From Processed Food Junkie to Real Food Junkie

From Processed Food Junkie to Real Food Junkie

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From Fast Food Junkie to Real Food Junkie

Making the switch from eating processed foods to clean eating is not an easy one.  The artificial flavors, colors, MSG and other additives in processed foods are there for a reason – to get you addicted.  The switch will be hard, and at times it’ll seem impossible, but once you start to see and feel the difference you will never look back.

I was guilty of going through a fast food drive-thru, indulging in a cheesecake slice that is large enough to feed a family, drinking soda and stocking up on frozen meals for many years.  I am American, after all.  Then in 2007, I was pregnant and started researching food and nutrition.  Deciding to make the switch from processed crap to food was easy since another life depended on it.

When I first made the switch, I was overwhelmed with recipes and ingredients.  I didn’t know what mince or braise meant, and certainly couldn’t tell you where kale or quinoa were in the store.  And who in their right mind can spend an hour a day on dinner?  If you say you’re willing, can I come live with you?  I don’t mind once a week, but I’m certainly not slaving in the kitchen all day, especially after chasing and toting two kids and a puppy around all day.  That’s when I started getting brave and creative in the kitchen to find what works best for me and my family.

I wanted ultra healthy, with only a few ingredients, and not too much time or mess.  Healthy fast food….yes, it’s possible.  :)  We slowly started changing meal by meal — first, with breakfast.  It is the easiest meal to start with since you usually eat breakfast at home.  If you don’t eat breakfast, it’s time to start!!  Oatmeal, granola, plain greek yogurt with berries — they are all simple and tasty solutions that can be made ahead.  Once we had breakfast down, we moved on to snacks, then changed lunch, and finally dinner.

Fruit is Fast Food

I’ll get into why I choose to live a mostly vegan and gluten-free lifestyle in another post.  Whatever lifestyle you decide is best for you,  there are some rules you can follow.  Michael Pollan’s Food Rules sums it up best!  There are some listed on the graphic below, and some others listed in this article.

Michael Pollan's Food Rules

Here are a few things that helped me on my journey to a healthy lifestyle.  I hope they can help inspire you, and keep you motivated on your journey to health.

Watch a food documentary.  They are motivating and informative.  There are many great documentaries out there, so take time to watch one every other month to help keep you motivated all year.

Clean out the junk.  If it’s not in your house, you can’t eat it!

  • Replace processed snacks with fresh fruit, veggies, and nuts.
  • Replace cookies and ice cream with pineapple, berries, and healthy smoothies.
  • Replace boxed cereal with rolled oats.
  • Replace soda with herbal teas and water.

Prep food ahead of time.  That is all explained in my Sunday Night Prep to Eat Clean All Week post.

Find 3 simple breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes.  Some of this is also explained in the Sunday Night Prep, and My Ideal Day of Eats post.  They don’t have to be recipes off of my site — just find 3 easy, simple and super healthy recipes for each meal.  These will be your go-to meals.  Try to find recipes that can be made ahead and adapted easily.  That way you can change the flavors without needing a new recipe, and a bunch of new ingredients.

Read more about nutrition.  The more I read, the more I’m inspired.  Food is powerful in one of two ways — it heals or it hurts.  You have the power to decide what you want the food you eat to do.  I’m constantly pinning nutritional facts to my Nutrition Pinterest board.  Check it out for some inspiration!

Believe in yourself to make these changes.  You will struggle at times, it’s normal, but do not give up.  We are all faced with struggles every single day, whether it’s with food, a workout, friends, your job, kids — do you give up or work on it?  That is up to you.  But the more you work on your struggles the more you will succeed in all aspects of your life.

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10 comments… read them below or add one

May January 8, 2013 at 2:41 am

Wow, you are definitely just like me, except more hardcore! I am so glad I found your blog. Friends know me as the one who drinks green smoothies from a mason jar. Others stare at me weirdly in class. Those who are curious enough to ask me what I’m drinking assume it’s a 16 oz of pesto. True story btw!

I know you get this often, but how do you get enough protein in your diet? I am not a fan of meat either, so I typically nourish myself with things similar to what you eat: almond/coconut milk, almond/peanut butter, hummus, tofu, quinoa. After researching how much protein I should eat daily with my level of exercise, it looks like I should be eating 60 grams, but I find myself taking in 25 grams on avg.

Looking forward to try some of your recipes!

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Shelby @ Sweetness in Starlight January 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Just found your blog today, and I cannot wait to read MORE! :) Thanks for the great information!

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Ariel January 9, 2013 at 2:20 am

Thank you SO much for sharing your wonderful blog! My eyes have been opened since I found it, I’ve read every post. I knew there were lots of bad things in the foods we eat but finding out that even things like bread can have dangerous things kind of blows my mind! I am looking forward to eating a lot healthier in 2013 with the help of your blog! :)

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Lollie January 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I ate a clean diet for a month and a half and never felt better! I always thought it was normal to have bloating and stomach pains because I had it all my life. I was so wrong! I took a little slip during Christmas time but found that the junk food I once loved and craved had no taste to me. The blaoting and stomach pains came back. I am now back on track to eating clean and my stomach issues are gone! Lentils and black beans are my best friend! Thank you for all the time you take to inspire others.

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Heather June 12, 2013 at 9:47 am

Lollie, I am so inspired by your comments because I too have a problem with nearly constant bloat and stomach/intestine pain! I can’t wait to see how I feel after a month of eating clean!

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Landria January 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Thank you so much for this simple , easy to understand guideline . You came off very supportive , and understanding . You provided easy switches and ideas anyone can implement into their life . I’ll be following every last step , and I’m so thrilled I found your Pinterest bored !!! Thanks so much for inspiring me to feed my family real , healthy food!

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AutumnM January 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm

This post is so inspiring. We eat a mostly organic and mostly natural diet already but my naturopath and daughter’s therapist wanted us to try gluten free and dairy free and this is going to be a great resource for us. Your blog also got me started on the green smoothies and I love them! Now if I can only find a way to warm up to some of the milk replacement, soy isn’t an option and while my daughter loves her unsweetened almond milk, I can’t stand the stuff or rice milk, a little mixed in a smoothie though is okay. I’m curious, does your husband also eat the same way you do? I’m not even trying to get my husband to change his ways but it’s a battle with him over my daughter’s food.

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Kimberly March 5, 2013 at 7:34 pm

I, too, want to thank you for such an awesome blog. I have been searching and searching for websites like yours that are focused on health instead of weight loss and being skinny. Keep it up!!!

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Kim B April 10, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Exactly what I’ve been searching for! Thanks for all of your hard work!

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dolores haley December 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm

I am 74 and want to eat healthy. I have many foods that dont agee with me including soy. Thank you for sharing what you have learned.

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