A lot of medications have this as a side effect, and it's really hard to deal with. It happened to me on Paxil. As for your diet, you're really not describing a well-rounded way of eating. You mention some foods that are never healthy, such as ham and hash browns -- fun, but not really good for you and not good for losing weight. On the other hand, nobody wants to have a diet that has no fun at all in it. But you don't mention veggies at all, which should have been the largest category of food. Do you eat meals, or just stop and eat easy to prepare foods? How old are you and have you learned how to cook and do you have time to do it? A basic meal would consist of legumes for protein, whole grain for energy, and lots of colored veggies for antioxidants. Animal protein at most once a day and try to make that fish as much as possible. But frankly, I ate great when I was on paxil and exercised a ton and still gained a lot of weight over a period of years because I didn't eat like a monk. I like food. To counter the effects of medication, you have to eat optimally unless you're one of those lucky people who don't get this side effect. There's a book on this called the Anti-Depressant Survival Guide by Hedaya. I think the recommended diet isn't all that great in it, as it's very heavy on dairy and other things that don't seem optimal, but he's a functional physician, a psychiatrist who also practices medicine, and it might give you some ideas.
I agree with Paxiled about the diet but I understand that money can be a problem when it comes to buying food, especially fresh veggies, etc.
You can always hit the frozen food section and see what they have on sale for frozen veggies. Frozen is almost as good as fresh and national chain I shop in has packages of veggies for $1/each. Each package is enough for me for 2 meals... Instead of cooking the whole package and having to eat it 2 meals in a row, I take out what I want to eat and put the rest back in the freezer for another day. The next day I can take out something else...
You can also swap out your Tenderbird chicken for real chicken or frozen fish. I know many people don't go for red meat, but personally, I like a steak or burger once in a while, so by utilizing the frozen section of your store, you might be able to save enough to splurge or get something else you like. You can even get frozen fruit and whip up some desserts or smoothies with that almond milk to make things exciting once in a while.
Another thing to keep in mind is that ham has a lot of sodium which can cause fluid retention so that could account for some of your weight as well. My weight sometimes fluctuates up to 5 lbs/day because of fluid retention. Check the Tyson chicken along with the hash brown patties too along with anything else that's pre-packaged - they might have more sodium than you need.
Haha... maybe Florida isn't part of the U.S. Personally, I love avocados, but I don't buy the ones grown here; they have about as much flavor as shoe leather. :-)
Let's just agree to disagree on the Farmer's Market issue, because things aren't the same in all parts of the country and they do change over time as it becomes easier and faster to transport things like fruits and vegetables. Even by your rules, if a farmer is within a certain distance from the market, but in another state, they can still qualify for the market and for all we know, the people selling the produce might be connected with the farm. As I noted, literally, ALL of our Farmer's Markets have organic vendors and trust me, most of their produce IS considerably more expensive than other produce.
You're absolutely right that you can't wash off 100% of pesticides/chemicals because produce has pores that allow them to absorb some of the chemicals, but then I didn't say you could wash off 100%, either... getting off some is better than not getting off any.
"washing with water reduces dirt, germs, and pesticide residues remaining on fruit and vegetable surfaces. Holding the fruit or vegetable under flowing water removes more than dunking the produce. Peeling or scrubbing produce like potatoes with a stiff clean brush or rubbing soft items like peaches while holding them under running water works best to remove residues. However, pesticide residues can stick better to waxy or soft-skinned fruits. If the produce was treated with wax, pesticide residues may be trapped underneath the wax.
Even more interesting, the specialist said that some fruit and vegetable washing products can be effective at removing dirt or residues, but they have not been proven to be any more effective than water alone. This is because water alone is effective at removing some surface residues. No washing method is 100% effective for removing all pesticide residues."
The bottom line is that you're completely ignoring the fact that it's better to eat non-organic produce than it is to eat no produce. For some people every dollar they spend on food could mean the difference between whether or not they can pay a light bill or buy medications. Some simply don't have access to an affordable supply of organic foods and I'd sure hate to have them stop eating produce of any kind because they think it's a waste of time unless it's fresh and organic because that's simply not true. I was merely pointing out a possible place to find less expensive produce than what one might find in the grocery store...
Although I don't recommend canned foods because of sodium, sugar, or other additives, even that's better than no produce if one reads labels and gets the ones with the least additives.