We did it!!! We made it 10 full days of following the Rules and eating real, unprocessed foods! We kept it local as much as possible and made tons of stuff from scratch. All four of us had our moments of weakness but we all stayed strong. I'm very proud of my daughters because I know this was no easy task for them. When I asked them what they are most excited about eating tomorrow once the Pledge is over Brecken said Stinger Waffles (a once-a-week treat I put in her lunchbox). Jordan's response was M&Ms and Skittles.....ok, then! Mike and I are looking forward to a little bit of balance and flexibility, especially when we are away from home. That and being able to dip our fish nuggets in some organic ketchup!
Unfortunately (or fortunately), neither of us noticed a big change in the way we felt or how our clothes fit. We think it's because we already were eating clean 80+% of the time. I used to have a voracious sweet tooth (hence, the earlier days of this blog!) but it seems to have subsided quite a bit since the beginning of 2014. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if I found myself indulging in a cupcake or macaron tomorrow from the local bakery!
The Pledge was fun and I'm so glad we did it as a family! Honestly, the hardest part for me was photographing everything I ate and blogging (almost!) every day. It was a great experience for me because I learned a few tips on food photography with an iPhone and I'm hoping to learn even more with my DSLR going forward.
So, without further ado, here's what I ate on my final day of the Pledge!
Breakfast was, of course, Iced Coffee with a little Yogurt Granola Parfait. I layered plain whole milk yogurt with some frozen blueberries and my favorite granola. I let it sit about 5 minutes so the blueberries defrosted enough to eat. This was a great treat! I'll be making this again tomorrow!
You can tell that Saturday is our grocery day because we are super light on produce. Lunch today was an egg sandwich my hubby make me with my homemade Whole Wheat Bread, a farmer's market egg and a piece of organic cheese. He is such a great cook! This sandwich was light years better than the one I made the other day!
My afternoon snack was some more Ak Mak Crackers with homemade butter and local honey. What a treat!
Dinner was a Black Bean Pattu served over sauteed Swiss Chard and Tomatoes. I used to make these patties as burgers and serve them on hamburger buns. They were mushy and fell apart. This is a way better way to enjoy them!
Thank you so much for following along during our 10 Day Pledge to eat real food! We had fun! If you took the Pledge yourself, let me know how you did! Do you feel any different? Will you continue to eat this way? I'd love your feedback!
Look for some new recipes on the blog coming soon like Honey Ice Cream, Whole Wheat Bread, Homemade Butter and Granola!
One thing I'm finding for sure during this 10 Day Pledge, is that it's very hard to document and blog about every single thing I eat! Yesterday was the hardest day for sure! I stayed on the Pledge and followed The Rules just fine, but I totally forgot to take pictures of any of my food after lunch! Other than that, yesterday was a relatively low-temptation day for all of us. We found ourselves at the grocery store at 5:00 while we were hungry, but we made the right decision and bought only the things we needed and went home and had dinner. I had planned to make Salmon Salad, but that eventually got changed to Black Bean Burgers over a bed of lettuce (for budgetary reasons). At the last minute I realized I just didn't have the time to make the Black Bean Burgers so we settled on a quick Mexican Quinoa. Sorry - this is where my picture-taking failed me :)
The rest of Day 7 looked like this:
Once again, breakfast was Iced Coffee with whole milk and a Banana Pecan Muffin from the freezer.
Lunch was the last of the Eggplant Parm. Again, not a pretty dish to photograph, but oh so yummy!
Dinner was Mexican Quinoa which is a quick, easy recipe I'll have to share with you soon. It's one of our go-to meals when we are in a time-crunch. I also found myself sampling pieces of cheese, leftover grilled cheese from my daughter's lunch plate and many, many spoonfuls of my second batch of the to-die-for Honey Vanilla Ice Cream. I'm really hoping to have that recipe on the blog for you later this week!
Last night I made a fresh batch of my favorite granola so for breakfast this morning I took a big scoop of that and served it on top of Plain Whole Milk Yogurt. Of course, I had to get my coffee fix!
Lunch was a Grilled Cheese sandwich. I used some of my homemade bread, an egg, a slice of organic cheese and a tomato slice. Honestly, this sandwich was just 'meh'. The bread was the end pieces so it was extra thick and the cheese just wouldn't melt. I had a few Ground Cherries on the side. Yum!
I had a quick snack before dinner - Homemade Spicy Hummus with a few Ak Mak crackers and some pepper slices.
Dinner tonight was a creamy Mac & Cheese with whole wheat pasta and peas. This dish is off-the-charts! My kids devour it - peas and all! I do have to admit, I think I overdid it with the cheese a bit tonight. Can you ever overdo it with cheese? Hmm...I think not!
Day 6 is almost done and I think today may have been the hardest one yet - for me and my husband that is. Our girls did surprisingly well under the circumstances! See, today is Sunday which normally means a lazy-ish day for us. We had a pretty un-planned day planned. Though that sounded nice in theory, it didn't work out so well while doing the 10 Day Pledge. Let me share:
Breakfast was Iced Coffee in a dark and dreary living room - thank you unseasonably cool Pennsylvania summer! A few hours later I made a Green Smoothie and paired it with a Whole Wheat Banana Pecan Muffin from the freezer.
This is where it all fell apart for me. We were out shopping when hunger hit and hit hard. Luckily, I had almonds in my purse so I had a handful of them to hold me over. I knew our next stop was at Whole Foods for some food shopping so I figured I'd grab some lunch there. When we got there I was thrilled to see that all of their Prepared Foods have the ingredients listed on the label so I was able to find something that followed The Rules. I am still leery of most meat that I don't buy from the farmer's market and prepare myself so I stuck to vegetarian dishes. I did manage to find some options for my girls, but honestly, I feel their Prepared Foods are so overpriced that I wasn't willing to pay for sub-par food for me when I knew I could eat at home in an hour. The girls got Mustard Mashed Potatoes, Cooked Peas and Carrots and some fresh veggies from the salad bar. They totally loved their food! I had a few bites of their dishes and they tasted fine but I found them to be bland and, well, overpriced. My husband decided to hold himself over with a GT Synergy Citrus Kombucha, which we shared. Though it's pricey, I love this stuff and it follows The Rules! Once we were on our way home I broke open my emergency stash - A Banana Bread Lara Bar. Man! I did so good yesterday all because I planned! All day today I kept thinking of this phrase I heard often back during my Weight Watcher days: Failure to plan, is planning to fail.
When we finally got home I heated up some pizza from last night and had some hummus on Ak Mak crackers. Ahh....no longer hungry!
Dinner tonight was a quick Eggplant Parm. It was so tasty and satisfying, but not very pretty to photograph! I've made this dish a few times now and I think it's time to put a formal recipe together for you so you can have quick Eggplant Parm on a weeknight!
I'm so happy today is over. That trip to Whole Foods almost broke me. They have lots of good things to eat but so few items that follow The Rules. I'll be happy when the 10 Day Pledge is over and I can go back to my 80/20-ish way of Clean Eating!
Today is Day #5 of the 10 Day Pledge and I'm so excited to say we are HALF WAY DONE!! We are all doing great and our temptations were actually pretty low today, but it is hard to eat this way 100% of the time. It involves a ton of planning! Today we went to the zoo and I'm actually really happy to say that most of what tempted my girls was useless junky toys rather than low-quality food! I know...small victory there, huh?
Our day started with my husband and younger daughter heading off to the farmer's market to pick up our weekly supply of milk, eggs, meat and some veggies. As a special treat for her, he bought her a piece of honeycomb. How cool! The taste was unreal, but the texture was not for me. It was very waxy - apparently you can eat the wax but....eh...not my thing. I couldn't get past it. But my 6-year-old loved it! When they got home from the farmer's market he whipped up some over-easy eggs with some whole wheat bread from Mediterra Bakehouse.
While they were gone I got ready and drank my Iced Coffee. Since we were out of whole milk I opted for a splash of heavy cream. Wow....quite different. It was acceptable for my coffee but too rich for an everyday thing.
After I was ready I prepped our picnic lunch to take to the zoo. Here's what it looked like after it was prepped and when it was ready for the cooler. I'm quite proud of myself :)
My husband and I had wraps made with whole wheat, homemade tortillas, hummus, cheese, cucumbers, peppers and carrots. My girls had sandwiches made with homemade whole wheat bread and a variety of veggies from our wraps. We also had a cut up peach, an apple, some carrot sticks, some cucumber, more hummus (for dipping) some Ak Mak crackers and some plain almonds. This was a TON of food and we didn't eat it all.
Here is my lunch. Word of warning - if you wrap your wrap in a paper towel be VERY careful not to take a bit from the paper towel that may have softened up while in the cooler. Not that I know this from experience or anything! :)
I had a small snack before dinner - a scoop of homemade granola with some whole milk.
It was warm enough to eat dinner outside again tonight!! We had homemade pizza made with whole wheat dough, this pizza sauce, a provolone/mozzarella mixture of cheese and some veggies we had on hand. And of course, since it's the weekend, some more red wine to wash it all down!
At the halfway point of the Pledge I can honestly say that my husband and I are doing great as far as temptations. We are pretty satisfied with the wholesome food we've been eating and don't really have any cravings. My younger daughter is 110% committed and is constantly asking questions about what is or isn't allowed during the Pledge. My older daughter will always be a little bit more challenging. She is on board with what we are doing for the short term but is starting to make comments about all the junk she gets to eat when the Pledge is over (ummm....I don't think so!) I know school will be starting soon and I will have less control over what she eats. My goal is to provide the best food possible at home so that when she does indulge in a treat at school it truly is a 'sometimes treat'.
Day 4 is almost over and I think this may have been our easiest day so far! Luckily, our travels today to the pediatrician did not include any unsolicited snacks for my girls! Hooray for small victories! Today's food was a little boring until dinnertime - mmmmm.....cheeseburgers and red wine! Since the buns were homemade, whole wheat and the burger was local, grass-fed meat everything still followed 'the rules'! I'm a little nervous about tomorrow. We are heading to the zoo for the day and though I plan to take snacks and veggie wraps I'm worried about the abundance of tempting goodies my girls will want! I'm going to hold my ground and stay strong...it's only for 10 days!
Before I share my meals for today, I want to share my 6-year-old's breakfast. She was so proud that her breakfast choice was allowed on the Pledge that she wanted me to take a picture of it! Melt my heart!
She had a bowl of Puffed Barley cereal with whole milk and honey.
My breakfast was more Iced Coffee and some homemade granola served 'cereal-style' with whole milk.
Lunch was more leftovers from earlier this week. Pasta Salad with Tahini Dressing and Quiche.
My after-lunch snack was a fresh peach from the farmer's market.
I patiently waited for dinner with my stomach grumbling but it was soooo worth it! Cheeseburgers made with local, grass-fed beef, organic cheese and homemade whole wheat buns. We served it with farmer's market tomatoes and an Italian Chianti. Yummm! Cheers to Clean Eating!
Today was the first day of my family's 10 Day Pledge to eat Real Food. I think it went pretty well! My husband and I agree that we weren't really tempted by any food that didn't follow The Rules. My daughters did great also! I'm super proud of them for saying 'No, thank you' when they were offered Goldfish Crackers! Way to go, girls!! That being said, I have the feeling the novelty is going to wear off and it's going to be a looong 10 days for them! We shall see!
I thought it would be fun to document every meal and snack that I eat during my 10 Day Pledge. I'm feeling very accountable like back in my Weight Watchers days! I'm finding myself skipping that spoonful of almond butter out of the jar because I just don't want to take a picture of it! I definitely found myself snacking less today, but I didn't find that I ever really got hungry at any point. That tells me that I eat too much during most days. Out of boredom? Habit? Fun? I'm not sure, but oftentimes it's not out of true hunger. Definitely something I need to work on and I'm hoping this 10 Day Pledge helps with that. So here you go - here's what I ate on Day 1:
Breakfast was my normal Iced Coffee with whole milk and Overnight Oats with a tablespoon of Almond Butter.
Lunch was a homemade whole wheat tortilla filled with sauteed peppers, onions and Monterrey Jack cheese with some Ground Cherries on the side. Have you had these things before? We have them in our garden and they are Ah...Mazing! They are actually a tiny little tomato that grows in a husk, like a tomatillo. I've never had them before and I just can't get enough!
My afternoon snack was a slice of watermelon with some sea salt. I usually buy seedless watermelons but the farmer convinced me that the seeded watermelons are the ones that Mother Nature made so I bought a seeded one instead. I have to say, I didn't find the flavor to be superior and the seeds were such a nuisance. Anyone out there have any knowledge on the matter? Were seedless watermelons created by a scientist and born in a lab?
Dinner was a Pizza Stuffed Pepper (stuffed with brown rice, sauce and cheese) served over a bed of arugula & spinach drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
I didn't officially have dessert tonight but I did lots of 'sampling' of the Honey Vanilla Ice Cream I'm working on for tomorrow! I can't wait to try it tomorrow night!
Pittsburgh area mom striving to provide clean, healthy, REAL food for her family!