Sunday, May 2, 2010

And I'm back!

Sorry for that small hiatus, however, I've been doing a lot of soul searching and adjusting. I've really taken my latest challenge seriously and I have been winning. The challenge? Remove of all preservatives, chemicals and high fructose corn syrup out of mine and my family's diet. Successful? You bet.
It's amazing what reading labels can do. While reading one of my favorite blogs:, I found this one sentence helpful: If your grandma can't read what's in the ingredient list, then it's probably bad for you. Short, simple, and to the point. And it's changed me in a lot of ways.
I have been making a lot of what we eat from scratch. That way, I can be in control of all aspects of what goes into my mouth. I also realized that we, as a nation, are very trusting of the food industry.
Here's what I mean:
I'm a nurse. Patients are reliant on the fact that I'm educated, smart and good at what I do. Am I really? Well, let's hope so. But 99.9% of the time, people put their full trust in me. Scary? You bet. For both parties.
Same goes for the food industry. 99.9% of the time (OK, probably not that much, but work with me here) we don't ask questions. We buy a well known label and consume it. Ever wonder why some brands are so dirt cheap in comparison? Chances are, because of the lax rules and quality of the product. That doesn't necessarily mean that just because you buy the most expensive product you're getting the best quality, but chances are good you're getting poorer quality with the dirt cheap product.
We sometimes only see (and I used to be this person) the sales price or what's cheaper, but sometimes, it's not the right choice. I have to ask myself now, what was added? For example, why does a simple jar of applesauce need 10 ingredients? From personal experience, if you want to make it at home, it requires apples and cinnamon.
Today at Sam's Club, I asked Matt to grab the kids' applesauce. He went over to where they were and said, "Which one? There's two kinds." So I grabbed one, looked at the ingredient list, then looked at the other and handed him one. I said, "This one. It has apples in it. The other is full of chemicals, high fructose corn syrup and sugar." I showed him the label and he scratched his head and said, "What's the need for all that junk?" I told him, "No idea, but aren't you glad you looked?"
Recently, Matt was out of town on business. We had been on our 'eating clean' plan for about a month at that point. He called me up and said, "My stomach's been upset. You think it's something I ate?" I said, "Yah, I'm sure it's all those chemicals."
When he got home, he at some leftovers of this awesome black bean crockpot (recipe to follow) and he made a comment about how it's the best it's ever tasted.
That alone amazed me. How different food can taste when the mask of chemicals is removed.
So that said, here's a great recipe. My Mom had made it for me when Claire was first born. I was skeptical, but it is AMAZING. I made it for the girls at work and they all loved it and one called it "Yummy Goodness."

Black Bean Crockpot
1 jar of salsa (I use Trader Joe's organic salsa)
1 can of black beans (buck up and buy the organic)
1 bag of frozen corn (I love the super sweet organic at Trader Joe's)
1 brick of lite cream cheese
1 cup white rice (uncooked...about 1 1/2 cups cooked)
2 or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (again, I use organic, so the breasts are the size the chicken was meant to have. If you don't use this kind of chicken, 1 breast should be fine.)

Combine the salsa, black beans, corn, and chicken in a crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 1/2 hour prior to eating, shred the chicken and add the cream cheese and cooked rice to the crockpot and stir, allowing the cream cheese to melt and combine thoroughly. ENJOY!


Emily said...

OMG - that recipe sounds super yummy delicious. Ima gonna make it! Thanks for posting!

Cassie said...

And believe it or not, it's a weight watchers recipe!

Emily said...

We're having this tonight, but because I don't have a crockpot (yes, I realize that is a sacrilege coming from Minnesota), I marinated our chicken in a Latin marinade and am roasting the chicken in the oven and will combine everything in a pot. Oh, and I'm using brown rice instead of white rice :-)

Bachelor Girl said...

My friend Katie has a recipe very similar to this, and it is indeed delicious! Can't wait to make your version!