Friday, November 14, 2014

10 day challenge - Finished!!

Our 10 day challenge of no processed food (or limited processed food) ended about a week ago.  I based this off of the book/cookbook 100 Days of Real Food.  I wanted to see what happened in the aftermath before I posted about it.

From post 1, I mentioned a few things I wanted to achieve:
1) have more energy at 7pm

  • No more nappy time for me!  I had a great amount of energy from 5pm - 7pm (my witching hours).  Luckily this helped me keep going when I had all of the food to make for lunches and any prep for the next day.
2) see if my oldest son's allergies lessen 

  • I didn't really notice anything, but we are also into freeze weather here, so his allergies are at a minimum anyway.  I didn't take the season into consideration.
3) see if my middle son's digestive issues get better

  • They improved slightly, but didn't go away.  My guess is that they would have disappeared if we would have kept going.
4) lose a few pounds for the Jillian Michael's DietBet I am in

  • I did!  I was down to the lowest number I have seen in 4 years!  This gave me a $35 payback!! I noticed my pants fit better. do we keep moving forward in a world that doesn't slow down?

I can not continue as we did for 10 days.  I was tired of all of my time being taken up by cooking and baking.  As a mom who works outside of the house and has children in sports, I have to come up with  quicker items.  Lisa from 100 Days of Real Food posted some quick meals and I did find that same macaroni at Meijer to have during busy evenings (hello basketball season!), but I need more than 4.

I wish I would have taken a picture of all of the food we had in the basement that I brought up that we couldn't eat during the 10 days.  I got a sick feeling in my stomach that I was now feeding my children this stuff, so I gave some of it to our church kitchen.

Things I've learned/new things I'm doing:

  1. The food you eat really does make a difference in your skin, your health, your attitude.  I had a small rash on my arm that went away during this 10 days and my skin cleared up as well.
  2. We are going to be a maple syrup family from now on and will leave Mrs. Buttersworth on the store shelves.
  3. Will look for recipes that sweeten with maple syrup or honey instead of sugar (but will not cut out sugar entirely).  We made a great batch of peanut butter cookies (similar recipe) that were very creamy/fluffy last night.  AND delicious!
  4. Will buy organic milk (including butter, cheese and yogurt) and organic fruits/veggies that are the Dirty Dozen. My jury is still out on organic peanut butter.  If it fits my budget, then I will, otherwise I will stick to normal peanut butter with just peanuts as the ingredients.
  5. When available, grass fed beef and pork.  At Meijer, I can not find grass fed ham or bacon, so I opted for Nitrate free.  That's a step in the right direction, right?
  6. Read ingredient labels.  I'd really like to say that I'll only buy things with 5 ingredients or less (like I found an amazing Swiss Miss Simply Cocoa at Meijer! 5 ingredients!) , but I need to be real with myself too.  I couldn't find 5 ingredient bread at Meijer, so I settled on some that were 100% whole wheat.  Triscuits had only a few ingredients so those landed in my cart :)
  7. Buy 100% whole wheat when I can.  This last grocery shopping trip I found some bread, pretzels and noodles.
  8. Stay away from artificial colors and flavors.  This really narrowed down what cereal I could buy my kids.  I was able to pick up Chex (corn and rice) and Cheerios.  My kids groaned when they saw what I bought.  Any advice on good cereals for the kids would be greatly appreciated!  I wish they would have liked the granola we made.
My first shopping trip after these 10 days took awhile longer than usual because I read all of the ingredient labels of everything I was purchasing and considering purchasing.  Once I get a good base of the items I can purchase, shopping will be a lot easier.  I'm also going to be planning my meals on the weekend and preparing things then as well, but I won't let it consume me and I won't feel guilty when I can't cook wholesome meals.

One of the most important things that I've learned from this time is that the food I'm buying counts as my vote.  Am I voting for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or Organic 100% whole wheat macaroni and cheese?  I think that's a powerful message.  

My kids and I have all had a little diarrhea since stopping this, but I kind of expected it.  We didn't stop this cold turkey, as I knew there was going to be some backlash, but my kids are now accepting food from friends at school which definitely isn't helping.  I'm not going to make them stop.  I'm going to educate them and teach them balance.  Yes, we can go get Steak and Shake milkshakes every now and again, but we'll balance that with bananas and cucumbers as snacks for that day.

All in all, I'm a convert to better food because I saw the health benefits.  Still figuring out how I can make that work with our busy lifestyle.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

10 day challenge - Day 9 - Are we there yet?

I'm ready to call it quits.  I even talked with my husband about stopping after 8 days.  That's good enough right?  Then I thought "It's just 2 more days.  Easy."  It's not.  And here's why:
This journey brought down my weight some so now I'm a contender in the DietBet I joined.  I had lost hope a week ago because there was no way I could drop 6 lbs that quickly.  Well, I did, and then I gained 2 back, but this morning I'm .2 away.  Today's the last day so they'll give me until tomorrow to weigh in.  I've tracked calories today for a total of 1,609.  I did not have time to exercise, so I hope it's enough.
The other issue is my hormones today.  Usually I'd be making tons of trips to the cupboards so I'm angry that I can't.  When, in actuality, it's probably best.

Seriously though, I'm tired of making all of the food. Yes, my kids have helped, but really, whose making it?  Breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner for 5 people.  There has been SO many dishes.  I don't want to be responsible anymore.  I want to come home from work and go read in my bed!  But people are hungry!  And I want some more time in my day.  It's usually past 9pm when I'm finished with everything.  I've planned my meals ahead, but they still take time to prepare.

I do feel fantastic though.  I have a ton of energy and my pants fit much nicer.  Tomorrow will be a much easier day because I can eat more than one muffin :)

Yesterday, I made 2 more loafs of Every Day bread that I used to make sandwiches for today's lunch.  I don't know how to get my bread to rise up.  They were small sandwiches :)
I put in a chicken in the crock pot for dinner tonight.  I'm planning to make chicken stock with the chicken extras tomorrow morning.  I've never done that before and it's going to be SO much cheaper than buying it at the store!  I like to use chicken stock/broth when making rice.  It gives it a nice flavor.  I use it instead of water.

2 days ago we made waffles before bed to refrigerate for the next couple of mornings.
I think it's one of the kids' favorite foods.

Things I learned:
1.  I cheated.  The Twix was too loud yesterday so I ate it...and some of it's friends.  
2.  People get weak, then they throw away the candy wrappers and continue on
3.  Chicken stock sounds so EASY to make!

Monday, November 3, 2014

10 day challenge - Day 7......again.....feeling the pull of the Twix

The pull is strong with the Twix today.

I have eaten 2 extra blueberry muffins and a peanut butter "breakfast" bar (aka cookie).  I just want the Twix.

10 day challenge - weekend & Day 7

We categorize meals in our house now between likes and not liked.  Meals from this weekend:

Kid approved:
waffles (the kids can not get enough of these!)
scrambled eggs with toast
Eggs in basket
teriyaki salmon and brown rice - C liked, the others didn't
100% whole grain noodles topped with butter and parmesan cheese and parmesan broccoli

Kid not approved:
pizzas - not sure if it's because I didn't read ahead and let the dough rise first, but we kids weren't a fan

More often than not, kids are liking what they are helping to make.  Hud can't believe that B didn't like the pumpkin muffins he baked.  Hud really liked those muffins and was actually happy when the other kids didn't like them.

We did a lot of cooking this weekend, and I nibbled on a lot of the stuff we made (ok, I really didn't nibble, I tried full size helpings outside of my normal meals!). This was evident on the scale Monday morning because I was up a couple of pounds!  We also attended a Halloween party (I planned ahead and brought in apples, oranges and grapes) that I partook in a beer (they say in moderation!) and popcorn.

We made Raspberry Lemon muffins (but made them blueberry lemon) for Monday and some Chicken Noodle soup since I had a feverish child.  We also made a 3 ingredient "breakfast" bar, but it's really a cookie!  Now you see my weight gain!  I'm not picking the salads out of the book :)  I want to enjoy this journey.

The temptation of the Halloween candy wasn't hard this weekend because we were so busy (did a LOT of raking leaves), but it is hard today.  As I mentioned above, I'm home with a feverish child (well, he's doing a ton better now) and the pull to downstairs (that's where we are hiding the candy) is very strong.  I've walked to the door 4 times already thinking "It doesn't matter, it's just 2 small twixs."  and then I start thinking about how I miss crunchy things.  The crunch of an apple isn't doing it for me.  3 more days Allison.  STAY STRONG!

Things I learned:
1.  No matter what, I eat more (and gain weight) on weekends
2.  Allowing myself 0 of something will make me want it more
3. Homemade bread is so delicious