Ditching Fast Food for Real Food

I’m just gonna let you in on a little (not so) secret. I love food. Especially junk food. I used to be the kind of girl who would eat whatever I wanted without a thought as to what it would do to me. It made little difference to me what was in the food. Who cared about calories or chemicals or whatever? And don’t you dare try to take away my sugar! Isn’t it obvious that I love it?

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The truth is, I just never thought about why we eat food. I eat because I feel hungry – eating ANYTHING makes me not hungry – and it’s delicious. Simple, right? Well, unfortunately, no. Eating the ‘easy’ foods, like pizza, french fries and cookies actually does the opposite. Sure, I feel full for a while (and enjoy my temporary sugar high) but then something ludicrous happens – I get hungry again! Not just a little hungry, either – we’re talking WAY hungrier than I was before. Sound familiar?

That’s because as we fill the body with simple carbohydrates (a.k.a. sugar),  it produces more and more insulin to counteract all the sugar in the bloodstream (by storing it as FAT). Then, when the insulin has been pumped out in stupid high levels, ALL of the sugar is eventually re-distributed and there is nothing left in the bloodstream but insulin. Once there is no more sugar left from that awful meal we just ate a few hours ago, our body signals that we are – yep – hungry!

Blood sugar and insulin is only one of several reasons why we should all eat REAL FOOD vs. processed food. Bad food can also cause systemic inflammation, clogged arteries, hormone dysregulation, and can lead to auto-immune disorders, cancer, stroke, diabetes and a host of other illnesses. Don’t believe me? Read This or This.

For those of you who are more visual learners (or who just think I’m making this up) there is a brand new video designed to highlight why we should eat REAL food. I highly encourage you to watch and share with the people you love. Slim Is Simple.

Now, I eat to fuel my body. I eat veggies, meat, fruit, nuts and seeds – mostly in yummy combinations. When I work hard (see my post about Lifting Heavy), I splurge on high starch foods like potatoes or rice. I eat chocolate and drink wine and make grain-free low sugar baked goods. Hey, I never said I was perfect! But, I am thin, happy and healthy. What more could a girl ask for?

Bacon as a Food Group

So, I was surfing the blogosphere today (cause I have a lot of free time) and I came across this post about Bacon: Top 10 Foods Containing Bacon. Sometimes I forget that there are people who don’t live in a world where Bacon is its own food group. I mean, I was just in Germany where no discernible Bacon could be found (why is this, by the way, in a country whose main protein source is pig?), and somehow I had already fully recovered from that experience enough to be surprised that anyone would not feel the way I do about Bacon.

Here’s the thing about Bacon: It goes with everything. I mean, I was scrolling through the aforementioned blog post and I was like “yep, had that and that and, ooh – made that last week (without the toast) – that one looks delicious,  hmm, maybe I should try it!”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Bacon is my favorite food. If I had to choose between Bacon, Chocolate or Wine and could never have the others again I would probably stuff my face full of Bacon and down the bottle of wine before running off to my chocolate island to live out my days of Baconless existence. What I am saying is that Bacon IS the best and only food that doubles as its own food group.  Anyone who disagrees with that premise should just admit to being a closeted Vegetarian now and I’ll understand.

Now, as much as I like bacon in and on anything I eat, I do have standards. I do not eat bacon that came from a factory (unless I have to, like, because I’m at a restaurant). My favorite bacon comes from a farm that raises their pigs without antibiotics and butchers them by hand to produce a delicious, uncured, strip of fat. I’ll also go for some minimally processed stuff like TJ’s Free-range, nitrate-free, antibiotic-free deliciousness. Just not that crap from Giant or Safeway. Ugh. Way to ruin Bacon!

Pure Bacon

Pure Bacon (Credit: Wikipedia)

Double Chocolate Brownies, With Love

Today is the Superbowl. So, of course, there is a party. At this party there will be many, many things to eat. I will likely want to eat all of them, but am limited by one tiny factor: I don’t eat grains. That means that I cannot give in to the cookies, crackers or other breaded meats. My solution to this ‘problem’ is simple. BYOB. Yep- I’m bringing my own brownies! I love these, and everyone else will love them too.

This recipie is one of my faves since I discovered coconut flour – I modified it from one I found on Elana’s Pantry some months ago. It’s gluten free, processed sugar-free and so chocolatey. I particularly appreciate how easy it is to make. So, go ahead, make yourself some too.

Double Chocolate Brownies

Prep

Ingredients:
1/2 C chocolate chips (dark or semi-sweet)
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 C coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 medium eggs
1/4 C coconut oil (melted)
1/4-1/2 C maple syrup or agave (to taste)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Nuts or chocolate chips for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a food processor, pulse the chocolate chips until mostly ground. Add the cocoa powder and stir together until combined.
  3. Add coconut flour, baking soda and salt and pulse until well blended.
  4. Add eggs and coconut oil, then maple or agave and vanilla – pulse.
  5. Pour into a greased baking dish, 8×8 or equivalent.
  6. Sprinkle any toppings on as desired.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Finished Product

Finished Product

Now I’m off to get ready for the party!