What is clean eating? In short, it's not eating processed garbage that manufacturers and chemicals have gotten us dependent on. I have been downright furious this week as I've read more and more about the pre-packaged products that we as consumers buy for convenience, without fully understanding the un-natural chemicals that come along with it. I knew that going through the drive through for lunch wasn't healthy. What I didn't know is that simple kitchen stables like butter, cream of mushroom soup, and all purpose flour are processed in such a way that it's quite literally a poison to your body. No WONDER I'm FAT. No, I'm not going on a rampage to sue McDonald's, or anything like that, but I'm pretty hacked off at the thought that "typical" products in my kitchen are the problem with my weight and my health.... all because of the way those foods are processed. They have garbage added to them to make them addictive, to where you come back to it over and over, without even realizing it.
Okay, I'm trying to not turn this post into a rant, so back to the topic at hand. Basically, if it's not as nature intended it, I'm not going to eat it. That means no more macaroni and cheese out of a box. That means no more pizza unless it's home-made with home-made pizza crust - no, not crust from a mix where you add water, or crush from a can. If i want pizza, I'll make the dough and add clean toppings (natural tomato sauce, seasonings, and healthy cheese, etc). No more packaged cereal bars. My list of processed no-no's could go on and on.
In addition, clean eating requires only lean meats. That means no more ground beef. My alternatives are ground turkey, tofu, bison, deer meet, etc. Tofu, surprisingly, isn't NEAR as bad as I thought it was going to be. It has no flavor whatsoever, so it's not gross. I add the flavorings I want, and it's GREAT. I made ranch salad dressing with it this week. mashed it up, added a little milk to make it liquid-y, added some ranch powder flavoring, and it was just like the real stuff, without all the calories and additional crap added in. I bought some ground turkey at Sam's club over the weekend. I found that The Fresh Market carries ground bison....at $9.99 per pound! Yeah, I don't guess I'll be having a bison substitute for beef anytime soon.
Anyway, there's way to much to talk about with this. I'm working on making the change as quickly as I can, but not so quickly that I get burned out on the "rules" that I give up. Most of you know that I've always struggled with my weight. Nothing ever seemed to work. it was too hard, too much work, too much effort. If only I had KNOWN about the GARBAGE in processed foods, I don't think I would have whined so much before. Knowledge truly is power. Now that I fully comprehend just how bad all that garbage was for me, I truly think that this is going to be a process that I can be successful at. Yes, it makes me mad to think I can't just drive through the drive through and get a burger and fries anymore. Actually I can, I can eat that kind of stuff, in extreme moderation, but right now I'm so mad at the turmoil it has caused on my body that I honestly don't know if I'm going to WANT to eat a burger and fries.
I've learned alot over the last several days about healthy grains, cereals, seeds, fruits, veggies, etc, that I can have. There are grains I've never even tried that I'm excited to try now. I've also become an oatmeal protein smoothie junkie. Oatmeal, peanut butter, honey, soy protein powder, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, milk, ice.... YUM YUM.
Weight watchers worked, but it was too much effort. This process is just a matter of learning, and it's really not that hard, at least not what I can tell so far. I bought Tosca Reno's Just the Rules book, which explains in a nutshell, the easy why to learn whats appropriate for this eating lifestyle. If it's got more than 5 or 6 ingredients in it, it's not clean. If you can't pronounce the ingredient (or it looks like something out of a chemistry experiment), it's not clean. Sugar has to go. Honey, agave, maple syrup are substitutions for sugar. I made zucchini bread today with no sugar, and no white flour. I made it using whole wheat flour and honey, and it was absolutely delicious. Not as fluffy or sweet as the last time I made zucchini bread, but it was a whole lot healthier, and knowing what I know now, it's worth it.
Not to mention that the EIGHT pounds I lost this week is pretty motivating. I know that alot of it is water weight, and my body flushing out the fast food and soda garbage I've been eating, but it sure does feel good to know I'm doing something right. I go back to the doc the Monday after thanksgiving. I can't wait to see what my weight reads that day. I'll have been 3 weeks and I'm hoping that he'll be pleased with my progress.
Like I said, way to much to talk about in what I've learned this week. 2 sites I would recommend if you want to learn more is http://www.thegraciouspantry.com and http://www.eatcleandiet.com. I'll write some more later this week about the financial hit for making this change and how it is affecting our budget.
Watch out, world, Manda's gonna do this, and she's NOT going to be FAT anymore. She is going to get healthy, and hopefully soon, there will be a baby in the picture. Prayers for me on this journey, please.