Here is our plan for 2015: A More Intentional Year, One Month at a Time. I listed my goals for eating healthy and shared why a glass of water made me happy in this post.
Each week I plan to give an update on how I am doing with each of my goals. I will list my goal and then post my update under that goal.
How are YOU doing?
The focus for January is eating healthy. I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish this month.
1. READ ONE BOOK.
I have seen the book Nourishing Traditions mentioned so many times and really want to read it. Healthy food bloggers have said it changed their lives.
I am reading Nourishing Traditions. I have finished the introduction. The introduction is actually about 80 pages of the 675 page book with detailed information on every type of food, vitamin, mineral, enzyme, and beverage. It includes tips on food selection, equipment, kitchen tips and more.
It was quite overwhelming. There was soooo much information some of which I had to skim over to keep going. She cites studies extensively and it is well documented. It was great information but I finished the introduction feeling pretty discouraged. Everything I am eating is basically bad. My meat is most likely not grass fed or hormone free. Our vegetables are not organic so are full of pesticides and basically poisoning us. I have no fermented products in my diet. I do not soak any grains or
legumes (I did soak black beans this week, see below).
Ironically, even the fact that I am increasing my water intake by drinking a glass (16 ounces) before each meal it is possibly hurting my digestive process.
“…Excessive liquids taken at meals dilute stomach acid and put undue strain on the digestive process.” “”A good rule is to avoid drinking too much liquid from one-half hour before a meal to two hours after and to sip beverages slowly with meals. It is wise to avoid liquids that are too hot or too cold. Iced water with a meal makes digestion very difficult.” p 53
I will keep with my plan for now and be glad that I like lukewarm water!
After saying that the book overwhelmed me I am thrilled with a few things in the book and excited to keep reading.
One of the areas I want to learn more about is cultured dairy products and fermented vegetables.
I’ve read and been told by Brigette O’Connor that every culture around the world has a traditional fermented food that is regularly eaten. Middle eastern culture drinks kefir, Asian cultures eat miso, and German, Latin American and Korean cultures each eat their own form of sauerkraut.
American culture lacks this traditional food. I want to know more and bring a fermented food or foods into our diet. I am starting this section now.
2. PLAN MY MENU.
I am good at a very loose version of this occasionally. Before I go to the grocery store I usually think of 4 – 6 meals that we’ll need ingredients for. I want to be more consistent.
New programs motivate me. They are exciting and full of promise and adventure. When I heard Tiffany from Don’t Waste the Crumbs was launching her Frugal Real Food Meal Plans I knew this would help me AND motivate me with this goal.
I purchased the plan and shopped for the ingredients and have been cooking my little heart out all week! I have to tell you the food is amazing! If only I had a private chef to do all the cooking for me!
I know there is a trade off for eating healthy real food – time in the kitchen. Right now it is exciting and I have been able to get things cooked. Tiffany makes it easy by providing the shopping list of non-perishable items for the month (with target prices for each item) and weekly perishable produce lists. Also included is prep lists for each week, money saving tips, and all of the recipes.
It was a lot of reading in the beginning to get acquainted with the program but I know I will get more familiar and figure out how to use it best so it works for our family.
My family is very open to new foods and they are used to eating a variety of things. They have said everything tastes good but at one meal my son asked if we could just eat some steak. 🙂
I prepped for this week yesterday by making salad dressing, blue cheese dressing and hummus (all of which turned out soooo delicious).
3. KEEP TRACK OF MY GROCERY SPENDING.
I have no idea what I spend on groceries. I hate using coupons. I love to try new recipes that require me to buy all kinds of food, some expensive. I’d like to start tracking this and develop a food budget.
So far this month we have spent:
Aldi – $149.82 (everything Aldi carries on the Real Food Meal Plan shopping list)
Sunfresh – $62.95 (sale items)
Price Chopper – 103.57 (things I couldn’t find at Aldi)
Then, my husband stopped at Sam’s Club for milk, bananas, dog food, pork roast, soap, and came home with a few other things that are not on my real food list like cereal and frozen pizza – $135.12
Then, a quick run to the grocery store for this weeks produce, a gallon of milk and some expensive things like olive oil and maple syrup at our local grocery store today – $52.34
Total – $504.80 (Yikes, that seems like a lot)
We are only half way through the month! But, I have a LOT of food in the house that hopefully gets used the next few weeks and keeps the remainder of the shopping trips very small.
4. KEEP A FOOD DIARY.
My goal with my food journal is to be more aware of my food choices. I want to make healthier choices. So often I’ll eat mindlessly. I’m using the desk calendar at my desk as my food journal and then my smart phone notes for back up if I am away from home.
I’ve been doing fairly well with this although I have no strict guidelines and I don’t keep track of quantities. I am mainly wanting to be more aware of my choices.
This has helped tremendously!! I know I am going to be writing it down and sharing it which has kept me from eating a few things. I have decided to share what I ate each day this month because I would want to read what someone else ate. I think it is interesting to have some idea of what other people do.
Here is what I ate this week.
Each day I drank at least 64 oz of water and 2 lattes (from my Nespresso and Aeroccino milk frother...I’m in love and can drink them with NO sugar).
Monday: baked oatmeal, raw cashews/almonds, feta salad, an orange and some more nuts (most nuts I buy and eat are raw, unsalted), chicken corn chowder, 5 squares (actually rectangles) of peppermint Hershey bar (my daughter offered and I couldn’t resist)
Tuesday: baked oatmeal, a few nuts, leftover chowder, a fireball, 1 1/2 Kashi bars with a few pieces of fresh cantaloupe and pineapple, sausage creole, 3 bites of chocolate ice cream and then chose to eat an orange instead of a whole bowl 🙂
Wednesday: yogurt/homemade granola parfait, sausage creole leftover, acorn squash pilaf, pear dessert (didn’t write if I had any snacks?)
Thursday: Baked oatmeal, nuts and raw veggies, granola/yogurt, Mexican carnitas and coleslaw, pear dessert
Friday: yogurt/granola parfait, no lunch because I worked non stop all day (!), orange, 2 Kashi bars, carrots and sliced cheese driving home, 1 Tootsie pop at the basketball game, 2 Chipotle-like mixtures in my homemade tortilla, a couple swallows of 7-up
Saturday: yogurt/granola, handful of nuts, 2 Chipotle-like mixture leftovers from the night before that my son hadn’t eaten, Alfredo squash collard green bake, movie candy (raisinettes mostly) with a decaf coffee during a family movie night (we watched Snitch and really liked it!)
Sunday: granola/yogurt, leftover squash collard bake with steamed broccoli, then it went bad…handful of Cheez-Its, 2 pieces of pizza, and dessert night at our small group (small pieces of chocolate pie, banana cream pie, and cherry/pineapple bake)
Monday: the last of the baked oatmeal, the last of the leftover squash casserole, a fireball, a few Raisinettes, 2 carrot/zucchini/apple muffins (made with no sugar!), hummus and veggies, buffalo chicken pita with big salad
5. TRY NEW THINGS:
Make homemade corn tortillas Make homemade pita bread Make beans (in a pot on the stove) Activate a sourdough starter
- Make bread with my new sourdough starter
- Make homemade yogurt
- Boil chicken bones to make broth/stock
My daughters and I spent some time in the kitchen. Sunday afternoon we made corn tortillas AND pita bread! Our corn tortillas didn’t look like corn tortillas. LOL. After rolling a few of them out with a roller we went online to search for a better way! Without a tortilla press we found this method which worked GREAT!
Unfortunately I can’t find the YouTube video we watched. If my daughter finds it I will include it here.
Using this method was amazing! It doesn’t stick to anything.
My family ate up the tortillas! We were supposed to use them in a recipe but they didn’t last that long. We made more the night we needed them for dinner.
Then we made pita bread! I searched my pantry for yeast. Check out the dates on my yeast!! That is embarrassing. But, hey, it still worked! Yes, I used them. I’m cheap like that. Plus, it was just for our family so we thought we’d try it.
My girls had never kneaded bread before. They liked it!
Our dough is resting.
We used the pie plate/Ziplock method for the pita bread, too. It was fun seeing the pita bread rise up in the oven.
I made black beans. I soaked my beans for about 3 days. Can you soak beans too long? We had company in town and never could find the time to get them boiled. Finally, I made a pot of black beans, some par boiled and some completely cooked. I bagged these up and still have some left for future recipes this month.
I took my sour dough starter out of the freezer yesterday and began the process to activate it. It’s a little scary. I’ve never done this before. I don’t think my house is warm enough. Will it still work? Can I do this? What if I kill it?
I’ll never know unless I try! (This is my new motto!)
6. DRINK WATER (64 OZ PER DAY)
I am terrible at drinking water. Occasionally I’ll make this and usually drink 32 oz in a day but otherwise I probably only drink about 16 oz of water a day. My plan, which I learned from my 9Round Nutrition emails, is to drink one glass (mine is 16 oz) of water upon waking and before each meal.
Even though I just read that drinking right before a meal might not be ideal I am going to test it out this month.
After forgetting that first morning, I have successfully been drinking all of my water. That first glass right when I wake up is the hardest. But, once I finish it I am fine.
You know what I have found?
Throughout the day I realize I am thirsty! I’ll have to stop and get a drink.
Well, that’s it. I need to get some yogurt starter so I can try yogurt. I’m not buying chickens this week so won’t make my broth until next week.
Please, share how you are doing! 🙂