Hi Friends..HAPPY SATURDAY!!
Dear FRIENDS I have a fun new challenge to tell you all about. I know you are all going to love the adventure 🙂
I have been kind of in a rut with the blog and need something new and fun to share with you all here at NHS..so of course a good challange always helps me get OUT!!!
My friend Amy sent me this link about how one family took a 100 Days of Real Food pledge. I love the thought of giving of processed food makes me VERY happy. Yes, I know that I eat about 80% this way already, but I do have my weaknesses and I would love to help Hubby eat more REAL FOOD too. You can read all about Jason and Lisa’s story here .
Why Cut Processed Food
- Processed foods are an illusion, often appearing to be healthy(with claims like low fat, low carb, vitamin fortified, no trans fat, contains omega-3s, etc.) when these foods are in fact the very thing making a lot of Americans unhealthy, sick, and fat.
- Coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer – four of the top ten chronic diseases that kill most of us – “can be traced directly to the industrialization of our food” according to Michael Pollan.
- Making smarter (and sometimes more expensive) food choices now mayreduce your healthcare costs later in life.
- Why would one want to eat a processed food-like substance that is scientifically designed to never rot?
- The food industry has proven that it is not very good at seasoning our foods by adding way too much salt, sugar, and/or oil to almost everything.
- When you eat white bread and other foods made with white flour (which is a highly processed version of wheat) you are basically consuming empty calories with far less nutrition than the whole-wheat or whole grain alternatives.
- It is estimated that up to 90% of processed foods* in the supermarket contain either a corn or soy ingredient in the form of an additive under a variety of different names. Now how is that for eating variety?
- Cutting out processed foods could lead you to experience a variety of personal health benefits such as having more energy, losing weight, improving regularity, or just feeling healthier overall.
- Rather than counting calories, watching fat grams, or reducing carbs for “healthy eating”, simply eat whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry. It certainly is less complicated.
- It just makes plain old sense to fully understand what you are eating, be able to pronounce everything on the list of ingredients (if there is a list), and know exactly where that food comes from…don’t you think?
*Statistic courtesy of a food scientist interviewed on the documentary “Food, Inc”
OK OK…so we all know that REAL FOOD is better, but what does this challenge look like and isn’t REAL FOOD expensive?!
Here are some great tips from Lisa that helped them stick to eating real food on the cheap…
- Be organized and plan out meals for the week
- Minimize waste (i.e. put uneaten food back instead of throwing it away)
- Know and use what you have on hand (especially if it’s perishable)
- Make substitutions in recipes to reduce how many things you have to buy
- Maximize “cheap” foods like bananas and beans
- Make sacrifices (i.e. water instead of milk)
- Reduce your consumption of meat and desserts
- Buy produce that’s in-season
- Check your receipt after you get home to make sure your money was spent wisely (most grocery stores accept returns!)
The GUIDELINES of this challenge:
Below are the guidelines Hubby and I will follow for our 100 Days of Real Food pledge.
- Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
- Lots of fruits and vegetables (we recommend that you shop for these at your local farmers’ market)
- Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
- 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains (find a local bakery for approved sandwich bread and check the Understanding Grains post for more info)
- Seafood (wild caught is the more optimal choice over farm-raised)
- Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
- All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation
- Also check out their Recipes & Resources page for a more detailed list of meal options including links to recipes.
What we CANNOT eat:
- No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
- No refined sweetenerssuch as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
- Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
- No deep fried foods
- No “fast foods”
- Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken
- Beverages will be limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine and beer!
- That I will miss FRO-YO and Hot Chocolate. But plan to make them homemade.
- That it will take a lot of work.
- That I won’t finish.
- Going out to dinner.
What I am excited about this challenge?
- To eat real food and feel great.
- To be challenged in the kitchen!
- Te get Hubby eating more real food instead of HOT POCKETS!
- To try new recipes.
- To share with all of you some healthy recipes and hopefully great tips about what to buy.
- Getting rid of Hubby’s CUP OF NOODLES!
- To learn more about eating REAL FOOD!
- Making homemade bread and crackers.
How will this effect NHS?
Not too much. You will just see a lot more of what me and Hubby eat everyday. Not every meal, but some REAL FOOD RECIPES. I am also going to be reading a lot about eating more real foods and what the big deal is about buying organics and such. I will also be sharing our weekly grocery list and still sticking to our food budget. There will still bun workout posts and you know random stuff too!!
So when will we start this challenge: March 1st-June 8th.
I would love to have some readers join me and share in this adventure!!! So please if you want to join leave me a comment and I will contact you to tell you more about it. All challenges are a lot more fun when others are joining along.
For now we have some food to get out of the fridge. Operation EMPTY pantry and fridge…ready GO!