Well the journey to making healthy eating choices continues.  (Read part 1, part 2 and part 3). I had almost caught up in my last installment but I’m behind again.  As a part of my “Back to Basics” theme for 2014 I’m trying to make better food choices. It is the first step in my journey to loose weight. Diets are too restrictive and don’t work for me. I have some terrible eating habits that need to be changed. We are trying to eat more real food and less processed junk. The original 100 Days of Real Food Challenge seemed to intimidating and expensive to clean out the entire pantry. So we are doing the 14 Week mini challenges (that are taking more than 14 weeks.

Week 6: No low-fat, lite or nonfat food productsDo not eat any food products that are labeled as “low-fat,” “lite,” “light,” “reduced fat,” or “nonfat.”

After being told for years that low-fat, light, reduced fat, etc I realized I’ve bought into an truth. Many food are low-fat or non-fat but the fat has been replaced with sugar or other stuff that is bad. Besides eating the low-fat or light version contributed to some of my unhealthy eating habit. I mean if it is light I can eat more, right?  Wrong!! Eating half a package of low-fat Oreo s is still a bad idea. So for the first time in years I haven’t been guilted into buying the low-fat versions. Low-fat milk is one exception I  have made. I started drinking low-fat or reduced fat milk years ago because of asthma issues. I also look for things that have less sugar. For things I make I have started reducing the amount of sugar and fat I use. Several years ago I started substituting things like chicken broth or apple sauce for the fat in things I made.

Mini-Pledge Week 7: All grains consumed must be 100% whole-grain.

The 100% whole-grain is tricky. It requires carefully reading the labels. Not everything labeled whole-grain or whole wheat really is what it is pretending to be. As we use up pasta and other grain product I’m replacing them with whole-grain products.

Mini-Pledge Week 8: Listen to your internal cues and stop eating when you feel full.

Stop eating when full is one of the best tips for weight loss. Don’t eat out of boredom or habit. We have started keeping a tub of homemade trail mix on the counter. That has become our go to snack. I find that a small handful of trail mix is more filling that other stuff and I snack less. Since we make it ourselves with nuts, seeds, dried fruit and granola it has less unhealthy stuff than some of the packaged kind.

Mini-Pledge Week 9: No refined or artificial sweeteners including (but not limited to): white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, sucanat, splenda, stevia, agave, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and cane juice. Foods and beverages can only be sweetened with a moderate amount of honey or maple syrup.

I haven’t really stuck to this one. We have eliminated some forms of sweeteners, reduced the amount of sugar and only added a sweetener when it is necessary.  I no longer use flavored creamer for coffee. Instead I use organic 1/2 and 1/2 with either a small amount of honey or maple syrup. Sometimes I just use 1/2 & 1/2 because I like the creamy texture but skip adding sweetener.

Mini-Pledge Week 10:  No refined or hydrogenated oils including (but not limited to): vegetable oil, organic vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, organic canola oil, margarine, and grape seed oil.

Okay this is another one I’m modifying slightly. I normally use olive oil or a mixture of butter and olive oil. I’ve never liked margarine and have since learned I have issues with soybean.  I will probably continue to use canola oil when I can’t use olive oil or butter.

I’m finally caught up. Will post more in two weeks when we add another step. It fits my shopping patterns better to take 2 weeks at a time.

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