Friday, January 28, 2011

Five Months Down & I've Inspired Others!!

I'm happy to report that my lifestyle change is going along swimmingly and now, I've inspired others to do the same! My cousin has eliminated all the processed food from her diet and has lost 75 lbs!!!! Every day more friends keep asking me how I do it and what do I buy and the most popular question is, "isn't it more expensive?"  To that I will say that I too was very skeptical in the beginning. I asked my mentor and neighbor the same questions. So, today I'm going to provide some tips on how to get started. It's NOT that hard to do (as some friends complain to me). If I, the former Pop-Tart queen, can do it, YOU can too! But, the biggest hurdle is just making that first step and allowing yourself to believe that you and your family will be healthier by doing so.

Step 1: Open up your pantry, cupboard, food storage areas. If a product contains any of the following ingredients, donate or dispose of it. (partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, nitrates, nitrites, hydrolyzed proteins, artificial flavors & colors - and any other unpronounceable chemical!)

Step 2: Make a list of those things that were you favorites - like Pop-Tarts, Potato Chips, packaged ready-made dinners, Pasta Roni, Jimmy Dean Sausage, salad dressings, fat-free products, Nutri-Grain Bars, Special K, high-sugar cereals, Cheeze-its, etc...

Step 3: If you're on Facebook, "Like" companies like Horizon, Chobani Yogurt, Food Should Taste Good, Fage Yogurt, Athenos, Pirate's Booty, etc...for coupons. Do a search for organic foods and "like" them too. You can also find these companies' websites and join their email list and receive coupons that way, if you're not on Facebook.
Step 4: The Inaugural Shopping Trip! Make a list of the things you need to replace, like lunchmeat, bacon & sausage that doesn't have nitrates, chips, yogurt, snack foods, etc...
I spent 3 hours at Target on my first trip. I read every label and put it back if I contained the ugly stuff. BUT, I did find awesome tasting chips from Food Should Taste Good, Boulder Canyon Rice & Bean Chips and Organic Tortilla Chips (Target Brand). They all taste WAY better than Lay's or Ruffles!

I buy Natural Peanut Butter (either Skippy or Jiff), organic "spaghettio's", Annie's Mac 'n Cheese, Hormel Natural Choice Lunchmeats, nitrate free bacon (which Safeway now carries!), organic dairy products, limited canned products (too much sodium and cans can often be lined with BPA), and I just joined a farm that delivers Organic, grass-fed meat, dairy and eggs.
Wegman's (a local grocer) has a large selection of Organic products and I LOVE their chip aisle! They have grass-fed beef, pork and natural sausage. If you can't find these products where you live, you could consider buying then online from Amazon. My point is, you don't have to cook everything from scratch whilst ditching the processed gunk, they are healthier alternatives, but it's fun and rewarding when you do!

I believe that if more people choose to eat this way, the "food" manufacturers would change the way they make our food. Our bodies just aren't meant to ingest these chemicals. I only wish I had started this sooner, like when I was pregnant or while breastfeeding. I shudder at the thought of all the yucky stuff I used to eat. At least now my children can grow up eating real food and have an appreciation for all types of cuisine. It brings me joy when my kids try my concoctions of fresh fish, kale salad, and even BEG for broccoli! And their favorite is Yummy Earth's Organic Lollipops - THE BEST EVER!
P.S. And they do make Organic Pop-Tarts - but since I'm trying to lose weight - they're out!

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