The hardest part about relearning how to eat right was portion sizes. I used to eat Lean Cuisines because the portions were measured for me and it was a finite amount of food–no risk of gorging myself. Every night for dinner I ate a Lean Cuisine/Smart One with a salad. I’d mix things up once in awhile and eat fresh fish with a salad or use my George Foreman Grill to cook chicken but for the most part I ate processed foods because I knew how many calories I was eating.
This worked for me. I learned portion sizes. I learned to STOP EATING when the food was gone. I lost the weight. After keeping the weight off for about a year I starting eating Real Food. I moved in with Michael and no longer ate the Lean Cuisines for dinner. Instead I ate them for lunch at work and then Michael and I ate Real Food for dinner together. We practiced trying new recipes and mastered homemade pizza.
As time went on and the more I read about processed foods, cancer, unhealthy eating, etc the less I wanted to eat food out of a box. This REALLY changed once I started training for big events (like the Portland Century) and I started growing my own vegetable garden.
When I saw the above photo about Real Food on a friend’s Facebook profile I loved it. It’s so simple. It’s how I strive to eat. Less processed food. And less drinking my calories. No sodas–even diet, sweetened iced tea, no juice.
My body just feels better now that I eat Real Food. And I found that I really like cooking. Another reason I ate so much processed food was because I thought I hated cooking. I didn’t like the work that went into it, nothing ever tasted good. All I needed was some guidance from some good cooks (like my friend Star and Michael) and lots of practice.
Have you noticed that food in grocery stores are no longer selling “food”? Now they sell buzzwords.
- Super Food
- Whole Grains
- Light or Sugar Free
- Vegan (Michael recently bought some flip flops and they came with a sticker on it that said “Vegan.” Really? His sandals are Vegan??)
- All Natural (yet the ingredients list is a mile long?)
Food in grocery stores are plastered with labels and buzz words. I see “organic” everywhere and wondered exactly how organic a box of crackers can be…To me, real food is something that comes from a garden or a farm. Our typical dinner now is a protein with a salad and a vegetable on the side. No more rice, processed foods, pasta, etc. Just natural things that don’t come from a box.
There were a lot of really great comments on the post Is Obesity Contagious? I loved that the topic sparked so much discussion.
Skinny Emmie said: “it just has to do with your environment. If I hang out with my social butterfly friends who hang out all hours of the night and drink cosmos like they’re going out of style, I’m probably going to engage in the same behavior.”
This was true for me, too. Certain friends I had were people who also liked eating at restaurants, or going dancing in clubs and drinking a lot. It’s easy to fall into that behavior when everyone around you is doing it.
Diane said: “Misery loves company and so do most of us who have a tendency to overeat. My friends and I would goad each other on. Not good.”
It’s sad, but true, and I’ve written about this in the past. Sometimes not everyone joins you on your journey to health. It’s important to stick to your guns and not let someone else’s food struggles bring you back down.
Sara’s comment really illustrated the topic: “I used to go out and party HARD every weekend. It was why my friends invited me out – they could count on me to be the party even if it was a party of 1. I was the entertainment. When I stopped drinking as much and wanted to be healthier (and actually remember the times with my friends) I noticed I didn’t get invited out much. And when I did I felt almost chastised for not getting wasted and being crazy. I also started to notice how NOT FUN those friends really were. “
Great comments guys!
QUESTION: How much processed food do you eat? How do you feel when you eat it?