Smart Swaps #3 Preservatives and Processed foods are BAD!

No Twinkies

Time to talk about preservatives and processed foods, first a question for you: If a Twinkie will last on a shelf for 50 years do you really think you should put that into your body? Unless you are planning on mummifying yourself now there is no reason to put preservatives in your body. What’s worse is that companies are putting labels like “Low Calorie” on their products that are full of preservatives and chemicals, maybe they are lower in calories but they are not healthy!

The weight-loss industry is huge! These companies who boast “sugar free cookies” and “low carb crackers” are BS! Come on, you don’t believe if you open a can of Coors Light that a train will really come to your front door… do you? So why would you believe the marketing BS that the weight-loss industry is feeding you? Smarten up, this is just marketing and you have been duped. Don’t feel bad, this marketing/sales girl fell for it too, for years, but once I started cooking more and learned how to feed my body correctly the weight fell off. You are smarter than that marketing my friend!

Chips and Crackers

Chips are EASY! Place 2 whole wheat tortillas on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle olive oil and some spices, I like cayenne and basil but any rubbed and leafy dried combo will work. Using a basting brush smear all over, fold the tortillas in half, cut down the middle then into 10 strips and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Done! Here’s a recipe for my homemade Skinny Chips and Salsa..

As for crackers check out my Homemade Wheat Thins, in delicious flavors like Rosemary Parmesan, Garlic Bread and Cinnamon Sugar. Another great cracker replacement is veggies,  there are tons of great veggies (sliced carrots, cucumbers, even apples) that work great for dipping devices. Check out my healthy Nachos for your chip fix they are low cal and better than any restaurant.

100 Calorie Packs

What a waste of money! Those packs are expensive and I know first hand they don’t even make a dent in your hunger pains. There is no nutritional value in these packs, just 100 calories, don’t you want to eat something that gives you fuel and makes for a stronger body?
Well, mother nature has already got you covered. Bananas, apples, pears, oranges are all perfect 100 calorie packs and they have necessary vitamins for your body. As a Mommy I am already carrying around more fruit than Carmen Miranda, but in my purse, live by example and teach your kids that fruits and veggies are the way to go when it comes to snacking. Here’s a list of my healthy snacks, made to fill you up and make you feel like you are splurging.

Salad Dressing and Croutons

Waste of money, you already have everything at make at home. Check out my collection of Skinny Salad Dressings here. And if you love, really love a certain salad dressing just look at the back and figure out the ingredients, trust me you probably have everything to make it!
Salad Dressing is so easy to make, you need good Extra Virgin Olive oil, some lemon juice, salt and pepper and a little vinegar (red wine, balsamic, apple) mix and you have got a great dressing and you KNOW what is in it! Read my recipe for Caesar Salad for the crouton recipe and for another great salad dressing.

Cookies and Pastries

Make your own! Check out my collection of Skinny Cookies here. A friend once said “Everyone loves a cute girl who can cook”, even the non low cal cookies you make at home are better than the chemical laced ones that you get at the store. I am not that big on pastries, I would rather have some Strawberry Covered Waffles , if you are craving a lemon centered pastry go to your local bakery and get one (just one) enjoy it and move on, if you buy a 25 pack at Costco you will eat them all and that is bad! One is just fine, just make sure it is fresh! Here are some Peaches and Cream Cookies sure to impress all your friends and your tummy.

Frozen Meals

Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice and Eggo I am talkin’ to you! YUCK, there is so much crap in all those! Just make a big dinner and pack up extra servings into compartment style Tupperware and freeze. If you are lucky enough to be able to cook your lunch everyday try some Spicy Chilli and Homemade Chips or a Steak, Avocado and Cheddar Panini. You will save money and again no preservatives or pressed foods.
Eggo Waffles, here is your demise, my amazing Strawberry Shortcake Waffles  for only 135 calories. I make a big batch and freeze them. Take them out of the freezer and pop in the toaster.

Clean Eating for weight loss, smart swaps to make it easier.

So, have you seen a common denominator here? By eliminating preservatives and processed foods you will be Saving $$Money$$! Yep, I am getting up on my soap box again and my message is: EATING HEALTHY IS CHEAP! Much cheaper than getting 100 calorie packs for $7, buying $5 salad dressings and $30 in frozen meals when you already have the left overs going bad in your fridge.

Here is a rule of thumb to steer clear of this nasty stuff, if it will last on your shelf for a month (less grains, pasta and canned foods) you should stay away. Ideally you should be eating foods that do not have a nutritional label, fruits and veggies and lean meat from the butcher. A great tip I learned from a favorite cookbook Pretty Delicious was to stop shopping the center of the grocery store, shop the perimeter where all the fresh food is.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,