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30 Day Real Food Challenge – Day Four

Here we are! Day four of the Real Food Challenge!

August 2011 011

I planned out my menu, I did the shopping, and on Day Four, we are still doing really well!

My menu did get derailed a little bit, we were gifted with a meal (that followed all of the rules), and today we’re going to friends’ house for dinner.

There has definitely been a lot of detoxing this week. Dark circles under the eyes, a little bit of crabbiness… and this, from not being terrible eaters to begin with. I really think that the whole challenge idea has been a great nudge for us to simply take things one step further.

One thing I’m having difficulty with is explaining to people what we’re doing. And why we’re being so militant about it. They don’t see the point, or they wonder why I’m wasting my time. We have encountered this before, which I think is kind of funny because it’s not like we’re doing something harmful to us or our family. It’s all about being healthier. Having more energy. Making better choices.

We had loads of good food though! And yesterday it was cool enough to do some baking! Rhubarb bread, altho it fell apart when I tried to get it out of the pan, Easy Cheesy Crackers (to die for), and Whole Wheat Rhubarb muffins. Yum yum yum.

I also had a happy mishap with some bread. I, sadly, forgot to put yeast in my bread! Shockingly, it did not rise (sigh) which means that I had a hunk of bread dough. BUT! We tried making them into tortillas, and oh my goodness they were good! Maybe not as thin as I would normally like it, but absolutely delicious!

And now it’s time to start on the menu for next week. The real key to eating this way, and I hope it’s something that I keep up with, is to plan, plan, plan. I like to have things planned out for certain days, based around what I know is going on that week. A friend of mine likes to plan a set of meals, but with no set days. Whatever way works for you, it doesn’t really matter. But, having the groceries ready, and the meals at least planned out is what garners success. It prevents me from caving and just throwing something quick and easy on for dinner. Or, prevents me from asking Ja to pick up subs on the way home. It also helps with those mid week grocery stops… where you stop for one thing, and come home with ten? Those trips that blow the grocery budget out of the water? Yah.

So, hopefully not only are we going to feel better (and I’m already sleeping better!), but we’re going to save a wee bit of money too!

And now onto next week!

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30 Day Real Food Challenge

I’ve talked about food a little bit before now, touched on how we started to eliminate certain things from our diets. Mostly, or at least in the beginning, we had decided to do that simply because of the behaviour of our son being out of control. We did make it a family wide change, for the most part, and especially if we were all together.

We’ve been slacking a little bit lately… letting pre-packaged cookies and crackers sneak in. Especially when we’re at someone else’s house. And, I have noticed that I haven’t been feeling as well with all the cheating that I’ve been doing.

So, along with a big group of facebook friends, we’ve decided as a family to do a 30 Day Real Food Challenge. Locally, we’ve challenged really good friends of ours to do the same thing, and the kids of both families are raring to go.

Inspired by the 100 Days of Real Food blog, we’re opting to use their rules, although we probably won’t be as focused on local meat…. Unfortunately, our funds being what they are, we can only do what we can do. We will, however, be cutting our meat consumption down to only 3 meals a week.

These are the rules,

What you CAN eat:

Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
Lots of fruits and vegetables (we recommend that you shop for these at your local farmers’ market)
Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
100% whole-wheat and whole-grains
Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken (preferably in moderation)
Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine and beer!
Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation
Also check out the Recipes & Resources page for a more detailed list of meal options including links to recipes

What you CANNOT eat:

No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
No deep fried foods
No “fast foods”

(click anywhere on the rules to be taken to the originals that have loads of additional links in them!)

Now, again, this isn’t going to be a huge stretch for us. Altho planning for when we’re out is going to be a bit trickier. It’ll be good to have a challenge to keep us on track, and I do hope to blog a bit about our progress!

The start date will be August 1st, 2011. Last night Ja and I went through our big freezer to see where we were at, and tossed a lot of “unknown” stuff. Today, I intend to go through the fridge and the cupboards in the kitchen. We only have a few things that don’t fit into the rules, and those things will be going to the food bank. (Canned brown beans comes to mind)

There is a huge Obesity Epidemic in Canada and the US, and that is due largely in part to the easily accessible cheap processed foods that most of us have started eating on a regular basis. It actually makes me really mad that most of the time, it’s cheaper to go to the grocery store and buy a case of Kraft Dinner than it is to buy fresh local fruits, veggies and meats. Not to mention that a lot of people don’t know how to prepare whole foods, and consider Hamburger Helper a down home meal.

Our health is worth making the effort here. And that’s what we’re going to do. If you’re interested in joining us, leave a comment, or join the 30 Day Real Food Challenge on Facebook!