Healthy Living Saturdays: Whole Foods

No, I’m not talking about the store. Whole foods meaning foods that are whole. My goal this week has been to each almost everything made from whole foods. I realize there will be the occasional processed food that makes it into my diet, but I’ve been avoiding it as much as possible.

So what is considered a whole food? Obviously, I’ve been making dinners that don’t use condensed soup as an ingredient (which is surprisingly difficult by the way), but it goes beyond that. It’s not just processed and unprocessed—there’s a lot of gray area.

I obviously use fresh organic produce and fresh hormone-free meat. Technically the organic dried herbs I use are processed, but I would consider drying and grinding minimal processing.

We’ve been trying not to use refined sugar, but it’s in everything and I can’t substitute with honey yet because Peanut isn’t old enough. I’m still figuring out substituting other things for sugar like pure maple syrup. What about corn starch? I’ve been listening to The Omnivore’s Dilemma audio book lately and I am beginning to question that corn starch I use to make gravy. What do you even use instead of corn starch?

I feel like I’m cooking “from scratch” when I use things like canned beans and chicken bullion cubes. How “from scratch” is that really? I checked out the ingredient list of my chicken bullion cubes today and was appalled at how much stuff there is in one of those cubes. So do I need to make all of my chicken broth from boiling bones? I don’t even know how to do that.

So when I say I’ve been trying to eat whole foods, what I really mean is I’ve started the process of getting rid of processed foods. One day I would love to be one of those people who buy their meat from the farm and make mayonnaise rather than just buying a bottle, but it’s all in steps. So for now, I won’t use things like condensed soup in my dinner. I won’t buy frozen pizza and packaged cookies. I will take small steps to start eating whole foods and maybe one day I’ll be one of those people who don’t crave pop-tarts.

Starting Weight: 163 lbs

Current Weight: 158 lbs (still)

Photo Credit: Hart Healing Arts


7 thoughts on “Healthy Living Saturdays: Whole Foods

  1. I am trying to do this as well! I’ve been trying for over a year now. I have been using canned soups but I just discovered that ALL cream of… soups have MSG in them. Arg! So now I making them from scratch. They taste so much better!

    I’m a vegetarian, so every time it calls for chicken broth, I use vegetable broth.

    World’s Greatest Vegetable Broth

    * 1 pound celery
    * 1 1/2 pounds sweet onions
    * 1 pound carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
    * 1 pound tomatoes, cored
    * 1 pound green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
    * 1/2 pound turnips, cubed
    * 2 tablespoons olive oil
    * 3 cloves garlic
    * 3 whole cloves
    * 1 bay leaf
    * 6 whole black peppercorns
    * 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
    * 1 gallon water


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
    2. Remove leaves and tender inner parts of celery and set aside.
    3. Toss onions, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers and turnips with olive oil. Place vegetables in a roasting pan and place them in the 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) oven. Stir the vegetable every 15 minutes. Cook until all of the vegetables have browned and the onions start to caramelize, this will take over one hour.
    4. Put the browned vegetables, celery, garlic, cloves, bay leaf, pepper corns, Italian parsley and water into a large stock pot. Bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered until liquid is reduced by half.
    5. Pour the broth through a colander, catching the broth in a large bowl or pot. The liquid caught in the bowl or pot is your vegetable broth it can be used immediately or stored for later use. Although the vegetables are no longer necessary for your broth they are delicious to eat hot or cold, don’t waste them!

  2. I’m with ya on the “still!” It’s OK. You’re making steps that will pay off. I’m dying for warmer weather so I can get out and walk with the babe. I have a gym membership, but hate to take ANY time away from him since I’m working full time, so the most I do with that is dash in for 20 on the elliptical once a week… if I feel like my work stuff in under control.

  3. Yah, I didn’t have much success the one time I tried to make chicken broth, but vegetable broth is a big win. So easy! You actually don’t even need to follow the recipe above. I take all the odds and ends of veggies that I would normally toss out and put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer, along with anything I know I’m not going to use before it goes bad. Then I just chop them up really fine, add some garlic, a little tiny bit of kosher salt, and sometimes some spices and simmer them for awhile. Strain out the veggie pieces and voila! You’ve got healthy, homemade vegetable broth AND you used what you would normally have considered trash (or compost, if you do that), so you spent nothing.

  4. Stevia is a great plant derived sweetener. And “Sucanat” (Sugar Cane Natural), which is crystalized pure dried cane juice. I’ve been using them in place of processed white sugar lately.

  5. “Health is wealth” is well known to all and everyone wants good health.So, Let us build a food habit discipline, keep pace with work, rest and exercise to Achieve good health, The ultimate wealth.

  6. Cattle and other animals that are raised on pesticides, chemicals and other things produce meat that is tainted with them as well. When you eat that meat, you are taking in a lot of impurities that can negate all of the hard work you put into maintaining an organic lifestyle; organic meats are the answer.

  7. Pingback: Baby-led Weaning Wednesdays: Mum Mums « The Adventures of Lactating Girl

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