We've been on our no-processed-foods plan for a month now and it's been so much better than I thought it would be. The food has been good and filling. And I think it's paying off - I feel healthier and items with white sugar seem way too sweet to me now (crazy, huh?).
The one difficult aspect is the cost. Healthy food can be more expensive, especially when we're eating lots of cottage cheese, salads, fruit, meat from Trader Joe's, nuts, honey, maple syrup, etc. It adds up, and fast. I made some tweaks on our budget this week since I figure that the trade-off for a healthier-us is worth it. I need to do a better job of shopping sales/coupons and we might join Costco again to be able to buy veggies & fruit in bulk. I'll keep you posted on my money saving endeavors.
I can't believe how much fun I'm having with menu planning and being creative in the kitchen. This is a perk that I was not expecting. Every recipe in the last two weeks was adjusted in some regard, either just for fun or because I was trying to use what I had on hand.
Here's what we ate:
Thai Curry Stir-fry over rice - I used veggies that we had on hand: lots of green peppers, onion, broccoli, and cauliflower. And I used ground turkey instead of chicken. And water instead of broth. Okay....so it's not exactly the same recipe at all but it still tasted good. Recipes are only guidelines anyway. :) Curry is my new favorite spice. Can't wait to try some other dishes with it.
Breakfast Bites - We decided not to call them cookies because that's misleading. They're basically baked oatmeal on-the-go. Yummy warmed up with a glass of milk - moist and not too sweet. I made a double batch (with honey instead of Splenda) and froze part of it. Ate a previously-frozen bite this morning and it tasted great.
Pancakes - This recipe is from the original "100 Days" website. I used half whole-wheat and half white flour since we were having guests and I didn't add bananas. Yum! This is definitely a keeper and so quick to throw together.
Spaghetti Sauce - This is more of a chunky tomato pasta sauce, not your usual marinara. I made it with fresh tomatoes and it was SO EASY and so good! Definitely give it a try. I also used fresh basil, oregano and parsley from my "garden." I doubled and froze half, which made enough for about 2.5 meals. Next time I'm going to quadruple so I can freeze more, add tomato paste to make it thicker, Italian sausage (instead of ground turkey), and puree the tomatoes after it's cooked.
Italian Stuffed Red Peppers - Favorite dinner recipe of the last two weeks!! I completely messed with the recipe but I'm sure the original would be yummy, too. :-) I used my homemade spaghetti sauce (so I didn't add the meat or herbs that she did, since those were already included), doubled the amount of spinach, and added a can of white beans for extra protein. It filled 4 large red peppers. We ate it with wild rice, mixing everything together - such a good summer meal.