This is the fourth post in the sequence for the 12 Months to Toxin Free. If you haven’t done so already, read Food and Beyond: The Power of Habit Investments, 12 Months to Toxin Free: Choose Your Fruits, and 12 Months to Toxin Free: Choose Your Veggies.
Eliminating processed foods from your diet will be one of the most rewarding things that you do. Before I go too far with this, you might want further clarification of what a “processed” food item is. The United States Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, Section 201, Chapter II, (gg) defines processed food as “any food other than a raw agricultural commodity and includes any raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing, such as canning, cooking, freezing, dehydration, or milling.” This definition establishes parameters for the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, to regulate quality and safety in the food processing industry. The problem is that when you buy processed foods they may contain sweeteners, salts, artificial flavors and colors, factory-created fats and chemical preservatives. Therein lies the problem. My rule of thumb? If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t consume it. One of my top no-no’s, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS or corn sugar). If that is anywhere in the ingredients I start to feel sick just thinking about it.
If you are new to healthier eating you may have more than 12 processed food items in your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. If you fit in this category I would suggest going through and making a list of all of the items you have that are processed. Review that list and see if you can easily eliminate some of them. Snack food items should be the easiest to throw out or give away to a starving college student. Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos, Oreos etc. I found it hard to just stop eating some of these items cold turkey style. What I did instead was make a trip to Trader Joes, Earth Fare or Whole Foods and browse the snack aisles for acceptable substitutes to help wean me off of them while I added more real fruits and veggies as snacks. We’re working toward PERMANENT lasting habits. I don’t want you to feel like you are starving yourself. Every time I’ve done that I’ve changed my diet for a month but that was all it was, a diet.
The overall goal is to get to the point where you are snacking on fruits and veggies without loading them down with dips or sauces. When I started just eating the veggies WITH dip was an accomplishment. Baby steps! Here are the processed foods I have left to eliminate:
Not too bad! I’m sure there is something I am missing but I can edit and add to this as I go along. Some of these things I intend to replace by making my own from scratch, others just need to be removed from my diet. Here is why I am getting rid of cereal.
Below are some great post from fellow bloggers with processed food related info!
See my favorite supplies to get started Toxin Free HERE.
The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. I’m not a Doctor and I don’t claim to be. I’m writing about my experiences with REAL FOOD. 🙂