Real Food Challenge – Week #12

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. And stuff.

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 grocery 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.

Review of Week #11: This past week has all about “going local.” I totally love the idea of it. While the suggestion was originally to eat one local thing per meal, it was far too challenging for many of us still dealing with cold temps and snow flurries (our CSAs and full-time farmers’ markets don’t start until May, and even them tend to have slim pickings). So, “at least once a day” it was. We hit up an indoor FM Saturday morning, which saved our bums. Local, grassfed beef made a stew that lasted us Sunday and Monday, locally milled and baked bread (sourdough, mmm) helped with breakfasts, eggs fit the bill several ways, and some local spinach and onions helped localize our salads.

I’d love to try this throughout the summer months! A fun challenge to eat as much local food as possible. 😉

Week #12 Challenge: Well, we only have a few weeks left and, of course, the challenges are mounting. Next week is all about eliminating ALL SUGARS, whether naturally occurring or not (even maple syrup and honey, which have been my saving grace). I’ve decided to opt Hadman out of this one since he doesn’t eat “sugary” foods on the average (zero candy, maybe a little in his organic cereal bars yogurt unless I’m packing it with maple syrup). I don’t need to put him through the misery.

While we were actually told that we didn’t HAVE to do the whole week (suggesting that we try a couple of days and just recognize how challenging it can be to find ANYTHING without sugar), we’re going to try our best to see how much we can do. This will be relatively easy for my husband, but darn near horrible for me. I’m pretty sure I have a “sweetener addiction” (not necessarily straight sugar since honey and maple syrup have worked fine for me), and I don’t quite feel ready to say “goodbye” forever. I’m sure I’ll feel healthier…but I may feel hungrier, which definitely never helps the situation.

I’ll be trying naked herbal teas, toast for breakfast…but my favorite snack of the day (whole plain yogurt which I usually add berries and maple syrup to) will sacrifice and, dare I say, probably won’t be eaten at all. Which sucks. Also, bought some Larabars, which aren’t organic but…I’ll try them. I’ve got my doubts. I’ve stocked up on fruits, veggies, local breads (not made with sugar), nuts, and Dave will make some homemade popcorn…any other suggestions are terribly welcome!!!! Breakfast will be carb-laden, as you can see…

Real Food Challenge - Week #12 - image 430ae-real2bfood2b12 on