No Processed Foods Challenge: Report

Remind me why I decided this would be a great idea during the month between THANKSGIVING and CHRISTMAS!  Hello…people (including me) wait all year for these seasonal delicacies and I am forfeiting all of it.  😦  Plus it is getting cold here and every night I say, “Let’s go home and make some hot chocolate.”  Wrong.  So here I sit sipping my room temperature water, and giving myself a pep talk.

Other than THAT, this is really going great.  It’s been pretty easy except for snacks.  I usually graze a little bit, because I am giving the boys snacks all day long, and it’s been tricky for me to forego the organic animal crackers.  This lady is literally my idol.  I would be having a MUCH harder time if it weren’t for her website and I am getting lots of recipes/good ideas from her.  So grateful for the internet.

So far I have had no slip ups, but I did change my policy on treats.  I originally said no sugar, and I am sticking to my guns, but I’ve softened up a little bit.  Here’s why:  After reading Intuitive Eating, I adopted the practice of never restricting anything.  It only makes you want it more, and when you get around it you go on an uncontrollable binge.  Also, I’m currently reading Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food, and I am on board with basically everything he says.  In his opinion, an occasional treat is okay, as long as you make it yourself, because there are less artificial and fake ingredients.  In addition, Lisa allowed her readers who took the challenge to have alcohol in order to stay sane, and I am a non-drinker!  So, having all of that in mind, I decided it would be okay to have an occasional food that contained a bit of sugar.  That doesn’t mean I am going to go buy some ice cream or chocolate (although I’d like to).  But I DID have a small slice of whole wheat pumpkin bread, which has a small amount of sugar.  I was satisfied, and in my mind, I consider that healthy.  But still, I am not going to have it every day, just on occasion when I really feel like I need something small.  I’m not going to get any more rigid than that – use your discretion and do what you feel would be fair – make it a sacrifice but don’t get crazy.

Oh! And my other rule  is to allow exceptions when we are guests at someone’s house, which will most likely happen in the next couple of weeks.  I’ll grab the healthy options if I can, but I don’t want to make anyone feel bad or awkward.

The fam is also doing great on this and feeling superb.  The Mr. commented to me yesterday on how good the boys were being and I honestly think the challenge has something to do with that!  Of course, later on in the day one of them decided to pee on the floor, and the other one decided to crawl through it, but hey, you can’t win ’em all.

Here’s what we had today:

breakfast:  whole wheat pumpkin waffles and maple syrup

snacks:  fruit, whole wheat banana bread

lunch:  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on homemade wheat bread, pears, hummus and chips

snacks: PGM granola, raisins, dried fruit

dinner:  Pesto, cheese, and roasted vegetable sandwiches (recipe below), peas

snacks: bananas, milk

Overall, I feel like this has been great for us.  It takes a little bit more planning on my part to make sure I have good snacks on hand, and an idea of what I am going to have to make, but I am not in the kitchen for any greater amount of time.  I haven’t felt deprived yet…most everything has been tasting pretty yummy.  Real food is actually delicious if you find good recipes.  The Mr. is well fed and happy, and so are the kids, so that’s all I really care about.  We’ll see how it continues when I am a bit farther into it.

Pesto, Cheese, and Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches

  • Homemade Pesto
  • 2-3 cups of chopped vegetables
  • Any kind of cheese
  • bread
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees while making the pesto.  I used vegetables I had on hand: potatoes, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, and green beans.  Any veggies will work.  Chop them up and spread on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle salt, and mix them around to coat evenly.  Place in the oven for 8 minutes and remove.  Turn vegetables over with a spatula to cook the other side.  I sometimes have to sprinkle more oil if it is looking dry.  Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft and lightly browned.  note:  I put the carrots and potatoes in by themselves for about 5 minutes before adding the other vegetables, because they take longer to cook.  Spread pesto on slices of bread, add a large scoop of roasted vegetables, and top with cheese.  A toaster oven probably works best to melt the cheese, but I don’t have one so I put the bread in the toaster before assembling, and then microwaved for a few seconds.
Consensus:
Me:  So so good.  Pesto is delicious, and tastes sooooo much better if it is homemade.
The Mr.:  He walked in and instantly knew it was pesto.   It’s one of his favorites, so he scarfed it down in record time.
The Wild One:  Picked all the veggies off, but said, “I like pesto!”
Tornado:  No complaints
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