I don't use a lot of processed foods (but there are a few I won't give up, primarily sugar free, artificially sweetened beverages and on rare occasions jello gelatin and puddings).
For me, artificial sweeteners are a sanity saver. I use a lot less than I used to, but I don't know if I'll ever knock it down to zero, mainly because I have such a strong hunger response to "real" sugars.
I bought one of the Hungry Girl cookbooks (the "200 calorie" one), at a thrift store.
I was able to adapt some of the recipes to more whole foods (for example using a mixture of ground almonds and flax seeds in place of the bran cereal she uses in a lot of recipes).
I love and collect cook books and I have a "policy" that works for me. I don't pay more than $5 for a cookbook unless I've browsed it first (I'll order it through my library if possible first).
I have to say that in terms of whole foods, Hungry Girl's cookbooks comes closer than the JoAnna Lund cookbooks (the undisputed queen of processed diet foods in my opinion). Not that there aren't a few Lund recipes I've come to rely on.
(No matter how junk-free I get, I don't think I can ever give up my light lemon-shakeup lemonade or my frozen strawbery daquiries I learned from one of the Lund cookbooks).
The original strawberry daquiri recipe called for frozen strawberries, Diet Mountain Dew, bottled lemon or lime juice, and dry sugar free strawberry jello mix (it had to be Jello, because any other brand of sf gelatin would make the daquiri gritty).
The jello was completely unnecessay, so I now just use frozen berries and either diet lemonade or lemon lime soda (usually using Splenda as the sweetener). A little liquid makes a great sorbet, and more liquid makes a nice frozen daquiri.
Last edited by kaplods; 05-12-2011 at 12:41 AM.