I have to admit, this challenge is probably easier for me than some because my mind set is already geared that way because of having celiac and other food allergies. For 6 years I've been reading every label before I buy anything in a wrapper to avoid wheat, barley, oats, rye, soy, corn and chicken. Often, I get so frustrated that I literally hit the produce and the meat sections and leave the store, never venturing into other aisles because there is no point to it. If you read the labels on your food you will find that almost everything has one of those ingredients I listed, some hidden beneath the headings of "natural flavor", "starch", "dexrins"...on and on. The list is limitless of things I have learned to avoid. I can't even buy broth, yogurt or cheese. yes...cheese is often coated in corn starch to keep it from sticking to the wrapper.
My downfall is sugar. I L.O.V.E. sugar (and Diet Coke). I could happily chug gallons of koolaid, soda, sweetened iced tea, hot chocolate and munch on chocolate chips and marshmallows all day long.
That has really been the change for me. Not eating sugar or artificial sweeteners.
if you're interested in trying it too - let me know!
Here are my tips and tricks, give it a week even, you might find it is amazing like I did.
1. I get a box of organic produce delivered from my local CSA (Door to door organics). It's a life saver and they pick the variety for me every week so I don't worry about the "rut" factor or missing out on nutrients because I'm only eating apples and spinach. ha ha (seriously did that for a few weeks out of sheer laziness).
2. Buy an entire cooked roast beef, ham, or turkey breast from the deli. yes, it will cost $30-50 depending on the size but it's already cooked and you can cut it up at home to freeze portions that will last weeks. Also, instead of eating it shaved, you feel like a real meal with a nice filet in front of you. Heat it in a skillet or in the microwave. Super time saving too.
3. Grains and Legumes - Get canned and parboiled so you don't have to spend a lot of time on it.
4. Use your crock pot!! I LOVE my Crockpots. I have 3 sizes and they are the ultimate in convenient. You can buy any cheap chunk of meat, toss it in with any cut up veggies (think turnips and beets for variety even), add some salt and pepper and in 4-8 hours there is dinner. If you have a big one, make a double batch to freeze. if you're feeling fancy toss in some dried herbs like basil and thyme which will make everything taste better.
now that I'm over the sugar cravings and happily drinking my iced tea unsweetened every day, I'm actually finding a real sense of peacefulness around food, that I've never had before.
Giving yourself permission to simplify can do that I suppose. Plus, I know that I can eat as much as I want all day long because it's nearly impossible to consume a huge amount of calories munching on fresh fruit and veggies.
Random trivia: you would have to eat 8 FEET of sugar cane to get the same amount of sugar you can drink in a bottle of soda. That sounds physically impossible to me...even if you were somehow motivated to actually chew sugar cane!