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BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
6/9/13 5:44 P

I can't quite figure this thread out. So I'm going back to the opening post and from it I am gleaning the final sentence. "So for people who say they eat clean, what does that mean to you? What do you normally eat each day? What do value more portion/calories or "whole" foods?"

I don't go around saying "I eat clean" even though by many people's definition, that's probably exactly what I do. I cook a lot from scratch. I start with "ingredients" and end up with a "meal." I don't eat prepared meals (i.e. frozen dinners, heat-and-serve pouches, hamburger helper). I DO take certain shortcuts - canned tomatoes and beans, bottled salad dressing, etc. I don't make my own bread or fresh pasta. I don't milk my own cows to churn my own butter and cheese. For me, "eating clean" means relying on my own kitchen labour more than the labour provided at the General Foods factory.

Now, in addition to this question, a lot of other issues have been raised.

- The checkout girl who comments on the stuff on the conveyor belt as she scans it. Hilariously inappropriate. Unsolicited food-police advice is never welcome.

- the cost of eating fresh foods. Depending where you are, the season, and the importance one places on the label saying "organic" - cost can be a factor BUT it is not impossible to work around. Certain fresh foods can be very economical. If you want fresh belgian endive and blackberries out-of-season, ok, that's $$$. If you want a head of cabbage and a bag of carrots, not so much.

- whether you can successfully lose weight without fresh foods/clean eating - sure, of course you can. It's all in the portion control. It wouldn't be the sort of food regime I'd be satisfied with myself, but, we each have our own preferences.

- the nature of processed food. I loved what someone said a while back about it all being effectively "leftovers" - cooked at the factory and reheated at home. TRUE. In fact, this cook-and-reheat procedure is the nemesis of the food production industry, as processed meals suffer from what the industry refers to as WOF or "warmed over flavour" which is typically adjusted for at the production stage by adding massive quantities of salt to mask it. Yep, it's just the gross leftovers nobody wanted to eat out of the fridge, plus salt, placed in a brightly coloured packet on the freezer shelf.

- the economy of processed foods. It always surprises me how things like "Kraft Dinner" are considered "cheap/value" foods. I have a box in my cupboard (17 year old son, what can i say, lol), and it is a half pound box of noodles, plus some cheese-flavoured salt. It cost over a dollar. I still have to add butter or margarine and milk before it becomes edible. So it's more like a buck fifty, or two dollars.

I can buy a LOT of dry macaroni for a buck fifty. Melt some butter and toast it carefully till it starts to brown, toss with drained noodles, shake some grated parm on top. Voila. Cheaper than Kraft Dinner, and no more work.

Most pre-cooked meals and boxed "dinner helper" packages are similarly very overpriced, if you actually look at how much you are getting in the box. So relying on these foods is not really "necessary due to budget." It might be desired for convenience reasons, or storage reasons, or preference reasons. But processed foods do not do the wallet any favours.

Well, I think that covers my opinion on the multitude of topics running through this thread! :)

ANGELZBABE100 Posts: 63
6/9/13 4:42 P

I see what you are saying, but again not possible. He pays with his credit card and will put stuff back if he sees stuff that will spoil quickly on the belt. We have about $150 a month for food and the rest for household products and dog food. That is it. I am pretty sure I won't die if I do not have fresh food for a while. I will die if I refuse to eat anything that isn't fresh or homemade. I am sure people have and will continue to live even if they are not able to eat fresh and homemade foods. We cannot grow anything here. At least outside. We live in an apartment. And no one is going to care for a plant indoors. I dislike when people give my flowers because I will let them die. I don't remember to water them or care for them. What matters is that I am alive and living. I will not stress about fresh food because that is the least of my problems. I am $50K in debt with student loans and no job. THAT is a major crisis. Not having fresh produce or whole foods in my house isn't. Even when I do land a job, I won't be buying a whole lot of fresh products anyways. I may cook from time to time or have some berries on hand, but again, mostly stuff that can last for weeks or months without spoiling. I have to start paying back my loans and worrying about transportation, etc. I already do not go out to eat with people or buy clothes or any of those other luxuries that most people can do. At this point, fresh stuff would be a luxury for me and something I can get when I can afford to have it in my expanding amount of debt and stress. So for you and people who can afford it and all that, great. For those who cannot for one reason or another, doesn't mean we will die right away. That would mean there would be millions of people dropping dead this instant because they do not eat fresh or homemade foods.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/9/13 4:16 P

What I mean is that out of the $300/month budget, set aside $20 at the beginning of the month. Put it in an envelope, hide it away and use it to buy some fruits and veggies in the middle of the month. Going without any fresh produce for the last two weeks of the month does not seem reasonable...and don't kid yourself, there is NO way that it is healthy to not have any fresh stuff for half of the month.

Also, you can get a packet of lettuce seeds for about $1.50. Growing such things is dead simple this time of year. You can even grow lettuce in an empty plastic grocery bag. Fill it with dirt, plant the seeds and water it once a day in the morning. Boom, fresh veg.

ANGELZBABE100 Posts: 63
6/9/13 3:59 P

Setting aside money for fresh food is out of the question. Dad already complains and wants to slash budget already to $280 for the four of us for a month. We need stuff that doesn't spoil and last weeks and months. I'm losing weight with the food I am eating and the exercise I do and so that is all that matters at this point. I will worry about everything else when the time comes. I'm just tired of the constant fighting at home with how we budget since my dad is semi-retired and my mom works very part-time. No more food stamps for us and so until my sister or I (or both) find work, things will remain as is for a while. But thanks people for your input.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/9/13 2:59 P

While the cashier was right, he was certainly out of line. I hate it when cashiers comment on my purchases!

Have you ever read any of Michael Pollan's books? They might give you some interesting things to think about.

It sounds like your family should be setting aside some money for fresh fruits and veggies for later in the month. I spend about the same amount of money that you do on food, but I eat VERY well and probably about 95% clean. It's something that is very doable if you want to do it and are willing to put in some effort. I cook from scratch, plus I grow a lot of my own herbs and vegetables. I can and I freeze. I barter for fresh seafood and farm-fresh eggs. None of these things are difficult, and if you are unemployed you probably have the time for such activities if you get organized.

As for grab-and-go, you can make your own granola bars (though any granola bar will have tons of carbs) and make your own cereal. I do a lot of salad-in-a-jar for convenience...but everything in the jar is real food. I also make soups and meals ahead of time and freeze them. It's as convenient as a store-bought frozen meal, but it tastes better and is better for me.

AURORA629 Posts: 2,393
6/9/13 8:20 A

Sorry to hear about your friend. That is terrible.

6/6/13 11:12 A


That is so bizarre!

Well, good for you having the strength to stand up for yourself. People need to mind their own business.

As far as the second part...I don't eat clean all the time, but I do try to keep it as healthy as possible (in my own opinion of what that is). Banana or oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast, lunch is either a vegetable sandwich on whole wheat, or a salad with with lots of veggies and sesame seeds. For a snack I like granola and greek yogurt, and dinner is the real tossup. Maybe a hamburger with sweet potato fries, maybe grilled chicken salad, or hey, maybe tacos! And yes, sometimes I have an orange and tea for dessert, and sometimes, I have icecream and popcorn :).

For me, the key in happiness is balance. Feeling good about your choices, and not getting worked up about others' choices.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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6/6/13 10:57 A

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend but glad that you have the strength to move forward and live your life in a positive way.

A tip I learned for buying in bulk is to look at unit prices of items. Its listed on the price tag at stores and gives the price per oz (of actual food, not including packaging). This is especially good for items that are shelf stable like rice, canned tuna, etc because even if one brand is slightly more expensive than the other, if the unit price is lower, it means there's more food in there so I'm getting more bang for my buck. I actually ended up saving money in the long run when I bought salad dressing the other day because the big bottle had a higher unit price than the smaller bottle so it was cheaper to buy a couple of smaller ones than a big bottle.

ANGELZBABE100 Posts: 63
6/6/13 9:22 A

Thanks everyone for your input. And I am not ashamed to say I flipped him off. I do that to anyone who annoys or angers me. I am a no-nonsense type of person and I don't care if your a cop, a teacher or a cashier, you don't act like a douche and expect me to care if I am nice to you or not. That is just my personality. I flipped off a college professor when she started picking on me for no reason even though I always did the HW and did decent on the exams. After the last test, she started calling on me and being rude just for the hell of it. I got up, said some nasty things, flipped her off and bounced. Still got an B because if she had given me anything less than that I would have complained since I put in the effort. She just didn't like me. I flipped off a cop too once but that's cuz he was being an ass. I have that kind of personality that you either like it and deal with it or you hate it and we don't talk. I guess you can see I'm very polarizing !

But no, between the job interviews and school and family issues, etc...I typical eat things I can grab and go. Granola bar, cereal that I've put in baggies, baggies of nuts. The only time I cook now is for major holidays. I like to cook but cannot do so until situations change that gives me the funds to do so. Four people to divide up $300 for an entire month, which is a little over $100 per person, it doesn't really work and sometimes as a family we just don't get to buy a lot of food. So it sucks. Granted it is better than them saying we just can't eat. When food goes to waste, my dad will cut money from our budget and be like well you guys didn't care about the money you wasted so here I'll compensate by lowering the budget. We buy cereal in bulk, a big container of mixed nuts, fruit cups, individual chocolate milks, frozen veggies and meals, etc. My mom will in rare instances make pasta, but I don't really eat pasta. Besides she puts ground beef in with the sauce and I don't eat beef. It becomes an issue with finding things I like that can last more than 3 weeks without going bad and that doesn't cost a lot and that I can also share with the whole family. I finally have a routine of things I buy now, but it took a lot of looking through the isles. I wish I could apply to food stamps on my own but they won't let me since I live with my parents and they are the ones on the bills.

Even then, I would still buy a lot of convenience over "fresh" because I just never get to the fresh stuff before it goes bad for one reason or another. Then when I am tossing $10 of stuff in the garbage, I feel mad that I didn't get something else that didn't spoil so quick. Sometimes I end up staying at a relatives house for a few days and then my food just goes bad. So I value all of that over "fresh" but will eat fresh in some cases. Just how I am. I tried cracking whole nuts. Hurt my hand with the nut cracker, nut didn't come out whole and it was so bland. The only time I would use nuts like that is for baking or cooking. But then again, I HATE plain and Greek yogurt and will get flavored yoplait light despite all the "added sugars and HFCS" because it tastes better than the other two. Even adding vanilla, and other stuff "natural" flavorings cannot save the taste. It's like eating sour cream and I dislike sour cream with a passion unless it is getting baked into a cake for moisture. When I go for frozen yogurt with my sister, I have to get vanilla or cake batter. Plain or tart flavors annoy me because I am not a tart or sour loving person. My sis on the other hand goes for fruit punch or pineapple flavorings. We developed very diff taste buds !

All in all, I think we have to do what is best for us and our lifestyles/families. Some people have the luxury of more money and time while others do not. Some know how to cook while others can make cereal and use a microwave. Some people are picky eaters while others have tastebuds that enjoy exploring tastes they have never tried before. Lost another 1.5 lbs for this week, not eating 100% or even 80% clean. But now I am running a lot, 12-25 miles a week depending on how tired I am. Hopefully by next month I will be at my goal weight. Life really is short. That is one thing my friend taught me. She NEVER dieted. She ate whatever she wanted in decent portions. She loved her some cheesecake and giant burgers. She exercised and all that. She used to say what point is living to be 100 yrs old if you did everything safe, didn't take some risks, didn't really enjoy your life and restricted things just to live to be 100. She would take living to be 50 but happy with her choices than 100. She died at 25 in a car accident when a moron ran the red light to "get to his buddies party so he doesn't miss out on the hot chicks". I was in the car with her and got seriously hurt but lived, obviously. I want to be happy in the present. I live each day as it comes and don't really look too much to the future because who knows if you will have one. I think I have earned my treat for the week and I will have me a doughnut at the shop by my place. She makes great doughnuts! But hopefully everyone continues to reach success in their journies.

AURORA629 Posts: 2,393
6/6/13 9:02 A

It isn't a grocery store, but I work retail too and were I work, they actually want us to comment on customer purchases. Not like that obviously, but in a positive way. The goal is to have customers leaving feeling good about their purchases. I think that cashier needs to be retrained.

AMANDA660 Posts: 881
6/6/13 8:12 A

You flipped him off!! That totally cracked me up!
"Keep a balance of convenience, clean foods and portion sizes. Those are all important factors." This comment really summed it up well

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,945)
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6/6/13 7:58 A

Rather unprofessional... I would have told his manager. TBH, I don't think losing weight has much to do with the diet you choose as it does calories in vs. calories out. Clean eating is just a healthy lifestyle diet. It does keep you more satiated and less likely to overeat, however.

Clean eating doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, it's usually cheaper but... it does require more preparation at home. I rarely buy organic myself because it's way too pricey. Sure, I'll grab the odd thing on sale but that's as far as it goes. There's just not much I can do about that. I have a family of 5 to feed on a single income. We do have a small vegetable/fruit garden but that's the extent of it.

If you buy the raw ingredients and make your own food, it's cheaper. I can make homemade granola bars, crackers, muffins/breads etc. for the kids far cheaper than buying them in the grocery store. Buying a big bag of oats ($1.50) that lasts me 2-3 months (with me and the kids eating it and we eat a lot) is a lot cheaper than buying a box of instant oatmeal ($3.00) that lasts a week, 2 weeks tops. Buying bags of beans for $2.00 is cheaper than buying 1/5 of that in a can. You get the idea.

Frozen vegetables are a great option and I always buy what's on sale (in season) in produce.
These fresh fruits and vegetables always seem to be cheap:
Leafy Greens

For meats... my husband and I look through all the grocery flyers and find where our meats will be on sale that week. When they are, we bulk up and freeze them.

If I do buy canned. I buy options that only contain the vegetable/fruit and water. Same goes for anything in a box, container or bag. Simply read the ingredient list. If it's short and contains nothing but "real" food, it's clean.

Clean eating "condiments" are always cheaper; vinegars, natural flavouring from fruits (banana, unsweetened applesauce, lemon/lime), herbs/spices, etc.

If you choose to start eating clean, you don't have to be perfect! I'm not and unless you have a very large disposable income, it's pretty much impossible to be. You just do what you can.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 6/6/2013 (08:08)
CHESAPEAKE60 SparkPoints: (7,707)
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6/6/13 7:21 A

Can't imagine a cashier making a negative comment to a customer like that. Wow! Now I have had cashiers comment on how healthy my cart was. Or comment that they see I don't eat junk food. But the comments were always made in a complimentary way - like "I wish I shopped more like that".

As far as "clean" eating I am all about moderation. I am lucky enough that time and finances are not an issue so I will shop several times a week for fresh produce so I can buy small amounts that won't go bad. But I don't hesitate to buy prepared foods that I am not going to bake/cook myself. I use prepared salad dressings. I use canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bread goods. Etc.

Average sample food for a day:

Breakfast - boiled egg and fresh berries with about 1/4 cup skim milk
Lunch - roasted, skinless chicken, raw mixed veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, etc)
Afternoon snack - nuts
Dinner - broiled, baked fish like salmon, green cooked veggy, fresh tomato slices, 1/2 sweet potato plain
Evening snack - air popped popcorn misted with oilive oil and a touch of fine sea salt.

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
6/6/13 3:46 A

I think that the cashier had no business commenting on your purchases and neither does anyone else, unless you ask.

I try to minimize processed foods due to the high sodium content in many of them, but I still do use some for convenience (e.g. canned spaghetti sauce, canned chili peppers, the occasional box of crackers, store-bought bread, tortillas, lowfat cheeses, yogurt, dry pastas, brummel and brown spread and a few others). But, I do cook as many things at home, from basic ingredients, as I can. It has to be reasonable, though, because time is limited. I do batch cook and I will often eat leftovers for lunch.

I also used to refuse to eat leftovers, until I realized that I was basically eating leftovers every single time I ate a processed food. I felt like this was especially true for frozen foods (e.g. frozen lasagnas, frozen meals, frozen pizzas, etc.). It's just that the food is prepared at the factory the first time instead of being prepared by me, at home (they cook it at the factory, or at least they cook parts of it, then they can, box, refrigerate or freeze it). If I batch cook at home or I eat leftovers from dinner the night before, I am controlling the ingredients and I prefer that. I know I'm using, for example, nice chicken breast without tendons/ligaments and all the big veins that I find gross to eat (I remove the "nasties" from the chicken that I cook vs always finding these things in frozen meals). Leftovers actually taste fine (much better than a lot of processed foods or meals that you can get at the store) if they are stored and re-heated properly. Some leftovers need to be heated on the stove or in the oven. Some are okay in the microwave.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
6/6/13 2:59 A

I wonder what the store thinks of their cashier telling customers not to buy 95% of the products sold at the store.

If the store where I shop didn't sell junk food, it would be long out of business. I know because I stand in line there all the time and half the people shopping are buying junk. I judge them all the time in my head, but I would never, ever say something out loud, that's just ridiculously rude.

I eat clean, and it's about health, NOT weight loss. It's also about minding your own business and focusing on what you (and not other people) are putting into your (not their) body.

As far as what I eat: my breakfasts are always the same - homemade oat bars and green tea. For lunch I eat a lot of fresh veggies (farmers' market where I live is amazing), dried beans, whole grains. I keep it vegetarian. Afternoon snack I have fresh fruit. Dinner is always 2 whole local eggs. The end. That's all I eat. Ever. And it's fine. And I don't bug other people to eat like me.

ACHIEVE2012 SparkPoints: (5,176)
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6/5/13 3:59 P

You are welcome! We have some things in common. I don’t like to eat leftovers and I agree that fruits and veges do go bad quickly. I also do not like to precut vegies as there is nutrients loss. However, in interest of time and convienince, I have tried to mold myself in being ok with eating atleast some amount of leftovers. Also, now I am able to accept frozen food atleast some of the times. Kudos to you for not wanting to waste the fruits and vegies which are already hard to come by for you.

It doesn’t have to be very difficult. Even if you are a picky eater, try to find some frozen entrees you like which are premade and boxed and try to cook similar food at home and freeze. That way you have frozen dinners ready when you need them minus the artificial ingredients that the boxed stuff tends to have. Clean eating is more than whole grains, it is mostly about eating food, even packaged ones that do not have a 20 ingredients long list which cannot be even pronounced by regular folks who are not chemists ! : )).

You certainly do not need to be ashamed of buying the boxed stuff since that is something you can do at this time. Even in that, there are good choices that can be made. For example, steel cut oats which are not instant but need less amt of time to cook is easily available. Takes 15 mins to cook and makes a very hardy breakfast. There certainly are other nutritious instant cereals. I can understand that you are only looking for what people think about clean eating and not preaching. However, I couldn’t help but point out a few things you could do as well and hopefully it will only help.

When you get the fruits, precut them before dinner and leave it out so that each batch of people when they sit to eat will have to right there. Already cut and nicely arranged fruits are pretty hard to resist ! : ). That way, it is already there and everyone can eat parts of it. Your body will be happy and also your mind will be at ease that the food was not wasted.

When you do have the vegies, do the same, clean and precut them and store them properly so that it stays fresh atleast for 2-3 days. Or cook them all at 1 time, freeze some of them and consume others in the next 2-3 days. That way, you have some on hand for later in the week and in the meantime, you ate well for 2-3 days out of the week. You can also buy only a few vegetables and less quantity and add it other foods so that you don’t have to buy a lot and it won’t go to waste but increases the nutritional quality of the food you made.

FP4HLOSER Posts: 968
6/5/13 2:58 P

Oh my! That cashier sounds a lot like my sister who feels it is her duty to offer unsolicited advice. I probably would have asked him who made him the Food Police or asked him to call over the store manager! LOL! People like that feel they are being "helpful" and don't realise how annoying they really are.

I don't buy a lot of packaged/processed stuff anymore except what DH wants for his lunches. I don't find buying vegetables and making things from scratch to be too much a problem or all that expensive. I like to take a day a couple times a month to cook batches of things and freeze them, making my own convenience foods. Frozen vegetables are a good option when the fresh ones are not available and you can usually find those on sale for around $1 a bag more or less.

CBR0422UNCW SparkPoints: (3,076)
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6/5/13 2:45 P

I just have to say first, that unless you are soliciting information/advice/opinions from someone about your health/diet (such as in a forum like this one), people have no business telling you what to eat.

Yes, we would all probably be healthier if we all ate a clean whole foods diet as much as possible, but losing weight by any healthy means can also go a long way toward improving a person's health. There is no "one correct way." It's also not 'all or nothing'. Simple things like choosing in season fruit over little debbie cakes or a box of cookies makes a difference.

For me, ‘clean’ eating means avoiding artificial ingredients (sweeteners, colors, flavors, preservatives, etc), high fructose corn syrup, added sugars, soy and genetically modified organisms. It also means choosing organic and ‘scratch’ cooking whenever possible. Overall, the fewer ingredients in a pre-packaged food the better. I realize that this definition is subjective and may not be the same as everyone (or anyone really) else’s.

In my experience, eating this way gets particularly expensive when we buy ‘healthy’ versions of traditional junk foods that we probably shouldn’t eat regularly anyway. However, simple old fashioned meals don’t generally have to break the bank (Spaghetti, roast & veggies over rice or potatoes, bean or veggie soup, chili, etc.) For example, there are tons of slow cooker recipes that use ‘whole foods’ that can be prepared quickly and easily and then left to cook. Some of these can be prepared and frozen in advance (google terms like ‘once a month cooking’, or ‘freezer meals’) so that you can do all (or most of) your prep for several days/weeks worth of meals at one time. Things like homemade pancakes, muffins, twice baked potatoes, etc can also be made in large batches and portioned and frozen for later. It doesn't have to be expensive and you don’t have to spend hours preparing/cooking a meal every day.

Edited by: CBR0422UNCW at: 6/5/2013 (14:49)
ANGELZBABE100 Posts: 63
6/5/13 2:44 P

Thanks ACHIEVE2012 for your input. True, health is important but some people get super obsessive about eating only things that are deemed "good" for their health, that they don't enjoy life. Life is too short to be that obsessive but taking care of your body IS important. I have dark chocolate here and there. I enjoy a sugar cookie or doughnut here and there. I don't eat a lot of ice cream. I will eat a slice of cake hre and there, etc.

I don't eat things like rice and the like. Never have liked it. So quinoa and all that wouldn't be on my "to-eat" list. I am one EXTREMELY picky eater. The only seafood I eat is shrimp, that is only used in cocktail shrimp and I don't eat beef or pork. One thing I noticed when I do cook, is the amount of time food has to be consumed before it goes bad. AND, I do not eat leftovers ! My mom has given me the nickname "kid who will die when she lives on her own" because I refuse to eat food after it is cooked. Weird huh?

Food that is prepared usually has a 1-12 day life before it should be tossed (depending on what it is, what is in it, etc). That is why I don't find it always practical unless you are feeding a party or a big family. No one in my family eats at the same time. I eat dinner early, 4-5pm. My sis is 5-6pm and my parents are around 7-8pm. That is half the reason I stopped cooking (plus financial constraints). The last time we had veggies and fruits around every week was when we were on food stamps but we no longer qualify. Now we have fruits and veggies on hand maybe 1 week out of the whole month. It just goes bad too fast before everyone gets to it and then it gets dumped. Such a waste. Same with leftovers and other things. So unless I find a job, I eat stuff from boxes, bags and containers. Not ashamed of it. It is my (and a lot of other people's) reality.

Was just curious people's opinions on the matter. But I say good job for you for actually being able to do the whole clean eating thing and like it.

ACHIEVE2012 SparkPoints: (5,176)
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6/5/13 2:31 P

Hi Anglezbabe,
It is indeed highly annoying when people comment on our personal choices. They don’t know the complete circumstances and yet they feel free to comment. Even what is seen may not be the complete truth. There are surely some choices you have to make depending on our financial resources, availability of things, etc…

It is also true that eating only “clean” food is not a free ticket to weight loss. It is important what we eat but is also very important is how much we eat and when we eat.

I consider myself a fairly clean eater. I do eat some amount of processed food. And that is because in the overall scheme of things, I value the convenience factor in the interest of time and also that way, I don’t have to feel deprived of anything. But overall, I do buy more ‘clean” foods. That includes, whole grains, beans, nuts/seeds, good fats, vegetables, fruits, etc..

But coming to your points, that it is possible to lose weight while eating not-so-clean food, yes it is possible by staying within the calories range and exercising. However, it is not advisable… Here are my top 2 reasons..
1. This is not just about weight loss. It is about a healthy body and healthy lifestyle.
2. Indeed buying more processed food leads to buying more plastic and hardware which is bad for the environment.

Buying more “cleaner” food may seem to be more expensive. There are still some choices you can make. Buying certain grains like Quinoa, buckwheat, etc… is fairly cheap. Think about it… you don’t need a whole lot of it. It cooks “up”. A cup of raw quinoa cooks up into atleast 2-2.5 cups. So does brown rice and other grains. A packet of these grains are not very expensive. It’s the same with beans which have a chock full of nutrients. They are also very filling with all the fiber it has.

A burrito made from whole grain tortilla stuffed with some greens and beans/rice is a very nutritious and filling meal and is fairly inexpensive if you buy bulk beans and soak and cook them at home. A little salsa along with it adds a ton of taste. No need for cheese/sour cream. It also doesn’t take much time to make if you cook a pot of beans and have it ready for use.

You could indeed have some prepackaged stuff, as I mentioned, convenience is important to me too. Yogurt would be one of those things. Whole grain bread and tortillas would be another example.

Keep a balance of convenience, clean foods and portion sizes. Those are all important factors.

SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,229
6/5/13 2:19 P

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (Read it without the religious context)

Your choices are yours; mine are mine. Try not to let other people get in your head. You know your circumstances, they don't.

ANGELZBABE100 Posts: 63
6/5/13 1:53 P

So I was at the grocery store with my parents and sister yesterday. And as I was putting things on the checkout line, the cashier starts to put his two cents in with oh hey you know that stuff is bad for you, you should only be eating foods that are found "naturally" without packaging, boxes, bags or containers. I looked at him, flipped him off and told him to mind his own business. Then I thought about it, and I had the same encounter with someone a few weeks ago, with them telling me to eat "clean" foods and stuff.

It's funny because A) I don't buy my own food and therefore only get a marginal amount of input as to what food goes into the basket and B) buying all "natural" food can get a little pricey, especially if there is more than 1 person in the household and yet only 2 people are actually working. My mom and dad are working but my sis and i are not (can't seem to find work). We have a "budgeted amount of $300 for the week which includes household products and dog stuff. It really isn't that much especially because two years ago we spent $700 and I cooked A LOT MORE.

So for now, we buy a lot of bulk foods that will last, packaged, frozen, canned, etc. Fresh foods do not last too long and can get pricey in comparison. I find it funny when you go into the Walmarts around here and all the carts are always full of junk food, candies, and the like. If you go to a Trader Joes or a Whole Foods or even a Ralphs, different. Demographics and likely income divides also play a role between Walmart shoppers and other stores, but that's a topic for a diff time.

I have lost weight not eating "clean" foods all the time. It can be too time consuming to prepare and cook all the foods and a limited time it can be eaten. They also say yogurt and milk is good for you but it comes from a container so I don't really see the logic in saying EVERYTHING in a package/container/box is bad for you. You can gain weight eating too much healthy food too!! Too much meat, nuts, dairy, healthy breads, and certain veggies and fruits will still make you fat if you do not practice calorie/portion control. And the same people who criticize people for not eating "clean" also take weight loss/weigh training supplements and protein powders/shakes and protein bars and other "not so clean" things which I find a little hypocritical.

So as long as your not pigging out on candy and McDonald's everyday, I don't see how eating the right cereals and eating things from boxes can be that bad for you, especially if you exercise. If you only have 1-2 hours a whole day to spare gathering lunch or breakfast or dinner because you are so busy, you are not going to sit down and grill a chicken and saute veggies. Some people do not even have stoves or ovens and only have microwaves. Income dictates how much you can spend on food but just because one person chooses to "eat clean" doesn't mean they are better than someone else, and since that phrase means so many different things, it somewhat annoys me to hear that I am killing myself with the food I put in my body when I don't even eat ice cream or fast food or all that.

I lost 80lbs 4 yrs ago without eating clean and have lost 8 lbs so far the past 2 months. Portion control, a DECENT diet, calories and exercise is more important than stressing if the foods I am eating are clean foods or not. I dislike buying nuts in shells and having to crack them (too annoying and time consuming). I buy a can of lightly salted nuts (HATE natural nuts because they are so dry). I get cereal with a good amount of fiber and other nutrients with the least amount of sugar. I find my protein sources in the frozen isles but look for the lowest amount of sodium, highest protein and least amount of preservatives. And the best things, it will last more than 1 week AND I can give some to my sis or mom because there is more than a couple portions. You have to be smart about what you do choose to eat, but not make it so difficult and impossible. People lose weight on Jenny Craig, Slim Fast and all that with pre-packaged foods. It's just convenient and no brainer, which is good for some people. My aunt shed 120lbs on Jenny Craig and looks great. She cooked normally 4x's a month and ate Jenny Craig + added in Subway when she was swamped with work and wouldn't be home until late as well as food from the grocery store like yogurts and granola bars for snacks. Sorry for my rant. People just drive me crazy sometimes.

So for people who say they eat clean, what does that mean to you? What do you normally eat each day? What do value more portion/calories or "whole" foods?

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