The real food challenge has officially commenced!
Already we’ve hit some roadblocks. Well, not serious issues but we’re already breaking rules. #1 Christian will continue to use Splenda in his coffee instead of other “real” sweeteners because of his diabetes (but he won’t be drinking Coke anymore), #2 we aren’t switching to the good meat (locally raised on grain or wild caught fish) because we already have a bunch of meat in our freezer and we aren’t about to throw it out!!! Other than that our goal is to eat only REAL FOOD for 10 whole days!
I prepared a bit for this endeavor this weekend by cooking up a storm (seriously, it was out of control and the kitchen is STILL a bit out of control!). We made roasted nuts (with just a tiny bit of maple syrup, butter, chili powder and salt!) and they are DELICIOUS! I also roasted some super cheap cherry/grape tomatoes that I found on the grocery store old produce cart (where I also found a package of peanuts in the shell for 75c). THey were too cheap not to buy so I did but I didn’t want them to go to waste at my house so I roasted then froze them. I also made some roasted salsa with the giant tomatoes from our garden and some veggies we got at the farmer’s market on Saturday. I chose to roast it all because I wanted to freeze it (and the recipe said you shouldn’t freeze fresh salsa). It came out yummy and spicy but missing something… so I added a can of pineapple! Super yum, cooking up pork chops in it tonight. I also made a quinoa lime cilantro salad using up the leftover quinoa we had from earlier meals. Chris added his panko crusted salmon to that for dinner and we ate like royalty. I also have chick peas soaking ready for hummus today.
Basically I had fun feeling very healthy and home-makery and have a bunch of stuff in the freezer now in addition to many plans for the next 10 days. I’m excited.
Because I’m a data driven individual (my years of teaching have taught me that nothing is worth doing unless you’re gathering data to prove it was worthwhile!) I’ve created a chart to track my weight, Chris’s weight and blood sugar. I won’t tell you my weight (yikes–still not down to pre-baby-weight and that wasn’t great to begin with!) but at the end of the 10 days I’ll disclose any loss/gain. Christian’s blood sugar was OUT OF CONTROL and I actually had to hold back tears when he told me what it was. He’s been off his medication (just hasnt’ refilled it…) for a couple of weeks and so the number wasn’t exactly a surprise. We’re both glad he’s back on the managing diabetes bandwagon. I love that guy and don’t want to spend the last decades of my life without him, ya know?
Whole wheat pumpkin pancakes (adapted from the banana pancake recipe on 100 days of real food) for breakfast with yogurt.
Roasted nuts for snack (more than once)
Natural PB and apple butter sandwiches with salad for the kids’ lunch (salad courtesy of our garden!). I bought the bread at Trader Joe’s and it follows the whole grain and 5 ingredients or less rule! I had leftover broiled salmon and cilantro-lime quinoa salad (just as delicious the second day).
I snuck in an afternoon snack of PB/apple butter toast… I figure I’m nursing so I get an extra snack 🙂
Baby carrots for the kiddos snack.
Dinner was pork chops fried in coconut oil then simmered in some of that delicious pineapple salsa I’d made the day before with a side of couscous (not following the rules but it was crunch time and Punkin had blessed me with a COMPLETE meltdown for the half hour I should have been preparing dinner before everyone gets so hungry that they can’t control their tempers or tears anymore… if we hadn’t had couscous in the house we might have just gone grain-less or had toast on the side!) and an awesome green salad.
We went back outside after dinner to clean up the wading pool and the driveway toys and I gave the kids (and grownups) freeze pops and didn’t realize until the next morning that they are NOT ON THE LIST! Ooops. Well, done is done. They aren’t much more than colored flavoring on ice but other than the ice they’re nothing good. I have the popsicle molds ready to go but I haven’t had the motivation to get juice to make some! Definitely part of the challenge for these 10 days though.
So, at the end of Day 1 I had my husband prepare pizza dough for lunch the next day, I made hummus (and I cursed myself the whole time for choosing to follow the recipe that made gallons of the stuff instead of 3 cups as I blended, emptied, blended, emptied, blended, and emptied the tiniest food processor on earth!). I also made some more no-cook oatmeal (both chocolate-banana and applesauce flavors). Nutella is probably not on the “real food” list either but I’m not about to check…
Breakfast was oatmeal for the kids… they ate all of mine! Christian took his to work after he ate 3 fried eggs (in coconut oil ’cause I love that stuff!) before he ran out. Chris took the remaining salmon/quinoa salad for lunch along with nuts, a plain Chobani yogurt and some hummus and carrot sticks. I had fried eggs with some roasted tomatoes (from dinner the other night) warmed up on the side. I managed to get a couple bites of the oatmeal too before the kids guzzled it all. We’re finding that getting away from the cereal we’ve been eating to be one of the harder adjustments. That’s just what we have been doing every morning for months! It’s nice to know there is a great recipe that I can make at home to replace it.
Lunch was four individual whole wheat pizzas with freshly made sauce and for me some more leftover roasted tomatoes and green beans. I put mozzerella and cheddar cheese on top for the kids with an added touch of feta on mine. Absolutely SUPERB!!! The recipe for the dough is here, I set it out on the counter about an hour before I actually made the pizza just so it could get back to room temperature and maybe rise a little more (it rose in the fridge and busted out of the plastic wrap I’d put it in–thankfully I noticed last night and re-wrapped them loosely and put them in a covered bowl). I was annoyed when I went to the pantry and found no cans of just sauce so I had to wing it. Here is the recipe for my “wing-it” pizza sauce!
Snack in the morning was some carrots with the freshly made hummus, which was good but didn’t quite come out the way I’d hoped. There is something about me and dry beans that hasn’t been going well together lately, somehow, no matter how long I soak/cook them, they come out a little crunchy… Oh well. The kids loved the hummus!
Dinner tonight will be a tofu/zucchini/eggplant/mushroom/pepper medly in a curry sauce. I’ll let you know how that turns out and hopefully I’ll have a better name for it (and maybe recipe if it goes well!) tomorrow.