Smart Swaps #3 Preservatives and Processed foods are BAD!

Time to talk about 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 Cal” 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!
Crackers are way to labor intensive for me to make, but depending on what you are using them for there are tons of great veggies (sliced carrots, cucumbers, even apples) that work great for dipping devices and a nice slice of bread toasted, rubbed with a garlic clove, drizzled with good Extra Virgin Olive Oil then topped with goat cheese, basil and little balsamic vinegar makes my heart go pitter pat!
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 is Healthy Snack that will 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. 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! 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.
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.

So, have you seen a common denominator here? Saving $$$$? 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 my fav cookbook Pretty Delicious was to stop shopping the center of the grocery store, shop the perimeter where all the fresh food is.

13 thoughts on “Smart Swaps #3 Preservatives and Processed foods are BAD!

  1. Pingback: Smart Swaps #3 Preservatives and Processed foods are BAD! | Mr.FuzzyBear

  2. Pingback: Skinny Tips for Stay at Home Moms- « Lose Weight by Eating!

  3. Pingback: Create a Diet That Will Work For You, Here’s How: « Lose Weight by Eating!

    • Hi Sarah,

      I get mine at my local Farmer’s Market, it’s very flavorful, lots of pepper. If you don’t live in an area that produces EVOO check out your local Italian Deli they should have a large variety with a vast price range. When I use to live in the Orange County area of California I would to go to Seal Beach, they have a wonderful Italian Deli there!

      Yelp might be your best bet for this, look up Italian Deli and call them to make sure they have a large selection on hand. This is what I have open now, I LOVE their products, I HIGHLY recommend!


  4. I would like to make chips for my son (gluten/egg/dairy allergy) Yesterday I read a review about a device you put in the microwave that makes you sweet potato and potato chips in 10 min. Have you ever used one? Oh, it was $20 and came with a mandolin to cut the potatoes with.

  5. I have been reading your site for about 3 days now. I’m trying to figure out where to start. I joined weight watchers years ago and went from 213lbs Sept 2010) to 154lbs (August 2012). I was 9 lbs from goal!! Since August, I’ve put on 20lbs. I’m so diasappointed with my weight gain. And that starts the downward cycle…feeling sad, eating, drinking, feeling sad, repeat! I also recently went through a divorce. So now I’m a full time working single mom. My ex was a self proclaimed chef and did all of the cooking. I’ve had to teach myself the ways of the kitchen. I’m actually a pretty good cook! But I can’t seem to shake this new weight gain. My clothes are too tight and I’m trying to get ready for summer! Any tips for getting started?

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