Nutrition Makeover in Progress

Published May 12, 2014 by Jennie

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One of the reasons I started this blog was to share my successes and failures as I try to make healthy nutrition and lifestyle changes.  It may end up helping me get pregnant and it may not.  Either way, I figured I could stand to be a little more healthy.  In this post, I am sharing some of the changes I have made.  I am in no way a nutrition expert and I know that different people have different nutritional needs.  Even so, I always appreciate feedback and suggestions from my fellow bloggers.  I have made progress but I still have a ways to go.

My Biggest Struggles

In my very first post I discussed my desire to eliminate soy from my diet.  This is really hard.  Soy is in everything!  Any tips on how to avoid soy are greatly appreciated!

When I make food at home, it does not last nearly as long as the processed version at the store (since it is not processed..duh!).  I feel like I throw away a lot more food than I used to.  Also, sometimes recipes call for a small amount of an ingredient but I have to buy it in a larger quantity.  For example, I had a recipe call for half a cup of buttermilk and the rest of it will probably go bad before I figure out something to do with it.

New and Improved Food Choices

This is not a list of everything but I thought I would share some of them.

crystal_light_onthego_icedtea dietcoke        aladdin

Old: Soda and other beverages with artificial sweetener
New: Good old H20

I really never though I could break my diet soda addiction. I ended up having to get rid of all artificial sweeteners to get it out of my system.  I love my new ninja water bottle (see picture).  It is BPA-free and also opens up in the middle so you can add ice or clean it.  I take one with me everywhere I go.

 

50FD8CC4-D194-E146-440E-8DA592682AAE    oatmeal-500x350

Old: Quaker Oats Oatmeal Variety Pack.  IngredientsMaple & Brown Sugar: Whole grain rolled oats, sugar, natural and artificial flavor, salt, calcium carbonate, guar gum, caramel color, naicinamide, reduced iron, vitamin A palmitate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid

New: Homemade oatmeal from 100 Days of Real FoodIngredients: Milk, plain rolled oats, honey, cinnamon, pure vanilla extract, toppings (fruit, chia seeds, nuts, etc).

While the recipe instructs you to cook this on a stove top, I sometimes pop it in the microwave for 90 seconds when I am in a hurry. Raisins make a yummy topping but they have a lot of sugar so I have tried different things.  It is really good with vanilla almond milk.  This breakfast will keep you full way into lunchtime.

 

cheezeit   cheese crackers

Old: Cheez-Its Reduced Fat. Ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, vegetable oil (soybean and palm oil with TBHQ for freshness), cheese made with skim milk (skim milk, whey protein, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes, annatto extract for color), contains two percent or less of salt, yeast extract, paprika, yeast, paprika oleoresin for color, soy lecithin.
New: Homemade Cheese Crackers from Tidy MomIngredients: Sharp cheddar cheese, butter, salt, flour, red pepper flakes, milk.

Ok so yes I know that cheese crackers are not a health food.  Even so, I love them and eat them as occasional treats.  I used to think the processed version was okay because it is reduced fat but I know realize that this is misleading.  To make my own, I use Cabot Seriously Sharp cheese that contains no dyes (Ingredients are pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes).  I also use whole wheat flour (I like King Author 100% Whole Wheat).  I never have regular milk so I use almond milk.  These crackers are a little darker and not bright orange but they are delicious!

speck    kind      5-Ingredient-Granola-Bars-MinimalistBaker.com_

Old: Special K Protein Bar. Ingredients: Soluble corn fiber, rolled oats, isolated soy protein, cereal (rice, whole grain wheat, sugar, wheat bran, soluble wheat fiber, salt, malt flavoring, vitamin b [thiamin mononitrate], vitamin b2 [riboflavin]), sugar, vegetable oil ( partially hydrogenated palm kernel, palm and canola oil), fructose, corn syrup, inulin from chicory root, rice, roasted peanuts, roasted almonds, dextrose, contains 2% or less of sorbitol, glycerin, calcium carbonate, nonfat yogurt powder (cultured non fat milk [heat treated after cultured]) nonfat milk, whey, salt, soy lecithin, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, niacinamide, bht (preservative), vitamin b6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), iron, riboflavin.
Middle: Kind Bars.  Ingredients: Mixed nuts (peanuts, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts), dried fruits (raisins, apricot [apricot paste, glycerol (vegetable based), pectin, apple fiber, citric acid], dates), honey, chicory fiber, non-gmo glucose, puffed rice, flax seed, soy lecithin.
New: Homemade Granola Bars from the Minimalist BakerIngredients: Dates, honey, peanut or almond butter, rolled oats, anything else you want to add (fruits, nuts, chocolate, vanilla, etc).

I don’t want to speak badly of an entire brand but it seems that a lot of Kellogg’s products are highly processed.  I switched over to Kind Bars but then realized that it is easy to make them at home.  You do not even need to bake them!  Once they are made you can keep in them in the refrigerator for about 5 days or freeze them.  It is fun to experiment by adding different stuff to them.  All of these bars do have a considerable amount of sugar (added or natural) so I usually only eat these before a workout as opposed to a regular snack.

I wish there was an instruction manual for all of this!  Thanks for reading 🙂 – Jennie

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16 comments on “Nutrition Makeover in Progress

    • Hey thanks for your comment. The reason I try to avoid soy is because some research indicates it can negatively impact fertility. I try to follow the Harvard Natural Fertility Diet: http://natural-fertility-info.com/fertility-diet. Soy lecithin is an emulsifier found in many processed foods. My main nutrition goal is to avoid processed foods so this is something I look out for. It is difficult to know its exact effect for sure because studies are often funded by specific groups or organizations with an agenda (often food manufacturers). One of my favorite blogs, http://ohsheglows.com/, has a wealth of recipes which are all dairy free (it is a vegan blog) and also focuses on eliminating soy, gluten, and processed foods. If I find a recipe that requires milk, I often use almond milk and the recipes pretty much always come out fine.

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  • Good for you for kicking soda. I actually am allergic to something in diet soda but I was major addicted to regular soda forever. Now instead of having it multiple times a day, I think I have had maybe three in the last month. Also I love 100 days of Real Food. I made her Granola bars the other day and they were awesome. My husband and son loved it too! I also tried making my own chicken broth and it turned out GREAT. I froze most of it into ice cubes that were exactly 1/2 cup so when I need some I can just melt a few cubes. Love this post!

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    • Great tip! I have not tried making chicken broth but I need to. The kind you buy at the store has all kinds of crazy stuff in it. Freezing leftovers would help me not have to waste food. I am addicted to 100 Days of Real Food. I am always excited when she posts a new recipe. I recently make her whole wheat waffles which were Ah-May-Zing.

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  • I am allergic to soy….we cook everything from scratch. We have a tone of recipes that we freeze and can be used as back meals just in case we don’t have time to make things fresh. It is a pain in the a** but it is really much simpler to make all your own once you keep at it. It just takes practice.

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      • We take about 2.5 hours on Sunday and we make all dinners and lunches for Monday through Friday. Once it is part of your schedule it is great and actually saves you both time and money!

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  • In regards to having to buy food in large quantities… I find planning meals out for the week in advance helps. So you can really think about everything and plan new dishes around leftover ingredients from other dishes.

    Also, I find Izze to be a really good substitute for soda sometimes when you just have that craving for something flavored and fizzy.

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  • such a great and informative post! I just recently gave up Diet Coke on Saturday. I think it was attributing to my migraines that I have CONSTANTLY. Yesterday I also started the Paleo (or a semi version of it) to help with my imbalanced PCOS hormones. Thanks for sharing this!!

    waitingforbabybird.com

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    • Good luck ditching the soda. If you feel like total shit now, I can tell you that it gets better. After a few weeks I felt much better. I drank it all the time so hopefully it will be much easier for you.

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      • I actually don’t miss the McDonalds Diet Coke as much as I miss just going to get the Diet Coke? Does that even make sense? It was part of my daily routine and it was like emotional eating for me. When i felt overwhelmed or blah, I would just go get a soda. Now I have to deal with feelings with water. YUCK!

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      • I know what you mean! When I drank soda, it was a total part of my daily life. As soon as I opened it, just hearing that sound was comforting. I could drink several a day. For the first month, it was really hard to not give in. The trick for me was getting rid of all artificial sweeteners. I stopped drinking Crystal Light. After a month, the cravings stopped. I never in a million years would have through I would crave water and not soda. It’s crazy but I almost feel like my brain has rewired or something.

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      • that is so encouraging! Yes I have just mainly been drinking water. I did buy some diet rite just in case I need to “cave”. I really hate diet rite so only after I couple of swigs I am throwing it away.

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