Process of Elimination
n. A sudden, radical, or complete change.
I have started my own personal revolution… a “whole food” revolution.
I have been preaching the merits of a “whole foods” diet for quite some time. Since I moved back from England, in fact. I ate a fairly whole foods diet while living there, and I never felt healthier than I did during that time. (That was also during my five-year stint as a vegetarian, I might add). I shopped at my little corner market nearly every day, and often went to Borough Market on Saturday mornings. Of course, it probably helped having Jamie Oliver as a mate! He was a wonderful influence. (Check out Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.).
However, shortly after Tristan and I moved in together at the end of 2006, I ceased being a vegetarian. This was a huge change, and one that took some getting used to. Not to mention that I was without a job for about 6 months, and we were on a tight budget. Fancy organic and vegetarian products were out, and cheapo convenience food was in. Yuck. After those first few months, my diet improved again – but I never really made it back to where I wanted to be. Until now.
So, back to present day… I am eating REAL FOOD.
To quote Michael Pollan… “Eat food. Not much. Mostly plants”.
This means that I am eating…
- Whole grains only
- NOTHING white (rice, flour, etc).
- Nothing overly processed.
- No sugar or fake sugars, (honey and 100% maple syrup are okay).
- No junk food, fast food, or convenience food.
- Lots of fresh fruit, veggies, legumes and tubers.
If it comes in a box, bag or wrapping – it must have less than 5 ingredients, and follow the “nothing white” and “no sugar” rules as well.
I am not really eating much that comes in a package these days… except for…
- 100% whole wheat dried pasta
- Popcorn (air-popped, o’ course)
- Triscuits (which only contain three ingredients, even in their reduced fat variety! Yay!)
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Olive oil
- Larabars (the Cashew Cookie flavor, only has TWO ingredients!)
- Organic/all natural dairy products… milk, real butter, eggs, plain greek yogurt, cheese, etc. (2% or full-fat only, as nonfat products have many fillers and additives).
- Beer and wine (mostly wine).
I am aiming to eat vegetarian for all breakfast and lunches during the week… and am only cooking meat (organic, definitely – and local, when possible) and seafood a few times a week for dinner.
Needless to say with all of these “rules”, I am cooking A LOT.
I’m now making my own pizza dough (whole wheat/flax), granola, applesauce, hummus, pancakes and waffles (100% whole wheat, from scratch – no mixes here!), etc.
Next up I’m going to tackle homemade granola bars with unsweetened/unsulphured/non-sorbate dried fruit, and homemade whole wheat tortillas.
I am excited about all of these changes. Tristan is a good sport, and is on board for any and all meals I will be making for us. He is enjoying my “whole foods”, but I know he is not following my lead for breakfast and lunch during the week (which we do not eat together). That’s okay. I’m not trying to change him, though I do want to him to eat healthier for his own good and our future – and am just happy that he enjoys all of my cooking. He is helping in the kitchen more and more, and now prides himself on his herb “mincing” skills.
When we head to Jamaica this fall, I will throw all of my rules out the window for that one week. I’m not a saint, after all. I will lay back, and enjoy all of the exotic and wonderful native dishes that our personal chef will be cooking for us. And I will enjoy them!! Eating like a local is one of my travel goals… (It always amazes me to see Americans travel all the way to Europe, only to head straight for the first McDonald’s they see. But that’s another blog for another day).
* To learn more about this food movement, check out: