Here is a rundown of the food my family ate during our 10 day “real food” pledge. All items in a box/can/jar are organic versions with no sugar added. I will be updating and adding new recipes to my Fabulous Foods blog so be sure to check back. Next post will have some tips on making the switch to more real foods!
Lunch: Peanut butter jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread with carrots and cherry tomatoes
Breakfast: Whole grain waffles with strawberries & blueberries
Lunch: Garden salad for me, whole wheat banana, honey and raisin sandwiches for the kids with fresh green beans and strawberries
Dinner: Stir fry with pineapple and peppers on brown rice
Snacks: bananas, cutie oranges, grapes and cherry tomatoes
Breakfast: “Jesus” breakfast (the boys wanted to eat foods Jesus might have eaten) dates, apricots, raisins, grapes and nuts and popovers (not what Jesus ate, but just to add something filling- used whole wheat flour and green onions and orange peppers in place of bacon)
Breakfast: Plain yogurt with fruit and honey
Lunch: Peanut butter honey and dried apricot sandwiches on whole wheat bread
Snacks: fresh fruits & veggies
What I learned:
Shopping was more difficult that I expected. It was kind of overwhelming trying to make sense of what was really natural and what wasn’t. I always read the labels when I shop but I’m typically looking for things like sugar and fiber, not the actual ingredients. I kind of assumed that a health food store would offer the healthiest choices, but that wasn’t necessarily the case. I wish I had read more closely on some of the other websites about what to look for. Like pepperoni- totally processed right? But is there a healthy alternative for my Friday night pizza? I found some boars head turkey bacon pepperoni but just the smell is enough to gag a person, I don’t even dare taste it.
Eating real foods was easier than I expected it to be. My kids were fully on board with munching on fruits and veggies all day- in fact they’d rather eat that than an actual meal- and they loved the larabars and rice krispy treat snacks.
The challenges came when we came home at 4:15 pm and they were starving and I had 45 minutes to whip something up from scratch. The other challenge is our love for Ikea and the temptation to swing by for their free Tuesday kids meals. Granted, the vegetables are healthy, but I have no idea what’s in the mac & cheese.
I was truly surprised that my sugar cravings went completely away and have not resurfaced (even though I have two Ikea dark chocolate bars in my cupboard- they’re no longer screaming my name).
What I have in my cupboard:
Below is a list of my intial real foods purchases to stock my cupboards, I spent $250 which is a lot less than I expected- most of these things will last me for a month or more (aside from the fresh produce). If you’re lucky enough to have a program like Bountiful Baskets near you, take advantage of it! It’s the cheapest way to get healthy produce (only $15 for what usually lasts a week) and it’s fun to learn how to cook with new vegetables.
I am lucky enough to have live where there is a farm delivery program- Winder Dairy. I signed up for a weekly milk, egg and cheese order $15.00, and can order meat and other dairy products upon request (around $30-40 per month depending on how much meat I want), a weekly bountiful basket $15.00 and then I can shop for anything that I still need (I’m planning on an additional $50 or so per week). So, if my calculations are correct, I should actually be saving money eating this way (assuming I limit meat- that’s where the real expense comes in).
Things I already had on hand:
Black beans, dried
Pinto beans, dried
White beans, dried
Baking goods (baking powder, soda) and spices
Things I purchased for a total of $250 at Sunflower Market
Sunflower seeds, raw
Coconut, unsweetened shredded
Apricots, turkish dried
Puffed brown rice
Breakfast cereal, organic
Spaghetti sauce, organic
Whole wheat pasta
Coarse ground pepper
Red & Yellow bell peppers
Ranch dressing, organic
Monterey Jack cheese
Beef round steak