Monday, June 28, 2010

Crystal Light Pure Fitness: Natural Ingredients

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Crystal Light Pure Fitness.

A few months ago, I read Michael Pollan's book, In Defense of Food. One of his points is that we need to stop eating foods our great-great-grandmothers wouldn't recognize in an ingredients list. And while some of our great-great-grandmothers back in Hungary wouldn't recognize, let's say, an avocado, what he means is that our food should be food--not man-made chemicals.

Hand Pouring Sugar From Measuring Cup
Our rule is that we don't eat anything we can't easily pronounce and it has served us fairly well so far. It meant I had to give up Equal because even though the brand name is easy to say, I once mispronounced the actual name as "ass-part-of-me" instead of "as-per-tame." We've been using honey and sugar and I've been playing around with creating simple syrups.

I've been making our bread and bagels rather than depending on store-bought which usually has additives to extend the shelf life. I started making our ice cream too when I got freaked out by the long list of ingredients on the brand we were purchasing. While there are a few convenience foods I buy, I try to cook from scratch as much as possible.

I try to drink pure water as much as possible. If I need a bit of flavour, I add a slice of lemon. Okay, I actually almost always need that base slice of lemon. If even the lemon isn't cutting it, I can get myself to drink a few extra glasses of iced tea daily. Since the good people at Crystal Light Pure Fitness sent me samples, I'm also drinking their natural lemon-lime drink.


How about you? How do you incorporate natural ingredients into your life? Tell me by leaving a comment below. Each comment is an entry in the sweepstakes I'm holding at the end of this four-part series for a $100 gift card. And I'm not the only one running this contest: by clicking here, you also have 4 other chances to win $100 as well as a $1,000 sweepstakes on the round-up page. You can also read more on the official rules page.

38 comments:

Mami2jcn said...

I love adding Lemon to drinks.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

subfertilefrugalista said...

We incorporate natural ingredients by making an effort to utilize our garden. We have tons of herbs and try to eat as fresh as possible. Staying away from simple sugars and carbs is helpful with my infertility, too!

subfertilefrugalista@gmail.com

K said...

I love that book!

I try to follow his advice of trying to stick to the outer ring of the supermarket because the more natural unprocessed things tend to be in those aisles.

I also am growing a tomato plant in the backyard and try to buy locally grown organic stuff when I can!

Jackie said...

It's horrendously difficult when you don't have a stove or oven, so I can't exactly cook from scratch. But I go to farmers markets, farmstands, or my local cider mill for produce whenever I can. I also grew up eating natural foods - we had apples and carrots for snacks, not twinkies and cupcakes - so it's pretty easy to avoid overprocessed sweets. I avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague, and buy my bread from bakeries (though I do prefer good ol' pre-packaged bread for sandwiches. Old habits die hard). Reading ingredient lists is something I've grown used to, and it can be pretty scary to see what you're actually putting in your body.

Lavender Luz said...

I know I've left a comment twice here but neither have stuck.

I let my husband do the cooking. He's really into healthy and natural. Lucky me.

Melissa G said...

I've recently made an effort to stop eating highly processed foods. It is NOT easy.

I guess for me, it starts at the store - if I buy only natural ingredients then I don't have the temptation of grabbing the processed stuff instead of making something from scratch, which is a blessing and a curse. I think it initially started with making my own salad dressings...

Hannah LaRue said...

Over the past several years, we have moved farther and farther away from processed foods. I stopped eating anything with hydrogenated oil, sugar, or white flour in it, which has eliminated 99% of all processed foods. We try to stick with homemade, organic, and wholesome as much as possible.

hannahoberg@yahoo.com

Wanna Bee said...

We go to the Farmer's Market every week!

Wanna Bee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
miriama said...

I'm a big fan of fruit stands and local farms. I buy as much fruit there as possible.

pestkaj said...

I try to buy prodcuts with few ingredients and eat lots of whole foods

determineddory said...

In the South, we have Publix supermarkets, and they have a Greenwise brand of food and cleaning products that are either all natural or organic. I buy those whenever the price is reasonably comprable!

Bionic Baby Mama said...

We buy almost no processed/pre-made food. Convenience foods are things like eggs, which cook in a few minutes, are a cheap source of protein, and are real food. Mostly we make everything ourselves, which doesn't feel a bit like suffering since we've learned to cook well. If we do buy things like cookies or chips, we buy ones whose ingredients are foods we'd eat otherwise -- butter, flour, salt, potatoes, etc. Tastes better, too.

IKEA is a surprisingly good source of that kind of food. They have a frozen almond/chocolate torte that is gluten free (for my mom), made with all real foods, and tastes amazing.

skkorman said...

We eat tons of vegetables and herbs from our backyard garden!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

areyoukiddingme said...

Our few (8) tomato plants are providing us with a variety of delicious summer meals. Plus, all the seasonal fruit available makes me spend way too much time in the produce department.

(OK, I've tried, and I can't resist...your grandmother may not have been able to recognize partially hydrogenated soybean oil, but she would definitely have been using lard, and the health benefits (or lack thereof) between the two are debatable. Can't help myself...I'm a skeptic most of the time. Sorry.)

Rachel said...

I shop the outer ring of the market, too. I make our son's babyfood, because it is so much healthier to use realy foods instead of whatever is processed in those jars.

I cook from scratch fairly often. We don't buy/eat things with high fructose corn syrup. I have my vices (Cheetos), don't get me wrong. But I'm making little steps toward getting us all healthy with more fruits, veggies and ingredients we can pronounce!!

Gurlee said...

I am a gardener and I love to eat what I grow. In addition, I am a loyal coop shopper, natural foods is the way to go!

Anne J said...

I joined a farm co-op, and it is making me eat more vegetables. Plus they are locally grown and organic, so they are healthier all around.
ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

justine said...

we belong to an organic farm CSA and we have our own garden, so I cook vegetables diligently all summer long! I try not to buy anything processed, either, but I confess I use stevia. We often bake bread, or buy it from the farmer's market baker. And I'm definitely with you on the lemon water!

Calliope said...

We try to use natural ingredients in our life as often as possible- mostly because it always ends up being less expensive! We diaper W in cloth diapers and wash them in all natural detergent. We started washing our hair with baking soda & apple cider vinegar and that is basically what I use to clean the house with as well. We like to add fruit to our water and now that watermelons are super cheap a mooshed chunk of melon is going in our water bottles now. mmmmmm.

HereWeGoAJen said...

I try to shop around the edge of the grocery store for nearly all of our groceries. I also have stopped buying things when we run out (like all purpose cleaner) to see if I really miss not having it (I didn't, I use soap and water instead now).

Do you do homemade pasta? I've started that instead of store bought lately.

cowgirltn said...

I shop at the farmers market almost every Sat and Whole Foods the rest of the week. I am trying hard not to cook with preserved food.

Dora said...

I'm terrible. I eat too much junk. But I do like lime juice and fresh mint in water. It's like a water mojito.

Magpie said...

Right, but can you pronounce the ingredients in the Crystal Light? Isn't it full of artificial sweetener?

I drink plain (unsweetened) green tea.

Susan C. said...

I've been trying to eat more in-season fresh fruits and vegetables.

Araratacres said...

we eat from our garden (organic, of course). What we don't eat, we give to our chickens....who give us poop to give BACK to the garden and who also also give us good organic eggs. Yum yum! What goes around, comes around here at Ararat Acres!

ClumberKim said...

We joined a CSA and get a weekly box of vegetables and fruit. I am growing a few things at home, hoping to get some interest from the kids.

Melinda said...

We buy veggies from a local farm stand, to incorporate more fresh foods!

Anonymous said...

We are growing our own strawberries :)

artisticbaker@gmail.com

Sean said...

Name: Sean
Email: Zelpuz77@yahoo.com

We have a garden with some fruit and herbs, so that's natural

Anonymous said...

I like to use honey when I bake as a natural sweetner vs processed sugar
mjharvey26 at yahoo dot com

Blue Girl said...

With every lunch that I pack I try to make sure that we have one or two fruits (from a product store or farm) - apple, grapes, mandarin oranges, pineapples, banana etc.
for dinner I like to make sure that we have 1 to 2 veggies like carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, squash, green beans, asparagas or salad.
It helps us keep a healthy balance

JC said...

We have our own organic garden. I love adding parsley to dishes, lemon to ice water.


tcarolinep at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

We have fresh fruits and veggies at lunch and dinner, and shop our farmers market! scg00387 at yahoo dot com

Fab Kate said...

We're all about the natural... we check ingredients on everything. If we can't pronounce it, it doesn't go into our mouths!

VickieB said...

We've been eating more fresh fruits and veggies

Just call me b said...

Natural ingredients...I usually try to use veggies out of my in-laws garden. Yum

DeeGeeRN said...

I try to stay away from any soda type drinks. I love the shaken green ice tea lemonade at Starbucks but that is a treat for sure. You could make your own with very little sweetness to it which is what I like