Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Any tips for weaning oneself from packaged, processed food?

Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2015, at 8:46 AM
View 12 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • Now, why do I want to do it? Basically in the hopes of feeling better. I have non-specific ailments that add up to an overall lousy feeling.

    We are about to look at Connective Tissue Disorder. What the heck? There is not a clear picture of what it is, what causes it and what can be done about it, but a lot of suggestions include diet change and pre-packaged food.

    really nothing new. I was aware of diet change ever since my first heart attack over 20 years ago. And I try, but I live with others and can't force them to eliminate everything from the house so.... I need moral support, suggestions, etc.

    I joke about it, but I want to die healthy. :-0

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Dec 15, 2015, at 8:45 AM
  • A Rheumatologist deals with connective tissue disorders...I think! I've heard of a CTD and packaged food all in the same conversation a couple times. Unfortunately in today's world it's almost impossible to eat foods that have not been processed in a manufactured environment unless you raise your own in extreme conditions with soil, organics, and heirloom things in mind.

    Almost all food items bought today contain potato wheat, sugar, corn, milk or salts all of which are highly processed. Most have additives or even chemicals for texture and taste, fillers for added weight and bulk for stretching the value or are GMO's (genetically modified) to start with.

    Our wheat, corn and potatoes are processed down to powder to form a lot of the processed foods we eat from corn chips to instant mashed potatoes all made from genetically modified seed for higher crop yield in the field.

    Additives are the main problem, some that are "quote" food grade are nothing more then man-made chemicals like "citrus acid" used in almost everything we eat. Makes you wonder why they don't just squirt some lemon on it!

    I think processed foods cause a lot of our health issues these days. From cancers to lupus conditions not to mention mental disabilities, diabetes or generation chromosome issues.

    I keep reading the labels and growing a few things when I can...Whole non-processed foods will make you feel better, I believe that! If I slow down a little, leave the fast food and junk alone I'll be okay, but they will have have to remove that Reese's cup from my cold dead hand...It's so good...I keep them in the freezer next to the "Hot Pockets"!

    Here's a link to something of interest if your curious about additives, how they are used, whats been banned etc, etc, etc...


    -- Posted by chefgrape on Tue, Dec 15, 2015, at 11:42 PM
  • Wow! There are some surprises on that list. Like Ginko? Why is saccharin still being used?

    Stevia is safe but the more they try to take out the "after taste" I feel they will mess it up.

    Noticed that the majority of banned items are synthetic but I wonder about the way they test things. They concentrate it and then test animals that in a way to speed up the results. Maybe the test itself is flawed?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Dec 16, 2015, at 10:32 AM
  • Over 20 years ago they said saccharin caused cancer in lab rats but it's still one of the main sugar free packets at a lot of diners.

    Any of those sweeteners still effect your pancreas I think! My life without sweet coffee in the morning might create a new me that's not very pretty, but then again I drink way to much of the stuff and then some.

    I've done very well in most areas of eating,I have stopped eating anything from a can almost, and processed foods have been easy for me to break use of except for breads because I live alone maybe. But But But...Jan. 1st no more of the bread until I reach my yearly weight loss goal...I do well when I stick to my plan and just stop buying those kind of things, it forces me to use what I have like oatmeal instead of "Honey Bunches of Oats". I do have a natural plant based protein powder that really works for me and is remarkably satisfying, including the sweets crave!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Dec 17, 2015, at 8:14 AM
  • When we were in the food service area we used to get a frozen dough product that baked into a most delicious roll, can individuals make small batches of home-made dough and freeze it without preservatives? Maybe the batches are only intended for weeks or a month at the most?

    I have yet to find a home-made cereal that tastes as good as some of the boxed. Have you ever run into good recipes?

    OK, I'll bite :-) What natural, plant-based protein powder do you use? I use some for smoothies but the cravings still exist.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Dec 17, 2015, at 8:48 AM
  • Cereal is easy enough! The trick to it is in the drying so toast your oats, nuts, or dehydrate fruits, berries, etc before mixing it...be sure to store it airtight, it should last a couple months (3 at the most for home-made if fruit is added). Moisture would be the problem!

    There is, or was a company in California I would order freeze dried berries from to add to chocolate. The company was "Just Tomatoes", I know, I know, they carried other things, but in this case they freeze dried like strawberries, same stuff you see in cereals today!

    Freezing bread can be tricky with the yeast, par-baking or using ingredients that will not crystallize the liquids or eggs in them when frozen takes a case by case basis! Yeast is touchy!

    One trick I know is to double the yeast in standard breads then slowly let them thaw overnight in fridge before trying to reproof them. I like to bake but definitely not a expert on it...it takes patience!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Fri, Dec 18, 2015, at 12:46 PM
  • Hmmm, the extra yeast may explain why those frozen rolls were so great to smell as they were rising and baking.

    The protein powder?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Dec 18, 2015, at 2:12 PM
  • Oh sorry....It's a shake mix from "Garden of Life", I've been using their products for many years. It's actually a raw, organic plant based protein. I by it at Whole Foods runs about $29.00 on sale. I get it because it only has 4 natural carbs.

    Here's a link:


    Click the tub pictures on the right, it gives you the ingredients and nutrition facts.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Sat, Dec 19, 2015, at 6:30 PM
  • *

    I do not eat breakfast. Or at least I use to not eat breakfast. I don't eat lunch either unless it's Thanksgiving or Christmas. I have eaten a sandwich for lunch now and then.

    The VA Nutritionist told me that the most important meal of the day was Breakfast. I told her I didn't eat breakfast. and had no desire to eat breakfast. Just give me my coffee and I'm good all day long.

    She said I had to eat something for breakfast so I recommended a donut with my coffee. Again she said that was not a good breakfast so I changed the suggestion to Sausage and Biscuit with my coffee. I'm not hard to get along with, I'm hard to get along without!

    Then she got frustrated and tells me "that isn't any better", so I told her I would just stick to not eating breakfast at all if it is going to be that much trouble.

    So I have to ask myself why is breakfast that important a meal if you can't eat what you want to eat.

    I am lazy when it comes to eating. If I have to warm it up in the Micro, I won't eat it or eat it cold. If I have to cook it, that is too much trouble since I am not hungry at that time. Since I am not hungry why do I want to get everything down from the cabinets and start mixing ingredients together for a 1 man meal? No Thanks. In the end, I have chosen to eat a Sausage and Biscuit from the neighborhood store for breakfast, unless they are all sold out, then I don't eat anything for breakfast. Pretty simple Breakfast plan.

    In short, we have been told what we should eat and shouldn't eat then next year it all reverts back to what we were eating in the beginning. They just keep changing their minds!

    Unless something is causing serious problems, eat it.

    -- Posted by sui on Sun, Dec 20, 2015, at 6:35 PM
  • I have to eat within a 2hr window after I get up because there were so many of my earlier life food intakes of sugary high processed foods like cereal, doughnuts, honey buns, etc., that I'm now insulin dependent. Eating a healthier choice like an egg, banana, or oats was not easier for sure, I was always in a hurry to get to school or work.

    Now it's more convenient then ever to run thru Hardee's drive through and grab that sausage biscuit or a packaged processed quick meal at the local one-stop. And It gets harder and harder as I age to get the weight back off like so many of us here in the south struggle with.

    There are still those who claim you can live a happy, healthy, long life and still have and use that coffee cup full of bacon grease on the back of the stove to spoon in every thing they cook. For me though, I can't do that, I already know its unhealthy, and that bacon has changed to high nitrates and preservatives...we use to kill a hog (so to speak) in the fall to make it through the hard winters too!

    Eating healthy is an applied life change choice to be able and cut down on bad health conditions later like heart disease, diabetes, etc. That's what makes it so hard, our food is looked at as an enjoyment instead of a necessity, we all need to "Eat to Live instead of Live to Eat"!

    That was a hard lesson for me to learn! Now I wished I had taken the time and paid attention...I can't take back this diabetic condition or heart disease I can only reduce the effects after knowing a little too late!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Mon, Dec 21, 2015, at 11:29 AM
  • Ditto and agree my friend.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Dec 21, 2015, at 12:09 PM
  • The trick to not eating processed food is "DO NOT BUY IT". We not longer eat corn that was not grown in our own garden with non GMO seeds. Corn bread is a thing of the past. I bake my own bread (sour dough). We canned green beans this year for the first time. They do make a bacon that does not contain nitrates and yes, we use our bacon grease. We eat very little beef and stick mainly to Venison (they don't have the hormones or antibiotic additives). We eat chicken, but not processed or the ones with the hormone added. I also had a herb garden (I have already ran out of dill). We only eat butter. I don't need a fake spread. If a bug will not eat it, you shouldn't either.

    Read labels closely. You pay to eat healthy and sometimes even fresh produce needs closer scrutiny. I bought a food dehydrator and we do eat dried apple snacks, bananas, pinapples and we still have plenty of frozen blue berries from the garden this summer. We have transitioned out of processed foods for our health. I feel a lot better and not been sick or to the doctor in over a year. This has been a two year process for my husband and I. We are also using essential oils. With deductibles so high on our insurance the oils have been fantastic and without apparent side effects.

    What keeps pre-packaged shredded cheese from clumping, Cellouse (wood pulp). We now buy blocks and grate it our self.

    I know this article is about processed food, but when everything you pick up has ingredients you cannot pronounce and know is not a food source. Pick something else. Life is all about choices. Choose wisely!

    -- Posted by Union on Tue, Dec 22, 2015, at 9:47 AM
Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration: