25 Oct, 2010
Know More Do More: Can you give one processed food the heave ho
First, yes, that was my family in the Citizen on Saturday.
I have been watching the comments on the story, mostly because news sites attract all kinds of yahoos and I am curious to see what they’d say. There’s only one comment over there right now, and it’s about carbohydrates. I guess I didn’t make myself very clear. The point of the sugar fast was to gain some awareness about the added sugars in the foods we eat. I never said we’d be cutting out foods that have naturally occurring sugars - fruit and regular milk and bread. I wasn’t going to make my kids do South Beach in the name of good health.
Also, I recently received an email from someone who has virtually eliminated her family’s intake of refined sugars, and has been doing so since last NOVEMBER. So really, in the grand scheme of things, this was no biggie. :)
Anyway, let’s move on.
I’ve stumbled off the KMDM bandwagon. There I said it. I’m feeling mild burnout setting in. I’m as passionate about all of this as ever but I feel like it’s slowly taking over my brain. HELP ME.
Last week I drew a tip about pedometers, and giving one to the whole family so we can count our steps and compare. I think I might still do it, but last week I just wasn’t able to pull it together.
The sugar fast has got me thinking even more about the foods we eat. I’m wondering, (1) if you wanted to wean your family off processed foods, where would be the best place to begin? And (2) if you could remove or switch out ONE processed food, which one could it be?
We’re not perfect in the processed foods department. We eat our fair share, notably, cereal, bread, chips, orange juice (YES, it’s processed, even though it says 100% juice on the label), etc. etc.
I have major weak spots too. I’ve mentioned this before: I love the taste of fake cheese. Cheezies, cheesy tortilla chip dip, cheeze whiz on celery - OMG, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Which is why I don’t buy it.
I know a lot of folks out there want to reduce the amount of processed foods they eat too. Question is: where to begin? It can be so overwhelming, and I don’t think going cold turkey is the answer.
Here are (what I think) are ten foods you can easily cut out (or replace with other things) and help reduce the amount of processed foods you’re eating. I would love to hear if you have anything to add here.
This has become our the food we’ve totally ditched. We ran out of margarine a couple months ago and never bought it again. I realized I was just buying it because it’s easy to spread. It’s got all kinds of oils in there that I don’t need to be eating. You know what grosses me out? Hydrogenated oil. It’s basically oil made into a solid form. Picture it on your thighs (*shudder*) or enveloping your heart. If you want something spreadable for your toast in the morning, get thee a butter bell, or substitute a different spread, like olive oil or …
2) Peanut butter
We made the switch to natural peanut butter during our sugar fast and I haven’t bothered to replace it. Natural peanut butter is really good. It’s worth trying.
3) Hamburger Helper -or any other pre-packaged rice/noodle-based side dishes. Find a couple of recipes that use real rice and add your own seasonings. They really don’t take long to make, I swear.
4) Shake n’ Bake-style chicken coating and taco seasoning.
It’s so easy to make your own (here’s a great recipe). It’s delicious and much better for you. Here’s Stefania’s yummy recipe for taco seasoning too. Until now I’ve just been dumping salsa in with the meat while it’s browning, but this looks better.)
5) Microwave popcorn.
Do you know what they put in that stuff? Just buy the regular dry corn kernels and make it on the stove or in a hot-air popper. (I have a post about it here, read the comments for some great ideas. Clearly you all had a lot to say about popcorn!)
6) Hot chocolate/chocolate milk mixes.
They often contain ingredients that have been hydrogenated. It’s just as easy to make your own! (Or how about a hot vanilla instead?) (Recipe here.) What I’ve been doing lately is stirring 1 1/2 tsp of cocoa with an equal amount of sugar and milk to make a paste. I warm 1 cup of milk and add to the paste, along with a splash of vanilla. It’s fantastic.
These might be harder to replace, especially if you’re not a baker and you have a thing for Oreos. BUT it is possible to find cookies that don’t have HFCS (which in Canada is referred to on labels as “glucose/fructose” … just be prepared to spend some time in the grocery aisle.)
8) Chicken nuggets - there’s no reason to be eating these. If you saw the episode of Food Revolution when Jamie Oliver made them for kids you will know what I’m talking about. I know it’s fast and convenient and you’re pressed for time, but they are easy to make your own. And it’s worth it. Your kids are worth it. (A huge list of chicken nugget recipes posted here.)
9) Tinned meats and children’s canned pastas (Beefaroni type stuff). So easy to boil up some pasta and add your own sauce. Right?
10) What else would you add that’s easy to replace? I want to hear your ideas!
Are you willing to get rid of ONE processed food? If so, what is it?
The activity for this coming week is the one I couldn’t pull off last week:
Borrow pedometers from the library or public health unit and see who takes the most steps. Children should take approximately 11,000 to 13,000 steps per day.
- >Know More Do More: the Fishbowl sugar fast The day has arrived! It's the first day of our sugar-free...
- >Know More Do More: more about dinners. And a sugar fast. Last week's tip was: Prepare supper together, there’s a job...
- >Will they eat it: peanut butter and chicken The kids like peanut butter. And they like chicken. So...
- >Know More Do More: sugar-free is done I’ve saved the wrap up post of our sugar fast...