A Note on Processed Foods

It is no secret that I am not a fan of processed foods. I like REAL food so much, in fact, that three of the four links on my “Helpful Links Etc.” tab are mostly about- you guessed it!- real food. Readers of this blog may also know that I moved to the United Kingdom two weeks ago. Now England is practically overrun with farmers markets and fresh food stalls- it is one of the perks I was most excited to move here for. I have plenty of access to real food, but I am living in a hotel while we house-hunt. A hotel that is equipped with a mini fridge, a microwave, and a teeny tiny coffee pot. That is it. Needless to say, I have been eating out quite a bit (yet still trying to stick with the healthiest food choices).

And then there’s My Fitness Pal. A very useful calorie-counting website (so useful that I am going- right now- to add it to my Helpful Links page). I have the app and it has this ever-so-handy bar-code scanner. This is not particularly helpful if you are eating real foods without labels, but I am learning that labeled food can still be healthy.

Eating healthy in a hotel is a challenge; I mean, seriously, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. There is only so much I (and my digestive system) can take of raw fruits and vegetables and, without any proper cooking appliances, there aren’t too many options. Yesterday, I caved- or at least that’s what I considered it. After two weeks of eating out or eating raw, I finally bought some microwave meals (aka the dreaded “TV dinners”). But here’s the truth, folks: though it may be healthier (and certainly more natural) to eat “real” foods, my diet today has been a marked improvement from days past. PLUS since all but my banana has a bar-code, I was able to quickly catalog my meals into My Fitness Pal and make sure I was keeping to my calories etc etc. Here’s what I ate:

Breakfast: Cascadian Farm (Organic) Oats & Honey granola cereal with skim milk

10 o’clock Snack: One (raw, real!) banana + iced coffee with 2% milk

Lunch: Weight Watchers Smart Ones; Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans

Disclaimer: No worries, I am not approving a highly processed diet; I am just realizing it is OK to sometimes eat food that comes out of a box and, moreover, it will likely be better for you than going out to eat!

For the first time in days, I feel satisfied; not I-just-ate-at-a-restaurant full, not I-only-ate-carrots shaky and weak, but satisfied. And that, my friends, feels really, really good.

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