Our 100 Days of Real/Whole Foods Challenge

>> Friday, January 3, 2014

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, Andrew and I were tired.  Tired of eating easy to make but unhealthy food.  I stumbled upon the website 100 Days of Real Foods and decided to give it a-go for the new year.  Luckily Andrew was on board!  After reading all the guideline for the whole foods diet, we tailored it a bit for our family.  Specifically here are the goals/guidelines that we decided upon:

  • Try to make as many things as possible from scratch.  For instance, this week I made ranch dressing, chicken stock and pancake mix from scratch - each of which were truly easy and fast recipes.  And they all taste much better homemade than they do store-bought!
  • Cut out processed foods as much as possible.  We are only buying products with 5 ingredients or less and the ingredients must be all-natural.  No chemicals or preservatives or ingredients with ten syllables that I can't for the life of me pronounce.  Our exceptions right now are our bread products - we bought fresh whole wheat tortillas and whole wheat sandwich bread from a local bakery.  I found out that Great Harvest Bread Company makes a whole wheat bread with just five ingredients (whole wheat flour, water, yeast, salt and honey).  
  • Switching from white flour to whole wheat flour and switching from refined sugars to honey and maple syrup.  This is a process and not something we're doing overnight, but as long as we're moving in that direction, I feel like we're doing well.
  • Incorporate more vegetarian meals.  Our tentative plan now is to try our best to make 3 vegetarian dinners each week.
  • Limit eating out to twice a week.  Period.  The end.  No exceptions!

We spent January 1st cleaning out the fridge and pantry, meal planning and grocery shopping.  What I've found so far (you know, a whole three days in!) is that we saved money making things ourselves but spent more money because we bought more fresh fruits and veggies.  So overall, we spent just about the same amount on groceries for the week.

To be successful in this endeavor, I sat down and spent several hours planning out all of our meals, not just our dinners.  I am not a morning person, so I made a dozen breakfast tacos using this method but making them healthier.  I omitted the meat; added sauteed onions, bell peppers (yellow, red and green) and spinach; and I used whole wheat tortillas.  Now they are in the freezer ready and waiting for me to pop them in the microwave while I brew my coffee in the morning.

I also prepared some snacks to have on hand to help curb my sweet and carb cravings.  For snacks, I usually will grab chips, crackers, cookies or some other unhealthy snack.  No bueno!  I made some homemade granola and stored it in mason jars to keep it fresh longer.  I plan on eating the granola plain just to much on or over Greek yogurt and fresh berries if I need a more substantial snack/meal.  For our other prepared snack for the week, I cut up a bunch of fresh veggies (carrots, cucumbers, celery, yellow bell pepper) and threw them all in a large tupperware container filled with water.  I eat the veggies with some of my homemade ranch - it's delicious and the veggies can also stand in for a quick side dish at lunchtime.


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