A Blessing and a Curse

I have never enjoyed most processed foods.  It’s just my humble opinion, but the high sodium content isn’t fit for human consumption.  At least as far as this human is concerned.  My children, on the other hand, love the stuff.  Especially an extremely salty cheeseburger macaroni concoction.  The only way I could gag it down was if I guzzled a gallon of water along with it.

So I’m used to looking for alternative foods for when they insist they need this type of garbage food.  But realizing that you have a gluten sensitivity, and being willing to cut it out of your diet, takes finding alternative foods to an entirely new level.

Early on, when days were so busy I’d just want something quick, I’d pick up a plain ground beef patty at Burger King, then make another stop at Wendy’s for a baked potato.  Let me tell you, do that a few times a month and it gets old in a hurry.  The food and waiting in line at two different ‘restaurants.’

So I decided to keep some sour cream in my refrigerator, along with small packages of ground beef in the freezer.  When the kids need fast food, I come home, brown the ground beef, throw in a little bouillon, a little milk and sour cream, and have it over instant potatoes, with a smoothie (for actual nutrition).  I’m pretty sure it takes less time to throw that together than it did to stop at BK and Wendy’s.

But it’s kind of a pain, and I often opt to just not eat at all.   All I can think lately is that it would be great if I could just heat up a frozen dinner, or open a can of something.  Something that tastes good.  And tonight I thought I hit the jackpot.

I’ve been passing on everything that lists ‘modified food starch’ in the ingredient list, because I’d read something awhile ago that made me think it was made from wheat.  But tonight I discovered that there is a law in the USA that requires food manufacturers to list wheat if it’s in the product.

Yes!  After salivating for the ready-made dinners my daughter loves, I was ready to jump for joy.  I could have the chicken and rice casserole she’s been eating lately!  It smells so good.  And I was so excited…and so hungry…that I made a late night dash to the grocery store to get a couple…one to have as soon as I got home, and one to save for the next time they were craving McDonald’s.

The thing about having to make your food from scratch…for almost three months…is that you apparently become very aware of flavors.  I sat down, prepared to inhale this dinner…and had to stop after the fourth bite.

All I could taste were chemicals, or preservatives-maybe both.  It was just awful.  Very strong, kind of bitter.  My nose was in heaven, but my taste buds wanted to cry…it was that nasty.

You read about how bad processed foods are for you, but like most Americans, I pretty much ignored the warnings.  Processed foods might not be as good as my cooking, but in a pinch, they were better than nothing.  And they didn’t taste too bad.

With my newly retrained taste buds, I know I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Now I just have to figure out a way to convince my kids to stop eating these chemical-rich, sorry excuses for food.

I’m also going to have to figure out something I can freeze for when I want a quick meal.  Cause the ground beef over instant potatoes is getting old, too.

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14 Responses to A Blessing and a Curse

  1. Hmm. I guess I misunderstood something in the workshop. I thought we were supposed to keep the the categories and most tags the same for the search engines to find us easier. I might have to consider changing the categories. Except some of the responses are worth leaving it at romance, lol.

    I’ve actually looked at Kait’s site…she has some fabulous recipes! (thanks, Marcy!)

    It is amazing what happens to our bodies when we start treating them right. I think my biggest problem these days is I’m hitting some sort of milestone (where I threw in the towel last year). I am really starting to crave things I never ate much of to begin with. Raspberry bismarks? Nutty donuts and cinnamon rolls were always my favorites, even though I rarely ate them. So bismarks? What’s up with that? And McDonald’s? YUCK! But smelling that stuff when the kids eat it lately makes me want to grab it from them and eat it myself.

    I have actually gotten to the place where I just won’t eat. A couple of nights last week I didn’t eat until 11 p.m. and midnight. That’s not cool either. I’m getting a handle on it though. There’s just something about NOT being able to have what you really want-but can’t have-that brings about that whole two-year-old-temper-tantrum kind of thing. 🙂

  2. Debra Kristi says:

    I’m still laughing at MJ’s comment. I’ve gotten used to you filing everything under romance. That was too funny though! If you had trouble with fast food before I can only imagine how it is now. I can’t eat Burger King. It makes me ill. Most of them do now after cleaning out my system with healthy foods. You should check out that blog Marcy suggested. There are lots of options available for those going gluten-free these days.

  3. I have that same problem…consistency, but I’m trying to do better. At least in adding swamp sludge (powdered greens) and with some juicing. Too funny about McD’s and KFC. I need to find a GF recipe for the chicken though. I love that stuff.

    LOL…you think this is funny? I also filed my posts about my cursed septic tank under romance. I file pretty much everything under that. 🙂

  4. mj monaghan says:

    Interesting, Kristy K.

    I totally believe that you could distinguish the chemicals. My problem with eating healthier is consistency. I go back and forth. When I get lazy, I pop in something frozen and processed.

    Thank goodness for KFC and McDonald’s since they’re both chemical-free, right??

    I like how you have this filed under “Romance.” You must REALLY love food, huh?

  5. Kait Nolan has a blog (separate from her author blog but there’s a link there) where she supplies some gluten-free recipes. Perhaps some of those would work for cooking and freezing.

    It’s frightening to think that the difference is that obvious once you’ve been away from it for awhile. We don’t eat a lot of processed foods, but we do indulge on occasion.

    • I will try to remember to check Kait’s blog out, thanks, Marcy!

      Yes…you are right. It is frightening. I could hardly believe that I couldn’t pick out the flavor of the chicken, rice, or veggies. I couldn’t taste the FOOD…just chemicals and preservatives. Yet a few months ago, I wouldn’t have noticed.

  6. Whole foods are definitely where it’s at, Kristy. And the fewer low-nutrient food we eat, the worse the unhealthy processed foods taste. Sounds like you’re on a healthy, awesome track.

    During particularly busy times, I use my crock pot and freeze large batches of healthy food, like whole grain/veggie lasagna. I’ve also sought out healthy restaurants and ways to tweak entrees elsewhere to make them healthier. Worth the effort. 🙂

    • Thanks, August. I’m working on it. It’s hard with that and the hypothyroidism (because that comes with its own list of foods you have to be careful with…goitrogens). I do like the whole crock pot idea/freezing servings of stuff I can eat. I’ve never liked McDonald’s food…but smelling it now, while I’m cooking something for me, it’s a miracle I’m not stealing my kids food. 🙂

      Kidding. No, I’m glad I’m starting to realize just how bad some of this food is. Unbelievable!

  7. Wow. I can’t imagine. Although I know it’s like when hubby and I give up eating out for a few months. The first time you hit a restaurant, you are blown away by the SALT in your food?!??! Insane.
    Here’s to finding some alternatives that WORK!!

    • Thanks, Natalie. I know what you mean about too much salt. I’ve always been sensitive to it, and use less than most people in my cooking. I don’t even look at restaurants much anymore.

      Eating out is a nightmare because cooks and servers, for the most part, don’t have a clue….and aren’t even remotely close to careful. One waitress tried to tell me there were no croutons on my salad when I mentioned that it looked like someone had put them on…then taken them off. She was adamant about it…until I pointed out one laying by itself.

  8. funny how life changes with a gluten intolerance or full blown celiac disease. watch for french fries – they are often coated with flour to prevent them sticking together when flash frozen. and if they’re friend in the same oil as breaded stuff …oh oh. ditto for rice noodles in asian restaurants.

    such a nuisance. I don’t have a good solution. i’ve reverted to eating a variety of gluten free breads. we’ve got some decent ones here, so i’m happy an dhave a quick go to meal.

    • Most of the time it’s funny (unless you’re CRAVING a raspberry bismark…and I probably never ate 2 or 3 of those things a year…but I’d eat a dozen of them right now, if I could…lol).

      After the whole pizza fiasco, I’m even more careful about reading ingredient lists. I’m just stunned at all the things that have gluten in it. I had to change my shampoo (might have mentioned that on the other blog) because it had wheat in it. IN SHAMPOO??? Why???

      My quick solution anymore is to toast a couple of slices of Schar bread and have it with some deli ham (which also isn’t good for us, but I’m making good choices in other areas). As long as I distract myself and don’t pay attention, it’s enough to fill me up, and it works.

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