Tuesday, March 19, 2013

100 Days of Real Food

Had a great St. Patrick's Day! Nothing too exciting of course, but Mike did make Grasshopper cupcakes with Erin to celebrate. And I made "green" pancakes :) Just a few dots of food coloring, so they weren't very green. (lol) The rest were blueberry pancakes. Also not very green, but yummy!

Speaking of food coloring and dyes, I just had to share this today! I cannot remember how I found out about this blog. It may have been through Cathy Zielske.

Anyway, I follow her blog which you can find at 100 Days of Real Food, and liked her Facebook page which you can find *Here*.
She is just one of the reasons that I started paying more attention to what we are eating. I mean several years ago I did start looking at labels more frequently and made a switch from eating more whole grains instead of just white flour.
But this is taking it to a whole new level for me!
I have been completely intimidated by "Clean Eating" and moving away from what I know and the foods I have grown up with.
But 2013 is my year for "Healthy Living" and I feel I am ready to learn just a little more.

I have been contemplating taking the "ten day pledge". I know I am not ready for the 100 day pledge. That may be something to try this summer. Like my mini monthly health goals, ten days feels doable. As opposed to 100 days which is a little over three months. Doable, but a little more intimidating for me. I am finding that with small baby steps, I am more successful.

What is really giving me the push is this post from the other day -Kraft petition update
I went ahead and signed the petition when I saw it on Facebook. I mean who wouldn't want yellow food dyes taken out of Kraft macaroni and cheese. Especially since Kraft produces macaroni and cheese for other countries that do not allow dyes in foods. And since food dyes have no beneficial, nutritional value.
But apparently some people are opposed and even offended that anyone would try to change it. Not sure I follow that, but I know I need baby steps and am resistant to change at time, too. So I am definitely willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, reading that petition update post got me thinking once again about completely eliminating food dyes from our diet. So as I was grocery shopping yesterday, I starting looking at cereal labels starting with some of our favorites. My son loves Life cereal. And I could have sworn I had looked at the label before, but there it was...

INGREDIENTS:  Life Cereal (Whole Grain Oat Flour, Sugar, Corn Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Rice Flour, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Disodium Phosphate, Reduced Iron, Niacinamide*, Zinc Oxide, BHT (A Preservative), Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Thiamin Mononitrate*, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride*, Riboflavin*, Folic Acid*.) ALLERGENS:  Wheat, Gluten

Really?!!! Why is it even necessary in that cereal?! Ugh!
Now a few years ago I personally switched to cereals like Kashi. But my kids will eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Frosted mini wheats, with the occasional Pops or Lucky Charms for a snack treat.
None of those Kellogg's or General Mills cereals had nutritional labels that appealed to me.
It was so disheartening.
But then I noticed a new brand at our grocery store.
There were four types. One looked like Mini Frosted wheats, but without all of the crap in it. Only four ingredients! And no BHT to preserve it. I figured what the heck and brought it home for a taste test. The kids loved it! And to my surprise, it tasted just like the Kellogg's version.
Here is a link to their company site - Mom's Best Cereals

Hopefully the "Lucky Charms" version is a hit as well :)

So anyway, I don't always agree 100% with everything I read on the 100 Days of Real Food blog. And frankly, sometimes when I see the lunches she packs for her kids in the cute little containers, I feel like crap mom. But then I realize, it is not a competition. And if I can make just a few little changes at a time to improve our health, it is worth it!

Off my soapbox now. And I promise to return to our regularly scheduled program of scrapbooking on the next post. :)
Have a great Tuesday!

25 comments:

  1. I am so with you on this one, Mary Jo. There are days when I feel as if there's nothing healthy to be found when I food shop. It takes forever because I read every label. Hydrogenated oils? No. Dyes and food coloring? No. Corn syrup? No. The list goes on and on. LOL!

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    1. Exactly! It takes forever to read those labels.

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  2. This is right up my alley right now! I try to look at food labels as far as calories/fat/etc, but I've recently started looking at the ingredients. It's so disheartening sometimes, that all the "good stuff" you like (Kraft mac & cheese) is so BAD. :( Thank you for the heads-up on the blog and FB page, I'm going to check it out now. Thank you for this post, it gives me even more motivation!!!

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    1. It is so disheartening. It seems when I find a "healthy" recipe, it is so bland or tasteless. I wonder if it's just my taste buds are so trained to enjoy foods with sugar. I will admit it. I am a complete sugar addict!!

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  3. I have tried to label watch and sometimes it is almost impossible to find anything healthy at the store ... it is just crazy! Thanks for the links ... going to be checking all this out!

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    1. ITA, Julie! Next to impossible sometimes unless you go to stores like Whole Foods and pay an arm and a leg for it!

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  4. It is kind of crazy the things they do to food to make it appear more appealing. I have really tried to eliminate all high fructose corn syrup. I would love all the dyes to be gone too as well as the processed sweetners and fats. It's getting better, but there is still a long way to go! Love companies like this that are actually doing something about it! :)

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    1. It really is a slow process for us, too. Baby steps, right?! :)

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  5. Thanks for the links! We have been avoiding processed and fast foods for years, it's almost impossible for us to find someplace that we like to go out to eat because of all the trash that goes into food!

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    1. I have felt the same way recently about eating out. Hard to find places where I don't feel sick afterwards!

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  6. I think you are right, with your young family to look more carefully at what manufacturers put into food. We don't get the Kraft Macaroni Cheese over here but I remember seeing it when I visited my Brother in Nova Scotia and bring some back. Perhaps people don't like the thought of being natural coloured which equals non appetising whereas the yellow looks more appetising - funny how we are conditioned only to like food that looks appealing........ anyway, thanks for the links, will have a look!

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    1. I agree that is why they do it. To make it look more appetizing or fun. Unfortunately, they are finding those dyes are linked to a lot of severe health issues :(
      I have to admit this is hard for me. There are so many foods that I love with dyes in them!

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  7. Great post!!! I really enjoyed reading it and will pop over to your link for clean eating.

    I grew up in a family that did not eat any processed foods. We never ate boxed cereals, kraft dinners, cake mixes etc.
    When my girls were little, I cooked like this too. When I went to a craft day, DH would go pick up Kraft Mac and chesse and make it for the girls.

    Over the years I have let my standards slip...processed foods have crept into our lives and your post made me realize how easy it would be to go back to how we used to eat.

    DH has diabetes so this would be very good for him. I will try the 10 pledge too...it will be good for us!

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    1. I plan on doing the pledge sometime in the next few months. Will let you know how it goes!

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  8. It's so hard in this fast paced world to make everything from scratch, I try and eat healthy and look at lables, for me I can't believe the amount of salt in most foods. Thanks for the links :)

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    1. I will admit that I will never be a make everything from scratch kind of person. I just don't like cooking that much (lol) Especially bread. And it's so hard to find healthy choices that are not too expensive!

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  9. Thanks for the links. My girls love life cereal and I just read the box again a few months ago and saw the coloring in it. I had to stop buying it for them. I was almost eating 100% clean a few years ago then got lazy. I do try and read labels and buy the best choices. We eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I try and make as much from scratch as I can. My husband eats granola bars for breakfast every day its hard to find good ones I started making them then I know what's in them. I made a new recipe today but they didn't go over to well.

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    1. I have to admit that I made the 100 days of food "healthy" mac and cheese recipe and it was so bland. My family didn't like it much either. I am going to have to play with it a little bit!

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  10. I agree with you, small steps to change your lifestyle.
    I may be able to do the 10 day challenge but the 100 day is a big commitment for a first try.
    I remember when I was pregnant (many moons ago) and heard to stay away from Yellow#5. My SIL helped me look at the labels...everything had Yellow #5 in it.

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  11. OMG! IKWYM! We have been doing the same thing here! Watching our for stuff like dyes, corn syrup ect. In the long run more work to prepare foods but better for our bodies and a lot of the better food choices are a lot more expensive but still it beats the extra cost in medical bills in case of allergies and ect.
    Thanks for the links! I agree I have not see the blog yet but I can get overwhelmed but what some people do so Im just making & taking baby steps too!
    TFS!!

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  12. My mom comments to me often about how they used to eat growing up or as young adults and I tell her how "we've " changed our foods so much it's no wonder the obesity rate has gone sky high and how hard it is to even diet on today's food.

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  13. I commend you for trying to eat healthier. It is difficult, but I am betting so worth it in the long run. I am going to check out Lisa's blog!

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  14. It's so hard sometimes to eat healthy, but if you're committed that's great! It really helps if your spouse is on board too, that way you're not pushing against one another. Mike and I have made some serious lifestyle changes in the last couple of years and it's so much easier since we're on the same page :)

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  15. ooo whee that's a lot to think about and apply. I am like you though baby steps. Make it with for your lifestyle.

    I have got to get back to walking!

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  16. I can't wait to hear about your 10 day challenge! AJ and I have been trying to cut out overly processed foods as well. It wasn't so much intentional, but just a result of my being on weight watchers and trying to incorporate lower point foods into my day (and lots of fruits and veggies!) But I feel so much better when we eat that way. Since the kitchen has been packed up, I've been eating very poorly, because I don't have any way to cook for us, and I can really see the difference in how I feel.

    After we get settled, I'm going to see if AJ wants to take the 10 day challenge too!

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