Trying To Live On A Non-Processed Food Diet
If there is one thing that could closely encapsulate the meaning of "going back to the basics," then a non-processed food diet should cinch it. I have been on this diet for about 5 years and I think I am finally getting the hang of it.
I cannot honestly say that I am an "expert" with this kind of diet because I still find myself craving for a whole lot of processed food. And yes, I do give in once in a while.
Anyway, one of the main principles (but definitely not the only one) is this: you simply remove as many processed food items from your daily meals and replace these with fresh ingredients instead. This is actually harder than it sounds. Most of the food items I know ARE processed. That includes everything from frozen dinners, to microwavable snacks, and to bottled colas. Cheeses, packs of tomato sauce and ready made pizza dough are likewise off the list. The same goes for condiments like mayo, ketchup and soy sauce.
Needless to say, all my favorite dishes and snacks use one or more processed ingredients too. So, the desire to cheat always tugs at me like a pain.
Anyway, this is not another hare-brained scheme that I just thought of. This was actually recommended by my nutritionist who scrutinized my daily meals like a hawk. (She obviously noticed that amidst the canned meat products and the assortment of buttery dishes, one of the staples of my weekly meals was ice cream.)
We started this diet about 5 years ago to help control my blood sugar level. But like most people who are major pains, I resisted this change like my life depended on it. After all, what’s life without ice cream? coffee? without ready to cook French fries? without pre-packed baked goodies? without a good sized glob of butter on your bagels? without fizzy drinks? without jumbo sized canned luncheon meat?
In any case, my nutritionist ever so gently persuaded me to keep an open mind about it, and experiment with new tastes and flavors. She encouraged me to look beyond my usual food selections and try out different ways of preparing my meals. And here I am, 5 years later (it took me that long to acquire some measure of common sense)… still learning the ropes, but finally more than 120 pounds lighter.
Naturally enough, during the first 3 years that I refused to accomodate this diet, I lost a total of 20 pounds. It was only these past few months, when I finally embraced this diet that I finally gained favorable results in my weight loss program. And I can keep my blood sugar level in check at the same time.
I have learned to switch from my favorite colas (even the sugar free kind) to home made fruit juices. I have learned to prepare, marinade and cook meals using only rock salt (not the refined table variety), fresh herbs and peppercorns I had to crack by myself. Most importantly, I have (re)discovered the taste of natural fruits, vegetables and meat without feeling the need to smother these in mayo, ketchup and soy sauce. I can also honestly say that I have not used or eaten butter and margarine (which was also a staple in my daily meals) for 2 years now.
True enough - I still crave for ice cream once in a while. But somehow, I find myself satisfied with an occasional single scoop of chocolate ice cream on a plain cone. That is, in my opinion, an improvement from my previous indulgence of a half-gallon ice cream in one sitting.
I know this is not for everyone, but do you think you will ever subscribe to this kind of diet? What kinds of foods would you miss the most?