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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (85,592)
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12/26/13 7:50 P

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I'm the same way you are. I hate to waste food. Can't just throw it out, so I use it up and then try to buy a healthier alternative the next time. We do have a local food pantry where I live, so donating some of the processed foods to them is one way I am able to get rid of some of the less healthy foods that have crept into my cupboards without having to actually eat them.

Cooking from scratch is a great way to eat clean, since you know what is in the foods you are making.

I do grow lots of my own produce organically, so know those at least are free from all the pesticides and chemicals that sometimes are in the store bought ones. And I've switched to organic milk instead of regular (yes, it does cost twice as much, but I've also found that it tastes better - and my hubby agrees!). Working on reading labels and looking for healthier alternatives in other foods I buy as well.

I make my own pizzas from scratch. The crust is very simple to make, only takes a few minutes, and it tastes better than the frozen kind you get at the store (my son's friends say it's the best tasting pizza and I should go into business - too much work). Since it is quick, it really only takes a few minutes more than if I threw a frozen pizza in the oven, and it's cheaper too. I make the sauce from scratch - from my own organically grown tomatoes. Just add a few spices (also easy to grow at home) and you're set. I like italian sausage on mine, but I pre-cook the bulk packages to reduce the fat, and add sliced mushrooms. I often put more than one kind of cheese on it too.

If you have a large freezer, you can always make multiple batches of meals and freeze the extras for when you need something quick. I make a triple batch of spaghetti sauce and freeze it in quart size containers (I use the same recipe for lasagne or other italian dishes too). I make a large pan of lasagne even though it's just the two of us, and freeze the rest in individual containers. I make stuffed peppers in the summer with the ones I pick from my garden and freeze those for hubby to take to work as well. I've pre-made chicken enchiladas and frozen them, or just froze batches of the filling. So even if I've been busy all day and didn't take anything out for dinner, it still gives us healthier alternatives that can be prepared quickly instead of resorting to convenience foods. We still eat too many convenience foods and processed foods - a habit I'm determined to break which is why I just joined this team.

-Cathy
Central Standard Time Zone

If it's to be, it's up to ME.

Organic Gardeners team leader
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TASHAPET's Photo TASHAPET Posts: 318
11/5/13 9:39 A

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1. I hate food waste. I mean I really, REALLY hate it. I've become a master at turning leftovers into new meals just so I don't have to throw something out. Partly it's the money, partly it's remembering how my parents had to watch every penny just to put food on the table some months, partly it's just my OCD perfectionist mentality. Bottom line is I can't simply throw things out.

2. I already cook most meals from scratch. I do have some convenience foods in the freezer for days when we are running out the door again right after we have dinner (three kids in two different activities each, plus dancing for me and swimming for my husband) but mostly I cook real food.

3. Sweeping change overwhelms me. I'm not sure if it's my perfectionism or what, but I can't look at any situation simply. I see all the possibilities, all the requirements, everything that needs to be done to get it all PERFECT and then, because I'm not superwoman and can't get it all perfect, throw my hands up in the air at the impossibility of it all and do nothing. And even though some part of my brain knows I'm being irrational I still can't get past it. Sad, really.

I'd like to start with some of the things I use without thinking - condiments, salad dressings, baking items like pudding mix and cool whip and so on, etc. - taking them off my grocery list and replacing them with things that are homemade and healthier. I won't throw out what I have left (see #1 above) but as I use things up I'm going to start trying to make my own. Found a post about how to make your own frozen pizzas so am going to try that so I can stop buying the boxed kind that don't taste that good anyway.

Are there any commercially packaged sauces or dressings or other foods that fit into clean eating? I'm so new at this :S

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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 1,947
11/4/13 8:41 P

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One vote here for sweeping change.

You say "if I try to make any sweeping changes I'm unlikely to stick to it" but why do you think that? I'd think the opposite. Indeed, that's what finally worked for me. May not be for everyone but, for some people, abrupt change drives home the point that you're not ever going to eat poorly again. Why leave unhealthy food around to tempt?

And you're right, it's definitely uneconomical. But again, throwing food out can be a very motivating and liberating event that's more effective than anything else you could do. And the next time you're in the store, you'll equate picking up that box of junk food with money wasted.

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ANGEL_AMBER's Photo ANGEL_AMBER SparkPoints: (45,055)
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11/4/13 9:15 A

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I recommend starting some and agree with TOIMISAKI about sugar.

Instead of throwing things out in your freezer prepare them differently or treat the food differently. And on next shopping trips do not re-buy certain items. For instance if you have a box of say ice cream bars let your kids know they are 'weekend' treats. Don't say they are bad food just food you don't eat every day.

if you have say a frozen breaded chicken...I still eat that because some nights you just need a quick meal. But I make a salad, and steam veggies to go with it. As well as either brown rice or sweet potato.

Try simply adding in more fruit and veggies. Once sugary cereal is gone buy cereal that has less grams of sugar in it. Replace pop with orange juice (just watch sugar in juice.)

For me I started slow with my family. Replaced certain items with lower sodium items. Bought boneless skinless chicken more. I found yummy recipes. And before I knew my husband was adding the cleaner items to the shopping list on his own!

Start small...with small changes. Don't throw everything out.

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TOIMISAKI's Photo TOIMISAKI Posts: 47
11/4/13 1:48 A

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First, congratulations for giving this a try! It is really very hard to break old habits but they can be broken.
I dropped all added sugars, wheat, sodas, and added in avocados, nuts, brown rice, lower GI fruit instead. Coconut oil is a big help if you enjoy the flavor.
My advice is to tackle the sugar first, read all the books you can to get yourself geared up and excited about it. Look for healthy recipes with your family and get used to the flavors of real food. I use alot of spice, things don't have to be bland!
Stay away from prepared foods especially those with long ingredient lists! The front labels always lie.
A good thing to do is to write everythind in a food journal, make one change at a time and write down how the change makes you feel.

don't just leave things out of your diet...substitute!! For each healthy option you will all be one step closer to feeling really great. I now prefer the taste of soda water with lime juice added to the flavor of regular or even diet soda. Over a period of time your likes will change, and foods will taste better than ever before. You may find that you wont want that coke classic eventually, it will taste too syrupy and fake. It is a sugar bomb, and the sugar rush it gives you will keep you off balance and needing more. They've scientifically formulated it to hook us and keep us hooked.

But one step at a time.
Good luck!!!

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TASHAPET's Photo TASHAPET Posts: 318
11/3/13 11:03 P

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Hi everyone, I would really like to improve my diet (and those of my husband and kids) by making a move towards clean eating. I'm not really sure where to start though... overhauling the contents of the entire kitchen and deep freeze seems uneconomical, and I know that if I try to make any sweeping changes I'm unlikely to stick to it. So I would love some advice on some small changes I can make to get started, and also some ideas on what ingredients should be the first to omit.

And if someone can please point me in the direction of a clean-eating substitute for Coke Classic, I and my waistline would be eternally grateful :P

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