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Cutting out everything but 'God foods'

When my daughter was very young, I had conversations with her about not cutting her own hair as young girls often do. I would tell her, "leave it to the professionals."

I am not a very good cook, probably because I haven't practiced a whole lot. I don't like to spend a lot of money on groceries and time in the kitchen for a meal only to have dinner turn out poorly. Also there are few leftovers I look forward to eating especially when the previous meal wasn't anything special. So I would leave it to the professionals and eat out or eat convenience foods. At home all I had to do was remove contents from freezer or box, heat and serve.

In my early single years, I ate many Pugsley sandwiches found at gas stations. They are meat and cheese on a bun sealed in plastic wrapper which I would throw in the microwave until the plastic would swell like a snow globe. My best friend would tell me I was eating plastic.

As I look back, I realize now I probably was.

For the past four weeks, I have been eating more of what I call "God foods." I ask myself, is this the food God intended me to eat? I am eating fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables, whole grains, fresh meats. I am choosing foods that are not processed or much less processed than what I ate in the past.

I feel satisfied. I am no longer craving more and more food. I no longer crave high calorie foods. I have more energy and feel my brain is even functioning clearer. I have lost ten pounds.

Now I have a theory. Our bodies need proper nutrition to function properly. If we eat "plastic" food, processed and fast foods our bodies will desperately hunger for more nutrition. We begin eating more and more food to try tame the hunger and with our poor choices we gain more and more weight.

My husband and I are searching for better choices of food from the grocery store.

Probably not for everyone but one of my favorite beverages is Bolthouse Farms 100 percent Carrot Juice. It has no preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors, no genetically modified (GMO) ingredients and 8 ounce serving has 70 calories and is equal to two servings of vegetables. I love it chilled. And eight ounces is very satisfying.

For a quick lunch we have been eating a lot of wraps. My favorite tortillas are LaTortilla Factory Smart and Delicious Tortillas. They are whole wheat and one tortilla is only 80 calories. I really like the texture and flavor. We just add fresh vegetables and freshly sliced deli meats.

In a previous column, I mentioned a new product called PopCorners, they are chips made of yellow corn, sunflower oil and sea salt. They come is other flavors but I prefer the sea salt variety. A one ounce serving is 130 calories. We also found Popcorn Indiana ChipIns, same ingredients but 120 calories per one ounce serving but they cost more.

I am also trying to avoid artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives and the like.

Back in the early 90s, my college friend started having seizures. She had numerous tests and the doctors couldn't find what was causing them. Finally a holistic doctor discovered her brain has an adverse reaction to NutriSweet, also known as aspartame.

The artificial sweeteners have been proven safe to consume by the FDA. Again, I ask, is this what God intended for me to eat? I try to avoid it but it is in so much especially low calorie foods. There is a natural herb called Stevia found at health food stores which I prefer as a sweetener. It can be purchased in a box of little packets like artificial sweeteners which are convenient to take along.

One day my husband and I were shopping in a Christian book store. Dan was looking for a particular book while I was browsing. I looked down to a bottom shelf and picked up a book that was out of place. It was "Dr. Bob's Drugless Guide to Detoxification" by Dr. Robert DeMaria. The title sounds like promises from a snake oil salesman. But when I paged through it, I needed to read more, so I purchased it.

What struck me hard was the part titled secretive chemicals. A company called

Senomyx has developed a chemical which enhances salty and sweet flavors by masking bitter flavors. The chemical turns off bitter flavor receptors on the tongue. The author claims this allows large companies such as Kraft, Nestle, Coca Cola and Campbell Soup to cut actual sugar and or salt by adding this chemical which fools the brain into thinking the product is still as sweet or salty. Companies can label products with buzz words of less sugar or lower sodium. It is secretive because it is hidden under the designation of artificial flavors. I do not like that chemicals are slipped into our food without our knowing. I don't like chemicals in my food that alter my brain.

There are other label buzz words that are deceiving. Just because a product has the label natural doesn't mean it is healthy. Natural Sierra Mist soda pop uses natural sugar but it is still a high calorie beverage with very little nutrition.

Up until now we have been eating whatever products were on the shelf, thoughtlessly assuming if a product is on the shelf that it is OK to consume. And I have fallen for the buzz words. I have left it up to the professionals.

It is time for me to take the scissor into my own hands and cut some products out of my life. While I am at it, perhaps my daughter needs a trim.