Real Food Challenge Week #13

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.

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Review of Week #12: Fail. Complete fail. No do-over necessary; just accepting the “F”. Since Lisa wrote that she didn’t expect everyone to follow the “zero sugar, even natural” rule for the entire week, and to just become aware of how much sugar is in stuff, I suppose I could say we succeeded in becoming aware. But, seriously. I failed so hard I ate ice cream mid-week…and I don’t eat ice cream much AT ALL (like, once during the winter maybe, then kick it up a bit in the summer, but that’s it). So, yeah. I’d say if you added the random snack here or there that I made sugarless and the fact that almost every lunch and dinner had no sweetener, we did okay. But, in my heart of hearts, I know I failed.

We failed so hard that we ordered meals in. Twice. Between the illness in the family and my absolute lack of willpower, we got a pizza one day and actual “meals” another. We never do that. (At least we were supporting a local business, but it’s by no means “local” food.) Perspective-wise, though, we haven’t had McDonald’s in over three years (H has NEVER had it), so I guess I shouldn’t beat myself up too badly. Right? RIGHT?

Let’s move on, shall we?

Week #13 Challenge: This week involves eating nothing artificial or unnatural whatsoever. This includes things that were created in a science lab over the last, say, century or so. For the most part, we’re okay on this, except for the random granola bar or maybe cracker (although I might just have a brand that has all understandable, real ingredients – woohoo!) or organic gummies for Easter. I actually think Easter will be an “off limits” day, but the food will mostly be whole with the meals ‘n stuff.

Oh, and H and I are on vacation this week and Dave will be done with his show, so meals will be a little looser and less structured. Yay!

And then we’re on to week #14 and a review of the whole thing! I’m sure we’re all kinda glad to see it end, but it opened my eyes in some ways (and in others just cemented our beliefs, for better or worse).

Here’s our meal plan for the week (sorry no fancy graphic):
Breakfasts: oatmeal, toast w/pb or butter, fruit, yogurt, eggs, homemade pancakes
Lunches: Leftovers, salads, homemade soup, sandwich  
Snacks: Homemade popcorn, fruit, yogurt w/fruit, veggie sticks & hummus, cheese
Dinners: Pasta w/chicken, homemade pizza, paninis/grilled cheese; potato soup; homemade pizza; homemade chicken fingers; marinaded chicken breasts w/rice & veg    

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