Real Food Challenge – Week Two

For 14 weeks, the family and I are undertaking a Real Food Challenge (put forth by the awesome 100 Days of Real Food blog). I’m hoping to check in about any struggles and successes along the way each week. Our ultimate goal is to cut down on our dependence on processed foods and start using some cleaner fuels to energize our bodies.

So, here’s how it works. I’ll get an email every Thursday for the next 14 weeks (the actual eating challenge will start on Sunday or Monday for 7 days, so there are a couple of days of prep built in). Each email outlines the “rules” for that particular week. It’s up to each participant as to whether or not they’d like to try each week independently or build on top of the prior week. In other words, continuing doing the prior weeks while attempting the new weeks, if that makes sense. There’s also a very active Facebook group (I’ve actually joined an offshoot that’s super supportive and far more focused) that’s there to share, answer and support.

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Review of Week #1: We officially started on Monday (through this Sunday, although we’re going to attempt to keep up the increase in fruit ‘n veg), which also happened to be the first day for all of us to return to work. Thanks to some prepping over the weekend, some mornings and evenings (like making some ranch dressing for dipping and chopping veggies for snacking and tossing into meals) it was simpler than it would have been otherwise.

I loved having my meal plan, which you can see in my Week One post, jotted down on our white board, although I ended up switching out a couple of alternatives, like chicken fajitas (filled with veggies and with a sweet potato on the side) instead of a quesadilla…which isn’t really a huge change. But, yeah, I love having the structure and a quick choice for meal planning rather than that daily “what are we going to eat today?” feeling, as well as the slight flexibility of being able to switch out an equally healthy alternative. Ahhh. Yup, I’d say that’s the trick here.

The challenges this week? Well, all that prepping did take up more time, and we were generally exhausted trying to get back into a routine (and still are), but we’re handling it all just fine. Also, although Hadley’s not usually a very picky eater, he didn’t eat a few of our meals. That mixed with some teething (molar!!!) meant that I got pretty creative and had to have a conversation with myself about whether or not he HAD to have the same dinner as us every night. My answer? No. And it’s not a big deal. (I usually subscribe to the “I’m not a short order cook!” concept.)

Gonna keep working on this as we move forward, particularly finding meals that he WILL eat (along with us) that can become staples. Fingers crossed!

This week is all about beverages. Namely, limiting them to coffee, tea, water and milk (and sweetened only with a bit of honey or 100% real maple syrup). I’d like to say this is an easy one – it is, really – but Hadley’s a juice drinker. Plus, I can’t completely control what he’s given, aside from the meals I send, throughout work days. Also, I’m a sugar-user in my coffee and tea, so I’ll either be going without (not a huge deal) or trying a new method this week. {I tend to hate honey, not sure why. We’ll see how it goes.}

Oh, and since one serving of juice is allowed during the week, I’m not sweating Hadley’s intake. He’s only supposed to consume one sippy cup of it daily (and that’s watered halfway), so I’m not sweating it. I’d like to get him on to mostly water one day, anyway, and he also drinks milk, but at his age, I’m not concerned.
Otherwise, since this week is so simple, I’m going to try to build it on top of the “eat more veggies” thing. If I look at the day as “eat at least six fruits and vegetables, total” it’s not that bad. I’ve always brought an apple for lunch, so if I bring along carrots to munch or celery and hummus for an additional snack or add-on to lunch, I’ll be good. It definitely helps me to think about cleaner breakfasts than just, like, toast. 😉

Here’s my food plan for the upcoming week:

{WW = Whole Wheat}
Can’t wait to make our veggie pizza tonight! Is anyone else making some healthier choices lately? 🙂 Let me know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Real Food Challenge – Week Two”

  1. Good luck! We ran out of sugar and hubby was forced to drink his coffee sweetened with maple syrup . . and found he actually liked it! He said the coffee flavor definitely won over the maple and he could barely taste the syrup. (I forget if it was grade A or B, but I know one of them is lighter and that was probably the one he used.)

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