Food Talk And Fabulous Finds Recipes, Healthy Cooking, and General Food Topics

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Old 05-16-2007, 02:25 PM   #1  
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Default "healthy" foods - or not?

Okay this is going to be part rant, part outpouring of despair in the hope someone out there can sympathise!

As someone who loves food, appreciates good food, can cook and works hard to stay slim whilst eating well I'm starting to feel like a voice in the wilderness. I was in the supermarket today and was just shocked by the sheer mass of so-called healthy foods- ie the ones labelled low sugar, sugarfree, fat-free, lo-carb, lite, etc. The ingredients on these products are nothing but chemicals! They read like my friend's biochemistry exam papers. This scares me, particularly as they are plastered with slogans like 'Good 4 U' and 'Guilt Free'. I'm coming to agree with my mother (lol funny when that happens) who reminds me that the diet industry is just that: an industry. They want to make money off us. There are no miracles, secrets or breakthrough formulas - healthy eating is the same thing as it was in our (often healthier) grandparents day - a balanced, natural, varied diet that equates energy input and output. I'm scared for the demise of real food, people!

Whew. Thanks for listening
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:38 PM   #2  
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Hey Me, I'm right there with you. I think the real trouble is that people do confuse lo-carb, lo-fat, lo-cal with healthy and good for you. Personally, I love to cook and I love to eat good food, so I avoid the super-processed stuff as much as possible. I have a couple of lo-cal staples, but on the whole, I'd rather have a small amount of good cheese than a larger amount of low-fat, super-processed chemical cheese.
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:57 PM   #3  
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Yeah, those ingredient lists are crazy. I always try to look when i am in the checkout line at the groceries in my cart. I can tell if i am "on my game" just at a glance. I ask myself, "are my groceries mostly lean meat and from the produce deptarment?" If so, i am doing well. If not, its time to go back and review my food choices. I am happy if 75% of my cart is produce, 12% meat, and the rest is stuff like mayonaise, cereal, and pantry items. I dont even eat canned veggies anymore.
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:57 PM   #4  
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*Breathes sigh of relief* Thanks people. Today got me almost as worked up as the time I saw a sign with three misplaced apostrophes. I am such a nerd
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:02 PM   #5  
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I completely agree! I love to cook as well and am always on the lookout for healthy low cal recipes (with no processed ingredients.)

We buy our produce at the Farmers Market and we rarely eat meat (except for fish~we eat that a couple times a week.) I buy staples in bulk at the health food store. So when I do venture into a regular grocery store it's usually for something specific.

The supermarket is a strange place for me these days. It's almost a surreal experience to see all the marketing tactics jump at you when you are not used to them. When I'm not in a hurry I'll pick things up (things I don't normally buy) and look at the labels. How do they call this stuff food? When you can't pronounce or understand what 90% of the ingredients are, then why eat it?

If I buy something that is processed (like tortillas), I make sure that I know what all the ingredients are, that they are real food ingredients, and that there are as few ingredients as possible. This is hard sometimes, but I think it's worth it; for taste and health.
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Old 06-03-2007, 08:16 AM   #6  
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Me23, this is such an excellent post! Thanks for sharing it. I agree completely and personally have learned to totally avoid the prepackaged "diet" foods along with the rest of the prepared stuff. Healthwise, people have done years and years of studies and research and what have they really come up with? "Your mother was right... eat your veggies."

Another thing I have become aware of is to avoid "natural flavors." For the most part they are hundreds of chemicals mixed together to try to replace the food flavors they process out of the stuff. I have no idea how they get by with calling them "natural" but there are chemical plants all up and down the East Coast which produce "natural flavors" for foods.

Yes, eating this stuff may help someone lose weight... but my goal is to be healthy! I have learned that it just takes a bit more time and planning... but not all THAT much, and I certainly am not a good cook but I CAN do it when I set my mind on getting proper nutrition. You really don't have to be a good cook... I HATE to cook LOL... but especially with the help of a crock pot or making huge casseroles and freezing ahead, etc., it is not so hard.
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Old 06-03-2007, 08:22 AM   #7  
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Oh, boy do I agree with you as well, Me! Seriously, I am really appalled and amazed at the utter crap that is put in so-called "good for you" foods! This is the main reason why, while I do follow the WW program, I can't really use any of the "suggested" or "recommended" products out there for replacements or snacks. I have to go the whole foods route. That may mean that some of the things are higher in fat (but GOOD fat, and we NEED fat!) than a "recommended" snack of nothing but chemicals. So be it. I'm on the weight loss route to be HEALTHY not to pump a bunch of crap into my system that ultimately leaves me unsatisfied.

I love to cook and I love good food... this journey, for ME is about finding the right balance. Will I ever be "skinny"? Probably not, but I will lose weight (it's slow going) and ultimately I will be HEALTHY.
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Old 06-03-2007, 08:37 AM   #8  
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Velveteen, I agree with you also. I considered joining a weight loss group at my church who are using a popular program. Even though they knew (and it was okay) that I was not planning to follow the program specifically but stick with my own healthful plan and just be there for support and accountability, etc.... I could not handle it! LOL even just in a couple of weeks I had a VERY hard time keeping my mouth shut. They were actually saying it doesn't matter what you eat but just stick within "their" points plan, etc... one of their lunch suggestions was a McDonald's Happy Meal; but stuff like fruits and veggies still were extremely limited on their plan. I just could NOT sit there and hear that it is okay to fill yourself up with junk and chemicals but be careful about too many veggies. I am not convinced that anyone ever gained weight from too many fresh veggies or even fruits. Unless of course they are chocolate coated.

And of course recommended lots of prepackaged stuff (LOL I like your term "crap" but I got lambasted on here once before for calling a specific "diet" prepackaged item "crap" so I will call it "stuff" now (even though shortly after that there were huge recalls on the product because someone found garbage and stuff in it LOL).

I wish I was like you and loved to cook... I don't' I hate it. But guess what? I have found that sometimes we do what we have to do to obtain the results we want even if we don't necessarily enjoy it! In fact I think today I will go make a HUGE shepherd's pie using healthy veggies, ground turkey and mashed sweet potatoes!

Thanks for sharing! I love it on here when I find someone who agrees with me on this aspect.

Sue
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Old 06-03-2007, 08:41 AM   #9  
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Hey, all of you probably already know this but just in case someone doesn't. For the smartest shopping try to stick on the "outer rim" aisles of the stores and avoid the center aisles. The outer sections usually have the produce, fresh meats, etc., whereas the center sections contain more processed junk.

Sue
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Old 06-03-2007, 08:55 AM   #10  
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I heard about that Sue, in fact I think I read it recently in YOU::On a Diet

as for not liking to cook, what is it that you don't like? Can you try to find something good about it, something that you can appreciate? I don't always LIKE it, but then I"m rather lazy and tired after work, etc., etc. But the good things I find about it are::

I am in complete control over what we as just me and my DF or we as a family are eating (I have stepkids, every other weekend). No stuff out of a box will be coming from what I cook!

I enjoy the time "alone" - my kitchen is way too small for others to be in there bugging me I enjoy making something that comes from me and putting the "love" in there as a special ingredient

I get tremendous satisfaction of seeing and eating the finished product.

These are just a couple of things. I haven't always loved cooking, but I guess since I learned that I do it pretty well and the smilies on my family's faces (plus the nicely filled bellies) it really makes a huge difference. When I say we are going to have couscous and turkey and veg and the kids literally jump up and down with excitement, well... that's the clincher for me!

and YUM to sheppard's pie! it's been ages since I've had that!
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:08 AM   #11  
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Hi Velveteen

Good points! And I DO try to make the best of my time in the kitchen... not moaning and groaning about it LOL. Because I do enjoy the results AND the food is actually so much BETTER than when I am just living on junk or whatever. I am single so don't have the pleasure you do of knowing you are taking good care of your family but SO glad you are doing that and teaching your kids that healthy can be yummy! Actually I too am rewarded just when I see people standing around eating junk... which is VERY often at work LOL... and just knowing that I am NOT doing that to myself but am instead out walking at lunch, etc.

I also do it with rewards. Recently I posted in another thread... but I LOVE playing the slots at the casino but usually won't spend the $$ on it. So I set up a reward system... one of them is $1 for every day I eat properly. In the past I did it for a cruise fund and recently added a cruise onto my Florida vacation with friends! BUT I am doing so well in my casino bucks fund that there is NO WAY I will spend all that in the casino so I am setting an upper limit per week and anything OVER that will go into the next cruise fund... so I have both a short term and long term reward, both of which are totally frivolous but that I LOVE doing!

AND since I never blow $$ on lattes, the food cart at work, coke machines, junk food, etc., I am really not spending any more $$$ than if I was blowing it on junk!

What about you? Do you have any type of rewards for yourself? Of course you DO have a HUGE reward in a happy family and healthy body!

Sue
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:33 AM   #12  
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Ah, ok, Sue... I understand... and believe me, IF I have to cook for myself I generally am pretty lazy about it. I still am not quite in that place where I'd like to be... where I actually care about ME... if you know what I mean...? I do many things because it's easier to take care of my family than to take care of myself. When my DF is not around or is travelling on business you might find me eating a bowl of cereal as dinner... something I'm not entirely proud of and am definitely working on. So I really CAN understand if it's hard for you to LIKE cooking, especially if it's only for you (on the other hand, WHAT A GREAT REASON to do it! We need to think more about OURSELVES if you ask me!)

Rewards... that's a tough one... I have rewards, things I'm waiting to do until I've reached certain milestones, but seeing that I've lost a whopping 5KG since last August, it's pretty discouraging that I have to keep "waiting" for these things (some of it my fault, some of it the fault of medication). I really need to rethink my goals and rewards AND work a little bit harder on actually losing weight instead of maintaining at 96KG...

Frivolous rewards are GREAT though, why not?!
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:58 PM   #13  
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I too am appalled at what is considered "healthy" food. I consider most of it to be "anti-food"

Me? I love to cook and use mostly all natural whole foods. I do have a family to care for and so I do get the happy feeling that comes from knowing I am nourishing them well. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy caring for myself in that same manner! I do
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:30 AM   #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misti in Seattle View Post
Hey, all of you probably already know this but just in case someone doesn't. For the smartest shopping try to stick on the "outer rim" aisles of the stores and avoid the center aisles. The outer sections usually have the produce, fresh meats, etc., whereas the center sections contain more processed junk.

Sue
Agreed.

The middle aisles are pure evil

The bottom line is this: it's up to us what we put into our bodies. You COULD pick up that package of chemicals, but it's so much better to head to the produce section.
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:40 PM   #15  
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There are several good books to look at on this topic:

- What to Eat by Marion Nestle (what a great name )
- Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
- Superfoods Rx by Steven Pratt
- Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (I just finished this, and I love her writing)

And you might take a look at the Whole Foods Lifestyle forum. It's not as active as some, but there's lots of good advice - and recipes - in there.

I venture into the middle aisles for spices, oils, and cereal.
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