Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Real Food Pledge

One of the things that I have been thinking about a lot lately is the fact that I know I have been eating too many "foods" that aren't really foods.  I wanted to make more things from scratch, buy foods with less preservatives, and eliminate all fake sugar.  The problem was that I had no idea where to start. 

Then an acquaintance posted a recipe from the blog 100 Days of Real Food on Facebook.  I can't even tell you how much this site blew my mind.  This site is what I needed to get started.  They have rules and recipes and meal plans and they even did it on a budget.

The thing I liked about them was that they called it a "pledge" instead of a diet or a promise or anything else that leaves absolutely no wiggle room.  That being said, in my typical Mommy C fashion, I wanted to jump in with everything I had.  I gave myself a few days to get "prepped" for it and planned to start this past Monday.  The first time I went shopping I had no real list, just the rules.  I didn't buy much, but did spend a lot of time looking at labels.  I began to feel overwhelmed so I decided I needed a list. 

Shopping trip number two was an epic failure.  Item after item on my list was either not available, contained sugar, or too expensive (pine nuts at Whole Foods cost $20!).  I gave up and came home. 

Sunday I sat on the couch and tried to figure out how I was going to start the next day.  Some things were easy.  I wasn't going to drink diet coke any more.  If I made something that called for butter, I was going to use real butter instead of margarine. I wasn't going to eat breads or baked goods that weren't 100% whole wheat and grains.  But the specific stuff, like what I was going to eat for lunch the next day, seemed daunting. 

Then I had a moment where I was just ready to throw in the towel all together, but I didn't.  I didn't give up. Instead, I decided that there was no reason I couldn't take baby steps (which I should have realized because they have mini-pledges that do just that).  My goal for this week was to eat only real food for breakfast and most snacks.  Next week, I am going to add lunches, and then finally I will add dinners the week after that.  I was also going to make a commitment that anytime we run out of something for a meal that I haven't started changing yet, I would make every attempt to buy items that follow the rules. 

I have completed two full days so far and I have to say that I am doing pretty well, but I have two specific areas for improvement.

1. I have had one diet coke a day so far. Considering I was having A LOT more than that before, I am heading in the right direction.  I am going to allow myself to have one a day the rest of the week and then next week I am going to get rid of it (almost) completely with a new goal of one can per week at the most.  I am hoping that I will eventually kick the habit, but this is a step in the right direction.  (Anyone that knows me, knows that I LOVE diet coke...l.o.v.e. LOVE. Seriously. I'm not kidding. Yeah...anyway)

2. It didn't occur to me till today to check the label on the peanut butter jar.  Turns out my peanut butter doesn't follow the rules.  I have some almond butter in the fridge that I will start using instead. 

Because it is important to stay positive, I am doing far more things correctly!!

1. I found bread that has less than 5 ingredients and honey instead of sugar.  It turns out that yeast needs sugar to work properly so most breads have some sugar in them.  I was really lucky and found it on the last day of our local farmer's market!!

2. I am tracking my food!! I have been dragging my feet on this for some time now and I have to say, the Body Media Fit software on my phone is really easy to use.  Once you enter a food from their list or manually put in a food, it is saved on a separate list that is easy to access.  I would be really annoyed if I had to search for the foods I eat most each and every time I ate them.

3. I am a label reading fanatic! 

4. I am finding new recipes and foods to try.  In fact, I am going to make this Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread later today. I am even going to tweek it to make it healthier- I will add some flax seed meal to it for some added Omega-3 fatty acids and I am swapping some (if not all) of the oil for some homemade apple sauce that is just apples and cinnamon.

This post is getting really long.  I am sure there is a ton more I can tell you about the pledge so I will just have to leave it for another post.  Tomorrow (if I can find the time) I am going to post about my REAL Thanksgiving dinner menu. 

I hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving!!

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