I used to eat white bread ketchup sandwiches in high school because I thought it was fat-free and would help me lose weight. Also, I ate fries because I thought it was healthier than a burger. No lie.
I also downed sugar laden yogurts thinking I was being "healthy" and eating low-fat.
I also flirted with vegetarianism in college, eating salads and hummus because it was once again, sigh low-fat.
Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly
I used to spend hours making whole grain breads, packed with as much wheat germ, vital gluten flour, seeds, and nuts I could cram in there. In spite of the stomach cramps, crushing hunger, brain fog, and declining grades that resulted I was convinced that it was healthy and just needed to eat more of it to adjust to the extra fiber load. It sucks knowing how hard I worked to cause a leaky gut.
Also thought Diet Coke, soy nuts, and margarine were good for me at one point.
I tried to convince my family to use margarine instead of butter. Got to the point where my brother started disliking butter, he would only put margarine on his veggies or he wouldn't eat them.
When I became paleo and started eating butter again and asked my mom what she thought, she said that when I was a margarine eating vegetarian she wanted to make me eat on the deck with the dog. She hated cooking separate meals for me, and she always thought margarine was bullshit. Could have used that tough love before I became vegetarian!
- Special K Berries
- The Kashi cereals, especially the one shaped like hearts
- Soy milk
- Hummus with pita chips
That was the nucleus of my diet for a long time. I remember feeling quite smug about it.
Edamame, tofu, hummus, ANY beans, beans & rice, whole wheat breads, yogurt (I bounced between low fat and whole fat), diet soda, juices/smoothies.
Whole wheat bread (and later, sprouted breads), beans, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, tempe, and tofu.
Kashi whole grain cereals.
Beans, quinoa, brown rice, lentils, hummus, sugary yogurts, oatmeal, lowfat milk, frozen organic meals, organic mac & cheese (what?! It's ORGANIC!), canned soup, whole grain bread, bagels, fruit juices.
I shudder to think of all the breakfast cereals. On the rare occasion I go down those aisles, I laugh at how much time I used to spend there debating which one was better. It's painfully obvious to me now that they're all made with the same dust and water as all the rest. I actually used to eat chocolate cereal for dessert, thinking it was better than a cookie since it was so low fat.
Looking back, I believed everything the government, medical community and TV ads told me (sigh.)
I used crystallized fructose rather than white sugar in apple pies because it was "healthy." I made my own whole grain, cracked wheat bread. I went low fat for a while, until my skin started to hurt all over and I realized I had to have more fat--and then I used "healthy" vegetable oils. It's probably a good thing I decided I liked the taste of grapeseed oil because I probably could have done worse.
I ate a lot of boneless, skinless turkey breast--and to this day I refuse to eat that any more. I eat dark meat and skin, but breast meat has to be drowned in butter before I'll look at it.
Where to begin!?
I think the number one "healthy" thing that I used to eat all the time pre-Paleo was Stacy's pita chips (multi-grain of course) and Sabra hummus (can you say canola oil?)
TONS of rice. I used to put small amounts of chinese food over scads of rice, figuring that the low fat rice was way healthier than the greasy chinese food. Actually, probably both were pretty terrible :)
Before I switched to a "clean" diet, I ate a lot of artificial sweeteners, low-fat/sugar-free processed foods and tons of Jif crunchy peanut butter, diet soda and Quaker cinnamon roll oatmeal packets. I was really into Hungry Girl recipes at the time, because healthy to me was "fewer calories" rather than "more nutrition".
After banning processed foods, and later becoming a vegetarian and then a vegan, I ate the crap out of oatmeal (especially oat bran), homemade whole grain bread, homemade bran muffins, all-natural peanut butter, homemade hummus (in fact my first foray into a paleo-ized recipe was making cauliflower hummus, which turned out gross because I refused to use the "massive" amount of olive oil it called for), soy and wheat proteins, whole wheat pasta, tons of fruit, canola and rice bran oils for cooking, "light" bread which was really just overpriced regular bread cut smaller, all pulses, bulgur, barley, tofu smoothies, Quorn products (before I went vegan), quinoa, brown rice, agave, Earth Balance fake butter, nutritional yeast (which I still eat, but I would literally eat 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the stuff at a time to make up for my vitamin-deficient diet) and white whole wheat pastry flour.
It's kind of funny to me that I decided that it was good that I didn't fit animal products in my diet because they were too high in calories and fat, when they were the only things that ever satiated me. On my previous diet I got hunger pains every 60-90 minutes and it was a fantastic feat if I ever made it 3 hours without eating. I'm still amazed whenever I realize that I haven't eaten in 6 hours and am not even hungry.
Oat porridge! Had it every day for breakfast for ten years... Beans and lentils. Ignored the fact that I looked like I was pregnant in 5. month every time I ate it. Still thought it was healthy for some reason..
falafels and hummus on pita. This, I actually still miss from time to time.
gigantic baked potatoes drenched in margarine and soy bacon bits.
but my worst pleasure as a vegetarian...
wheat thins and bananas. I'd seriously eat 3 bananas and a box of wheat thins for a meal and figure it was "healthy". I thought farting without pause for 16 hours a day meant I had a healthy gut.
Soymilk (/most soy products), beans, oatmeal, protein powder, whole grains, peanut butter.
Honestly, sometimes I can't even believe the old SAD me and the new Paleo me are, in fact, the same person.
As a vegetarian for 10 years, I ate and defended soy sausages, schnitzels, hot dogs and not-bacon. I would even try and force my meat eating family to have them, and couldn't understand why they wouldn't give up their real meat.
Fat-free mayonnaise and fat-free cream cheese (aka "spackle"). Fake-meat products. Steel-cut oats (which to this day I still find appetizing, drowned in butter, brown sugar and cinnamon! But I daren't). Glue-y fat-free dressing on ginormous salads with whole-grain croutons and a can of cheap tuna. Soy milk/cheese/bacon/tofu/chips/snax. N-grain breads that, texturally, were made with crushed gravel and iron pellets. Heaps of slithery whole-wheat pasta doused with fat-free sugary sauces with a little bit of turkey sausage. Egg whites cooked in PAM. Heart-healthy canola oil. Pots of 12-bean soups made with fat-free industrial chicken broth and a fat-free turkey kielbasa for a little flavor.
And who can forget the SNACKWELLS! craze?
Surprised I made it this long...
A mix that is made here in Brazil with 7 grains (whole barley, whole rye, whole oat, whole rice, wild rice, whole wheat, whole triticale) plus whole soy beans.
Oh gosh, so much!
'Fat-free' yet partially-hydrogenated-soybean-oil-laden microwave popcorn; fat-free sugar-free fudge bars from dairy queen; South Beach Diet meal replacement bars; fat-free condiments of all kinds, from mayo to Italian dressing; anything suggested by Satan herself (i.e. Lillian from hungry-girl.com); fat-free sugar free Frappuccinos; Quaker flavored oatmeal; Muscle Milk; egg-white omelets.
Seriously though, if there ever were an antithesis to paleo, it'd be the hungry-girl.com way of eating.
My go-to healthy meal was sprouted toast with a Boca burger, organic Ketchup, a small amount of canola mayonnaise, with a side of edamame, an apple, and maybe some hummus and veggies.
Another favorite healthy meal I used to make was Barilla Plus pasta (pasta with extra flaxseed meal, Multi grains, and lentils) with a jar of Pasta sauce (probably with soy oil in it) mixed with a mixture of ground turkey and Veggie "meat" crumbles. With a salad with bottled dressing. Hahahahaha
Oh, and I started many a morning with a giant bowl of kashi go-lean with 2% milk or rice milk.
I also used splenda in everything and use natural Balance soy-free margarine or olivio spread.
I am actually pretty new to this way of eating so... I am still learning...but I use to think the below foods were so healthy
- Soy Milk & Tofu
- Kashi EVERYTHING
- Dates in excess (as in raw desserts, I thought raw desserts were sooo healthy for me)
- Nuts in excess (1, 2, 3 cups a day!)
- Agave Nectar (and unlimited/copious amounts of natural sweeteners like honey)
- Turkey Bacon (filled with chemicals & other crap I can???t pronounce)
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Atkins Bars (ignoring the excessive gas)
- Low fat dairy
- Fruit juice in excess
- Canola Oil (I used this stuff like water)
- Diet Pop (and all artificial sweeteners)
- Beans & Lentil (hummus, pureed lentil soups, white bean dips, bean chili)
- Wheat thins (they taste so damn good!)
- PAM cooking spray (only little squirts to not have too much fat. I was so misinformed!)
- Pita bread
- Whole grain muffins & bagels
Oh, the wasted years!
Tofu and Seitan. I even made them both from scratch, I liked them so much. I don't miss the Seitan, but I do miss miso soup with tofu.
Flaxseed oil. I'd read somewhere that it was soooo good for you. I would add 2 tablespoons of it to my smoothie each morning until I suddenly had a whopping great goitre popping out of my neck. Only then did I do more research and find out how goitrogenic it is. I cringe at the thought now, though it did start me on my quest to eventually find the paleo way of life.
Weight Wathcher/Lean Cuisine frozen meals Anything by Kashi, Morningstar Farms, Boca 100 Calorie Snack Packs Beans and rice with everything Reduced Calorie/High Fiber Bread Anything with Light/Low Carb/Reduced in the name
I was actually tried low fat diets, I was a vegan for 5 months, and tried some other fads when I was seeing a reproductive endocrinologist to try to have a baby after they suggested I try to lose some weight....needless to say it didn't work. I didn't get pregnant, until I gave up and started eating what I wanted (which ultimately looks almost exactly like a paleo diet).
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with reduced fat cape cod potato chips and a glass or 2, or 3 of 1/2% milk.
Kashi cereals gluten free cereal canned soup corn because I thought it was a veggie Total and Wheaties cereal 100% Whole Wheat Bread Spaghetti imitation meat foods that are mostly made up of soy protein isolate and gluten (yikes!)
I could go on forever...
Ugh, all kinds of things.
Fat-Free Milk, Canned Soup, Canned Chilli, FRIES INSTEAD OF A BURGER!!! (even home cooked), whole grain bread, sugary yogurt, low fat dressings, whole grain bagels, MARGARINE, vegetable based oils, "healthy cereal", Kashi bars, luna bars, blah blah blah health bars, "health drinks", gatorade....
When I was an over-weight kid, about 12, and trying to be thin, I would eat about 6 slices of plain bread toasted with margarine on it, and crackers with margarine, and wore plastic bags over my abdomen while I ran on the treadmill for an hour, "burning the fat away".
This is a true story.
Another vote for those loaves of crunchy, thick-crusted, chewy peasant-style whole-wheat artisan breads ... I think the only thing really healthy was the amount of extra-virgin olive oil I drizzled on top ...
I was a soymilk-aholic and a tofu-holic and a soy-yogurt-holic, I made rice (both brown and white) almost every day, I would have salads with boneless skinless white meat chicken on top (which, is, acutally, when you think about it, paleo) because it had no fat and I thought fat was evil, even though I would feel really tired and woozy after having it for lunch, non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening was a must-have for baking
Man, a big part of my gripe with the big health magazines out there is the fact that they peddle malnutrition as the means to a healthy life (though I was more concerned with the physique back when I referred to them as my one-stop-shop).
As a result, Men's Health, Men's Fitness & Muscle & Development had me on a steady diet of:
- lean meats (mainly turkey)
- peanut butter (I would genuinely by this stuff by the kilogram, no exaggeration and consume ONLY THIS over the course of 2 days... now THAT was nuts)
- canned tuna
- cottage cheese
- whole wheat bread
- lentils, beans (I thank God I found paleo before 4HB - ugh)
I'm sure there were other goofy things, but those were the main one's which I reflect on and shake my head at periodically. Not to say that all of these are bad, just that I'd prefer a steak - fat and all - with some grilled squash, kale and avocado any day of week. I'm certainly much happier and human with the latter.
My junk food days:
- Sugary cereals
- Fast food crap... ugh, so much of it
- Chips, a big bag at a time
- Candy bars
- Hostess cupcakes
My CW attempt at eating "healthy":
- Whole wheat pasta and bread
- Tofu, lots and lots of it
- Soy milk -- in, on, and with everything
- Canola oil for cooking and on salads
- "Veggies" were mostly corn, potatoes, and beans
- Big glasses of fruit juice
- I avoided eggs and bacon, because of cholesterol...
- Bran muffins for dessert
- Popcorn for snacking
Where I'm at now:
- No gluten in the house, period
- Healthy fats (EVOO, coconut, and flax)
- Sparse use of some GF grains and sprouted lentils
- Organic veggies & whole fruits
- Vit supplements (particularly B, C, and D)
- Better quality meats including wild game
- Reduced sugar intake, natural sweeteners only
- Some raw food recipes (mmm, Lemon Coconut Truffles)
- Adding in sea vegetables
- About 95% soy & corn free (damn, that stuff is hidden in everything)
Fortunately I've never cared much for artificial sweeteners (they all tasted awful to me) and I have always distrusted anything that said "fat free" when it was clearly MEANT to have fat in it, even before I knew why it deserves to be distrusted.
I seriously ate like crap for a long, long time. Although diet #2 probably looks healthy to most folks (outside the paleosphere) I felt just as crappy eating that stuff as I did when I was eating my way through the junk food aisle. It wasn't until I started down a primal eating path that I began feeling good, for the first time in 17 years.
quinoa and hummus, i'd go ape shit on that stuff
ugh, LOADS of Kashi and oatmeal! nonfat yogurt. nonfat everything. i will never go back!! the horror!
Oh this sucks but oatmeal 3x a week for breakfast (with a side of eggs) for all of junior and most of senior year of high school.
Then again, I was desperate to gain as much muscle as possible. Epic fail.
EGG WHITES... never the yolk because of all the naughty cholestrol. I also used to trim the entire outside of the chicken breast off so I could be sure I trimmed off the fat, I would be left with this dry wimpy sliver of chicken, maybe 2 ounces and that was dinner!
Roasted nuts, with salt. I didn't realize they were often done in canola oil.
There was a time where I salsa thought low fat yogurt sweetened with splenda was a healthy food.
these. lol. as a bonus, you could microwave them in the package.
Costco size jar of Skippy's Extra Crunch and stack of rice crackers. Thought I was really doing myself a nutritional favor.
Get this...used to think that snacking on JU-JUBES was a good idea, because they were fat free!
SOY MILK. I thought it'd regulate my hormones, lol. Funny how it sprung out of my "cure things naturally" inclination, but "natural" isn't really the right word...
Canola oil (so glad to see that go, you don't even know. It made everything soggy and what I remember of the taste is pretty gross), beans and whole wheat bread too... Nothing really crazy, just the most common SHAD recommendations, and I so like my new version of "healthy" much better. At least it's actually do-able; "Healthy" used to be such a daunting, boring word that I didn't even adhere to it most of the time!
Spray butter, because it was "calorie free". I would drench my morning egg beaters and low carb/low calorie toast with that stuff.
In my 20s when I was working and on my own for the first time, my most healthful dinenr was a giant bowl of angel hair pasta mixed with tomato sauce and cooked spinach - 3 things I would never touch right now. (I love tomato and spinach and don't dispute them being good vegetables, but both currently disagree with me a lot.) Since I cooked it with zero fat (because I wanted to be HEALTHY) I was never full and would keep refilling my bowl.
Hummus with pita chips, lentils, brown rice pasta, whole wheat bread, fat-free yogurt, canola oil, splenda, the usual suspects! :) I had such a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea of legumes not being the healthiest thing on the planet, but eating kidney beans after having eliminating them for a few months set me straight right quick! The day after, I felt like I'd eaten a giant donut.
I ate a traditional bodybuilding diet including low fat, high protein and high carb spread out over 7-8 meals a day.....because of course we need to keep that metabolism going..lol. I also used to little pound the fiber. Fiber cereal, fiber supplements, extra fiber whole wheat bread, tons of pinto beans, etc. I probably ate 75-100 grams of fiber a day. No wonder I had IBS.
I started eating oatmeal because it was a healthy breakfast, even though I would nearly gag at the bland taste and horrible texture. I had to buy flavored types or add tons of fruit to be able to eat it. So glad I got over that one!
Yogurt. It's fine for some, but it messes up my stomach, yet I've tried repeatedly to consume it because it's "healthy" and good for my digestion (despite the stomach cramps??).
Total/Special K cereal. I used these to get all my daily vitamins. Of course, I couldn't stand either unless I sprinkled in sugar and added other things for flavor.
Beans. I don't like beans, but I always saw them as a way to up my vegetable count for the day. Now I'm happy to bypass them.
Whole grains. I've never been big on breads, but when whole-wheat pasta got popular I was all over that!
Oatmeal - religiously! Also wholemeal pittas and rye bread...
epic fail when looking back
As a vegan, the usual culprits: oatmeal, blueberries and flax every morning, big servings of legumes, brown rice, falafel, almond butter by the tablespoons, quinoa, lived off fruit (the gateway drug to nutella binges), soy and rice milk over dairy, tempeh, those vegan chocolates that have twice the sugar content but no dairy, wholegrain bread (family is still convinced this is the key to good health), alternative sugars and vegetable oils.
Oh, I nearly forgot my foray into textured vegetable protein- a can of gluggy tasteless paste that resembled mince. I was so excited to eat it and be so super healthy for having a suitable meat alternative. Needless to say, it didn't make me feel any better.
Why do we do this to ourselves? I'll swear here and now that I won't ever continue eating something if it makes me feel rubbish, in the name of 'health'.
Soy milk, almond milk, sprouted bread, organic peanut butter, sunflower oil...beans and legumes are debatable.
Peanut butter (with sugar in it), low fat foods, chicken without skin, roasted nuts. I think the rest has pretty much been said. I can bake beautiful whole wheat bread and cook nearly anything from scratch.
And endless meals of pasta or egg noodles.
And endless fat-free pretzels as snacks -- not that I thought they were health food per se, but innocuous.
low-fat dairy (could never get myself to embrace the no-fat), skinless chicken breast, steamed veggies, cooking with vegetable oil instead of animal fats or butter, tofu and edamame, soy yogurt and soy ice cream.
you'd think that the fact i'd wake up in the middle of the night RAVENOUS and making concoctions of sweet potato and coconut milk would have given me a hint as to the fact that i was not eating enough for my activity level. interestingly, i remained at the high end of the "healthy" weight range.
Whole grains and soy milk..... sigh
As an evangelist vegetarian, I used to make my own soy milk and bake whole wheat bread in college --all the while dealing with really bad allergies & asthma (shudder!)
Mine wasn't so much eating "healthy" foods... It was eating "unhealthy" foods, i used to feel guilty eating bacon sausage & egg sometimes twice a day! My love of meat & eggs overrode my health concerns (heart attack/cholesterol) My overweight work colleagues use to ask where i put it all whilst they munched on their "healthy" sandwiches. Now i know why i was so lean!
i thought that all fruits are healthy and you can eat as much as you want.i ate 3-6 apples a day in past lefe and thought that it will help me to be healthy and weight less.but now i know that it's just the same as pure table sugar.(because our body doesn't care what type of sugar you consume,it will store it as fat because nobody needs that much glucose)
Clif bars, whole wheat bread/pasta, artificial sweetener, Annie's organic macaroni and cheese, veggie bacon, egg whites, low fat anything.
For lunch almost every day at work I went to Potbelly's and ordered off the "lite" menu. I usually got the mushroom melt on whole wheat bread with cheese, lettuce, hot peppers, mustard, and "just a little bit" of mayo. The sandwich was always accompanied by a Diet Coke that I would return to the store to refill multiple times.
I felt very pleased with myself at the time.
Endless amounts of edamame and tofu. I ignored the digestive issues they caused and was blinded to the damage it was doing to my body. @Sunny Beaches
Non organic norweigian salmon, turns out they spray the whole fish ponds with pesti ides and antibiotics. The fish eat food made from other fish and grains instead of plancton. Basically no omega 3 but filled with artificial shit. unfortunately is hard to get hold of nord Atlantic salmon here and when you do find it it's about $50 for a kilo.
Before working out, I would often do a clif bar with a processed meat wheat sandwich with cheese, along with a fast food fruit smoothie with whey protein. On a food allergy test, I showed a sensitivity to whey and nuts, and I’m now noticing that I have a lactose intolerance and benefit from a gluten-free diet. By trying to eat “healthy” I had created my most inflammatory combination of foods.
Before paleo I was vegetarian for 5 years. I ate tonnes of brown rice, wholegrain bread, bags of salted and roasted peanuts, hommus, tofu, soy milk and "natural" peanut butter, not to mention I ate a bowl of oatmeal every morning for years without fail drenched honey. One of my staples was brown rice and beans. I thought all of the was healthy and I was smug about it.
How wrong was I.
Then late last year I finally decided to look at my diet and attempt to fix the terrible damage I had done surviving on those "foods". Haven't looked back since.
Peanut butter, by the spoonful!
Oh, and calorie restrictions - usually with 1200 as my max (and boy was I ever so plesed with myself when I could keep it under 1000!).
I also played with the South Beach diet a bit, which, on the whole isn't too bad, but I really was missing the whole point of eating (the whys, the hows...)
i ate quite healthy before paleo, all organic meats and produce, no refined sugar etc. pretty much paleo with lots of grains nuts and seeds. at the time thought i was pretty knowledgeable on the subject and id always go off about quinoa and hemp seeds to my friends and family. once i started researching paleo view points i soon learned that they were adequate at best foods, and was crushed haha.
also bought into the whole avacado oil has a high smoke point thing that some places claim. Spent way too much money on an oil that only ended up oxidized once cooked.
Rice cakes and quinoa are on the top of my list. Never again.
Soy milk, Diet Coke, and whole wheat pasta in low-fat white sauce were staples of my "healthy" diet (and I had unlimited access to all three in our college cafeteria... ugh).
Excessive amounts of canned Red kidney beans, Butter beans, chickpeas, canned diced tomato, loads of olive oil :( Cooking with olive oil too.
Wholewheat pita bread, hemp seeds, industrial amounts of cottage cheese,grapeseed oil for frying.