Thursday, January 24, 2013

7 "Foods" to avoid

I came across this fantastic article today! Well well written and easy to understand. I highly suggest checking it out. I really like the whole blog. There are doing an introductory series to eating real food, lots of their tips have been very helpful to me so far.

There is some scary stuff being put into our food! Since having Lucas it has made me way more aware of what I put into my body, and also his. Some things are very hard to MSG! I can't believe it has 40 different names! I tried very hard to find chicken boulllion without added MSG and ended up finding nothing, even in the organic section. So I have taken to making my own chicken easy, and way more delicious! One chicken carcass makes a ton of stock, and you can store it in the freezer. I love it. If you've never given it a try I highly suggest you do. You will be hooked once you realize how easy it is.

So here is my little victory from yesterday. I went to Community for lunch. (A natural food store that is only blocks away from my work) They have delicious stuff for lunch, that I can feel good about eating. Their pizza is amazing. So I made myself a big salad at the salad bar, and when I was done I was needing a little something sweet. I went to the snack section and mulled over the chocolate selection...super expensive. I decided on a little bar and went back to work. I typically would have scarfed the whole thing down at once, but I only ate two squares and then saved the rest. Seriously a victory for me! So it may have something to do with my change in eating habits, less cravings for junk. But it also might say a lot about eating quality need less of it to be satisfied. I can eat chocolate from the grocery store until I am blue in the face, but only a couple pieces of a chocolate without any icky ingredients left me satisfied. Amazing.

One thing that this journey has taught me is to celebrate your little victories! Have you had any lately?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Give It Up Already

Two things.

First, this article.

Yikes! I had no idea about caramel coloring before. Sounds scary!! Yet another reason to give up pop.

Second: This study

Seriously check it out. Things kind of sunk in for me. The lady that did the experiment is not a scientist, she’s just an author and did her own self funded study, so really she had nothing to gain (expect being able to write a good book) or loose. The only thing she did to these rats was added Splenda to their drinking water. To be fair, she added a lot of Splenda, but what happened to the rats is super scary. The thing about the experiment is that it’s very simple, could be replicated easily. The thought crossed my mind of having a rat lab in my house…not doable, and I would feel too bad for the rats!! This is probably one of the most convincing studies I have read about, and it’s really nothing fancy.

So if this doesn’t scare you away from artificial sweeteners I don’t know what will! So some honesty here, I am not completely off of diet pop. I don’t have it everyday, and if I do I have one can so I have cut back a ton. Baby steps people, baby steps.

We have been doing well on our clean eating regime, and so far has been great. I am noticing I have more energy, my cravings for less good food are diminishing. So I am doing something right.

I have a friend who is doing a 30 day Paleo challenge, and I’ve been throwing around the idea of trying it again. I am thinking it would probably have to wait until I’m back to work part time as I don’t want to overburden Caleb with all my crazy ideas!
Anyone here tried Paleo?

How are you all doing with your resolutions??

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cutting Out Highly Processed Foods

Do you eat Cool Whip?


This might change your mind!! Holy gross!

This just highlights the importance to me of knowing what is in our food, and what we are actually putting in our bodies. I read somewhere that the McRib (which Caleb loves) has over 70 ingredients. 70?! I am sure everything else on their menu is right up there as far as the number of ingredients go.

Much of what can be bought on grocery store shelves is full of highly processed you saw in the Cool Whip article, some ingredients aren't even food! The more ingredients in a product, generally the more processed it is. Processed food is full of chemicals, things that we were never meant to eat, and they are not good for our bodies. A good rule of thumb for shopping at the grocery store is to shop the perimeter. Much of what is in the middle isles is not good for you.

They were giving out samples of granola bars in superstore a while ago. One sample was dipped in chocolate, the other wasn't. I grabbed one dipped in chocolate (might as well go all out right?) and the man giving them out said "you're not going to try one of the healthy ones?" I almost laughed in his face. I said, "I don't think I would call either of those healthy!" He then corrected himself...well maybe "healthier". Right. Shows me right there how confusing all this information can be, and how easy it is to be mislead. Here's a simple real food. Try to only eat things with a few ingredients, ingredients that you can pronounce/would use in your own cooking.

 I give myself a pat on the back when I can stay out of the middle isles while shopping. Basically think of what people were eating a couple hundred years ago. I don't think they were eating fruit roll ups and chocolate milk. The exterior of the grocery store is where the fruits, veggies, dairy, and meats are. You really don't need much else than that.

I have another goal for myself. If I do indulge in anything highly processed, I then have to research what the ingredients actually are. Hoping this turns me off from the food....I am turned off from Cool Whip for sure!! It makes a difference when you know exactly what you are putting into your body. I will post my confession here, and then what I learned. Sound like a deal? Deal.

PS if you are needing a real food treat here is one that is amazing!!! But I warn you, you might not be able to stop at one. :)

Happy Eating!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Ok...confession time!


I had a diet pepsi today. Even after convincing myself I didn't need it, even after texting a friend to talk me out of it, even though I had to walk across the street in the blizzard outside to get it. I had a huge headache, was feeling awful...and I broke down. Once I drank it I felt better...truly addicted. But at least I have cut down considerably right?? Harm reduction??? I know I'll get they say in alcoholics day at a time. haha.

I did however eat clean all day. So I feel good about that. The whole part of this challenge was to be healthier, but I would however like to loose some of the excess weight I have gained. I have found I am eating  healthy, but eating a lot. If I want to loose weight, I may have to take a look at my portions, but one step at a time for now.

So something that is off of our families menu is dairy products. Caleb has had ongoing stomach problems for quite a while. He eventually got himself to the Doctor to see what was going on. She sent him for a series of blood tests...that lasted three hours! He also had Lucas with him...what a guy. The tests came back, and yep...he's lactose intolerant. What this means for him is he is to cut dairy/anything with lactose completely, and then eventually he can try to reintroduce some things and see how he does.

At first I wasn't too upset about the news. I didn't feel like I ate a ton of dairy products. (even though my nick name from my family in high school was Dairy Queen! I liked ice cream ok??) I am not a milk drinker, and I don't love yogurt. But since cutting it out, I have noticed the limitations. I love cheese, I LOVE sour cream...I seriously could just eat it with a spoon. It limits us in some ways, but it's worth it to have Caleb feeling better. So we are using almond milk, which is actually delicious, and we'll have to see how things go.

It seems intolerance to certain foods are much more common these days. I kind of suspect Lucas has a gluten intolerance. I don't feed him very much wheat, and when I do he gets sandy poops (TMI??) and his eczema flares up a bit. We don't eat wheat much, so it wouldn't be that bad to cut it fact I may do so in the near future. (french toast will still have to happen occasionally)

Anyone else with lactose intolerance have any tips?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

On diet pop and treat days

So today is going to be my first full day in a long time without any Diet Pepsi. Like a true addict I felt like I should allow myself to finish what was left in my fridge. (I should have rationed them better!) I am already having cravings….it might be a long day.

So far my eating has been going ok. My work has a monthly treat day, where different teams of my co-workers host, choose a theme, and bring in delicious treats. Since treat day also falls on my late night to work, I don’t bring anything for dinner and just snack on what’s there. Yesterday was Hawaiian themed, and I did indulge. I had a lot more cheese and macadamia nuts than I should have…also there was a delicious cake. Was anything there technically “clean”? Maybe the fruit? Everything else wasn’t, so why did I join in? If there’s anything I learned about dieting and changing eating habits, it’s that if you are too strict…you’re not going to stick with it, especially at first. I have also learned that events happen a lot, where there is treats, sugar etc. So if I can eat well when I am at home, then I feel like I am ok to indulge a little bit at social events etc. Hopefully there will come a point when I don’t want to indulge at all. (does that ever happen??)

 The author of the 100daysofrealfoodblog takes this approach as well. I like how she approaches things with her kids. At home they eat real food, if they have treats they make it themselves. However if they are at birthday parties, eating at someone else’s house, she allows them to have whatever they want. I like this. There are plenty of opportunities for kids to eat junk food (probably too many)…so why provide it at home? And this way they still get to have to occasional treat, while eating healthy probably more than 90% of the time. I feel like if we are too strict with food, it can come back to bite us in the butt, which is why I like this approach so much.

There is one product I recently discovered that I wanted to mention. It’s called Crio Bru. I stumbled across it while reading another clean eating blog one day. It is a hot drink, made of 100% ground cocoa beans. Caleb (my husband) loves tea. He loves drinks that aren’t sweet. (he waters down juice like crazy) He is working on a PhD right now and I thought this sounded like something he would really love. Something to drink/keep him awake while he works that isn’t sugary. It’s apparently chock full of antioxidants, (cocoa has the highest concentration of antioxidants than any other food) It has a natural stimulant in it called theobromine, and apparently it helps curb your appetite if you are looking to loose weight. I think it only has about 10 calories per cup. I was about to order some from the website, but then saw you could order it for pick up in Calgary. I clicked on pick up and it turns out the store that is a supplier is literally two blocks from my work. (Community) So I headed down on my lunch break and they had it in stock.

Caleb was surprised when he got a little coffee maker on Christmas. He was excited to try it out. It’s actually really quite good. Think grown up hot chocolate. It is not sweet…but I wouldn’t say it’s too bitter. You could add a little sugar or honey to sweeten it. Caleb is already drinking it all day, he loves it. I am going to get a little coffee maker for my office so I can have it available to me during the day as well. It’s not necessarily a replacement for my carbonation fix, but it will give me something to drink that is amazingly healthy for me. I recommend checking it out!

I feel like this post has been all over the place!! There have been others that mentioned they are ready to give up pop as well. How have you been doing??

Monday, January 7, 2013


I have a feeling that I am going to be doing a lot of confessing on this blog. So here’s confession number one. Hi my name is Kailey and I’m addicted to Diet Pepsi. First step is admitting you have a problem right? There should be a DPA. (Diet Pop Anonymous) But seriously, it’s addictive stuff. This all began on my mission in Puerto Rico. (Ironic right?) I had a companion who drank it a lot and I got into the habit too. (I’ll just blame it all on her) You’re tired all the time, so the caffeine was definitely welcomed. I came home and never gave up the habit, although I drank it much less. The amount I drank did increase over time. (tolerance much?) And now the habit has gotten a bit out of control, so it’s time to stop. I have quit numerous times before, the longest stretch started when we were trying to get pregnant, up until I had Lucas. (close to two years) Those bleary eyed first weeks with a newborn had me reaching for my beloved caffeine once again.


I have heard a lot of different information about aspartame. The internet can be amazing…so much information at our finger tips. But it can also be horribly frustrating. Sometimes it feels impossible to find any real information! Of course there are two sides to the debate. One is that aspartame is safe. It’s been the most widely studied out of any new food additive out there, there have been no connections found between aspartame and health issues etc. Other side is that aspartame can cause brain tumors, hinders weight loss, can cause or exacerbate psychological or emotional problems, can cause birth defects, vision problems, brain damage and seizures. Yikes. Both sides can present equally convincing arguments, facts, and studies. So who do you believe?

One fact I wasn’t aware of is that aspartame was only approved for use in soft drinks in 1983. Before that it was only used as a powdered form. (and they were using it in baby food…what??) So really aspartame in pop is relatively new, which makes it difficult to study long term use in humans. Still everything can be so confusing. I think that our own intuition about things is important to acknowledge. Aspartame is a man made chemical. Are all man made chemicals bad for us? Probably not, but when it comes down to it, I really don’t feel good about my long term use of diet pop. There are many healthier things I could be ingesting, and I honestly think it takes a lot of work for our bodies to digest the chemicals we drink or eat. So I am going to give my body a break and say good-bye to my delicious concoction of aspartame and caffeine. I do expect that I’ll slip and have it occasionally. But like I said the daily fix I get right now just isn’t healthy. Hopefully my withdrawals won’t be too bad. (hello headaches and cravings!) So it’s more water for me…and probably more Crio. (A recent discovery that I’m going to post about too!)

Anyone else addicted to diet pop? Want to join in with me??

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It Begins

Welcome to 2013, and welcome to my new blog!

I’m going to give a little background info as to why I started this blog. I lately have been a little bit preoccupied with nutrition and what I am putting into my body, and into my little boy’s body. (not that it has affected what I eat very much!) I think this preoccupation started a few years ago when I saw Michael Pollan (Author of In Defense of  Food) on Oprah. After I saw his interview I was intrigued, and a few weeks later Caleb and I (both being documentary lovers) sat down and watched Food Inc. We were both blown away, and motivated to change our eating habits. We talked about what we thought we could do. Well with the passing days and weeks that motivation dwindled and we soon slipped back into our old ways. However, something in my brain had been changed. I didn’t see the food we ate in the same light. And since then I have been interested in reading anything to do with nutrition and how our food is produced. I haven’t been obsessing over it, but I find when it comes to certain topics I know a little bit more than average people, just because it’s something I am interesting in learning about it. Did that change the way I ate much? Sometimes. I have gone back and forth with eating whole foods, eating Paleo, etc. all the while slipping back into old habits and patterns. (Think McDonalds and Diet Pepsi)

Lately I have been in a huge slump, basically eating whatever I feel like and paying the price when it comes to my energy and weight. Even though I have been eating whatever I feel like, don’t fret….I constantly worry about it. I worry about what the McDonalds is doing to my body, I worry about those couple of fries Lucas munched on, I worry about the chemicals added to some/most of our everyday foods, (chicken stock, bread, etc) I worry if I should eat bread at all, I worry if Lucas should eat bread at all, I worry about what sugar does to my body, I worry about artificial colors, I worry about my horrible Diet Pepsi addiction, I worry about all the treats I allow myself to have, I worry about dairy products (should we be eating them or not?). I obviously worry about a lot. I worry about anything I feed myself or my family that I know isn’t 100% good for us. And some things I just don’t know about! There is so much information out there it’s hard sometimes to know what to do. Paleo, Vegetarian,Vegan, Organic, Raw??? What is a person to do.

It seems that will all this worrying I would be a pretty selective eater…but I’m not. I eat whatever I want lately…and then pay for it not only health wise, but mentally with all my worrying! So I decided if I am going to spend so much mental energy just worrying, why not put that to good use and do something about it. I feel like right now is the time in my life to make some real changes. Lucas is young, and I make his food choices for him. I want only the best for him, and for us as a family. I want him to grow up in a family that makes good food choices and sets a good example for him. Lately I have been a horrible example and I feel like that needs to change.

 I have been following the blog 100daysofrealfood for a while now. I like the concept, and I feel the concept is pretty simple. (in theory) Here is her list of rules. It’s very similar to Michael Pollan’s rules: Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.

What this means for our family is we will be cutting out anything processed. More than 5 ingredients? It’s out. Any ingredients I can’t really pronounce? It’s out too. This means we will be making mostly everything from scratch. (Have you seen the list of ingredients on the bread you buy from the store??) This will be a process, a lot of work, and I expect bumps, road blocks and lots of learning along the way. I don’t expect to be perfect at this, and I don’t think I need to be either. There will still be room for fast food occasionally, and perhaps the occasional treat from the grocery store, (rules on that to be decided!) but I want us to be making healthy food choices the majority of the time, eating at home more, and eating better.

I will be posting our family’s rules soon. Caleb is a stay at home Dad currently, which puts him in charge of the majority of the food prep. He is amazingly supportive and says he is along for the ride. I hopefully will be going part time at work in the near future and I’ll be able to be more involved at that point.

So why the blog? Mainly to keep myself accountable. But to also share my journey and learning with friends and family. (If I come to eat at your house, make me something delicious, our rules don’t apply if we are eating at someone else’s house. J )

So here it is, 2013 and the Dirty Work of Eating Clean!