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Eating From a Box: What I Ate Wednesday

I am such an advocate for whole foods. I absolutely want us all to eat a lot of real food. Simple food. Straight from the garden/farmers market/local/homemade as possible. Veggies veggies veggies veggies etc. etc.  

And I don’t think that’s hard. In fact its incredibly easy. And can be very inexpensive. Take my Edesia Bowl, for example. The simplest whole foods thrown together to make one easy, beautiful and nutrient dense meal. 

BUT. 

But but but. 

Orthorexia is also becoming more and more prevalent in todays’ society: this same general desire to be healthy  – yet taken to an obsessive extent where there is sincere, engrained fear of anything else. This “health” paradigm has been needed, to a certain extent, in our society to raise awareness for better nutrition, but as many things are, it has been taken to the extreme in the minds of many people longing for answers or some form of “betterment.”  Our longing for control in our chronically stimulating society has been handed yet another latch to grasp on to. As as a result, this desire for “health” only backfires and has an opposite, tragic result to what was intended.

Eating processed foods is obviously not something to be encouraged for any sort of steady diet. Sure there are ingredients on boxed foods that aren’t going to offer us as many nutrients as an apple and that we don’t want in us everyday five times a day. But these things are also not going to kill us when ingested from time to time. Hell they aren’t even going to scratch us. Our bodies are way better at dealing with things than that. 

From time to time, boxed and processed foods are simply convenient. And, let’s be real…freaking delicious. How many of your childhood favorite foods came from a box in a freezer, huh? And are you still standing?

I can’t see you but yes, you are. My standing warriors. 

 

I looked back at my eats from Tuesday and laughed when I realized each meal consisted of something out of a box. Not exactly my “whole food” encouraging mandate, but a real life mandate nonetheless. I’ve made some purchases over the last few weeks based on nostalgic or general cravings, and apparently today was the day I ended up diving into all of them. 

Thanks to the WIAW crew for the weekly roundup

Breakfast:

Oh my god my craving for eggo waffles has been ridiculous lately. I have no idea where it came from. So not only did I squeal when I saw some on sale, but I stepped UP the freakin’ eggo ladder and went with frozen eggo BELGIUM waffles. Bam. Classy. Thick. Crispy. Golden. Perfeccccction. 

eating from a box

Toaster Belgium Waffle with butter and syrup / blueberries / banana and peanut butter

Lunch:

Another craving has been chicken fingers. My parents treated me my freezer to a box (#demexpensive) when they were here. I threw together a kale caesar salad with red onion and parmesan cheese and made myself a chicken caesar salad wrap. I only ever have these in pubs/restaurants so was pretty stoked on the idea of making one myself. I’m apparently really good at balancing the whole little kid + adult thing. Kale and chicken fingers. Works for me. 

eating from a box

Kale Chicken Ceaser Salad Wrap

…and a side of chocolate milk moments after. Ha. Even chocolate milk comes in a carton box.  

Chocolate milk 

Dinner:

I had made a frozen pizza on the weekend and doctored it up (as I always do) by adding some sausage, goat cheese, red onion and broccoli. I always have a frozen pizza in my freezer for convenience sake/those nights where I just do not want to cook. One of the best quick dinners in my opinion. Oh and if you haven’t put a fried runny egg on a slice of pizza yet, get on it. 

eating from a box

Spinach/goat cheese/sausage/brocolli/red onion pizza + sad looking fried egg + baked sweet potato + steamed broccoli 

eating from a box

I missed the yolk porn shot but believe me… there was oozing

Snack:

Okay I swearrrr I had a craving for cereal long before I even knew I’d be making “boxes” the theme of my post. But hey, look at what else comes in a box… cereal! That being said, here’s a great example of when boxed foods can still be 100% lacking any silly ingredients: Organic Raisin Bran Cereal. No preservatives and made with organic cane sugar. Of course….. it goes soggy within 3 seconds of pouring in your milk…

eating from a box Raisin Bran Cereal / Strawberries / chocolate chunk chips / almond milk + more strawberries and chocolate chips following this bowl 

 

So yeah. The eggo waffle probably had preservatives. The chicken fingers were not whole grain and the ingredient list was probably fairy unreadable. But I’m still healthy. I eat my veggies and whole foods on the daily, so eating from a box from time to time is not going to do anything. Orthorexia is a real thing, and just like any form of eating disorder it is a torment to someones’ thoughts each and every day. Let’s stand up for the fight against our obsession with “health” and eat from a box from time to time. 

Tell me,

What is your favorite food from a box? 

33 COMMENTS

  1. kate@mindfoodly | 22nd Mar 17

    So jealous of all your cereal options, we can’t get organic raisin bran in Australia and it’s my absolute favourite brekky!!!

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      Looks like youll just have to treat yourself to the good ol non-organic stuff! (Assuming you can find that?)

  2. chasetheredgrape | 22nd Mar 17

    I don’t actually eat much from a box… Apart from cereal! I do hunt out cereal with the best ingredients so we usually get the enviro-kids ones! And I love them!
    And my tea comes in a box technically… Can’t do without tea! #sobritish

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      I love enviro kids! Im still going strong on my peanut butter pops. You SO british.

  3. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 22nd Mar 17

    I’m big on semi-homemade (minus Sandra Lee and the costumes and nonsense). There are some things that I just know that I can’t make as well, or I simply don’t have the inclination to. So I will splurge on them. But others? I will make my own salads, thank you. I will not be making my own chicken sausage.
    HELL no

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      Yea man. Ive learned that when my own just dont taste as good, i aint gonna force myself. Bought version it is.

  4. Dee | 22nd Mar 17

    Oh Cora I love your blogs! Another one that hits home. I’m speaking to those of us who have disordered eating on the orthorexia spectrum for the most part- eating processed food IS healthy for ALL the reasons you so beautifully mentioned! Because eating foods that bring you JOY is healthy-your whole body responds to emotions-your metabolism works better. You’re the best. πŸ™‚ Always look forward to your blogs.

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      Yes yes yes!!! You said it girl. Happy = everything works as it should. <3

  5. Carrie this fit chick | 22nd Mar 17

    Gotta put the egg on the pizza- that’s how I do it too! My favorite food from a box is chips or crackers! Tortilla, kettle chips or crackers for cheese and meat- love!
    Carrie this fit chick recently posted…5 Ways to Workout this WeekMy Profile

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      Yes im glad im not the only one who knows the egg on pizza glory!

  6. Heather @ Polyglot Jot | 22nd Mar 17

    Yes! I definitely go for convenience some days and also it can be freaking delicious! I recently found Eggo has a gluten free waffle line and I died with joy because I used to love them! πŸ˜€ They also taste good!!!!
    I also love buying Daiya Mac & Cheeze which is straight from the box and I add in some spices and veggies…so yummy!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…When Things Don’t Go Your WayMy Profile

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      No way!!?! Go eggo!! Oh man this makes me so happy for you.

  7. Kat | 22nd Mar 17

    Girl your eats are ON point! As someone who went to both spectrums of an ED [with orthorexia as well], I can totally relate to that mentality of being so focused on the “healthy” foods. Trust me – for an entire year I would only eat foods labeled organic. That meant I never ate out at restaurants, never ate at friend’s houses, never ate any baked goods from my grandma – it was a long list! And thus the longest year of my life. Ugh.
    But regardless, your eats here are amazing!! I don’t eat as many “boxed” meals as I’d like because gluten-free stuff is freaking expensive, but I do enjoy them when I can!!
    Kat recently posted…Chocolate Matcha Smoothie [Vegan / Paleo]My Profile

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      Oh man. Its sad to think of how much you miss out on when your discipline yourself to these irrational food rules. But hey it happened, youve learned from it and have come out more appreciative. So apparently eggo has come out with some gluten free waffles. I personally think you should find yourself a box, or two…

  8. Emily Swanson | 22nd Mar 17

    Your eats look SO SO GOOD; and I think it’s so essential that we get away from demonizing any kind of food. I also really love to eat whole foods, but I still do find myself afraid of some boxed or processed foods, so it’s always good for me to dig into them without fear or overcome those fears. I love how you observed that about each meal; that’s a huge victory especially when we struggle with orthorexia… Your eats all look SO SO GOOD!
    Emily Swanson recently posted…Lemon Buttery Skillet Cookie (Gluten Free + Vegan Option)My Profile

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      They WERE so good!! Delicious convenient foods for the win!

  9. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 22nd Mar 17

    Couldn’t have articulated this post better myself, you know I am in complete agreement. I have never seen frozen belgium waffles but now my eyes will be out! And that chicken kale wrap definitely looks restaurant quality. I go through huge cereal phases. My favorite boxed/carton item would have to be ice cream!
    Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy recently posted…Blueberry Chocolate Chip DonutsMy Profile

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      Oh yeahhhh ice cream is definitely at the top. I need it to be summer.

  10. Casey the College Celiac | 22nd Mar 17

    So true! I wrote a blog post about why I’m healthier eating more processed foods a few months back, and, honestly, it’s been so so so good for me. I love veggies…but I love a good gluten free bagel too!
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…7 Gluten Free Sources of Vegan Protein (That Aren’t Tofu)My Profile

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      Im trying to find that blog post of yours. Send me the link!! Always love your way of thinking.

  11. Ellie Pell | 22nd Mar 17

    Why is Raisin Bran so freaking good? Even as a kid I loved it and actually let it sit to get soggy. Sometimes the best breakfast is a huge bowl of those sugar coated raisins and brown flakes <3
    My favorite thing in a box is pasta. Fun shaped pasta. Any variety πŸ™‚
    Ellie Pell recently posted…My Favorite Products For Spring 2017My Profile

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      So your a soggy cereal kind of gal eh? As good as this stuff was, id prefer the sugar laden processed variety over this organic health stuff. If you’re going to go raisin bran i say go raisin bran!! And now you have me craving alfagetties.

  12. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 23rd Mar 17

    Oh my goodness. Several things. First–why are we are on the same WIAW train. We have “recent eats,” and then a post about having a tough food anxiety day, and now we’re on with the boxed/pre-packaged food theme. Lol.
    Second, raisin bran is the #1 food I miss since doing FODMAP elimination. Seriously. Not cake. Not apples or peaches or peras. Not my mom’s homemade pancakes (although I miss those a lot.) Raisin bran. With walnuts. Seriously so good!
    Third, your message here is so spot on. People who advocate for only clean/whole/raw foods all the time no matter what really underestimate our bodies’ abilities. Like, that’s why we have a liver, and kidneys. Not that it’s not great to eat nutrient-rich, less-processed foods. But seriously. An Eggo waffle or a Digiorno pizza is not going to kill you. Not today. Not 50 years from now.
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…IBS: Not Just β€œA Little Bloated Once in a While”My Profile

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      Clink clink! Yes. Obviously not everyday all day but as part of a balanced diet its all fine and dandy! Now i sound like a cereal commercial. Speaking of that…ugh my heart aches for you and your longing for raisin bran. Theres got to be a way to make shift something similiar. We will find it for you!

  13. danielle | 23rd Mar 17

    i can honestly say that frozen pizza has become highly appreciated ever since the little monkey was birthed. it’s pretty tasty and so easy to open a jar of extra marinara on the side to embellish it, feels pretty ‘romantic’ even! why not? there are so many good ones these days that i’m never going to say frozen pizza is a bad idea. unless we just had it the night before. for me frozen pizza is GREAT one night, but on night 2 i’m totally over it. haha!
    danielle recently posted…WIR sleep less play moreMy Profile

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      Haha! Yes hail to the frozen pizza. Going to have to try your dipping sauce idea for my next romantic solo date. I love leftover pizza! For breakfast!

  14. Kristy from Southern In Law | 25th Mar 17

    I don’t really love meat that much – but your wrap looks SO good I need to recreate it! Yummo!

    My favourite food from a box… hmmm! There aren’t actually too many I eat – only because with so many different food intolerances and being coeliac most boxed foods aren’t that delicious – but I do buy gluten free salt and pepper squid every now and then (because it’s $$$$$$!!!) and it’s amazing!
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recent Things: A Crab Hunt, Suck Ups and Ring CandlesMy Profile

  15. Cora | 26th Mar 17

    I have no doubts you could create your own version of a healthy homemade chicken finger. And i want to be the first to try it!
    Ummmm salt and pepper squid?!? Like…frozen?! Need.

  16. Casey the College Celiac | 26th Mar 17

    Hey girl! Here’s the link to my post that I was talking about: http://caseythecollegeceliac.blogspot.com/2016/11/4-reasons-why-im-healthier-eating-more.html. I can definitely relate to feeling healthier while eating more/a good amount of processed foods!
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…Day in the Life of a Working Post-College CeliacMy Profile

  17. Bravery Is A Muscle: Week In Review | 26th Mar 17

    […] a post about perseverance after my agent rejection, a day of eats chronicling my increase of boxed foods, and an explanation of my current fears and an encouragement to […]

  18. Kaylee | 28th Mar 17

    Orthorexia–and the whole concept of what is “healthy”–is the closest thing I could label my ED struggles as. Or at least that’s how it began. I knew things were getting worse when I was restricting my veggies too and that’s ultimately what made me seek help.

    Funny that you posted about this. When I last met with my dietician, we established a goal for me to buy more ready-to-eat meals. I ended up with Trader Joe’s palak paneer & green chile tamales though the latter was not technically in a box. TJ’s frozen meals are the best in my opinion. I am need to make boxed goods a more regular item on my grocery runs.
    Kaylee recently posted…WeekEND in Review: TGITMy Profile

  19. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 29th Mar 17

    “Cheers,” she says while waving her boxed food high. πŸ™‚
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Week in Review: The Tiny Human Takes Over (#76)My Profile

  20. priya | 2nd Apr 17

    THIS. is whole, healthy, eating. thank you for sharing Cora <3<3
    whole foods but using some packaged foods because, balance! and convenience πŸ™‚
    i kinda had a bad day today, and its 1am, and i just finished a small bowl of ice cream (mixed with a bit of yogurt and fruit) after a big dinner earlier and i was kinda beating myself up over it. but that last paragraph reminded me it's okay <3 i got my veggies and whole foods, and some other food for balance.

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