Yesterday I realized what I wanted to write about today. Yesterday I sat in Starbucks eating chicken strips from the grocery store and realized what I wanted to write about today. Yesterday I sat in Starbucks eating chicken strips and realized that I wanted to write about my commitment to eating non-processed foods. Yesterday the irony was not lost on me, nor is it today.
Once upon a time, QFC chicken strips and Vanilla Coke was my go-to meal. I tried hard to eat well while I was sick this time around but I finally realized that I needed to let myself have anything I could stomach. Those egg cups that I love so much weren’t going to happen. The flavors were too strong. I couldn’t handle it. I decided that a momentary fall back on an old favorite for the sake of getting something in my stomach was fine. So I fell back on the old meal.
Despite that small bump in the road, I do have a strong commitment to going as non-processed as possible. It’s an ideal I held long before trying to lose weight. It was an ideal I dropped for a long time out of fear of being high maintenance. Well, I am high maintenance. Sorry I’m not sorry.
It’s an ideal I’ve resurrected and heartily believe in. Why, you ask?
1. Whole foods taste better – I used to roll my eyes at people who said this because I thought canned cheese was one of the top ten best inventions in the history of ever. Once I started eating with snobbery, this changed completely. I’ve noticed a strange taste in most of these sorts of foods. I had a similar experience with pepperoni. I bought one of those pepperoni sticks from a gas station on the way home from a workout once and had to throw it away because it was just gross.
2. I know exactly what I’m putting in my food – So, how many ingredients can you actually pronounce in those 100 calorie packs? Even with two years of linguistics under my ample belt, I still have no idea how to say half of that shit. My powers of pronunciation might not actually be the best determining factor in my food choices but if I’m buying whole foods, I know exactly what’s in it without having to sound it out.
3. It’s better for the environment – I’m not going to lie, being as selfish as I am, this doesn’t actually play that big of a part. I am glad, though, that my selfish choices have a positive impact over all. I totally get to feel smug when I’m eating my locally grown, organically delicious apple.
4. It feels way more luxurious – It really just does… and that’s sad. I mean, when did unprocessed and not full of shit become a luxury? Shouldn’t that be the norm?
5. In the long run, it’s cheaper – Despite the fact that I can get a meal at a fast food place for under five bucks, ever since I allocated all food purchases to the grocery store or farmers market my food bills have significantly decreased. Why? My food contains less salt, sugar, and fillers… all those things that make you crave more of whatever your snack of choice may be. Mine was a long list…
6. Your body uses whole foods better – A few weeks ago Leah posted proof that all calories aren’t created equal. I was all kinds of excited to read that.
7. The proof is in the photos.
At this point I’m probably at about a 90-10 split between unprocessed and processed foods. It’s a split that I’m happy with for the time being but I’d like to continue to find better versions of the remaining 10%. I realize that it’s probably unrealistic to go 100% unprocessed but it’s fun to see how close I can get.
Do you try to choose foods that are unprocessed? What are your reasons? Disagree with my reasons? Are you an advocate for the Junk Food Diet? I’d love to hear your take on this.
P.S. You can now comment without having to do word verification. I do still moderate comments for spam, though.
Edit: I just found yet another reason for not eating processed food here.
Great post, Kendra!
I'm starting down the path of cutting out processed foods. Cheese and frozen snacks will be THE HARDEST for me.
Never heard of the Junk Food Diet – googling now!