Thursday, March 5, 2009

March Goal: No Prepared Foods

The other day I said something to my husband that I’ve believed for a long time: If we just cut out the junk food and packaged, processed, prepared foods, we’d all be healthier and lose weight. So I decided to make that my goal for March. I don’t think I eat many prepared foods, but we shall see as the month goes on . . .

I’ve already realized that I’ll have to change my rules as I go along, For instance, I need to better define my terms because so many things we buy come in “packages” or are at least partially “processed.” What about bread? It’s unrealistic to expect anyone to always make their own bread from scratch. So I’ll need to modify as I go along. I guess what I mean is “prepared” foods, and I know it would be extremely difficult to cut them out of our lives completely. So part of my question is specifically how much to cut them out? I’m going to take a rough guess at the rule of 80/20: if you eat fresh, homemade foods 80% of the time, it probably doesn’t matter what you eat the other 20% of the time.

As the trainer Jillian on the Biggest Loser says, “If it didn’t come from the ground, or didn’t have a mother, don’t eat it.” Eat real foods, like the words for foods that you learn when learning a foreign language. You don’t learn how to say “lunchables” in French, for example. More importantly, if you don’t really know what’s in it, don’t eat it.

I’ll need to focus on the “real” foods I’m eating, with mention of my discrepancies. In the end, that means a food journal! Ugh! I hate keeping a food journal. But it would more appropriately show the proportions of real vs. prepared foods I consume this month.

I hope to have a specific, realistic set of guidelines by the end of the month.


  1. Here's some guidelines to try out, from a chemist. Don't buy it if it has more than 5 ingredients total, or if you can't pronounce one of the words. True with personal care products too!

  2. I'm trying to use more natural personal care products, especially make-up. Any brands to suggest?