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.

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