Friday, May 14, 2010

What's on the menu??

After doing all the reading that I've been doing online, and thinking through what my family enjoys eating, here is what I've decided I wanted to eliminate FIRST, in my baby steps toward a "cleaner" diet for my family:

1. High Fructose Corn Syrup
Do you have ANY idea how many products that sweetener is in??
I didn't.
So I started looking through my cabinets and refrigerator.
It was everywhere.

Here's a partial list of where I found it hiding at my house:

Certain brands of store bought bread (every brand that I had, of course)
Go-gurt yogurt
Graham crackers
Heinz and Hunts Ketchup
Almost all brands of salad dressings (italian, french, etc.)
Ice cream
Premium (brand) Saltine Crackers
Many brands of store bought cereal
Seasoned bread crumbs (such as Pepperidge Farms!!)
Here is another comprehensive list of products containing this ingredient:

2. Artificial Colors particularly Red #40, and the Yellows

I found this hiding in several unexpected places:

Nacho Cheese Doritos
Our jelly
Hawaiian Punch (this was not a surprise, but I didn't usually have this anyway)
Almost all cake mixes
Crystal light drink mix

3. MSG
(Monosodium glutamate....a flavor enhancer most notoriously used in Chinese food)

Here's where I've found this:

Some of those mix-it-yourself salad dressing mixes (in the packets) such as
Hidden Valley Ranch and that Italian Dressing in the glass shaker

Cream soups such as Cream of Mushroom

4. Reducing milk intake

For right now, I don't think I'm going to completely eliminate all dairy products.
We all really like our cow's milk ice cold!!
But we do like that Silk Chocolate Light Soy Milk.....yummy when processed in the blender with coffee ice cubes!!!
I'm allergic to don't start with the almond milk.
I have reduced our cow's milk consumption down to 4 gallons a week though. That's about 1/2 gallon per person a week at my house. (Probably a little more for those little people who
sneak in the fridge and drink out of the milk leaving their gum behind to turn the rest of the milk all "Minty" tasting....EWWW!!)

5. Using organic (less processed) sugars

I've been buying the organic cane juice crystal sugar from Costco instead of regular
white granulated sugar. Nobody knows the difference.
I try to stay away from brown sugar if I can and we've been sweetening our oatmeal
with pancake syrup (sugar free for the diabetic).
I'm also trying to sneak honey in where I can since my children aren't huge fans of it.

6. Much less convenience, high saturated fat laden snacks

I used to try to make it easy on myself and get those mini donuts really cheap at the outlet
store for Sunday morning breakfast.
Not anymore.
Too much high fructose corn syrup. Too much high saturated fats.

No more goldfish, or packaged snacks. Too much processing, too many chemicals, too much salt
No more least not on a regular basis. We used to eat them every Wednesday because they are cheap, quick, and everyone likes them!!

Here's what we do eat.

4+ pounds of fresh strawberries a week
10 pounds of apples a week
(Around) 5 pounds of little clementine oranges a week
Torilla strips from Costco with Hummus dip
Peanut Butter and "Schmucker's" low sugar concord grape jelly
on Nature's Own 100% whole wheat bread
Homemade casseroles and pasta dishes
Salad with homemade salad dressings
Hard boiled eggs (cage-free, hormone free chicken)
Home-made "instant" oatmeal
Rice chex
Homemade pancakes
Ground turkey
Chicken tenders
Raw baby carrots
Protein bars

Tomorrow I'm excited to share the AMAZING, very surprising benefits my husband and I have noticed since leaving out the above ingredients from our diet. I didn't notice any big changes until about 2 weeks into this, but they have been so good, that I won't be going back.

I'll also be sharing some of the recipes we are leaving behind and new ones we are enjoying!!
Stay tuned!!!

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