So I posted a few months ago about taking the 10-day real food challenge… I didn’t do so well. Since then we’ve made a lot of changes gradually and though we didn’t keep up with the strict real food diet we did try to eat more “real”. Now I’m preparing to take the 100-day challenge. I’ve been thinking about the things I’ll miss the most and I am realizing that they are not things that will interfere with the taste or quality of the food I’ll be eating (in fact the foods I eat now taste SO MUCH better than the processed stuff I was eating before!). For me, the things I’ll miss the most have everything to do with convenience and cost.
- White sugar. I really like substituting honey and maple syrup for sweeteners in most recipes but there are some things that just need the consistency of sugar. I’m working on creating a delicious but real-food cake for Punkin’s birthday (more on that in another post) but it’s not easy without breaking the Real Food rules!
- White flour. I could buy it in bulk at Sam’s Club and save a ton of money, but it really doesn’t taste as good as whole wheat flour (the good stuff like Hodgson Mills and King Arthur) in pretty much every recipe I’ve tried so far!
- Canola oil. So cheap. So genetically modified.
- The Dirty Dozen. I’ve learned enough to know that I can’t buy these things “regular” anymore, I have to buy organic. In the middle of winter that sucks. I actually bought non-organic apples today and now with every bite I’ll be worried about what I’m exposing my kids to. The “dirty dozen” are the 12 fruits/veggies most contaminated with pesticides, there is also a list of the “clean fifteen” which are the 15 least likely to be contaminated. Find the lists here.
- Breakfast cereal. There are cereals with no additives I need a scientific dictionary to look up but I can’t buy them cheap at Aldi. This will probably be one of the things we “cheat” on the most. Considering my children can eat one of those tiny boxes of Cheerios (a friend gave us a couple of boxes of real Cheerios and man are they tiny!) in a day (literally ONE DAY and Peanut doesn’t really eat solids yet so he wasn’t helping) buying the cheap cereal from Aldi is going to keep happening though I hope we can keep it down to at least once a week during our challenge!
- Nuggets. We eat a lot of chicken nuggets for lunch around here (again, we have a lot of preschoolers to feed!). They are quick, convenient, store forever in my freezer… I will be making some homemade nuggets but that takes some of the ease out of them (at least initially) plus real chicken costs a lot more than whatever they’re putting into the nuggets. Okay, so I’ll miss them but I’m already kinda grossed out by them when I really stop to think about it!
- Fast Food. It’s not the taste (although salty fries go a long way in lightening my mood for the short-term I do often make them from scratch in the oven) it’s the convenience BIG TIME. There are many days I’m rushing around too and from preschool with a van full of hungry kids with nothing ready at home. Those are the days we swing on through the drive through. I won’t miss the cost, though, because even if you just order off the dollar menu (which we do) it still adds up pretty fast for food that won’t keep you feeling full very long!
- Soda. I’m full on addicted to caffeine and I’m working on weaning myself down. Coffee gives me insane reaction headaches if I try to wean down so I’ve switched to soda which has a much shorter up and down (and less of a headache when I’m down). And soda is just so yummy and bubbly! I’ve gone from multiple cups of coffee a day to 2-3 glasses (I make it using a Soda Stream, at least I’m not creating waste with tons of cans or bottles) a day. My goal is by day 25 of this challenge to be caffeine free. Wish me luck!