Self Intervention – No Preservatives or Processed Foods

Tyler Hentges

For this self intervention I was thinking of a change that I could make in my everyday life. After thanksgiving and a week of eating in excess I thought a dietary change could be in order. Cutting out preservatives and processed food is a way to get back to eating very naturally. I want to do this to see how it changes how my body feels and if this is something I can do more in my everyday life, outside of this week of intervention.

Preservatives are any additive or chemical that is added that prevents the decomposition of microbial growth and other chemical changes. Processed foods have a more complicated definition, one that I had to form on my own. I chose to interpret it as any food that is not in its natural state. For me, my options include: fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat. Cutting these things out could be beneficial to me and the environment. Natural/whole foods often have less packaging and manufacturing which is not good for the environment.

I began on Monday by grocery shopping and buying fruits, vegetables, and chicken, as I already had quinoa, eggs, and raw black beans at home that I could cook. I do not usually cook chicken for myself so I was both interested and excited to get to eat it this week. Although it was good to eat more chicken and eggs for protein, these have a higher environmental impact than other goods I consume.

Beginning the week I was very motivated to start this out so I was cooking a lot throughout the day. The first thing I did was cooking a pound of black beans in my crockpot and a cup of quinoa over the stove. These two items I found to be my staple in every meal I ate. With these I could add vegetables and meat to make full balanced meal. During my regular life I find myself snacking a lot. I still allowed myself to snack in between meals with fruits, but if I was in need of something more I would just warm up a bowl of quinoa and black beans that would satisfy me for hours!

While I have never been a supporter of diets, I have really appreciated this dietary change. This has made me very cognizant of what I am putting into my body and why. I think the cleaner eating made me feel a lot better overall. I often wake up in the morning with a stomach ache and while eating like this I did not experience that. The cleaner eating also inspired me to workout consistently throughout the week. While I did not think I could go without my favorite snacks I made due and remained true throughout the week.

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