Monday, August 30, 2010

Phase II - Renovating the Diet

Week 5 begins, and I'm feeling good about Shop Your Closet, despite my LAMB handbag crisis. It looks like I won't be carrying that bag until January, but that's okay! I hear all of you!

Now I've decided to expand the project to incorporate my diet.

That seems like a disconnect, I know. From pulling back on spending, to decluttering my home, dare I even say crafting, this project has been about simplifying, in many ways. Doing more with less. So I'd like to streamline my diet as well. But I don't want to "diet." I just want to change how I'm eating.

My new rule is nothing from a bag or box. There will be a few exceptions. Bagged baby carrots, for one.

These foods in the photo below? Not sure. What do you think? Probably I need to limit the number of ingredients in the box. In other words, Arnold's Sandwich Thins have loads of ingredients, many unpronounceable, so those should be out. But rice -- it's rice. And Quaker Oats -- it's rolled oats. Those seem okay.

Flavor-Blasted Goldfish, and Mint Milano cookies, with your unbleached enriched wheat flour and thiamin mononitrate ... sigh. Not on the plan. Not even Hot Tamales!

What I can't decide is how long to try this. Should I try it until Jan. 1? Or some shorter period of time? Does anyone have experience with this -- how hard is it to eat only whole foods?


  1. Interesting! I would say that the foods in the second set (for the most part) are still whole foodstuffs and are perfectly in sync with your interest in eating whole, healthy food. If you want, think about this way:
    -5-minute oatmeal: absolutely okay, very healthy and filling, no additional additives
    -instant oatmeal: still okay as long as it is in the can and has no additives
    -instant flavored oatmeal: no okay, too many additives and loses much of its nutritional value

    Same thing with yogurt; plain fatfree Greek or regular yogurt in the big tubs is great for you, the little flavored 6oz fatefree cups is not. They don't even have a full milk serving, and they are full of strange ingredients!

    I did a similar diet with the WW Core plan a few years ago, and I loved it. It was more work in terms of cooking, but the food was delicious and I was always satisfied. I am looking to get back to that this time on WW as well, although not as formal as the Core plan.

  2. If you want to change your diet, I would suggest small steps slowly (rather than a cold turkey cut off with an ending date- the point is to keep the changes, so why end it?). Many of the items in your second photo can be bought in bulk cheaper and less processed than the boxed/bagged varieties. I would absolutely keep those dry goods in your diet- whole oats, rice, beans,etc. I would start with just adding more unprocessed foods and gradually taking the processed ones away as you find replacements. Any of those foods that you buy, you can make at home- including cheese, pasta, bread,and even crackers. I love homemade crackers!

  3. Ooh, homemade crackers? I will look into that! I love to bake. Love it much more than cooking. Unfortunately I also love to eat what I bake so I don't bake too too often.

    Kristen, that's really interesting about WW. I could see that plan working well - will be interested to hear how you do back on WW. The only potential downfall of Michael Pollan's "eat food, not too much, mostly plants," is that the "not too much" is pretty vague! WW would be a great solution.

  4. Hi Laura --

    I'm with Kristen and Choomon. And I think one of the keys to success is having a well-stocked pantry (and probably freezer) along with the fresh fruits, veg, and/or meat/chicken/fish.

    I try to always have beans, tomato paste, whole grains, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers and artichokes in the pantry -- as well as frozen fruits and veg (even though I much prefer fresh!) -- so I can pull something together quickly when I'm hungry.

    I also like to have processed stuff like Gardenburgers, low-sodium broth, and hummus on hand for the same reason, but of course no reason for you to do the same.

    Personally I get mean and depressed without carbs, so I aim to always have brown rice as well as whole grain items [bread/pasta/cereal/wraps] around.

    If you're interested, I'm sure WW or another group [like the American Heart or Diabetes Assoc] has a great "healthy items for your pantry" checklist somewhere.

    Good luck with Project Shop Your Kitchen, and have fun experimenting!