Can someone clear some things up for me?

  • BJames88

    Posts: 15

    Feb 19, 2013 4:32 AM GMT
    Can someone help me with this? I am really making an effort to eat clean, and I know I am not the only person in the World who is this busy. But I have a few questions on whether or not some of the choices I have been making are actually good choices. I know they are better than some other choices, but can these choices even improve?

    1. Healthy Choice frozen meals? I know fresh is better, but are these actually bad for you?

    2. Protein/meal replacement bars? Reading through some posts here, I found that these this may be better left out of my diet?

    3. Greek yogurt? Is this a good option for a quick snack?

    4. Beef Jerky as an post workout snack?

    5. Soy milk or skim milk? Or no milk?

    What are some things I definitely should add to my regimen?
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Feb 19, 2013 4:58 PM GMT
    Just my two cents.

    1) I guess this is better than eating fast food, but please do not consider this stuff "eating clean". Buying pre-packaged food like this you can't control what the ingredients are. Better to learn to cook yourself. People think cooking for yourself takes a lot of time, and the truth is it doesn't once you get in the habit of it. My vote is stay away.

    2) These are items that are meant to compliment your diet and support whatever workout goals you have. I'd stay away until you improve your diet and exercise routine. Do not think that eating these are an easy out to losing weight. Get your diet in check first.

    3) Excellent choice.

    4) Good choice but look for brands that do not add sugar and crap.

    5) Neither if you're trying to lose weight. Opt for Almond Milk IMO.

    If your goal is to "eat clean" you will have to learn to cook. Eating clean is about buying fresh, whole foods and preparing them yourself. Shopping in the frozen food section is not eating clean.
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    Feb 19, 2013 5:03 PM GMT
    BJames88 saidCan someone help me with this? I am really making an effort to eat clean, and I know I am not the only person in the World who is this busy. But I have a few questions on whether or not some of the choices I have been making are actually good choices. I know they are better than some other choices, but can these choices even improve?

    1. Healthy Choice frozen meals? I know fresh is better, but are these actually bad for you?

    2. Protein/meal replacement bars? Reading through some posts here, I found that these this may be better left out of my diet?

    3. Greek yogurt? Is this a good option for a quick snack?

    4. Beef Jerky as an post workout snack?

    5. Soy milk or skim milk? Or no milk?

    What are some things I definitely should add to my regimen?


    Everything in life is spectrum from good to bad to worse and so on. Food is no different. But you have to be honest with yourself and read the nutrition information they put on the back - thats why the government forces them to put it there.

    1) I've looked for healthy frozen meals and its damn hard to find. Even the best ones are usually very high in sodium. Its better than a bag of chips but don't delude yourself into believing its the best option. It never will be.

    4) Very high sodium. Whey protein + creatine + simple carbs post workout is best for muscle growth if thats your goal.

    5) Why? If you like milk, drink it. There are far worse things to eat but contrary to the millions the dairy industry spends trying to convince us otherwise, milk is not a super healthy food. The vast majority of its calories come from fat and sugar - not protein. If your purpose in drinking it is protein, save yourself the empty calories and eat something better.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Feb 19, 2013 5:18 PM GMT
    gwuinsf saidJust my two cents.

    1) I guess this is better than eating fast food, but please do not consider this stuff "eating clean". Buying pre-packaged food like this you can't control what the ingredients are. Better to learn to cook yourself. People think cooking for yourself takes a lot of time, and the truth is it doesn't once you get in the habit of it. My vote is stay away.

    2) These are items that are meant to compliment your diet and support whatever workout goals you have. I'd stay away until you improve your diet and exercise routine. Do not think that eating these are an easy out to losing weight. Get your diet in check first.

    3) Excellent choice.

    4) Good choice but look for brands that do not add sugar and crap.

    5) Neither if you're trying to lose weight. Opt for Almond Milk IMO.

    If your goal is to "eat clean" you will have to learn to cook. Eating clean is about buying fresh, whole foods and preparing them yourself. Shopping in the frozen food section is not eating clean.


    I agree with all this. You've got to completely change your way of thinking.
    1. This is trash food with tons of preservatives and little of what you eat for so you're going to over-eat during the day.
    2. Protein powder with at least 32 grams per scoop and no more than 100 calories when added to FAT FREE milk. (Those bars are like 3-400 calories.)
    3. Good stuff but NO added fruit, flavors. All that is sugar. Add granola if you want but fat free only.
    4. NO JUNK FOOD! Do a protein shake with water.
    5. ONLY FAT FREE. Or the Almond if you're lactose intolerant.

    Eat clean protein-- grilled chicken breast, fish, lean meat but NO MORE than about 5-6 ounces. That's less than a half of a pound or about the size of a woman's fist. Eat clean veggies, steamed or lightly fried in a spray like PAM or even a little olive oil. NO desert. No white anything except milk. NO starches like potatoes or white rice. Eat 4-5 small meals each day and none later than 9pm. Once you've gotten to your desired weight, you can cheat a bit but not until you're there or very close.

    I know it is tough but it gets easier after you get used to it. And when you're at your desired weight, you'll be surprised how little of the junk food you actually want. Your body will adapt and crave healthy. It won't be hard forever. Good luck.


  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Feb 19, 2013 9:47 PM GMT
    Agree with lots of the above about eating fresh as much as possible. Cook(or learn) from basic ingredients so you know what`s in your food.

    Avoid the processed stuff as it`s full of salt, sugar, fat, and chemicals.

    Variety: try to eat as wide a variety of food as possible, especially lots of fruit and vegetables.

    Drink plenty. Water is fine, as are natural fruit juices or teas. Leave the fizzy, sugary drinks on the shop shelf.

    Eat good quality, low fat meats, fish, and vegetable protein sources like beans and lentils, etc.

    After all that, though, do eat something you really like occasionally, even if it`s unhealthy! Food is our friend, not our enemy!
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    Feb 19, 2013 10:17 PM GMT
    You will get all kinds of contradictory and nonsense responses from the internet. There are whole industries devoted to promulgating misinformation about food. Better to do some research from credible sources and learn something about the topic.

    As a first-level pass, define your goals in terms of calories and grams of the macronutrients: protein, carbohydrate, fats. Then you can decide about those other things based on how they fit into your calorie budget, whether you like them, and whether you can afford them.

    Plenty of people have lost weight using prepackaged meals of whatever brand. Although they are kind of expensive and not very tasty compared to home-cooked. Their advantages are good portion control and easily accessible macronutrient data right on the label.

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    Feb 19, 2013 10:24 PM GMT
    BJames88 said1. Healthy Choice frozen meals? I know fresh is better, but are these actually bad for you?

    You can buy the parts of the meal already frozen. Thaw, mix, eat. Like frozen broccoli, frozen chicken, etc. Flavor to savor. The Healthy Choice stuff is OK, but only if you're really pressed for time.

    2. Protein/meal replacement bars? Reading through some posts here, I found that these this may be better left out of my diet?

    Get protein shake powder instead. Sugar-free, low in carbohydrates stuff. Mix the chocolate with skim milk, mix the berry/vanilla/plain with orange juice.

    3. Greek yogurt? Is this a good option for a quick snack?

    It's fine. Cow yogurt is good too; they have sugar-free variations that are pretty good. Again, only if you're not lactose intolerant.

    4. Beef Jerky as an post workout snack?

    It's OK. Just a little too salty. Turkey jerky is pretty good, and is higher in protein.

    5. Soy milk or skim milk? Or no milk?

    If you're not lactose intolerant, skim milk. Soy is OK, but there's this whole estrogen thing to think about.

    What are some things I definitely should add to my regimen?

    Snack on nuts, seeds.
  • BJames88

    Posts: 15

    Feb 20, 2013 4:03 AM GMT
    Thanks everyone, HUGE help!

    2 more questions...

    What are some ideas you recommend to add flavor to home cooked foods?

    And in place of the "white," such as rice and breads, what can you recommend? What kind of beans (and I need to find out what lentil is). Is whole grain okay?

    Thanks again guys! I'm excited to get this started.
  • StevenECU

    Posts: 9

    Feb 20, 2013 4:25 AM GMT
    whole grain is much better, its a complex carb and contains a good amount of fiber to keep things moving better. Whole wheat alost contains a lot more nutrients than white bread or "simple carbs"
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    Feb 20, 2013 4:48 AM GMT
    BJames88 saidThanks everyone, HUGE help!

    2 more questions...

    What are some ideas you recommend to add flavor to home cooked foods?

    And in place of the "white," such as rice and breads, what can you recommend? What kind of beans (and I need to find out what lentil is). Is whole grain okay?

    Thanks again guys! I'm excited to get this started.


    Oh you poor thing, we need to get you in my kitchen and taking some cooking classes.

    I'd suggest picking up a cookbook that you like and you know will be full of good wholesome foods (mind you don't end up with something by Mrs Paula Deen)

    Sample:
    http://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-Cooking-Everyone-Deborah-Madison/dp/0767927478

    This book is my bible. It contains segments about every food she talks about and various ways to cook them, substitutions, various cooking/prepping/chopping methods, what various kitchen tools are for, and all that awesomeness. It _IS_ vegetarian but could still be an excellent start - you could always add some lean meats in where you like.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Feb 20, 2013 4:55 AM GMT
    Apologies in advance. I get quite missionary about this stuff, but here are a FEW hints. There are more, but this is plenty to start.

    Keep the salt low. You will find that, in order to do this, you will eliminate most processed foods.

    Beans are wonderful as a source of protein, fiber, and flavor. Brown rice in moderation is good and tastes good, too. Look up some Indian recipes for lentils. Great nutrition, flavor and really not much more complicated that dumping a bunch of stuff in a pot and simmering it.

    A handful of almonds or walnuts turneth away hunger.

    Eat as many colors of fresh vegetables as you can find. Think of a stew of onions, garlic, celery, cabbage, some carrots, peppers, summer and winter squash, tomatoes, kale or spinach, etc. and then add a moderate serving of meat. Soon you will not want the bland processed stuff.

    Herbs, lemon juice, spices, mustard, hot sauce are all lots of flavor and lo-fat and generally low salt.

    Avoid starchy stuff: pasta, bread, plain potatoes, white rice. Find out the carb counts and keep them low to lose weight and lower the sugar load on your body. Compare a bowl of mashed white potatoes with a baked sweet potato. To me, sweet potatoes are a winner.

    Whole grains, and seeds are not only tasty they add flavor and fiber to your diet. Oatmeal is good for breakfast, but also in bread, meatloaf, and granola snacks. The same is true for most all the grains. Whole wheat trumps process flour with fiber, nutrients and flavor.

    Fruit is fine but try to avoid dates, juices, canned fruit. Eat fresh whole fruit, skins on if possible, learn how to ripen pears in a brown paper bag and enjoy.

    Think of meat and fats as seasoning. This is a part of classic Italian cooking.

    Introduce fiber gradually until you are eating 25-30 grams daily. In the meantime stock up on good quality toilet tissue. I like Costco's. This is not meant to be gross, but you will find that the fiber scours out your system and helps to move food through the intestines. That means there is less absorption of sugars and that is a good thing.

    If you are not good at prepping vegetables yet, there is much good stuff available frozen, just don't get the veggies in sauces that add fat and salt.

    Water is good. Soda pop sucks.

    If have to eat out go for a simple piece of meat, fish, or chicken; salad with dressing on the side; green veggies and a fruit bowl.

    Do NOT try to do all of this stuff at once and right away. It takes some time, but you will find, after a while, that you can walk by acres worth of most grocery stores and end up with tasty, less expensive food that you will get a kick out of cooking. You have to learn not to buy too much fresh stuff at once, but you will. Have fun.

    Please forgive me for yammering. I love to eat and I love to cook. Hope you do to.




  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Feb 20, 2013 4:55 AM GMT
    BJames88 saidCan someone help me with this? I am really making an effort to eat clean, and I know I am not the only person in the World who is this busy. But I have a few questions on whether or not some of the choices I have been making are actually good choices. I know they are better than some other choices, but can these choices even improve?

    1. Healthy Choice frozen meals? I know fresh is better, but are these actually bad for you?

    2. Protein/meal replacement bars? Reading through some posts here, I found that these this may be better left out of my diet?

    3. Greek yogurt? Is this a good option for a quick snack?

    4. Beef Jerky as an post workout snack?

    5. Soy milk or skim milk? Or no milk?

    What are some things I definitely should add to my regimen?
    healthy choice is ok but making your own food is always better
    2. protein bars are ok but eating food is better than eating that stuff. plus, i only reccomend those when you are trying gain muscle mass and you are lean
    3.greek yogurt is a great snack food so is fresh fruit and so are nuts that are not salted, sugar coated or cover in chocolate or yogurt.
    4. beef jerky is not a good after workout snack. a protein shake is better. save the beef jerky for a snack later that night or in the afternoon.
    5. stay away from soy milk. if you are not lactose tolerant than drink skim milk. if you are lactose tolerant than almond milk.

    what are your fitness goals?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 20, 2013 5:06 AM GMT
    [quote][cite]BJames88 said[/cite]Can someone help me with this? I am really making an effort to eat clean, and I know I am not the only person in the World who is this busy. But I have a few questions on whether or not some of the choices I have been making are actually good choices. I know they are better than some other choices, but can these choices even improve?

    1. Healthy Choice frozen meals? I know fresh is better, but are these actually bad for you?
    Full of preservatives,,so no
    2. Protein/meal replacement bars? Reading through some posts here, I found that these this may be better left out of my diet?
    Full of junk and preservatives as well.
    3. Greek yogurt? Is this a good option for a quick snack?
    Plain, the flavored ones are packed with sugar.

    4. Beef Jerky as an post workout snack?
    Protein shake or an actual small meal if you can. The beef jerky found I'm the stores has corm syrup solids added (gross). Read the ingredients.

    5. Soy milk or skim milk? Or no milk?
    Almond milk,2% or,full fat. Milk has sugar and the fat in 2 or whole slows down break down of sugars. Skim milk is a gimmick.

    What are some things I definitely should add to my regimen?
    Nuts, Ezekiel bread, shit loads of meat and veggies [/quot
  • BJames88

    Posts: 15

    Feb 20, 2013 6:03 AM GMT
    tuffguyndc said
    BJames88 saidCan someone help me with this? I am really making an effort to eat clean, and I know I am not the only person in the World who is this busy. But I have a few questions on whether or not some of the choices I have been making are actually good choices. I know they are better than some other choices, but can these choices even improve?

    1. Healthy Choice frozen meals? I know fresh is better, but are these actually bad for you?

    2. Protein/meal replacement bars? Reading through some posts here, I found that these this may be better left out of my diet?

    3. Greek yogurt? Is this a good option for a quick snack?

    4. Beef Jerky as an post workout snack?

    5. Soy milk or skim milk? Or no milk?

    What are some things I definitely should add to my regimen?
    healthy choice is ok but making your own food is always better
    2. protein bars are ok but eating food is better than eating that stuff. plus, i only reccomend those when you are trying gain muscle mass and you are lean
    3.greek yogurt is a great snack food so is fresh fruit and so are nuts that are not salted, sugar coated or cover in chocolate or yogurt.
    4. beef jerky is not a good after workout snack. a protein shake is better. save the beef jerky for a snack later that night or in the afternoon.
    5. stay away from soy milk. if you are not lactose tolerant than drink skim milk. if you are lactose tolerant than almond milk.

    what are your fitness goals?


    To lose weight, tone up and build some muscle. I'm already a tall guy, so I'd like to be lean with a decent amount of muscle, nothing over the top (wouldn't be a good look for me).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 24, 2013 6:07 AM GMT
    >> 1. Healthy Choice frozen meals? I know fresh is better, but are these actually bad for you?

    Frozen foods have too many preservatives and usually high in sodium. The "healthy" ones are ok once in a while, but I would not eat them everyday.

    >> 2. Protein/meal replacement bars? Reading through some posts here, I found that these this may be better left out of my diet?

    Protein bars are full of sodium, fats, and other things you shouldn't consume on a regular basis. Just buy a big tub of protein powder and a blender. It's more economical and you can use milk or water.

    >> 3. Greek yogurt? Is this a good option for a quick snack?

    Yes. They have higher protein content than regular yogurt. Highly recommended.

    >> 4. Beef Jerky as an post workout snack?

    No. Too salty and fatty.

    >> 5. Soy milk or skim milk? Or no milk?

    Adults don't need milk. But if you must have milk, then drink skim milk. Soy isn't the miracle milk substitute that everything thinks it is. If you just want something for your cereal or coffee, try almond milk.

    ..

    It's really not that hard to eat right with a busy schedule. Just cook in bulk and prep your meals for the week. Buy a bunch of skinless boneless chicken breasts. Grill them on Sunday evening. Put each breast in a plastic container. Add cooked rice and veggies. Put them all in the fridge. Take a container in an ice cooler to work. Microwave and enjoy. When you get home, microwave another container for dinner.

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