Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day #1: 28-Day Real Food Challenge

Day #1 Check List:
For today's assignment make sure to clear your cupboards of the following processed foods as well as anything containing these ingredients:
  • Vegetable Oils: Soybean, Cottonseed, Canola, Corn
  • Sugar: White Sugar, Brown Sugar, Turbinado, Agave Nectar (including "raw"), Sugar in the raw
  • Stevia: white stevia powder, stevia liquid
  • Margarine
  • Shortening (excluding palm shortening)
  • White flour: all-purpose flour, unbleached all-purpose flour, white rice flour,
  • Cornstarch
  • Soy foods: soy sauce, soy flour, soy milk, soy lecithin, isoflavone-enriched foods and supplements
  • Dried Pastas and Noodles
  • Iodized Salt
  • Refined Sea Salt
  • Meat & Dairy Replacements: TVP, veggie burgers, vegan cheeses, sour creams, rice and nut milks, vegan sausages
  • Processed cheeses
  • Skim and Low-fat Dairy: cheese, milk, yogurts etc.
  • Boxed cereals, crackers and cookies
So far, if I had to give myself a grade, it would probably be D-. Worst grade I have ever gotten! I have to admit, it's been a little more intense at the beginning than I anticipated. My main hang-ups so far are my husband, the low-carb thing and our budget! We are really trying to work on our mountain of debt and get it paid off so we are in a better position all around for the future. And right now, getting rid of food that is already in my pantry is really hard to do! I am working on my own version of using them up and not replacing unless it's been in the pantry a while and not used.

As for the low-carb part, it's the stevia and artificial sugar that I'm hung up on. I have green leaf stevia I can use, but I also have a large quantity of splenda and a box of stevia packets that I completely rely on for condiments and sweets! I just don't think I could handle green-colored vanilla ice cream!

And my husband, well, dry noodles and processed cheeses will be a hard sell!

I will try to keep updating for days 2-3 later tonight :)


  1. I don't know what brand of stevia you have been using (they're not equal), but if that's your hang-up,I wouldn't worry about it that much!
    I use SweetLeaf Stevia. It has 0 calories, 0 carbs, and a 0 glycemic index.

  2. I have a couple of questions.
    What kind of sugar do you use?
    What about flour?
    Also what about dried noodles. You mean boxed kinds? Do you mean you buy fresh noodles that you cook?

  3. Yodasmith - Thanks. I actually have two kinds of Stevia that I use, one is actual ground stevia leaves and the other is stevia in the raw. Packets. I know they're both completely legal for the low-carb diet, but I've recently seen this, which is intriguing.:

    On stevia: white stevia powder and liquid stevia are heavily processed and do not remotely resemble the native, natural plant. Moreover, stevia (despite its acclaim in low-carb circles) was never traditionally used as a sweetener; rather, it was traditionally used as a contraceptive by indigenous South American peoples. Very few studies have been carried out on stevia, and those that focused on its purported contraceptive effects have been contradictory: some say it’s contraceptive, others don’t. Interestingly, the same factors that make stevia sweet are those that are thought to have contraceptive effects. In the end, I always fall back to tradition and food history: in this case, stevia never held a place in traditional societies as a sweetener. That said, if you still want to use stevia make sure to only use the green stevia which is simply the stevia herb powdered. Do not use processed stevia: white powder or liquid.

    SATOP - I don't really use a lot of sugar right now, but I do have honey, molasses and some organic cane sugar. I also have a stash of stevia and Splenda that I'll use up and probably not replace.

    As for flour, I have whole wheat and bread flour that I want to use up. I think I may have a bag of regular old all-purpose flour in my foodstash on the basement somewhere, but I haven't really used it in quite a while. I'm hoping to find a local source of sprouted flour or, if not, get a flour mill when the money fairy drops a present in my lap :)

    And yes, unfortunately, I mean completely totally processed regular old boxed noodles. And ramen, Hubby loves ramen! I do make noodles occasionally, but right now I'm not eating them, so it's a lot easier for me just to make dinner and then boil some noodles for him. He also makes them for himself when he gets home from work (and sometimes the man eats ramen for breakfast. Weird, I know, but he likes it!)

    I hope to post a week one wrap-up on my lunch break today!

  4. Well, it is true that most "stevia products" are processed to point to where they don't really resemble the plant anymore (if they ever did) because most are processed with ethanol, methanol, solents, and enzymes that may change the taste of the leaf, so masking agents are added to cover up the taste. They a have maltodextrin, dextrose, or sugar alcohols as additives. Stevia in the Raw is actually 95.8% table sugar. SweetLeaf is the only one that uses only pure water in the whole process,so no masking agent, or form of sugar is deemed needed, and it retains all three of the natural stevia properties that other brands don't. ( 0 cal, 0 carb, 0 GI).

    Contrary to what many believe, stevia has been well-studied. During the 20th century, over 1000 scientific articles and patents on stevia have been published. In fact, the first known written account of stevia published was written between 1570 and 1576. It was "Natural History of Plants of the New Spain" by Francisco Hernandez, physician. People in South America have used stevia for 1500 years as a sweetener in their yerba mate. It has been used for 30 years or so in Japan, and is used in South Korea, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, China,Thailand, Russia, Indonesia, and Israel. It has been used by hundreds of millions of people over a long period of time by both adults and children without any adverse reaction reported in documentation--this includes infertility. As far as the contraceptive usage by South Americans, I have heard this argument before but it is simply folkloric.

    Of course, the struggle is to know which ones are adulterated with additives and are processed far from its original state, that may have stevia's natural nutrients removed or nullified (there are 100 different nutrients in the leaf), because these can cause potential reactions.

    Pure stevia will not only not harm you, but it also provides numerous health benefits--too much to mention here because my post is already to long (so you'll just have to trust me)!