Saturday, March 20, 2010

new favorites

I am on a "real food" kick right now.
Trying to make some big steps to change the way my family eats.
We used to eat fast food almost every day. Every. Day. So so bad. I know that.
I am so glad we broke that cycle.
We just ran around all the time but now we generally stay home during the week.

I am cooking every weeknight for the first time in my 18 year marriage.
For the first time in Caroline's life, we sit down as a family to dinner.
That feels so good.

So what I buy at the grocery store is important to our family's health since we are eating at home.
I have always bought "convenience foods" like Easy Mac, Lunchables, Cheez Its, etc.
Snack foods. Quick foods. I'm breaking that habit too.

I saw this incredible man on Oprah last week. His name is Michael Pollan.
He reinforced a lot of things I was already feeling and had heard elsewhere.
He has 7 "rules" for eating and I'm trying very hard to follow them.
Here they are:

1) Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. "When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can't pronounce, ask yourself, "What are those things doing there?" Pollan says.

2) Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce.

3) Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.

4) Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot. "There are exceptions -- honey -- but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren't food," Pollan says.

5) It is not just what you eat but how you eat. "Always leave the table a little hungry," Pollan says. "Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, 'Tie off the sack before it's full.'"

6) Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It's a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. "Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?" Pollan asks.

7) Don't buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.

Aren't those great?? I already knew about the perimeter of the store. Didn't do it but knew it. :)
I love the one about not eating something your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
Caroline was eating blue yogurt when I first shared this with her and Mike.
She and Mike are completely fine with no preservatives.
I showed her the list of ingredients on Easy Mac and she was like "gross!"

Now it's not easy finding things without preservatives.
Even something like mayo or ranch dressing are chock full.
So I'm on a search for my new favorites and here are two...

Most cereal is so processed that I hate to even eat it but I found a great organic granola that is all natural.
It's very tender, not too chewy and super flavorful.
I can eat 1/2 a bowl of this and stay full for about 4 hours. Seriously!
This is my new breakfast of choice. Love it!!

I'm trying to buy mostly produce at the store. This week, I got almost $30 worth.
Yay! That's huge for me. I used to leave the store with literally NO PRODUCE in my bags.
Now we have steamed broccoli once a week and salad at least once a week for dinner.

My daughter is a ranch-aholic. She could drink the stuff.
Hidden Valley Ranch was chock full of preservatives so I wouldn't buy it.
I found this delectable concoction in the produce refrigerated section.
It is my new favorite dressing and I don't usually like store-bought dressing at all.
I buy "Sweet Butter" lettuce by Fresh Express and on the vine tomatoes and a cucumber.
My mouth is watering just thinking of it. This only has 4 grams of fat per tbsp. Wow.
It doesn't taste "light" to me at all.

This is not about weight-loss. This is about eating healthy and going back to basics.
I bought Frito Corn Chips because although they're fattening, they're made of corn and salt basically.
No preservatives at all.
I'd rather eat a very few of those than some crackers that are all "fake food."
I'm trying to buy popcorn, nuts, fruit and veggies for snacks.

Just wanted to share. Now if I can get my lack of exercise under control - I'll be on a roll!


Dawn said...

Great words of wisdom regarding what we eat! I don't prepare too many prepackaged foods (except pasta sauce, dressings, etc) and try to eat things as 'whole' as possible. The Barilla pasta is great, isn't it? I don't buy white pasta anymore. We make our own popcorn, and I try to always have fruit, cheese sticks and peanut butter on hand.

Dawn said...

Oh, and Kroger has had some great sales on their Cascadian Farms cereals. Ben eats Clifford Crunch almost daily. I also love Kashi cereals and stock up when they're on sale.