My husband finds it amusing now often I say the word "chemicals" these days. I find it easier to refer to highly-processed, artificially-sweetened, non "clean" foods this way. I have recently joined the clean eating movement. And I'm a big fan.
It started because I have a facebook friend doing it, who posted things often that got me interested, and then I watched the documentary Forks over Knives. After that, I started doing some internet research, and changing my diet.
I was doing Weight Watchers before which I think can be a really good start for people looking to have a healthier lifestyle because you do learn about portions. But the diet encourages you to eat highly-processed pre-packaged foods for convenience of not having to calculate the points as much, in addition to encouraging more fruits and veggies. However, I was not losing weight, and the processed foods were not making me feel good.
Essentially I'm aiming for clean eating about 80% of the time. I have quit soda and artificial sweeteners cold-turkey. I've been buying organic whenever possible to avoid added pesticides and antibiotics and such. And I'm only eating whole grains, having no bleached white flour. I don't eat foods with added sugar, and avoid prepackaged, processed meats with added nitrates. I use honey if I need sweetener, and I use real (organic) butter and olive oil for cooking instead of margarine or Pam. The goal is for everything to be a whole food, with minimally processed items like breads added. That's my start.
In just doing this, I have found myself more satisfied, I have plenty of food options, I feel better, and I've lost about 7-8 pounds without really trying. And I have "cheat" meals sometimes. Except I don't cheat with soda or with fried foods.
Here are some examples of common meals:
For breakfast, I typically have one of the following:
Always coffee with organic milk and sometimes honey.
Ezekiel raisin bread with butter and a banana
Organic raisin bran with organic milk
Organic eggs and fruit
Whole-wheat English muffin with no sugar added apple butter from the farmers market
For lunch and dinner I'll have whole wheat pasta with a "clean" sauce (no added sugar, no ingredients that I can't pronounce), chicken or fish, veggies, organic rice, or something like these items:
|Tuna on Ezekiel bread with lettuce and tomato|
|corn tortillas with baked fish, homemade corn and bean salsa, avocado, Cholula sauce|
|Spinach salad with tomato, cucumber, avocado, and blue cheese|
I am eating tasty foods! And the only thing "hard" about doing the clean eating is going shopping and reading labels, which I already did on Weight Watchers anyway. I am converted! And I hate processed foods with "chemicals" now.
If you are interested and have questions I love to talk about food so let me know, although I will say I am no expert, and the internet has incredible amounts of writing on the topic, with varying levels of extremes to clean eating.