Whole foods?

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by KDOGG331, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Okay so I've been trying to eat healthier for a while (okay, haven't really been trying, simply want to eat healthier) but it doesn't seem to be working. It's like too daunting and hard to start and I am too addicted to sugar...

    SO.

    I came up with this great new idea today...

    Maybe I could simply try eating only whole foods for a week?

    Would that be harder? Finding and eating enough variety of whole foods and especially no processed foods at all might be hard.. maybe start just less processed foods?

    But my diet has gotten progressively worse. I've eaten a lot of tortilla chips and ice cream lately and fast food. Lots of worst of the worst type stuff.

    But enough rambling and complaining about my diet.

    I guess what I would like to know are what are some examples of whole foods besides the common ones? And what are some good recipes?

    Because all I can think of is like salads and peppers, tomatoes, carrots, etc., basically just the veggies & fruits they sell at the grocery store and that gets boring... are there any other foods I'm missing here? Or even just recipes to use said boring foods so they are not boring. Or perhaps I shouldn't be buying from the grocery store either?

    But let's just work on healthier for now and I can find a farm stand later lol

    I did manage to eat a salad today though and buy lots of kale, spinach, blueberries, and strawberries.

    But I want more I guess.

    Like for example, can you make your own pasta sauce? Obviously pasta is processed as are a lot of good grains so I guess it might not be possible to go 100% not processed? But I at least want a start.

    Thanks in advance and sorry for the rather rambly and unsure nature of this.

    But the basic premise is PLEASE HELP ME EAT HEALTHIER AND ALSO FIND WAYS TO MAKE HEALTHY TASTY AND NOT BORING.
     
  2. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good for you for putting your health first. [​IMG] When I think about "clean" eating, it means eating mostly non-processed or minimally processed foods to me. Too much sugar is a major problem with the Standard American Diet, and that includes simple carbohydrates that convert to sugar, like in white bread. I'm not a nutritionist (and frankly disagree with a fair amount of the advice they provide) or a conventional health care professional, but I have researched and personally tried a number of "diets", like low carb, low glycemic index (GI), gluten free, and vegan. I find that I'm happiest and healthiest just eating a variety of "clean" foods.

    Are you a vegetarian or trying to eat primarily vegetarian? If not, what about adding pastured, locally-sourced proteins like eggs, chicken, pork, beef (and even rabbit) to your diet? If you're not eating enough healthy fat and protein, you won't feel satiated. If it's possible for you, I suggest you try cooking as much of your own food as possible, so you can control the handling and, most importantly, the ingredients. You probably already know that processed foods often contain a lot of additives, like colorings, artificial flavorings, and preservatives. Make it yourself and leave the junk out.

    I know that this will scandalize the people who still believe the "low fat" diet advice [but we've seen where that's gotten us, collectively] - I consume whole raw milk and cream (even making ice cream sometimes) and use lard and coconut oil in cooking. I eat my own eggs and meat from my free range hens and ducks and pastured rabbit, and I buy organic fruit and vegetables almost exclusively. I bake my own sourdough bread.

    I'm also a proponent of naturally boosting your immunity through probiotics. I eat probiotic foods like kimchi and homemade lacto-fermented sauerkraut, and make probiotic beverages like water and milk kefir, and kombucha tea. My health has improved since I changed how I eat, and I don't get bored with it because it's not difficult and it allows for a lot of variety.

    Incremental changes are the ones that will stick, IMO - do what you can. I'd start by cutting out the fast food and being more selective about the processed food - start looking at the labels to see which are the worst (loaded with additives). Pasta sauce is a good example of an area where you could start by purchasing a less-processed version and move to making it yourself someday. I don't eat spaghetti that often, but when I do, I will generally just use a jar of Trader Joe's marinara sauce and add fresh garlic, onions, mushrooms, and meat. When summer rolls around and fresh local tomatoes are available, I'll can my own sauce. I buy non-GMO whenever possible, too, and I really like TJ's brown rice pasta (this was a leftover from my gluten-free days, but it really tastes good). I know you can make your own pasta fairly easily, but I bow to convenience in this case.

    I like easy, one pot meals, so I use my slow cooker a lot. I have a recipe for a hearty stew that's easy to make with ingredients I usually have on hand and I make it weekly (and eat lots of leftovers). You could also make a big batch and freeze it in smaller portions for later. Will post it once I find it. Cooking a roast or a whole chicken in the slow cooker is super easy, and you can use the meat as the base for many other meals. I like taking a pastured beef roast, adding condensed cream of mushroom soup, chopped carrots/onion/celery/potatoes, and letting it cook on low for about 8 hours. Delicious!

    Everyone has their own philosophy about food, but as someone who hasn't always eaten clean, I would never go back. My health and well-being are far too important to me - not to mention my personal convictions about how food animals should be treated - so if it means I have to exercise some restraint and not eat what used to be my favorite potstickers because it contains conventionally-raised pork and MSG, I can live with it. I hope your food journey takes you to better health, too.
     
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Wow thank you so much for all the detail and great information! It is extremely helpful! Interesting you mention the other diets too because I have heard/looked into some of those too, especially the latter two, and it can be a little overwhelming and hard to start sometimes because everyone says that there's is the best or you won't be healthy unless you do it or whatever. But personally I think just eating good, clean, healthy foods, like you said is probably the best way. And even if something else is technically better, surely this is still far better than the alternative lol

    Anyway, thanks for all the help.

    I am not trying to be vegetarian or vegan so I will look into that stuff. I've been thinking about getting better meats anyway, probably healthier and treated better, but I'm not sure where I'd find it and the store is so convenient and cheaper but I'll look around. We actually get our own eggs from the chickens so we've got that part down but I'll have to look for the meat.

    I was thinking of starting to grow some vegetables too but I am bad at it and tend to lose interest in things sometimes. But maybe once I start eating better I might be able to concentrate better haha

    Yeah, I've gained a lot of weight the past probably year, year and a half, and I feel like I've gotten progressively more unhealthy, especially the last few months, I've eaten like way more just junk, and also I don't exercise so as crazy as it sounds I can like feel my health declining. Especially because I used to be pretty skinny. I'm tall, like 5' 10" or 5' 11" so I never used to gain like any weight haha I was like 160 for a while but now I'm like 207.... and I mean I'm only 22, 23 in March, I can't start getting sickly now LOL

    I not sure how the gaining thing started but I need to stop it.

    But sorry for mini rant but so getting in shape and eating healthy is really important.

    But, and this may sound crazy too, I feel like the worse I eat and deeper I get into it the harder it is to stop and eat healthier?
     
  4. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Always happy to share my two cents' worth. [​IMG] Getting started and being consistent are always the challenges when starting something new. Sometimes peer pressure can be a good motivator - being accountable to a peer group can help you keep on track.

    Weight gain is so easy to do and much tougher to undo, and more importantly, keep off. You have youth in your favor: your metabolism should be faster than if you were in your 30s or older, you should recover more easily from working out, and you have the opportunity to build a foundation for health that can last into your golden years. Eating clean and staying fit are aspects of a lifestyle that, ideally, would become second nature after some time.

    It doesn't sound crazy at all - there are a number of explanations for the psychology behind the behavior but suffice it to say that it's not unusual. The important thing, IMO, is to get started, keep yourself accountable, and just keep doing it. Every little bit counts, so if you don't drop as much weight as you want, you don't give up; instead, you get back on track. Once you start seeing positive results, it'll be very motivating. Restricting simple carbs and sugar should help break the cycle, but it can be very difficult to do at first - if you search the web for "carb addiction", there's some interesting information out there on what it is and how to break it (and whether you believe in "carb addiction" or not, my personal experience has been that when I cut carbs, I lost weight - low carbing is very difficult to maintain as a lifestyle, though, and arguably not the healthiest approach).

    I also have plans to grow my own veggies and some fruit this year in raised beds - while growing your own is best from a control standpoint, it's a good idea to have a back-up plan because things like hungry deer and pests happen and can decimate your crops. Do you have any farmer's markets near you where you can pick up fresh veggies? I always enjoy meeting the farmers and getting to know who's growing my food. [​IMG]
     
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    @KDOGG331

    Hi

    I'm in a similar situation although a few decades older. Major sugar addiction but recently I have also been eating a lot of crisps (you call them chips I think) and biscuits like cookies and shortbread as well as chocolate....I'm an Olympic standard chocoholic!

    I know that I feel better when I eat fruit and veg but finding time and motivation to make proper meals is hard work and I decided to make it easier at least in these initial stages of trying to change my lifestyle to a more healthy one. I therefore invested in a juicer (nutri-bullet type blender) and I am making myself a smoothie every day, so that I am getting plenty of vitamins and micronutrients and also water.
    Today the mixture was
    a banana
    an orange
    a nectarine,
    half a yellow pepper
    some frozen mixed berries...red/black currants, blackberries, cherries, raspberries and blueberries
    some pomegranate
    a handful of spinach
    and some pumpkin seeds
    (oh and as it's day 6 and I'm getting quite experimental I also threw in a clove of garlic today because we all know how good garlic is for you!)
    Then top it up to the mark with water, whizz it up and then I dilute it 1 part water to 2 parts juice and drink it either all at once which really fills you up....but don't stray far from the loo because that's a lot of liquid intake!!....., or have several glasses of it throughout the day.
    I usually have a bowl of porridge (takes 2 mins in the microwave) with mixed berries and sultanas and honey for breakfast and scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast with tomatoes for evening meal or a bowl of homemade soup and a sandwich made with wholemeal bread. I only buy wholemeal pasta and bread and brown rice as they provide more fibre and make you feel full for longer.... the porridge does the same thing. Oats are really good for you in many ways.

    My body is still getting the sugar it craves with all that fruit but in a more natural and unrefined form. I'm probably eating nearly as many calories, but at least they are good calories! The smoothie may sound yuk but you really don't taste the spinach or other veg with all the other fruit...although I could definitely detect a hint of garlic today, but it wasn't unpleasant and you certainly don' have to put anything in it that you don't fancy. It is actually really encouraging me to experiment I've tried adding porridge oats to the smoothie and sesame seeds and coconut and dried fruits and cinnamon, kale and broccoli and rocket work well instead of spinach and cucumber is rather nice. Mangos and apples and pineapple and kiwi all work too so. You could even add a pot of natural yoghurt if you fancy it. It's still early days for me (first week) but I'm finding it much easier to throw everything in the blender and drink it than have to think about cooking a meal and because the veg is raw, you get all the natural goodness. I just open the fridge, cupboards and fruit bowl, see what needs using up and throw it in. I would recommend plenty of dark fruits/berries as they are particularly high in beneficial micro nutrients and because they usually have very strong flavour, they mask the vegetables that you might be less keen on.

    I need to lose a couple of stone (28lbs) but I'll be happy if I can just start eating more healthily and hopefully feel better. I also try to walk whenever possible. Find yourself a little circular route that takes 15-20 mins and try to walk as quickly as possible....time yourself and see if you can beat the time you did it in the day before. Start with small changes and make them as easy as possible and then consider making a slightly bigger change once you get comfortable with the small one.

    Good luck. I know how difficult it is and I'm happy to be a diet buddy if you like. We could have weekly weigh ins and share our ups and downs, if you fancy it.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
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  6. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    I'll just give a small tidbit of advice... Whole milkfat. Butter instead of margarine or oil. Stat away from trans fats and hydrogenated oils and stick with good high natural fat like butter and whole milk.

    You can also make your own pasta, all it takes is a few eggs, flour, and water, and I just chop up a few tomatoes and some fresh basil and garlic for the sauce ;)


    The fat thing, I give ALOT of credit, since the only time I've ever weighed over 125 lbs is when I was pregnant, and I eat so much butter its not even funny. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
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  7. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm coming to that conclusion about butter too, although I've only recently switched back to it from low fat butter based spreads, so too early to say whether I'm seeing any health or weight benefits yet.
    I might go back to wholemilk too although at least with milk, it's not like they add anything when they skim the cream off, whereas with butter substitutes they add allsorts of other ingredients to get the texture right, so that it will spread from the fridge.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
  8. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ok, back with the recipe - this is an easy to make slow cooker stew that allows for a lot of customization: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/hearty-cabbage-patch-stew. I like mine spicy, so I add some lacto-fermented peppers, forgo the ketchup, add an extra can of any kind of beans, sub enchilada sauce (processed, but I look for one that doesn't have additives) for the stewed tomatoes, add a bag of (organic) frozen mixed veggies, and use Italian seasoning instead of just oregano because that's what I have on hand. Pair with a piece of homemade sourdough and you're good to go.
     
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  9. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    I think it's just, there are so many other benefits to the milkfat than we realize. I've been attempting to source RAW milk, but I have to go 120+ miles to get it, so I haven't gotten any yet. The studies on what happens when raw milk is pasteurized and homogenized are intriguing, to say the least. There are some key microbes and enzymes that we aren't getting enough of, IMO. fermented foods, raw foods, they're just better for the whole body. It's like high octane gas vs unleaded lol ;)


    Oh, and YES, carb addiction is a definite problem for some people. I soared to 160 my second pregnancy since all I seemed to eat was bread, cookies, pasta, and fruit. Sugar sugar sugar. There are also ALOT of studies about alcohol; it has such a huge sugar content, that just one drink can have more sugar than a soda..and don't get me started on soda :p

    My mom lost a bunch of weight on the Atkins diet years ago, and she felt great, just missed her taters and bread an awful lot lol ;)


    *eta, I watched a video of how they make "country crock" and the like, and it grossed me out so bad I never have had it since...lets see, that was about 5 years ago...
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
  10. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    KDOGG331, I was in your exact same position when I was your age. I ate a lot of quick convenient foods that weren't healthy at all. I don't know what I weighed at my heaviest, but I literally have stretch marks from back then, so it was a significant amount.

    What worked best for me, is not to make all changes at once, and allow myself small treats every day. I absolutely love sweets, so cutting out all sugar just made me sad. Instead, I'd buy a bag of individually wrapped chocolates and allow myself to have two or three at the end of the day as a reward for eating healthy throughout the day. I ate them very slowly so I still got a lot of enjoyment out of them. I used to love chips and dip, until I switched to veggies and hummus. I found that I LOVE hummus, it's super easy to make and is so much more healthy and filling than dip. I used to top my scrambled eggs with a mountain of cheese, now I pile on fresh homemade salsa. Cut out sodas and sugary drinks, replace with water- you can get those flavor packets to add to water that are zero calories. Making lots of small changes over time is what's helped me the most long term.

    Maybe you could tell us what types of foods you like so we can share recipes and suggestions?
     

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