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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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