I missed last week and I’m not going back! I’m moving forward. Week four was a crappy food week anyway. We got our tax return and proceeded to eat it, and it tasted gross.
I really like real food. It makes my body happy. Processed foods do not as I discovered last week. It wasn’t like I got violently ill or anything but a general feeling of malaise (I love using foreign words in my regular speech!) and increased exhaustion and a shorter temper. None of which I want or need (or can even afford!). I’m feeling a little swamped over all but all the things I’m busy with are good things (well, except de-cluttering rooms that have grown clutter in the last three months but that’s only not good because it’s still looming over me). I’ve been seed starting, playing outside, working on my coursework to become a breastfeeding counselor, paying off the mountain of bills we accrued in our poorest days (I fully blame the $1500 plumbing explosion of October 2012) along with all the daily diapers, tantrums, messy play rooms (yay for Spring!), laundry, dishes… and so on.
Okay, so back to the Real Food Challenge. With all this cheating going on (and it seemed to be getting worse every week) I decided I need to repurpose myself. What is the point of this challenge if I’m cheating all the time? I need to have a goal. I managed to be caffeine free before my 25 day goal (yay!) and fully soda free a few days after that (though I miss the bubbles). So, at the end of week 5, 35 days into our 100 day challenge, what do I hope to accomplish? I hope, that by week 7 (or a few days earlier at day 75) we will be 100% REAL and then keep it that way for the last 25 days–NO CHEATING. I like limits, I like goals.
We’ve already made serious progress! So far…
- caffeine free for mama (and baby!).
- almost crappy meat free–I only buy whole chickens and although Christian bought some ground beef (seriously tasteless). They may not be free range organic as I’d prefer I haven’t managed to fit a 20$ chicken into our 5$ chicken budget (FYI that one chicken lasts my family for 2 meals and usually a lunch for at least one adult plus chicken stock… I’m making that $5 work for me!) and we are eating a lot more meat free meals (much to my husbands dismay… sorry, it ain’t in the budget!).
- almost no more “junk” food (including crackers and my beloved chips).
- healthy homemade snacks (including trail mix, granola and an increase in fruits and veggies freely accessible to the kiddos).
Areas for improvement…
- I was doing well with the 2 fruits/veggies per meal but somehow I got off track. Back on track this week! I really do believe that some of my malaise (ha, there it is again!) is from the lack of rich veggies. Also, I just completed my lesson on nutrition in my breastfeeding studies and I had to create a personal eating plan as if I were full-time nursing (wasn’t much of a stretch since all THREE young ones are wanting to be exclusively breast fed lately!) and was given a plan that reminded me that not only should I be eating vegetables every day but I should be eating a variety of different colored veggies every week!
- NO MORE EATING OUT! I can’t control my husband at lunch time (although he has been making better financial/nutritional choices of what he buys in the cafe at work) but I can control whether or not I make dinner. I have finally accepted that I am responsible for the nutrition of everyone in this house, a huge burden but also a huge opportunity for making change! Which brings me to number 3…
- Meal planning. It’s simple: if I plan what we’re going to eat for the week (or at least have some options ready to go) then we eat well, if I don’t plan and try to “wing-it” we eat pizza three times during the week (yep, did that last week–and even homemade pizza isn’t the best food for ya!) and then order in a million times. I end up feeling overwhelmed and exhausted at trying to figure out what to make (and how to get the ingredients we need with five kids in tow) and that’s when I give up and get the take-out menus.
- Right along with meal planning is better grocery shopping. I’ve been a little too haphazard which ends up costing us! I should also improve on my bread baking ability… that’d save me money on wasted ingredients and store-bought bread.