I know there is this big poo-poo about processed foods - and rightfully so. But in our quest to try to eat better, we often end up eating a TON of processed foods. Here's a list of things that I thought were good things to eat that really weren't:
Weight Watchers Smart Ones / Healthy Choice Frozen dinners
Health shakes & Protein powders
Anything shelf stable, even if it says healthy, lowfat, etc
Baked snack chips
100 Calorie Packs
While most of this stuff gets billed as diet food it's certainly not health food. The sodium content in the prepared and microwaveable items is astronomical. Anything with an artificial sweetener is likely to cause a host of physical maladies. The protein bars and shake mixes are so pulverized, cooked, powdered and packaged that they hardly qualify as food anymore.
Are you still eating any of this stuff? Admittedly, I still have a protein bar a couple of times per week. They are super convenient and portable. They are also relatively inexpensive to making bars myself. A handful GORP (good old raisins & peanuts) would be a better choice.
I've been trying to move us away from processed foods. A processed food is loosely described as a food that cannot be recreated in your own kitchen. So a package of Simply Potatoes IS a processed food...it is not simply potatoes, but contains a "stabilizing" ingredient to keep the vegetable from blackening.
All of this to say that I have hopped on the Green Smoothie Train. I've been working my way towards a Plant Based diet. So far, I have breakfast and snacks 100% plants. I decided to replace my lunch with a green smoothie to continue the transition AND work more veggies in to my diet.
What is a Green Smoothie, you say? Well, it has a base of Kale or Greens and is fortified with fruits and seeds. I have been blending up a little kale, greens, banana, apple, avocado, and chia seeds. I put honey in them this weekend because my fruits weren't very ripe - but hope to get away from that.
How did they taste?
Green! Yup. Sorta "grassy." But good! And knowing that I have the benefits of green leafy vegetables and several servings in one gulp-able glass is a huge benefit. I tried my first Green Smoothie right after a 55 mile bike ride. I was hungry. Really. After drinking my glass full of grass, I went to prepare lunch for my family. By the time I had made some quick and easy black bean burritos, my stomach was full. The fiber, water and chia gel had expanded and filled me up.
This is still in the experimental stage, but so far so good. I plan to try more combinations, and see if I can at least drink one each day. The more veggies the better!