Monday, May 10, 2010

Throwing away my granola bars

For years I've been a huge fan of Weight Watchers. I lost over 50lbs on the program and think it's a great, healthy way to learn a new lifestyle.

Lately, I've been hung up on way too many processed foods. Mr. Allan and I laugh when we think of how many meals we were eating that are in bar form. I was a granola bar, cliff bar, breakfast bar junkie. I was addicted to my 94% fat free popcorn. I think I got a small high off of the chemical butter smell. It's funny how I never thought twice about the chemical cloud I created if I accidentally burned a bag at work. I ate frozen muffin tops-- hey, how could they not be good? They were sold in the "health" food section of my grocery store. I drink Crystal Light by the gallon, fat free coffee creamer, spray name it, if it was low in calories I ate it.

Then, something not too uncommon happened. One afternoon I was watching Oprah. (in my defense I tivo it, so I'm not curled up on my couch eating bons bons listening to the Big O during the work day).

She had Michael Pollan on. He's the author of these great books:

He went through a couple of his "food rules." It was amazing how simple they were, yet how much sense they made.

#36 Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.

#11 Avoid foods you see advertised on television

#39 Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.

This book was a great, easy, common sense read. It was the first step of really changing the way we eat. Our first step was to really start looking at the food I buy each week. I do alot of cooking, but certainly have my go to quick meals....evil Mandarin Orange Chicken from Trader Joe's and my meatless chicken nuggets. It really never crossed my mind to think about what was actually in these foods. If it's my orange chicken, it's got to be chicken, right? Well, the answer really is, not really.

We've made a move to eat "cleaner" and to buy less processed stuff which is all too easy and cheap. So far, it hasn't been as much as a challenge as I thought. Mr. Allan and I like to be healthy. We enjoy it, we feel great, and hell, I do the grocery shopping, so whatever I buy- Mr. Allan eats.

But, when you really think about. It truly is common sense. When you reach for candy, microwave popcorn, or even a granola bar--what you're eating really isn't food, it's chemically processed junk....that doesn't do a body good.

So take charge of your life and your health, and snack on something in which you can pronounce all the ingredients that are listed on its package..or better yet, something that doesn't need to be preserved and packaged.

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