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Living Without Processed Foods

Updated on November 13, 2015

Living Healthier without Preservatives

It can actually be cheaper to live without convenient boxed meals
It can actually be cheaper to live without convenient boxed meals | Source

The Cleanse

I recently ventured into a 21 day cleanse that consisted of vegetables (excluding potatoes and corn), fruit, herbs, brown rice, barley, lentils, olive oil, vinegar and sea salt. After the first 11 days of vegetables and fruits, I added lean meat such as chicken and fish. The outcome is that I feel great, I'm full of energy and I no longer have any heartburn which I had on a daily basis and was treating with prescription medication. I am now slowly reintroducing other foods to see how my body reacts and decide if it is worth eating. I will eventually find out what was causing me heartburn on a regular basis.

Reading The Ingredients

On another note, along with this healthy cleanse came a lot of education and reading. I started paying more attention to what was in certain products because I needed to decide if it was ok for the cleanse. I never stopped reading the ingredients, and now am absolutely in shock what goes into our food. People used to eat free range animals and their products, home grown vegetables and herbs, milk and cheeses that were not pasteurized (or had any additional cow stomach enzymes added), real butter (not margarine), and they made their own food. Their food wasn't packed with preservatives, dyes, loads of salt or other ingredients that we can't pronounce. During these times there were less heart attacks, less cases of cancer and over all healthier people, all before the gift of boxed convenience hit our supermarkets.

The Irony

If you had asked me a few months ago about hopping on the organic train, I would have laughed and said people have been eating these things for years. I would have told you it's more expensive to make your own food than buying convenience, when you could just get the powder in a box and add water. I would have also told you I don't have enough time to deal with all of the changes that I would need to make to the switch, and I would have rolled at the people that read ingredients on everything they buy. Now, I understand the benefits and have decided to make time to live a healthier life style for not only myself, but also my fiance.

My Guy Is A Meat And Potatoes Guy -But Loves V8 Splash Berry Blend

Now since you have not met my fiance, let me tell you a little bit about him. He is a meat and potatoes guy, which is ok. He is not a vegetable lover, and actually hates almost all of them except potatoes and corn, which is not ok. A few years ago I discovered that he really enjoyed the V8 Splash Berry Blend, and frankly that was better than soda I keep it in the house. Well in one of my daily discoveries I decided to visit the the Campbell Food Service website and read the ingredients.



Tomatos are Red - Why Do They Need Dye?

Homegrown organic tomato that tasted marvelous.
Homegrown organic tomato that tasted marvelous. | Source

I'm Feeding My Love Red 40 Dye

Well that's not good, I'm feeding him Red 40... just to make it that beautiful appetizing red color. Not to mention the fruits and veggies are concentrated and then added to water. It's not necessarily the worst juice that I have seen, but I knew I could make something packed with a days worth of vegetables hidden by the sweet taste of fruit. And my daily battle of begging him to eat vegetables would be put to an end. So I researched Hubpages and came across this great V8 recipe from a fellow hubber that would work perfect for what I wanted to accomplish. I chose to reduce the head of cabbage to half a head of cabbage and add the following fruits: strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. And viola! I had my own version of the fruit and vegetable drink he loves so much sans the red dye.

Homemade Bread Made With Ingredients We Can Pronounce

I couldn't stop there (here is where you can probably hear him groaning in the background in anticipation of what I would present to him next). Well he is a hard worker and he normally puts in very long days. Since he works on multiple job sites, he primarily can't rely on microwaves or refrigerators for his lunch, so he brings 2 sandwiches with him every day. So that is roughly 20 pieces of bread per work week, and after reading the ingredients in some of the “healthy whole wheat breads” I decided to make my own. Although I have been making a simple wheat bread with minimal ingredients (all which we can pronounce) I have researched a few other specialty breads to switch it up for him. Check out this great recipe from a fellow hubber that is a rustic bread with olives... can we say yum! Slice that up and add some tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella with a drizzle of olive oil and you have yourself an amazing sandwich.

Low Carb Bread Recipe From A Fellow Hubber

And when I get a little more adventurous I plan to try to low carb bread recipe. The herbs sound like they make this bread just pop with flavor, and who can complain about bread being low in carbs?

Follow My Adventure

So as I continue this new adventure of cleansing myself and my household of processed foods, I plan to document both my successes and my failures. I have come to realize that the very site that I share my writing also offers me a vast amount of knowledge and recipes. Like I said, had you asked me a few months ago about this I would have given you a sarcastic grin, took a swig of my soda and ate my leftover dinner from a box. I know this isn't for everyone, but my reason for my resistance was the lack of knowledge. It wasn't like I couldn't research, I chose not to because I didn't care what I was eating because “someone else” said it was OK. Not anymore. I hope that you enjoy this series, and of course extend support for my poor fiance that is participating with very little choice, but of course, eating well.

Other Great Sans Preservative Recipes

I have found that a little bit of ginger can make anything taste even better!


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    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 

      5 years ago

      Well, although you wrote this awhile ago, "Welcome" to the adventure! It's so gratifying to be able to make your own foods/drinks. Yes, it takes time and planning, but after awhile you get into a new routine. You know, after the change in foods, comes making your own household cleaners and body care products:)

    • dappledesigns profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest

      I was surprised as well, and went right for the fresh again. I tried to take the easy way out for a brief minute there :) I am slowly trying to incorporate what I learn each week as well... I don't want to full out scare my fiance!

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 

      7 years ago from Delaware

      Minced garlic too!!??? Wow. My hubby is going to love this hub. He keeps us healthy and incorporates what he learns into the food shopping each week. I will be relaying info from here, including your fiance's feeling on the matter. LOL

    • dappledesigns profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest

      thank you for your feedback! A few years back my old boss was diagnosed with celiac disease so I learned a lot about gluten while she was learning. I was amazed how many "fillers" our food producers use. I was also amazed that although I was stopping for produce more often, the food bill had gone down a significant amount.

      Thank you for the info about the V8 juice, I didn't even think about the high-fructose corn syrup when I was reading those! That just shows I have seen it so much lately it blended right in! I was just happy I watched him drink his homemade daily amount of veggies :)

    • MickiS profile image


      7 years ago from San Francisco

      dappledesigns, great Hub! I was diagnosed as gluten-intolerant about 9 years--i.e. before gluten-free products were available. As such, I had to cut all processed foods from my diet (not that I ate that many anyway). It's amazing how easy and inexpensive it can be to eat this kind of cleansed diet, and how much better it is for your body.

      The other thing that your home made v8 juice is doing for your fiancee is cutting his intake not just of Red40 but also of high-fructose corn-syrup! As well, it's probably reducing his overall sugar intake as the concentrated fruits and veggies in the Campbell's version have a higher fructose content.

    • dappledesigns profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest

      Thank you so much for following my adventure! I always knew that there were foods that weren't necessarily good for you, but I was shocked at some of the ingredients in products I thought "weren't that bad".

      I read the ingredients in minced garlic and was just amazed that they could take a simple ingredient and add so much stuff to put it in a jar. Why not just buy a clove and cut it up fresh? It's cheaper! I'm sure onlookers were quite amused at my shocked face :)

      I would feel honored to be your official cheat sheet, and I hope you find amusement in my oh so understanding fiance's reactions.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 

      7 years ago from Delaware

      I for one look forward to following your adventure. I am so sick of food that just makes me sicker. I have enough health trouble without worrying about preservatives, dyes, and ingredients I can't pronounce. You can be my official cheat sheet provider, if that would be okay? LOL

      I look forward to following your hubs in the future.


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