Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.
Monday, January 08, 2007I mentioned a few weeks back that one of my goals for the year was to get a little healthier on the drink front. My goal is to eliminate calorie containing beverages (except for special occasions) though I am allowing myself one glass of milk a day. Since we don't consume artificial sweeteners, that limits me to non-sweet tea and water with a bit of lemon or lime in it. Thankfully, we have really good water here, so it's not been a huge issue. I also switched Greg and I to organic milk. (Nora's been on organic milk since she weaned.)
My next step was to start working on eliminating high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from our diets.
It's pretty tough. I mean I knew it was present in a lot of beverages (soda, fruit drinks, etc...) but I only buy 100% juice and milk now, so that's not an issue. I also knew it was present in some breads (but there are good bread options, so no biggie) but I really never realized how many cereals it was in. I went all down the cereal aisle looking at our "usuals." (Frosted wheat, raisin bran crunch, crispix, cheerios) EVERYTHING has HFCS in it! I ended up with Kashi Honey Toasted Oats and a low-fat granola with raisins. (Incidentally, the organic honey nut morning O's from Whole Foods Market is super tasty!)
Next I hit the yogurt aisle. We LOVE yogurt here. Once again, HFCS in everything! Meijer brand, Dannon, Yoplait...Stoneyfield Farms was the only brand of flavored yogurt that didn't have it. I can only afford Stoneyfield Farms if I'm buying the BIG container and they didn't have it in strawberry. Started to buy the vanilla and noticed that Meijer sells their own brand of "natural" vanilla yogurt that has no added sweetners. I figure I can add my own fruit or granola to it, so that covered my yogurt needs.
After snagging yogurt I headed over to the pasta aisle. Now I know that Chef Boyardee is NOT a "healthy" food, but when you have a 20 pound 2 year old that simply does NOT eat...well, you feed them what you can get in them. As I picked up a can I took a look and once again, HFCS. Come ON! Who needs added sweetners in freaking pasta? So back on the shelf it went. Thankfully I've got a good homemade spaghetti sauce recipe that freezes well. Easy enough to heat up a bit of that and add it to whole wheat pasta, so I can live without Chef Boyardee in the house.
Finally, I went down the condiment aisle. I was planning on doing some BBQ ribs this week. You guessed it...I could not find a single BBQ sauce in Meijer (not even the expensive specialty ones) that didn't have HFCS in them. NOT EVEN ONE. Guess I may have to find a recipe for BBQ sauce, or check Whole Foods the next time I'm there. Same went for salad dressing. Went to get my Wishbone Balsamic Vinaigrette and the first ingredient...HFCS. I have balsamic vinegar and olive oil at home though, so I guess I'll just mix it up myself.
How does this happen? How do we get to the point that every single "convenience" item has HFCS in it?
I ended up doing pretty well though...I didn't bring home a single product that had HFCS in it. I did realize that I'm going to have to cut cereal out of my diet. Good organic cereal just costs too much. I'll buy it for Nora because she'll actually eat it, but I eat too much cereal to justify the cost for me. Guess that means I'm switching to toast, grits or fruit for breakfast. Thankfully goldfish crackers don't have HFCS (or transfats) so I could still buy those for Nora.
Other than that, I'm really starting to abide by the "stick to the outside aisles" philosophy. Lots of fresh produce, fresh meats, organic dairy and things like whole wheat pasta and long grain rice.
By the way, yes I know that this doesn't really have much to do with breastfeeding...but it does have to do with parenting and health and lifestyle choices. So yes, that's a signal that I'm going to expand the topics here a bit again. The site is still going to be focused on breastfeeding, but I figure I might as well also share my experience as I work to figure out ways to get us all eating more healthy without breaking the bank.
I'm giving myself a few months to adjust to this HFCS-free life. Then I'm going after PHO's. (Partially hydrogenated oils)
Labels: Life as a Mom