I have always wondered about all the stuff that is in the food we eat. We buy a bag of frozen chicken and you think, “I just bought chicken.” Have you read the ingredients? It says things like chicken (expected), salt and flavoring solution and some chemicals – um what the heck is that? When you buy a mix or a box of something – read the ingredients. Yes there are things there that not only I can't pronounce but I have no idea what they are – and it's a box of cake mix. Cake mix! You think flour, sugar, baking soda not a bunch of chemicals you don't know what they are...
I just feel like we are seeing a rise in the diseases that are caused by prolonged inflammation in the body and I feel that some of the cause may be that we are eating things we were not meant to eat. I am not making any medical claims or reports – these are just my opinions. As such, I am choosing a new food journey to attempt to eat things in a more aware and mindful way.
All that said – from what I get, clean eating is eating whole foods like fresh fruits & veggies, lean means – organic or locally obtained meats from local farmers, grass fed not corn fed, and whole grains. Basically, eating things that are as close to their original form as when they came out of the ground so to speak. Also, if it is pre package (canned or boxed or frozen, etc) if it has more than 3-5 ingredients or you don't know what it is – don't eat it. I was surprised to find out that sugar isn't a “whole food” - regular white sugar. It is a processed food. Who knew?! LEARNING!
I told Darren that I wanted us to start doing this as much as possible and of course he thought immediately, “diet food and granola – yuck!” So I stopped him and showed him some menus I had found and recipes. He seemed to warm to the idea because he really loves good food – and he realized this way of eating yields GOOD WHOLE REAL FOOD. The clean way of eating is essentially a back to basics format. You eat things and make things from whole ingredients.
It really isn't that hard. This weekend alone – I went to Kroger (you thought I was going to say Whole Foods or Wild Oats) and if you shop “the walls” you can pretty much keep clean. The frozen foods and canned veggies sections – just read the ingredients. If there is anything much more on the back ingredient list than whats on the front of the label then put it back. Like I compared the labels of regular chili beans with organic and the regular had several other “preservative” type ingredients where as the organic had about 4 things and they were like beans, cumin, chili powder, and things like this that I knew what they were. Real food. Granted the organic is $0.30 more than the regular, but I am trying to think of it as an investment in my health. If I eat healthy now and going forward, maybe I won't have some of the ailments that can steal your quality of life as well as the quality of life of those around you if your health goes. $0.30 is a small price to pay for that peace of mind and health – don't you think?
I know I won't be perfect. I know I will “fall” off the wagon and eat junk food every once and a while (I mean I love a great couple cocktails and a cheeto here and there) but – I will start with trying this for a week and go from there. They say the first step is to use REAL butter again (YAY-HOO!) and then throw out all your salad dressing and make your own. This is SO easy! Here's a great recipe to get you started:
Clean Italian Salad Dressing
◽ 1 ½ T olive oil
◽ 1 ½ T Balsamic Vinegar
◽ 1t Italian seasoning
◽ ½ t minced garlic
◽ salt & paper
put all this in a little jar or tupperware with a top and with the top on shake well. Then pour on your salad – YUMMY FABU & totally CLEAN!
Wish me luck and feel free to share thoughts. As I travel this journey - I will share finds and things I learn.