Last year, I was all about trying all the pumpkin products I could find.
Most of the products I tasted were pretty healthy - like VitaMuffin VitaTops in Pumpkin Spice, Kashi Crunchy Granola Bars in Pumpkin Spice Flax or Archer Farms Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal.
I did indulge - Outrageous Cakes Cupcake Shoppe’s Pumpkin Celebration Cake Truffle and Cupcake and Dairy Queen’s Pumpkin Pie Blizzard - but only a couple of times during the season.
As I was looking back on my Fab Food Finds! Pumpkin Edition posts from last year, I realized how much my eating habits have changed.
A year ago, I ate a lot more “healthy” processed foods like granola bars, instant oatmeal, VitaTops, flavored yogurt, etc. So I didn’t think twice about buying every pumpkin-flavored product I came across. But that’s the thing - most of these products are pumpkin-flavored, and may not even contain actual pumpkin.
Over the past year, I have slowly eliminated many “healthy” processed foods from my diet and have replaced them with whole foods. I eat plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and honey instead of flavored yogurt. I eat old fashioned oats or steel cut oats or make my own cold cereal with oats, nuts and fruit instead of eating boxed cereal. I eat bread or bread products just a couple of times a week and only choose whole wheat. I’ve experimented with making my own granola bars.
I started to get really excited about all the new pumpkin products coming out this year - Thomas’ Pumpkin Spice Bagels, Bagel Thins and English Muffins, Coffee-mate Sugar Free Pumpkin Spice Creamers, Yoplait Light Pumpkin Pie Yogurt. But I realized that these products don’t really fit into my new whole food approach to eating.
I’m not a 100% clean eater. I do eat ice cream and I totally admit I have already tried this year’s Edy’s Slow Churned Pumpkin Ice Cream (delish!). But the majority of my diet is made up of whole foods.
After looking over my list of pumpkin products from last year, I realized I can make each of those foods at home from scratch. Cooking and baking at home removes all those artificial ingredients. My pumpkin waffles are so much better than those pumpkin-flavored Eggo waffles anyway. (If I get the ice cream maker that is on my Christmas list then I will be able to make my own pumpkin ice cream!)
So my goal for the season - Don’t get sucked into buying all those seasonal pumpkin-flavored products.
Anyway, who needs pumpkin-flavored coffee creamer when you can make a pumpkin latte at home with actual pumpkin!?
Check Sweet Success all season for pumpkin recipes that will be more delish than those store-bought pumpkin products!
Living a healthy lifestyle is a journey!
For more information on eliminating processed food from your diet, go to http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/10-reasons-to-cut-out-processed-food/.