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Help me stop eating processed foods! Clean eating mamas, come here!

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I need help! I really want to stop eating so many processed foods. We have been consuming WAY too much sodium and processed crap lately. I want to change it... but I don't even know where to begin! I have thought about making the change many times.... but I feel like the options are limited. I mean... if you take out all processed foods, what are you left with?!

I am a picky eater and so are my kids so that makes it a little harder. But DH will eat just about anything. lol. We do like chicken, turkey, lean beef and some fish... so meat is no problem. And we also love fresh fruits and most veggies. I already go whole grain as much as possible and we really try to avoid white bread. But where we get caught up is with the frozen foods, processed meats like sliced lunch meat, cheeses, soups, seasonings that are loaded with sodium, boxed mac n cheese and other "convenience foods." I don't cook anything from scratch. I really don't know how.

So... for the moms that "eat clean" .... how do you do it?! What do you eat? Give me some meal ideas and examples of what a typical day of meals / snacks looks like in YOUR house.


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by on Jan. 23, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Replies (121-130):
by Ruby Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Do you know that olive oil is derived from the fat of olives? It's not bad for you but it certainly isn't good for you and is not in an "eating clean diet." Eating fats that are not meant for our bodies can cause health issues and make you gain weight over time. That kind of fat is stored in places in your body and very hard to get rid of. Just like with butter and margarine. Olive oil is also used in lamp oil to keep the flame burning because it has chemicals in it that are not made for consumption in large amounts. Of course the FDA approves it because the amount per serving is not immediately harmful. Just over time it can be.

I prefer consuming things that are made to go in my mouth and nourish my body in a long term positive way. Not man made things that are not meant to keep me alive and healthy. Paleo is not strange. I think it's "strange" that people will eat a super sized value meal at McDonalds yet complain about being sick, tired and overweight all the time. I hear it daily at work and it's really annoying. How is eating what is actually made to nourish our bodies strange? It's usually referred to as the caveman diet which is pretty self explanatory.

Meat and butter have no relation in an eating clean diet. If you ate a clean diet then you would understand. In regards to meat I only eat chicken, fish, turkey meat and steak (steak only 1 - 2 times a year due to the high fat content). I buy all fresh organic from a butcher as well because the added chemicals are not healthy.

Quoting LntLckrsCmQut:

What is wrong with olive oil? You Paleo people are so strange. You eat meat but won't eat butter. lol

Eating clean 100% means literally eating exactly like the Paleo diet aka the caveman diet. I eat this way about 95% of time. I buy all meat and produce fresh every week. I do food prep and pre cook meals 5 days in advance (so lunches and dinners for the entire week on Sunday afternoons). It's convenient for my busy lifestyle and nights I just don't want to cook. Reheating chicken and turkey burgers are easy.

You can buy frozen veggies and fruits but NEVER buy canned. They are loaded with chemicals and preservatives. Frozen will last longer than fresh but not even close to as long as canned. I buy a mixture of frozen and fresh depending on what it is.

Do not use butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, etc to cook ever again. Throw it out. If you need an "oil" or non stick solution then use coconut oil only!

Every Sunday here is what I cook for myself... 5 chicken breasts and 5 turkey burger patties, 3 cups of whole grain brown rice (usually makes about 6 meals), 1 sauteed onion and 10 hard boiled eggs. I divide it all so that it's ready to grab and go to work in the mornings. I mix and match different veggies with my meat and rice making a mini stir fry. Do NOT use soy sauce. For a soy sauce alternative use Amino Acids. I put a small amount in my rice, meat and veggie mix and it's yummy!

I also always make sure I have nuts, gluten free snacks, dessert gum, baby carrots and apples available as a snack. My favorite night time snack is an apple cut up with a small amount of stevia and cinnamon heated up for 30 seconds in the microwave. It tastes similar to applie pie without the crust.

We don't drink cows milk. We ONLY drink Almond milk. Yes, it's more expensive but cow's milk is bad for our bodies and the price is almost about the same anyway with rising costs in food.

Phew. That ended up being longer than I expected it to be. Sorry. lol Let me know if you have any questions. Losing weight and staying healthy is 70% of what you eat. I'm open to sharing some more tips if you'd like. :)

EDIT: I have to add that if you're serious about eating clean then throw out all processed condiments. Mayo, mustard, catsup, ranch, bbq sauce, etc. No cheese, well only in moderation. Try to get organic eggs that have no chemicals added. Research has been done on eggs showing almost 50 types of chemicals that get passed from the chicken to the egg. No fast food EVER, obviously.

by Bronze Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 5:31 PM
1 mom liked this

I want to do this too! A good amount of my meals are already homemade though because my son is lactose intolerant. You can get low sodium seasoning. As for flavor, play with more natural seasoning. I know that sounds weird but it's amazing what rosemary and such can do! I'm guilty of doing more processed foods when my son is with his father and I'd really like to stop that.

I agree. Start with one thing and go from there. I'll see if I can find some of my recipes that may fit a lower sodium thing for you.

by Anonymous 18 on Jan. 24, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Go gluten free.  Seriously cut our processed food consumption by about 80%.  And what we do eat processed, like frozen pizza, is usually organic or made with nitrate free meats. 

by Bronze Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Oh and if you do homemade meals, like from scratch, then you get to decide on your own how much salt and stuff you put it, which helps with the sodium problem as well.

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 5:59 PM

also if it looks really brownish then its bad

Quoting lovinglife0682:

Raw meat has an expiration date. Also smell is a great indicator if it is good. When meat is vacuum sealed it can last for a long time in the freezer.

Quoting Anonymous:

This is my same problem too! Every answer I keep getting is "look at a cook book" yeah anybody can follow instructions but my issue is I have no clue what to do when it come to storage and handling foods! What do I do with leftover raw meat? How long will it be good? How long can I freeze it? How do I thaw it? How long can it be left out? What does it look like when its bad? What temperature is it supposed to be? I'm really kinda stupid when it comes to this stuff :/ so here's a bump

by Ruby Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 6:23 PM
My cousin and I were talking about how difficult sourdough was to make! The local bakery sells it for $2 a loaf...

Quoting KittyTussand:

i started with the sides.  Hubby loved mashed potatos so i stared there i stopped the box stuff and made my own....turns out i cant make enough because he loves it all the more LOL.  THen instead of instant or box flavored rice i started my own rice and had fun making it flavorful.  Then i worked on gravys.  I make my own and once i got the hang of gravys it got easy to make sauces for pastas.  as of now there is only 2 kinds of pre boxed stuff.  one is pasta it self...dont have room in kitchen to make form scratch. the second is kraft mac and cheese.  I try and try to make mac a cheese from scratch so far no go. BUT I do everything else from scratch.  home made cookies cakes brownies breads (except sour dough that one i really stink at).  just take small steps dont rush things.  might take a bit before the kidos try new stuff.  my toddler loved chicken and stars soup but when i started making my own soup and she got used to it she liked it way more!

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by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 6:37 PM
1 mom liked this

You just have to start cooking frin scratch that's the only way, is not hard, is a good website for receoies

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 6:39 PM

I hate it too. Its such a chore for me to plan. But I do what I can.

My advice is to start simple and take it one thing at a time. Pick 2 minor things and one major thing you use a lot and replace them. Like....boxed mac and cheese, chicken broth, and spagetti sauce. Spaghetti sauce is super easy with tomato sauce, canned or fresh tomatoes, maybe some tomato paste in there. add seasonings, and walah, your done. Broth: buy a whole chicken and dump in the veggies that aren't fresh enough to eat raw or cooked. Boil the heck out of it, strain the broth and freeze it. I freeze 2c. at a time in a ziplock so they lie flat in my freezer. Mac and cheese is pretty easy. If you eat it a lot, cook up noodles and leave htem in the fridge so they are ready to go. Shred some cheese, add some butter or margarine (i just use a Tbl or so for a big bowl) and dump in some milk. Microwave or cook in the oven stirring occassionally. 

You can experiement with making them "better" after you get the hang of it. get comfortable with a couple things first, then add to it. Slow but sure so you don't get overwhelmed.

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 6:44 PM

You don't have to cut them all out.  Go slow.  First you should try to eat your fruits and vegetables according to the seasons they are reaped in.  Eating by season helps to keep weight down and allow you to be healthier.  For example, if your summers are HOT, then you eat the melons and berries that you will find at your farmers market, they are packed with water and other nutrients and hydrates your body.  In the winter if your area is cold, you will be eating those fruits and vegetables that will heat your body from the cold and are good for your dry skin.  Begin picking out a fruit and vegetable each month that your family can agree on and find ways to eat that item or those items.  Also go to websites that will teach you about the value of that fruit or vegetable.  Knowing what you are eating is the first step to enjoying it and making it a part of your diet.  You can always contact me for more information.  I have been changing our diets as well.  It does not happen over night.  I'll be glad to share my ideas for meals as well.

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 7:07 PM
1 mom liked this

Farmers markets!!

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