No, it is not a diet.
It's just an eating plan.
Better yet, a new food perspective.
I wasn't a food label reader or a calorie counter or a carb watcher. (Who are we kidding? I love to eat. And I love carbs.) I did try to eat and cook moderately healthy for our family, but pregnancy threw me way off. (Hello sweet tooth and goodbye salad.) So when my mom introduced me to this blog, I was intrigued and then convinced that it was just what we needed to get back on track.
100 Days of Real Food
One family that challenged themselves to eat zero processed food for 100 days.
This convinced me I wanted to do it: Real Food Defined (The Rules)
We're not being legalistic about it. (If you have us over for dinner, I will definitely eat a brownie, maybe two.) This is only an "eating plan" for within our home. We're not being super strict. (No, I'm not going to find a local dairy that will deliver milk to my door.) But I did clean out our pantry (goodbye white flower and sugar and Bisquick and hot chocolate mix and pasta). We're not going to eat any cran-apple juice, Honey Bunches of Oats, salad dressing, or Yoplait peach yogurt for the next 100 days. Instead, our fridge is stocked with whole-fat plain yogurt, lots of salad stuff, homemade hummus and refried beans, homemade ice cream (sweetened with honey, of course), and I will learn to cook with whole-wheat flour and wheat germ and honey and pure maple syrup. I'm reading labels in a whole new way and am already much more aware of the ingredients in what I am eating.
I thought I would post about every two weeks or so and let you know what I'm making, since this plan requires a bit of menu creativity (this is all new for me). Also to keep a record of what we like and do not like. So far, we've tried the following:
Refried Beans - super easy and so good for you - dried beans in the crockpot all day. I forgot about them, so they cooked a little too long (oops!). Will need to try again to give a better review and would like to experiment with adding spices. They're still edible: I've been enjoying them mixed with salsa, heated up and eaten with tortilla chips.
Hummus - yum! Bryce is a fan. The first batch was a little bland, especially because I chose not to use any salt. The second round I made it with roasted red peppers (found in the pickle aisle), cayenne pepper and cumin - a fun twist! We eat it with Trisket crackers and veggies.
Fish with a Balsamic Marinade - good and easy! I marinated the fish for about 3 hours and then cooked as directed. We ended up eating it with bread and lettuce for a fish sandwich. I would definitely try this again over rice and use the marinade as a sauce.
Whole-Chicken in the Crockpot - definitely a keeper! Super yummy and simple. I also made the chicken stock and was able to freeze 8 cups!
Jambalaya - loved this. A great recipe to use up whatever you happen to have on hand. I used the following (instead of what she had listed): plain rice, cajun seasoning, and no oysters. Bryce liked this one, too. The leftovers didn't last very long.
Brazilian Stew - Such a pretty soup (how can a soup be pretty? the colors were just lovely) and definitely a keeper. I love trying "different" soups and this one was unique. It seems like I can't follow a recipe exactly. :-) I used the following (instead of what was listed on the original recipe): some random jalapeno sausage I had on hand, 3/4 cup assorted dry beans, no ham, extra water, and I cooked it in the crock-pot on high for 4 hours and then added the mango. We'll be making this again for sure.
Banana Bread - The first time I followed the recipe exactly. It was a little dry and Bryce didn't really like it. The next time I read through the comments and decided to do a bit of experimenting (surprise, surprise). I substituted applesauce for the oil, used 1/3 cup pure maple syrup for the sweetner, and added 1/2 t each of nutmeg and cinnamon. Much better. This is a keeper. It's so easy to just throw a batch in and use up those old bananas.
And last but not least, for when I need a sweet & cold something:
Yogurt Yumsicles (from Whole Foods for the Whole Family cookbook)
Mix together 1 C. unsweetened orange juice, 1 C. plain yogurt, 1 t. vanilla, and 1 T honey. Spoon into molds or paper cups. Freeze and enjoy!