Healthy Eating is a Journey, Not a Destination

You know the old saying “Life is a journey, not a destination?” I think the same holds true for healthy eating. Hubby has asked me in the past why I’ve changed so much how I eat over the years. Is it because I’m ADD? No, I just constantly learn about healthy eating – what works for me and what doesn’t.

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What makes me feel like my diet is restricted and what makes my diet feel like it’s free. What keeps me satisfied and what doesn’t. I learn and I adapt and I repeat the process. I am far from the best example of a healthy eater, but when I think about how much my eating has changed over the years, it makes me really happy. :)

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I’d consider myself a pretty average American, so I ate all the usual suspects as far as less-than-stellar food choices. But, here are some things I’ve just outgrown in recent years:

  • Fast food (McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, etc.)
  • Candy (the junk food kind – it tastes like plastic to me now – give me dark chocolate!)
  • Heavily processed foods (anything with an ingredient list that reads like a novel – it tastes fake)
  • Stuff you eat out of a vending machine (Oh I ate a honey bun in my day, but now it seems so gross)
  • Fake pancake syrup (I used to like the buttery flavor, but it tastes like plastic now to me – I prefer real maple syrup)

My taste buds have changed! I really think it’s true that the better you eat, the more you grow to like the lighter and healthier foods and the more you outgrow the unhealthy ones.

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I still eat sweets, but I prefer to get them made from scratch at local bakeries – or to bake my own from scratch using healthier ingredients.

And I still eat some processed foods, but I try to limit them and choose the versions that are as close to natural as possible. I look for short ingredient lists that I can read and understand. Food Rules anyone?

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As I mentioned earlier…one thing I constantly try to do is learn. Learn about new ingredients that are more healthful than others I’m more familiar with. I love browsing a health food store, finding something I’ve never heard of before and figuring out how to use it. I try to move not-as-good ingredients out of my life and these new finds in. For example, I find myself baking much more with sucanat than granulated sugar. And I now use unbleached flour instead of traditional AP flour…though I usually try to use whole grain versions (yay spelt!) whenever possible.

I hit up one of my local natural grocery stores yesterday and stocked up on some of my fave ingredients and a couple new ones.

From the bulk bins:

  • coarse salt
  • kamut berries
  • sucanat

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Other buys:

  • Organic raw cacao powder
  • teff flour
  • amaranth flour
  • vital wheat gluten

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I’m really excited about this amaranth flour. I’ve been wanting to try this stuff for about a year now, but it’s so darn expensive. I haven’t been able to force myself to buy it.

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And this was something I’ve been looking for but haven’t seen around town yet – organic raw cacao powder. I’m really looking forward to finding some fun ways to utilize this. It reminds me of that fabulous lunch I had at Cafe Gratitude in November .

I know I’ve asked about foods that make you say, “I can’t believe I used to eat that!“, but without it having to be shocking, what are some not-so-healthy foods that you’ve just grown out of over the years?

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Comments

  1. says

    Ha I haven’t quite kicked the candy habit but other than that I try to stay away from super processed foods. Like you, I am over all fast food! I also used to eat stuff like ho-ho’s and poptarts and now I don’t (though I really need to make homemade poptarts :))

    • says

      I have a homemade pop tart recipe that I set aside months ago. I keep meaning to make it!! I think homemade pop tarts would be awesome!

  2. says

    You picked up a lot of awesome stuff! I think some of the more unhealthy things I’ve grown out of are like super sweetened drink products…Kool Aid, “juice” cocktails, slushies, orange soda…that sort of thing. They make my toes curl now, they taste sooo sweet to me!

  3. says

    I’ve found myself going through the same transition that you mentioned above. It’s not easy at first, and I felt like I was always swimming in a pool of information, but as I incorporated one, the next ones were much easier.

    Now, I don’t even have to think about reading the ingredient lists and putting stuff back that has too many, or unnatural, ingredients.

    I’m looking forward to seeing recipes with those fun products :)

  4. says

    You are so right about outgrowing unhealthy food. I’ve always had a major sweet tooth, and it used to be that there was no such thing as too sweet for me. Now, whereas apples used to taste like lightly sweetened cardboard, they are as sweet as candy to me now. And that giant wedge of chain restaurant chocolate cake tastes like plastic, aspertame, chemicals, FAKE…and way too sweet to eat!

  5. says

    I’m fairly certain that the frozen chicken finger and powdered noodle side dish industries lost considerable amounts of money when I graduated college (for the first time) and realized that I couldn’t eat that meal every day for lunch and dinner. In fact my boyfriend likes to remind me ALL the time of my crazy old meal preferences.

  6. says

    While I’ll have one occasionally, I’ve given up soda- including nasty diet soda. I also don’t eat fast food anymore if I can help it at all, but when pressed, I plead for it to be Wendy’s so I can get a small chili to dump over a plain salad.

    I choose foods with minimal ingredients and pick local, organic meat/dairy/eggs over factory farmed. Now, I have a crazy sweet tooth that I have trouble keeping in check, but I try really hard to make sure it’s quality stuff when I eat it.

    I can’t believe I used to eat Little Debbie snack cakes and fat-free/low-fat/sugar-free ice cream and other treats that are all just basically chemicals. Gross!

    • says

      Oh man, I used to LOVE those Little Debbie snacks…esp the oatmeal pies! I want to do some homemade oatmeal pies some time. Mmm…

  7. says

    Great post! I’ve also gone through a food revolution throughout the years. I am so grossed out by the fact that I used to consume so much Crystal Light and sugar free foods. Snackwells were like my best friend. As a kid, I’d eat Twinkies, and now I cannot even look at a Twinkie!

  8. Gina Acosta says

    Great post! I agree with you…our taste buds change over time and although I used to LOVE eating foods out of a vending machine I have no desire to eat those foods anymore. About a year ago I decided to make a major change to my eating habits and maintained a vegan diet for about a month or so to eliminate all of those non-healthy processed foods I was eating. It was a shock to see how much bad food I had been eating and how much healthy food I was NOT eating! I slowy added some vegetarian foods back into my diet and now my goal is to maintain a healthy and mainly vegetarian diet and to eat meat every now and then, rather than on a daily basis. My taste buds now ask me for healthy fruits and veggies instead of all those snack foods I used to eat. I never knew veggies could be so good! :)

  9. says

    I’ve also grown out of fast food. I remember it being such a fun thing to go to McDonalds and get a Happy Meal. Yes, I’d even get Happy Meals as a late teen. I was that cool, lol. I knew it was bad for me but I viewed it as a little treat. Now I would much rather get a fruit-veggie juice from a juice bar or treat myself to something exciting from Whole Foods. It’s a much better splurge that won’t give me a stomach ache.

  10. heather says

    I’ve found allot of the items you’re looking to buy in bulk at amazon. I have prime and can have them shipped to my home for free. I haven’t been able to find better prices, even in bulk at my whole foods.

  11. trang says

    I’ve semi-outgrown fast food, but do find myself having those every rare cravings. I think I may have asked you this before, but if you wouldn’t mind doing a post about the different flours you’ve tried and the benefits, that would be really helpful. I bake a lot and have started to sub whole wheat flour, but that doesn’t always work because it’s so nutty and intense.

    • says

      Hey Trang – I think a post with different flours would be awesome! I’ll work on one. :)

      Try using spelt instead of WW…I find it’s a whole grain flour, but its texture is more like AP.

  12. says

    Such a great post! I’m just at the beginning of my food revolution! I’m terrrrrribly ADD, and have such a difficult time sticking with one “healthy change”. Like with weight loss programs, for instance, i do one for a while; get bored with it, and move on to try something else! I REALLLLLY need to work on that :)

  13. says

    The boyfriend and I were just talking about this last night as well! I really have evolved in my eating. I used to eat frozen meals ALL the time. At least once per day. Now I look at the ingredient lists on those things and it scares me!!

  14. says

    I totally agree. Taste buds change and now eating a burger from Burger King or whatnot tastes SO gross. My favorite appetizer ever used to be smothered nachos with loads of cheese. Now I can’t eat it. I enjoy eating salsa and guacamole instead. I want to eat veggies. I want to incorporate greens.

    BTW super cute outfit. I absolutely love it!

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