Here at The Strength Agenda, we try to eat as clean as possible. Our major downfall is condiments: mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, and salad dressing are usually purchased from the store. Beyond those, you will find very little processed foods that enter our kitchen. There’s no single article or book that we’ve read that caused this, but rather a conglomeration of reading, as well as noticing that our bodies HATE processed food. I personally feel slow and bloated whenever I eat processed food, especially processed carbs like bread, pasta and cereal.
If you were to ever stop by for a visit, this is what we would NOT have in our kitchen, and what I encourage you to toss:
- Canned soups – High in sodium, full of preservatives, and don’t even get me started on what makes the meat in those things. Ditch ’em. Cook up a batch of soup, eat half of it throughout the week, and freeze the rest in small zip bags. Thaw as needed for lunches or dinners.
- Most white foods – No white flour, no white sugar, no white bread. We have a few gluten-free flours (due to my wife’s allergy, not because we believe they’re superior), but if you eat gluten, please use whole wheat flour. For sweeteners, we have organic honey, agave nectar, and when sugar is needed, organic turbinado sugar. The least refined, the better.
- Canned fruit – Packed in sugar or corn syrup, canned fruit is usually a bad idea. Opt for fresh when possible, or look for frozen fruit in the freezer section.
- Frozen/Pre-prepared meals – Just say NO. Preservatives, sodium, unnecessary calories and chemicals…yuck.
- Shelf-stable sweets – Packaged cookies, cakes, donuts, etc. Again, we’re talking about preservatives and TONS of sugar. Instead, when a craving hits, I’ll go out for ice cream or frozen yogurt, or pick up a single serving of a dessert. I love having dessert, but instead of keeping my cabinets full of crappy sugar bombs, I’d rather take a walk or drive for a single serving of real ice cream or fresh frozen yogurt. There’s still sugar in these, obviously, but lesser quantities. [Exception: Girl Scout Cookies…because you just can’t pass those up.]
- Mac ‘n cheese, rice mixes, or any other heart attacks in a box – Common theme here: preservatives and sodium. Again, I’ll pass. Instead, make homemade cilantro lime rice, or your own macaroni in cheese. Homemade tends to cost more, have more calories, and take longer, but using REAL FOOD will trump those for me every time.
What is not allowed in your kitchen?