2/10/10

All-Natural vegetarian dinner

I'm getting really tired of reading ingredients. I can never tell what is the "healthiest" option and I'm just exhausted trying to shop for my daily meals and snacks. Plus, I just don't have time to go through 100 cereals and 50 bars to decide what are my healthiest options.

Does this sound like something you would say?

I don't know about you, but I am also tired of reading ingredients. I would say that Karel and my diet is probably 80% natural foods (less than 5 ingredients), 15% canned, frozen or refrigerated "extras/condiments" and 5% "pantry" foods.

I really worry about the state of our nation. I think the #1 reason why people fear changing dietary habits is "giving up my favorite foods". When I think "favorite" foods, I am assuming that people aren't worrying about giving up foods found along the perimeter of the grocery store like carrots, milk and apples. If a lot of your diet is comprised of processed foods, it is likely that you shop in the aisles of the store, primarily in the middle of the aisles.
A processed food is any food product that has undergone physical or chemical treatment resulting in a substantial change in the original state of the food.
Common food processing techniques include:
* Removal of unwanted outer layers (ex. whole grains, potatoes, etc.)
* Chopping or slicing e.g. diced carrots.
* Mincing and macerating
* Liquefaction, such as to produce fruit juice
* Fermentation e.g. in beer breweries
* Emulsification
* Cooking, such as boiling, broiling, frying, steaming or grilling
* Deep frying
* Baking
* Mixing
* Addition of gas such as air entrainment for bread or gasification of soft
drinks
* Proofing
* Spray drying
* Pasteurization
* Packaging

Here are some food label examples. I find it very hard to believe that the following foods can actually be beneficial for the body.

Minute Made Lemonade (made with REAL lemons):
Pure filtered water, sweeteners (high fructose corn syrup, sugar), lemon juice from concentrate, less than 5% each of the following: natural flavors, citric acid (provides tartness), modified cornstarch, glycerol, ester of wood rosin, sodium hexametaphosphate and sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate and EDTA (to protect taste), yellow #5.

Kellogg's Brown Sugar Frosted Pop Tarts (20% FIBER):
WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), SUGAR, SOYBEAN AND PALM OIL (WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS), POLYDEXTROSE, DEXTROSE, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, WHOLE GRAIN BARLEY FLOUR, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF GLYCERIN, MOLASSES, INULIN FROM CHICORY ROOT, SALT, CORNSTARCH, LEAVENING (BAKING SODA, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE), WHEAT STARCH, CINNAMON, GELATIN, CARAMEL COLOR, SOY LECITHIN, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, NIACINAMIDE, REDUCED IRON, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), FOLIC ACID.

Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip bar (25% less sugar):
GRANOLA (WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, BROWN SUGAR, CRISP RICE [RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, SALT, MALTEDBARLEY EXTRACT], WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED WHEAT, PARTIALLYHYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND COTTONSEED OILS* WITH TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID ADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS AND/OR SUNFLOWER OIL WITH NATURAL TOCOPHEROL TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS, DRIED COCONUT, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN, CARAMEL COLOR, NONFAT DRY MILK), CORN SYRUP, SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOA BUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA EXTRACT), CRISP RICE (RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, BARLEY MALT, SALT), SUNFLOWER OIL WITH NATURAL TOCOPHEROLADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS, OLIGOFRUCTOSE, POLYDEXTROSE, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, GLYCERIN. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF WATER, CALCIUM CARBONATE, INVERT SUGAR, SALT, MOLASSES, DATEM (AN EMULSIFIER), SUCRALOSE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BHT (PRESERVATIVE), CITRIC ACID.

DIGIORNO PIZZA CRISPY FLATBREAD TUSCAN STYLE CHICKEN:

WATER, WHEAT FLOUR, GRILLED SEASONED WHITE MEAT CHICKEN (WHITE MEAT CHICKEN, WATER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, SALT, DEXTRIN, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, FLAVORING, YEAST EXTRACT, FRUCTOSE, CARRAGEENAN, CHICKEN FAT, COOKED CHICKEN), SHREDDED LOW-MOISTURE PART-SKIM MOZZARELLA CHEESE (PART-SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES), OVEN ROASTED TOMATOES, SHREDDED LOW-MOISTURE WHOLE MILK MOZZARELLA CHEESE (PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES), SHREDDED MILD BRICK CHEESE (PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES), SPINACH, TOMATO PASTE, CULTURED MILK, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF GRATED CHEESE BLEND (PARMESAN, ASIAGO, AND ROMANO CHEESE MADE FORM COW'S MILK [PART-SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES], CELLULOSE POWDER TO PREVENT CAKING), PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND COTTONSEED OIL, TOMATOES, CANOLA OIL, BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR, GARLIC, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, TOMATO JUICE, PARMESAN CHEESE (PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES), CREAM CHEESE (PASTEURIZED MILK, CREAM, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, CAROB BEAN GUM AND/OR XANTHAN GUM), SALT, YEAST FLAVOR, SUGAR, SODIUM ALUMINUM PHOSPHATE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, BAKING SODA, MODIFIED CELLULOSE, VEGETABLE OIL (SOYBEAN OIL OR CORN OIL), SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, SPICE, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, SOY LECITHIN, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR). CONTAINS: WHEAT, MILK, SOY.


This was my dinner creation, last night.
*grilled eggplant w/ olive oil - cooked on panini maker
*Sliced potatoes w/ olive oil, garlic, pepper and caraway seeds - cooked on panini maker
*Sauteed tofu (firm) onions, garlic and mushrooms seasoned with cumin and pepper
*Steamed Broccoli w/ garlic

Starting today, try to plan/prepare at least 1 meal and 2 snacks (per day) that are 90% wholesome and natural.




(This is Karel's plate: I soaked raw lean chicken (diced) in a bowl of fresh lemon juice and squashed vine tomatoes for 15 minutes and then cooked it on the stove w/ pepper and olive oil).








Question for you??
1) Do you eat/drink out of habit or due to cravings?
2) How much of your diet is processed and how much is natural/wholesome?
3) What is the #1 reason why you choose processed foods (convenience, price, taste, etc.)?