VB6! What Is It and What Am I Eating?

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Have  you guys heard of VB6? I read this book a while ago and it really struck something in me… but then I didn’t change my eating habits. But last week I was listening to a podcast with Tig Notaro, who I adore, and she talks about going vegan (mainly for health concerns) and suggested people just give it a try for a few weeks. Well if Tig says so…

Ok, I’m not going 100% vegan, but I am following VB6. The idea is that you eat vegan before 6pm so basically breakfast and lunch and then a regular ol’ omnivorous dinner. (Really I’m going VB2am since that’s about when I eat dinner on night shift ha)

The best things is nothing is “off limits.” You can eat cheese and ice cream and steak and hot dogs, just you have to wait till dinner/dessert time. The goal is to shift you into eating more plant based whole foods and less processed foods, meats and dairy. Dairy is the easiest thing for me to give up which I am counting myself lucky about since I think more people with struggle with that.

So am I eating a salad every day for lunch? Well, yes and no! It’s not just lettuce and dressing and I definitely do not feel deprived!

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Someone PLEASE teach me how to be a food photographer!

There have been a couple “fails” (I don’t think I can get on board with nutritional yeast…) but I’m basically eating all my favorite foods just minus the meat and dairy. And there have been a few surprises. I was craving a BLT the other day so toasted some bread, added veganiase, tomatoes and avocado and YUM. It hit the spot more than I could’ve imagined.

I’m still trying to stop myself from eating all carbs and really focusing on fruits and veggies. But I am not worried about protein! I haven’t been monitoring my macros that closely but I am still getting a lot from beans and chickpeas, quinoa, and vegetables! Plus I usually do have meat at dinner.

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Eat all Salads!

 

Yay Salads! I think salads get a bad rap as diet food when 1) they can be delicious and 2) they can be calorie/fat/carb laden and ultimately not that healthy!  But I eat a lot of salads. They’re really versatile and can be really filling and healthy if you stick to whole foods and oil based dressings. In fact, I ate a salad every day so far this week!

Now, I originally was thinking this would be a “no lettuce salad” post, but then I realized that I put lettuce under that mess in the top picture.  It also kind of became a “1 grocery bag 4 lunches” post since I used the same few ingredients over and over. But when you’re just 1 person and you don’t want your food to spoil, you gotta use it up the best you can!

Also I really am trying to cut down eating meat and not cut down my protein intake so I’ve been experimenting with new vegan/vegetarian meals. So these are all dairy free and it would be super easy to just leave the meat out and they’d be vegan!

So here’s what I ate! (remember how great I am at taking food pics??)

Top picture: lettuce topped with black beans, corn, quinoa, tomatoes, and red onion. I also made an avocado cilantro dressing (that blob in the middle) that turned over pretty dense, almost a guacamole, but it was really yummy and mixed up really well in the salad. (Which reminds me! I used this same stuff as a spread on my black bean burger for dinner tonight! Yum.)

Bottom left: garbanzo beans (aka chick peas) with just tomato, avocado, cucumber and cilantro.

Middle left: quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onion, cilantro, and topped with green chile pork. (I wanted it to look so pretty like those quinoa bowls you see on pinterest, alas… the toppings got a bit jumbled. Still tasty though!)
Bottom right: the common denominator here: avocado, tomato, red onion, and cilantro. This time with shrimp.

It does share a lot of the same ingredients but I promise, these little switches make it feel like I’m not eating the same thing day after day. Cuz I am not that kind of person who can eat the same things all week. I sometimes wish I was! It would be easier, wouldn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Even Is Healthy Food?? You’re gonna feel REAL bad for me in a minute.

 

It’s pathetic really.

Now I am not saying I eat this way 100% but I do TRY. (Guys, it’s hard.) So today I was wasting time at work, tooling around on Buzzfeed when I ran into an article titled 31 Delicious Packaged Foods That Aren’t Actually Terrible For You. 

I read it. And wanted to simultaneously laugh and cry. Here’s the thing. Now the article is admitting that these foods aren’t perfect but they’re seemingly touted as on the healthy side of the scale and I cannot eat so so many of them. So they’re not healthy for me. Maybe they are for the writer. Maybe they are for you. But not for me.

(Also things that say gluten-free or Vegan or BPA free. whatever label they can slap on. [or just cause you bought it at Whole Foods] THIS DOESN’T AUTOMATICALLY MEAN IT’S HEALTHY. Rant for another day)

The point of this diatribe is to remind you all to do you. Learn what works for your body and your life! (I know a girl that eats ice cream for breakfast. It works for her. Lucky girl.)

Image result for amy poehler good for her

Here’s what Buzzfeed took into consideration when making the list:

• Calories per serving
• Reasonability of serving size
• Ratio of carbs to fiber (ideally no more than 10 grams of carb for every 1 gram of fiber)
• Ratio of protein to fat (ideally no less than 2 grams of protein for every 1 grams of fat)
• Amount of added sugar
• Amount of sodium
• Number of ingredients (the fewer, the better)
• Recognizability of ingredients (the more familiar/pronounceable, the better)

I’m going strictly by ingredients for MY list.

SkinnyPop 100-Calorie Baggies

Ingredients: Popcorn, sunflower oil and salt.
No corn 

2. Popchips

Popchips

Ingredients: Dried potato, rice flour, sunflower and/or safflower oil, potato starch, sea salt, salt.

No potato (white or sweet) 

3. Dang Lightly Salted Coconut Chips YES!

Dang Lightly Salted Coconut Chips

Ingredients: Coconut, sea salt.

4. Garden of Eatin’ Baked Blue Tortilla Chips

Garden of Eatin' Baked Blue Tortilla Chips

Ingredients: Organic blue corn, organic brown flaxseed, organic soy grits, organic canola oil and/or organic safflower oil and/or organic sunflower oil, sea salt.

No corn, no soy (dunno what grits are but…. no soy so) 

5. Triscuit Thin Crisps

Triscuit Thin Crisps

Ingredients: Whole grain wheat, vegetable oil (soybean or canola oil), sea salt.

No wheat 

6. Mini Babybel cheese

Mini Babybel cheese

Ingredients: Pasteurized cultured milk, salt, microbial enzymes.

No dairy 

7. Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas YES! 

Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas

Ingredients: Organic chickpeas, organic expeller pressed canola and/or organic sunflower oil, sea salt, organic rosemary extract, ascorbic acid.

8. Special K Cracker Chips

Special K Cracker Chips

Ingredients: Potatoes, potato starch, canola oil with TBHQ for freshness, rice flour, oat fiber, degerminated yellow corn meal, sugar, contains 2% or less of sea salt, salt, monoglycerides, whole wheat flour, soy flour, whey.

 No potato, corn, sugar, wheat, soy, whey 

9. Bare Apple Chips

Bare Apple Chips

Ingredients: Apples.

No apples… 

10. Newman’s O’s

Newman's O's

Ingredients: Organic unbleached wheat flour, organic powdered, organic sugar, organic palm fruit oil, sunflower oil, cocoa, organic invert syrup, natural flavors, sodium bicarbonate (leavening), unsweetened chocolate, salt, soy lecithin.

No wheat, sugar, organic invert syrup– which is more sugar
And if you’re using 100 days of Real Food standards, no soy lecithin 

11. Oreo Thins

Oreo Thins

Ingredients: Sugar, unbleached enriched flour, palm and/or canola oil, high fructose corn syrup, salt, soy lecithin, baking soda, peppermint oil, artificial color, artificial flavor.

No sugar, wheat/flour, high fructose corn syrup (again, another term for sugar)
and yikes w/ words like artificial color/ flavor 

12. Breyer’s Natural Vanilla Ice Cream

Breyer's Natural Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients: Milk, cream, sugar, vegetable gum, natural flavor.

No dairy, sugar 

13. Edy’s Slow Churned Ice Cream

Edy's Slow Churned Ice Cream

Ingredients: Non-fat milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, chocolaty chips, whey protein, buttermilk, molasses, acacia gum, carob bean gum, guar gum, yellow 5, blue 1, carrageenan, natural flavor

okay.. no dairy (so, milk, cream, buttermilk, whey) sugar & corn syrup 
I personally want to stay away from yellow 5 and blue 1. All the numbered colors. 

14. Larabar YES! 

Larabar

Ingredients: Dates, peanuts, sea salt

 

15. Clif Organic Trail Mix bars

Clif Organic Trail Mix bars

Ingredients: Organic peanuts, organic tapioca syrup, organic almonds, organic dark chocolate, organic coating, organic roasted soybeans, organic rice crisps, organic peanut butter, organic inulin, organic sunflower oil, sea salt, mixed tocopherols (Vitamin E compounds).

So close! No soy 

16. Quest Protein Bars ???

Quest Protein Bars

Ingredients: Protein blend, soluble corn fiber, almonds, water, unsweetened chocolate, natural flavors, erythritol, cocoa butter, palm oil, sea salt, calcium carbonate, sucralose, Stevia

No corn? These may be be prefect, but I do eat Quest bars all the time. 

17. KIND bars (Nuts & Spices line)

KIND bars (Nuts & Spices line)

Ingredients: Almonds, cashews, peanuts, honey, glucose syrup, chicory root fiber, rice flour, sea salt, soy lecithin, sugar.

 No glucose syrup and sugar. 

18. Fage Total 2% Split Cup

Fage Total 2% Split Cup

Ingredients: Strained yogurt, live active cultures, strawberries, cane sugar, water, corn starch, strawberry juice concentrate, lemon juice concentrate, natural flavors.

No dairy, cane sugar, corn starch, lemon juice concentrate 

19. Stonyfield Organic Greek Whole Milk Yogurt

Stonyfield Organic Greek Whole Milk Yogurt

Ingredients: Cultured pasteurized organic whole milk, organic cane sugar, non-GMO corn starch, organic natural vanilla flavor, organic carob bean gum, organic vanilla bean, gellan gum.

No dairy, sugar, corn starch 

20. Dannon Whole Milk Yogurt

Dannon Whole Milk Yogurt

Ingredients: Cultured grade A milk, cane sugar, water, corn starch, cherries, less than 1% of fruit juice and vegetable juice, natural flavor, carob bean gum, lemon juice concentrate, vitamin D3, milk calcium.

No dairy, cane sugar, corn starch, lemon juice concentrate 

21. Special K Protein

Special K Protein

Ingredients: Whole grain wheat, wheat gluten, sugar, rice, soy protein isolate, wheat bran, defatted soy grits, contains 2% or less of salt, cinnamon, malt flavor, L-lysine monohydrochloride, soy lecithin, sucralose, BHT for freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Reduced iron, niacinamide, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B2, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D3.

Whoo boy. No wheat or wheat gluten, sugar, soy protein isolate, wheat bran, defatted soy grits 
And WHAT is L-lysine monohydrochloride?? pass… 

 

22. Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal

Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal

Ingredients: Whole oat flour, degerminated yellow cornmeal, invert cane syrup, oat fiber, honey, salt, cinnamon*, expeller pressed canola oil, ginger, cardamom, natural flavor, mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) for freshness.

No oat flour, cornmeal, cane syrup, oat fiber 

23. Kix

Kix

Ingredients: Whole grain corn, corn meal, sugar, Corn bran, salt, brown sugar syrup, trisodium phosphate, vitamin E.

No corn or meal or bran, sugar, brown sugar syup

24. Luvo frozen meals

Luvo frozen meals

Ingredients: Cooked white meat chicken, water, cooked black beans, tomatoes, tomatillo, queso quesadilla, tomatoes, yellow corn meal, corn, red bell peppers, cilantro, citric acid, coriander, cumin, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion, garlic, green bell peppers, green chili pepper, green onion, guar gum, jalapeño peppers, onions, orange juice concentrate, oregano, paprika, paprika extract, parmesan cheese, parsley, poblano peppers, potato starch, red onions, roasted pumpkin seeds, seasoning, spices, sunflower oil, thyme, tomato paste, xanthan gum, yellow corn masa flour.

ooookay, No queso, corn meal, corn, orange juice concentrate, parmesan, potato starch, pumpkin seeds, corn masa flour

25. Amy’s Single-Serve Spinach Pizza (Light in Sodium)

Amy's Single-Serve Spinach Pizza (Light in Sodium)

Ingredients: Organic unbleached wheat flour with organic wheat bran and organic wheat germ, filtered water, organic tomato puree, part-skim mozzarella cheese, organic spinach, extra virgin olive oil, feta cheese, organic onions, organic tofu (filtered water, organic soybeans, nigari, honey, organic garlic, spices, sea salt, expeller pressed high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, organic evaporated cane syrup, black pepper, yeast.

no flour, bran or germ, no mozzarella, feta, tofu, cane syrup 

26. Newman’s Own Roasted Vegetable Thin & Crispy Pizza

Newman's Own Roasted Vegetable Thin & Crispy Pizza

Ingredients: Multigrain crust, sauce, low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, fire roasted bell peppers, mushrooms, fire roasted red onion, parmesan cheese.

no whatever multigrain is, mozzarella, parmesan 

27. Lean Cuisine Thin Crust Margherita Pizza

Lean Cuisine Thin Crust Margherita Pizza

Ingredients: Enriched flour, water, sugar, soybean oil, yeast, olive oil, salt, tomatoes, tomatoes, reduced fat mozzarella cheese and cornstarch, low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese, onions, tomato paste, 2% or less of garlic puree, seasoning, garlic powder, spices, natural flavor

No flour, sugar, mozzarella, cornstarch 

28. Saffron Road Frozen Bowls YES!*

Saffron Road Frozen Bowls

 

Ingredients: White rice: white rice, water. Ginger vegetable mix: snow peas, carrots, water chestnuts. Salmon filet: wild Alaska salmon. Sesame ginger sauce: water, tamari, cane sugar, ginger puree, native corn starch, toasted sesame oil, garlic puree, expeller pressed canola oil, lemon juice concentrate, sesame seeds, cayenne pepper.

*This one surprised me! It’s like the Quest bars. No cornstarch or lemon juice, but really for the most part, this one works. But of course, depends on the flavor. 

29. EVOL Foods Single Serve Meals

EVOL Foods Single Serve Meals

Serving size: 1 bowl

Ingredients: Cooked black beans, cooked white rice, bell peppers, grilled beef, cilantro, corn, cheddar cheddar cheese, canola oil, lime juice from concentrate, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, garlic, spices.

No corn, cheddar, lime juice 

30. Amy’s Tofu Scramble With Vegetables & Hash Browns

Amy's Tofu Scramble With Vegetables & Hash Browns

Ingredients: (Vegan) organic tofu, organic hash browns, organic tomatoes, organic spinach, organic zucchini, organic onions, organic mushrooms, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic carrots, sea salt, organic garlic, nutritional yeast, spices, organic black pepper.

No tofu (soy), hash browns (potatoes) 

31. Lean Cuisine Marketplace Chicken With Almonds

Lean Cuisine Marketplace Chicken With Almonds

Ingredients: Blanched enriched long grain parboiled rice, cooked chicken tenderloin, water, green beans, broccoli, brown sugar, yellow carrots, almonds, 2% or less of soy sauce, modified cornstarch, sugar, dehydrated soy sauce, ginger puree, soybean oil, brown sugar syrup, apple cider vinegar, caramel color, citric acid.

No broccoli, brown sugar, soy sauce, corn starch, sugar (again, this flavor in particular) 

4!  I can eat 4 out of 31 products. 4….

And another rant for another day is these fake ingredients. Yellow 5 and trisodium phosphate and artificial flavor. Plus sugar in everything! And fancy terms for sugar. It still counts. Oh well….

YIKES BIKES. Someday I’ll have to talk about what I can and do eat!