Tuesday, September 9, 2014

An Open and Honest Confession about Food

I hate vegetables. There are very few I will eat and no matter how you saute them, fry them, bake them, dress them up with salt and spank them...I still won't eat them. Kale? FORGET IT. And no, sprinkling with olive oil and seasoning still tastes like a seasoned YARD. Fruits...yeah. Vegetables? Boo.

Miranda Lambert (quote below) and Drew Barrymore (2nd below) feel the same.


I know I am not alone in my plight. But with the health revolution and people like Food Babe publicly criticizing every morsel we put down our throats I'm pretty sure I'm a quiet quiet minority. I am 100% aware that sugar is bad for you and the cause of so many of today's illnesses; but a 0% sugar lifestyle will not work for me.

I fully understand that processed foods aren't great for us. But I don't live on a farm, I don't cook, and I don't have tons of money (Whole Foods) or tons of time (shopping for each meal) to follow insanely strict regimens that some of the food fear mongerers are trying to sell me.

On that note I also have a son, and in the summers two sons. And soon...three kids. There are times in every mom's life she needs to bust out the Easy Mac or McDonalds' or Pizza night because she just NEEDS to. I don't want to feel like I'm burning in hell for handing my child a slice of Pizza Hut. And I tried Auntie Anne's Mac and Cheese .....not even close y'all.

A little bit about me:

I LOVE fast food. I will still go order a double cheeseburger meal at McDonald's with a Large Diet Coke. Yep, I'm THAT girl. I eat Taco Bell, Wendy's, Chick-fil-a, Pizza Hut...you name it I've driven through and swallowed it. 
My favorites. Chick Fil A nugget meal, Bojangles Chicken Supremes, Wendy's Spicy Chicken Combo, McDonalds Double Cheeseburger meal with a diet Coke.

I also LOVE the processed over sugared GMO'd to death  useless items in the middle of the grocery store. You know what I'm talking about. Little Debbie Cakes, Chips, Cookies, Combos (Pizza/Pretzel is the only way to go)...you know...Gas station specialties.

Is this an addiction? Maybe a tad. But I just haven't found enough things that I do like that are sugar-free. Well except Cheese. Pour some sugar cheese on me.

And farm to table? Super. I can still go into any restaurant and order a meal...I'm not picky, I just don't like radishes. STOP TRYING TO MAKE BEETS AND RADISHES HAPPEN. 

All that being said before I got pregnant I did try to eat remotely healthy. That to me was a protein shake in the morning, a turkey sandwich or black bean burger for lunch, and usually a grilled meat and veggie for dinner. My husband is an amazing cook so when we had lots of free time (pre-kids and pre-jobs that had us working late hours) he would whip up healthy and fabulous meals. I saved, and still try to save*, my sugar laden treats and fast food stops for the weekend. *pregnancy is wreaking havoc on trying to eat healthy.
But anyone could nit-pick what I was doing and call out each item. The Protein shakes = from Sams, and not all natural ingredients. The Turkey sandwich = processed deli meat, WhiteWheat bread  = carbs which are the enemy and no bread is safe....or I have to eat one so nutty it ruins the sandwich. The black bean burgers = dipped in sugar laden Ketchup. And dinner = I put spray butter on my broccoli...i'm sure that's a no-no.

But these diets worked well for me. Eating remotely healthy with grapes/carrots/nuts as snacks and 30 minutes of cardio or barre four times a week and I was down to the weight I think is okay for me. Wedding weight was LOW so I'm hoping to hover around 112 or 110 as my "goal weight". (I'm 5'2" on a good day) I've already gained 25+ pounds this pregnancy and while I'm trying to slow down (My Instagram followers are dying of laughter) it is the last possible time in my life I won't be counting calories. I mean think about it. As women we count calories and try to workout ALWAYS. We kick it up a notch for weddings or beach season but aren't we always dieting?

And alcohol?
I'm not going to give up my red wine during the week, or my bourbon on the weekends. And yes...I mix my bourbon with diet coke. GASP...COKE WILL KILL YOU! So freaking what. I never smoked...so this is my thing.

The two driving forces that are making me want to be healthier than my basic plan are 1. My kids and 2. Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is being called the 4th diabetes due to the links between plaque and sugars and if I can do anything to prevent getting this disease you better believe I'm trying to do it. I also want to set healthier examples for my kids. My stepson and my son both have pretty bad eating habits and we don't do much to correct it in the summer with McDonald's trips and Pizza nights. We need to incorporate a little bit of healthier eating around here so that baby girl doesn't follow the same route. Or at least we can begin all this when I am not pregnant anymore.

My plan began with contacting a friend from college Carolyn at The Whole Tulip. I was her Patient X; definitely her worst case in Charlotte. We talked for an hour over what I do like and don't like and her first move was to start me on Juice Plus as a first defense to not getting enough healthy foods.

Read about Juice Plus here.

Carolyn and her sister Adri run the Whole Tulip to help people like me eat healthier.

They work one on one with people, offer group clean eating programs, and grocery store tours. Have you been in a Whole Foods by yourself? Downright scary and intimidating. The reason I love them is they are both real moms. They understand that sometimes you gotta drive through Chick-fil-a and won't judge you for sneaking a twinkie once in a while. It isn't a cult that chastises members for the incorrect whole grain bread. These women understand what real life is like and know that someone like me won't be eating tofu by November.

Phase 2 involves making some of their yummy shakes in the morning that include real protein (not from Sams) and slowly adding some spinach, chia seeds and other ingredients that aren't from cans and actually from the ground. This is doable for me and is already happening at least two mornings a week. Here is one of her breakfast shake recipes. (Except the kale)

Once this 2nd baby is at daycare I will start Phase 3 by revamping what I eat for lunch and adding back in exercise. I have been trying to walk 30 minutes a day pregnant but this back pain is unreal this time and I am barely getting in 30 minutes of waddle with a limp at a 2.7 on the treadmill.

I will post about my results and how incorporating healthy food into our lives is working for us. I will not "FIND JESUS" in kale or quinoa so don't expect any life altering breakthroughs like that. That is mainly why I paired with Carolyn. She has kids and understands that not everyone likes tofu or eating grass and she is okay with my restrictions as long as I show her progress on trying new things. Remember, the goal here is to be healthier, not hate yourself for what you eat or to get overwhelmed buying groceries.

I have been on the Juice Plus for three months and do really see a difference in energy. It could be the changes with trimesters but Ford (knock on wood) hasn't gotten sick once. He takes the gummies and I take the capsules. Contact Carolyn here to learn about Juice Plus.

*And a note about Food Babe. She lives here in Charlotte and is friends with lots of mutual friends. What she is doing to take bad chemicals out of our meals at Subway, Kraft..etc. is groundbreaking and I have nothing but respect for her cause. But I just find articles with claims like "Your deodorant can lead to Alzheimer's" and "Sabotaged at Starbucks" stress out some readers more than help. I spent almost a day on her Facebook page and became a fan from her letters to Kraft but then the other articles started to give me food anxiety and I had to stop following.  I don't want my food choices to be another source of anxiety in life...we already have too much of that! Maybe once I slowly get on the healthy eating train I can understand more of her mission on cooking/clean eating but for now she is WAY over my head. It's like the preview to FedUp.....you just told me my entire life is disgusting and unhealthy and I can't go from that to kale chips in a week.

I mean, look what she did to everyone's beloved PSL:

I guess the bottom line is there needs to be an easier process to go from Easy Mac to Spaghetti Squash. One with care and concern and not judgement and guilt. The Whole Tulip is going to help me on this process and hopefully they can help you too!

Grew up eating Banquet Frozen TV Dinners along with Dad's famous cooking


  1. All of this food science stuff stresses me out too. I just really love food. Some good and some bad. I am totally drinking a coke right now and eating salt and vinegar chips. But I had an egg white omelet for breakfast. Even stevens? The Whole Tulip sounds interesting.

  2. Food makes Americans mental! Doesn't FoodBabe advocate veganism? Very unhealthy IMO.
    And she better Step Back from my PSL!!! It's a freaking treat!

  3. Preach, preach preach. I eat better now than I have in my entire life (raised on the good ole' southern food too!) but I still eat meat, processed (although rarely...) food and cheese. Seriously. Everything in moderation. If i have fast food (ohhhh ChikfilA), i'll make sure to have a good dinner. Psh. food babe. psh.

  4. Please tell me you saw the mocking PSL image? It was pretty funny. I'm totally a foodie - my parents think we're hippies, but honestly Food Babe is a little extreme for me, but I support a lot of what she does. I can't wait to see Fed Up - I loved Hungry for Change, Food Inc, and Forks over Knives. They've all changed how we've eaten (and just like you being a parent changed us as well). Consumer Reports has also changed us - I can't look at certain foods the same way after reading three of their articles. That said I still eat a ton of crap - love Starbucks (and I can't resist their baked goods). I swear once I'm done being vegan for nursing reasons, I'm going to gain every ounce of pregnancy weight back because I miss food so much. And also, we're the same height and with all my healthy eating I still weigh a good bit more! I could go on and on, sorry for the crazy long comment!!!

  5. Foodbabe slaughtered the pumpkin spice latte!! She's starting to annoy me to be honest, no normal human being with a job and family has time to study labels and eat perfectly all the time!!! I have a HUGE sugar addiction, I used to never eat it and now I eat so many sweets it's outrageous. I'm tying my hardest to kick it but I honestly don't see my eating habits improving until I pop this baby out. Because like you said once I have this kid I will be calorie counting and eating carrots sticks for the rest of my life. Besides sugar though I am relatively healthy and I do love vegetables, I'm not a big meat eater. I do love snacking and chips and dips of any kind get me all the time.
    The Whole Tulip sounds really good- I might need to look into that.