ingredients are scary when you research them!) We ate our grilled chicken plain the other night because we didn't have one thing in the house that we could put on it. Our refrigerator is stocked full of processed ketchup, BBQ sauce, mayo and ranch. I'm hoping to find some items in the grocery store that aren't packed full of ingredients I can't pronounce, but I haven't gotten that far yet. I'd also like to learn how to make some of my own. Any recipes out there?
Bottom line is, I feel so, so good not eating processed food. This is our second week cutting out the foods and it really is only getting easier for us. I'd say we are at about 90% of eating nothing but clean food. I just discovered that lunch meat, LUNCH MEAT, isn't good for you. Well, at least what we were buying wasn't good. Like I said in an earlier post, baby steps for us. If we went in 100%, we'd get discouraged and definitely give up. We're not beating ourselves up right now if we eat something processed that we thought was good for us. Like our yogurts and oatmeal... Again, I thought they were "healthy"... I was wrong. Boo! Thank goodness for other blogs and Barnes and Noble!
I'm going to leave you with this quote that I read somewhere...
Picture from here.
Are you really living every day?

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