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.
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.
My excitement has wained a little regarding the book.
I was distracted with another book this week that a friend suggested – A Modern Girls Guide to Bible Study by Jen Hatmaker (who is hil-ar-i-ous, by the way). I read the book this week instead. Inspiring and motivating. An easy read. I highly recommend it.
I will continue reading Nourishing Traditions. The remainder of the book is mostly recipes with very intersting tidbits of information on the outer margin of each page.
The information is amazing. What I really want is for an older farm lady, preferably Caroline Ingalls, to come and SHOW me how to do everything. Right now it all seems foreign and time consuming. Almost every recipe builds on another using the whey from the milk that was cultured and strained in the previous chapter.
I want to eat all this amazing, pure, healthy food but I don’t want to invest all the time into it. I look forward to heaven where I won’t have to think about the imperfect food I put into MY body (as you’ll see in my food diary this week!) or my FAMILY’S bodies.
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 am continuing to follow Tiffany’s meal plan.
Because I am a week behind (I started late and then some nights I don’t cook) I now look over the next seven recipes, decide which I will make, and then check what ingredients I need to buy.
All the non-perishables I purchased at the beginning of the month so it’s mostly vegetables and fruit I need.
A larger refrigerator would be nice, too. Mine is smashed to the brim.
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.
This week we spent:
Fast Food for kids and husband (I had just eaten so was still full but did eat a few french fries and a bite of a burger): $40 (approximately)
Small Group pizza party – $20
Sam’s Club for milk, eggs, veggies, chickens and chicken breasts, yogurt, cereal and frozen pizza – $166.67.
Aldi for the rest of the groceries – mostly veggies and fruit – $43. 87
That is a total of $270.54
Combine that with previous spending this month for a total of $775.34
That seems like a ton! It is $129 per person. I am going to see if I can go the rest of the month without spending anything.
This is interesting, though, and plan to continue tracking our grocery spending.
Previously 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)
Sam’s Club – $135.12
Sunfresh – $52.34
Total – $504.80
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 had a harder time this week remembering to write down what I ate. I think part of the reason was my emotional roller coaster with the bread starter trials I faced. 🙂 It made me want to give up on everything.
And, believe me, if I wasn’t posting an update here I would have given up!
That is why accountability is SOOOOOO important to accomplishing a goal!
Celebrating little successes, like my sourdough starter doubling in size (see below) helps, too.
The last week I’ve noticed that each time I ate my stomach felt weird. I wondered if drinking water right before the meal was causing this. So this week I wasn’t as strict at drinking the entire glass of water before I ate. I would drink 1/2 of the glass before and sip slowly on the rest or drink it between meals.
Because of this I am not positive I drank a full 64 oz of water each day. But I think I did pretty good.
If I lived alone and was home all day I would measure it in a pitcher in the morning but, in reality, I have 4 children and 3 of them like to drink my water which makes it harder to track.
Tuesday: 2 eggs, 1 raisin/zuch. muffin, big salad, pomegranate seeds, hummus with 2 pretzels and carrots, another muffin, Lentil pasta soup-ish dish, 1/2 of homemade pita, small handful of raisinets, part of a Cherry Limeade from Sonic
Wednesday: 2 muffins, lentil pasta leftovers, greek chicken and barley, 1/2 pita and hummus, decaf venti skinny vanilla latte
Thursday: green apple with almond butter, hard boiled egg, veggies with hummus and 1/2 pita bread, ham and bean soup
Friday: yogurt/granola parfait, can’t remember my lunch? probably leftover soup, pizza + runts and raisinets while we watched The Equalizer.
Crying. Our dog ate our pita bread that we worked so hard to make! She is now getting on our bar countertop and walking across the sink to reach the stove. Any food I leave over there (like the pita bread in a ziplock baggie) disappears. I don’t know why, after 5 years, she is getting on the bar? We need a hidden camera!
Saturday: 3 pancakes, handful of nuts, leftover soup, ?? Can’t remember dinner, watched Taken 2 so probably had more raisinets.
Sunday: 2 muffins (same kind, out of freezer), open faced sandwiches and raw veggies, 3 peanut butter cookies that I made to take to small group, pizza, and the last of the raisinets (THANK GOODNESS) while we watched The Maze Runner.
Monday: two muffins, kale and white bean soup with cornbread, leftovers (more soup) for dinner. No raisinets because they are finally gone!
Looks like this was soup week, movie weekend, and finally-finish-and-stop-eating the raisinets month for me!
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
About my sourdough starter experience…
Last Tuesday night I shared 1/2 of the starter with a friend but made the mistake of feeding the starters only 1/2 cup of flour instead of a full cup.
The next day it looked terrible. I was so discouraged.
I was sick of these goals. I wanted to quit. Here I’d spent all this time reading and learning about sourdough, ordering a starter, and I couldn’t even get the starter activated. Ugh.
I decided to keep going and followed the instructions for that day. I wondered if maybe my home wasn’t warm enough? I warmed the oven up, turned it off and put the starter in there.
3 hours later I checked on it and WOW! It was bubbly and had doubled in size.
That must have been it. My house wasn’t warm enough. My emotions went back up as I proudly fed my starter again.
A few days later I made my first loaf of bread. After it had risen I cut an X on the top, per the directions.
Once it came out of the oven I couldn’t wait to try it so I immediately cut the first piece. The outer shell was hard as a rock but the inside was dense and moist. I loved it. It has that tang just like sourdough should.
I ate three pieces that day! Some of the family liked it and some did not. Looks like I might be eating more of it.
I’m on the road to completing another goal: boiling chicken bones to make stock. I roasted two chickens today.
I’ll update you on that next week.
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.
I mentioned above that I had changed how I was drinking my water – only 8 oz before a meal and 8 oz during or after the meal. I can tell I do NOT have this goal down yet. If I don’t focus on this I will forget and resort back to not drinking any water.
What goals did you set for this month? How’s it going?
If you have any advice or experience on the above topics (why my sourdough bread was so hard, water drinking tips, grocery spending, etc) feel free to share. I love free advice. Have a great week.