Tuesday, February 1, 2011

First Week of the Food Challenge

This is an incredibly un-interesting post, as it details everything my family ate for the 1st week of the food challenge. But it may be helpful for someone who is curious about our results, and wants to know what it looks like to eat without grains, legumes, and sugar (although there were some meals where we just ate whatever we were presented, with thanks!). I tried to keep track of how we felt physically and psychologically (cravings) day by day.

Day 1:

Rather than drink chocolate milk for breakfast, Matt had semi-sweetened tea. He had a breaded porkchop (leftovers from supper). When the kids woke up, they and I shared 2 avocados, and we each had a piece of cornbread (also leftovers). I drank coffee, no sugar, but with a splash of milk.

Snack: Everyone had an apple. Luke also had a piece of a homemade dinner roll.

I packed another leftover breaded porkchop for Matt, and semi-sweetened tea (I'm gradually adding in unsweet tea to the pitcher of sweet tea as I pour cups out of it. When this pitcher of tea is gone - it's going to be completely unsweet for the rest of the month.) The kids and I ate leftover enchiladas and applesauce for lunch.

Snack: Carrot sticks

Supper: I was able to check out on interlibrary loan Mark Sisson's cookbook for recipe ideas, as I needed hints on how to eat without grain! No noodles? For the first night, we had the Smoked Sausage and Cabbage recipe in there. It was very good! We polished off the majority of it between the 4 of us, Matt was still a little hungry though, but that's normal for him! Luke couldn't really chew the cabbage, but Cora ate it very well. The kids had some raisins, and we drank some fiber drink, too. I've read that part of the "carb flu" comes from yeast in your body dying off, and that plenty of fiber can help clear that out and help feel better faster. Can't hurt to try!

After supper we all played together in the living room and really had a fun evening, pushing, pulling, throwing, lunging, leaning, flopping, tickling, bopping a balloon all around. It was a really fun way to spend family time.

Matt and I are both feeling somewhat uneasy over trying to eat this way. Which is exactly why we've only committed to trying for one month! The thing is, today we totally ate plenty of grains, and Matt had sugary tea - so I guess we're going at this slowly. I just didn't want to waste any food! We're also keeping a close look at how much it's costing to eat this way. Staying on budget is important to us, so we'll just wait and see how that turns out. So far though it's not so bad. We measured our circumferences at belly button and hips. It will be interesting to see if there's much difference from the 1st and 28th days.

Day 2:
Breakfast was a concoction of 9 eggs, salt, pepper, a little milk, cheddar cheese, 1 cup of drained home-canned salsa, and a pound of mild breakfast sausage. Poured most of it into muffin cups, and fried the rest. Everyone ate it, and liked it! Even Matt who really doesn't like eggs :-)

Snack: I had an apple, the kids went to grandma's and ate whatever they wanted (and I'm totally good with that, actually!) I packed an apple for Matt.

Lunch: Matt had leftover breaded porkchops again, and a little container of corn. I went to grandma's and ate with the kids, we had sloppy joes (I have never eaten bread with my sloppy joes, prefer eating just the meat with a fork) peas and carrots, and mac 'n cheese. Applesauce for dessert. I said from the beginning if we were guests at someone's home we'd eat whatever we were offered and I'm sticking with that. The food (and the company) was great!

Snack: Carrots and raisins for me and the kids, just carrots for Matt

Supper: Shepherd's Pie - you saw my recipe I posted at the beginning of February. Other than coffee in the am, I drink water all the time. Matt's the same way except his "vice" is tea. He probably drinks 4 glasses a day.

I had a meeting at church and as I was getting into the car I spied a bag of prepackaged animal crackers in the passenger seat. Oh, my - how I wanted them! I threw them to the very back of the car so they'd be out of reach, then ran in the house to grab a couple of packages of dried fruit
snacks.....not "fruitsnacks" these are actually made of just fruit, and fruit juice! I sipped on decaf coffee with a shake of cinnamon and a splash of milk on the way.

After the meeting, I had to stop by the grocery store for a few things for the weekend's menu, and as I walked into the checkout I saw the display for the Cadbury eggs! Normally I would grab two, and eat them both on the way home. This time, I left them there.....but could not stop thinking about eating them. You see....in the past, if I wanted chocolate, or cookie dough, or whatever - I'd grab a handful of chocolate chips, or mix up the dough, or brownie batter, and eat it! In fact, in ridiculous amounts - I'd eat a cookie each time I walked through the kitchen. But I really couldn't get the notion of eating chocolate out of my mind, so I grabbed a handful of pecans, put them in a bown, and tossed them around in a pinch of powdered cocoa. It actually tasted good! But I wished I'd have just gone to bed, cause then I had nuts all stuck in my teeth then had to brush. This is truly a food CHALLENGE, and so far, at least when it comes to sweets - we're winning!

Day 3:
Breakfast: Matt had leftover sausage egg "muffins," the kids and I had Banana Pancakes (bananas, eggs, almond butter - with nothing but butter on top). Matt's coming down with a runny nose, which is looking like the starts to a sinus infection. Hope he can avoid that!

Matt's lunchbox: leftover shepherd's pie, baby carrots, unsweet tea, and he still hasn't eaten the apple I gave him on Tuesday.

Snack: Cora and I shared an avocado - we each had half, and she wanted more! Luke apparantly doesn't like them - he kept spitting out whatever I gave him. Each child got a sucker, but Luke only ate part of his. We're almost out of the halloween candy - when it's gone, it's gone and the kids won't get anymore candy for a while!

Lunch: kids and I shared leftover Smoked Sausage and Cabbage, and they each got a half of a deviled egg, and I ate a whole one. I was very very full after lunch.

Snack: For me, one more deviled egg (2 halves) 1/2 an apple, and snitches of the chicken I was pickin' for supper. For Cora, an apple. For Luke, some unidentifiable quantity of an apple (a large portion of it was shredded on the floor allllll around him).

*A side note about the baby: Lest anyone is concerned about how much my 14 month old is eating (cause it doesn't really sound like much) he still nurses quite a bit, probably 4-5 times a day, mostly when he's just woken up, or getting ready to sleep for naps or bedtime. It's such peace of mind to not have to coax him through meals - if he's hungry, he'll eat - otherwise I can count on him getting his nourishment through my milk.

Supper: I cut up a chicken, boiled it, removed the pieces from the broth and let them cool, then I picked the meat from the bones, returned the rest to the pot and simmered it for another couple of hours. I poured the liquid and bones and skin through a strainer and into a bowl. In the stockpot I added EVOO, a whole mess of veggies, seasonings, 1/2 of the picked chicken pieces chopped into tiny bits, and some broth. This made a very yummy soup! No noodles required! I reaaallly wanted a hot dinner roll to dip into the broth, but I was quite full without it even after just one bowl. Luke didn't eat hardly any - I think he's teeth coming in are bothering him a lot. Cora ate really well, and Matt took seconds, and polished off what Luke didn't eat. Matt commented that so far all the new recipes we've tried have been very good. Hooray!

Comments: I could NOT stop thinking about chocolate, specifically brownie batter. Oh how I wanted to make some!! But I didn't. Matt said it really wasn't that bad to get used to unsweetened tea. I'm so glad - that was one of my biggest concerns with this whole thing - the man practically lives off of sweet tea. If he hasn't drank enough sweet tea, he is grumpy - no kidding! So I am very glad that part hasn't been too hard on him.

Day 4:
I woke up in the morning feeling all shaky and trembly. Are these withdrawal symptoms? Or had I just not drank enough water? It was terribly cold overnight and the heater ran a lot, which left me with a very dry mouth due to low humidity - so maybe it was just dehydration. That does happen sometimes.

Breakfast: A smoothie. I was the ONLY one who liked it. :-( But I hadn't used a recipe because I couldn't find all the ingredients to the recipe I know is delicious. I just threw in a handful of fresh spinach, a small can of pineapple juice, a banana, some frozen fruit mix (had pineapple, strawberries, grapes.....other stuff too) and I also blended in an avocado in there. Matt ate maybe 1/2 cup of the stuff, so the poor man essentially went without breakfast. Cora did come back later saying she was hungry and finished hers, so it must not have been that bad.

Matt's lunchbox: Leftover chicken soup. Tea. Apple. Banana. I bet he comes home hungry.

Snack: Apples, and deviled eggs. I had two halves, kids each had one half.

Lunch: Leftover chicken soup. Didn't sound appealing, but we ate it anyway. Who says you have to LOVE everything you put in your mouth?

I am absolutely craving chocolate. I am not even remotely hungry (maybe thirsty) but all I want to do is figure out how to eat some chocolate without breaking the "rules".

Snack: carrots and raisins

Supper: Slow-cooked pork shoulder, green beans, boiled potatoes, applesauce

Day 5:
Breakfast: Leftovers of 1 sausage "cupcake," 1 banana pancake, applesauce

Snack: Didn't have a snack! Was busy all morning, didn't even want one!

Lunch: Tuna salad on fresh spinach

Snack: carrots

Supper: kids ate spaghetti at grandma's, Matt and I went out for dinner. I was all nervous we wouldn't be able to find anything to eat that followed the "rules" but it wasn't a problem. Ate at the buffet and had fish, pork chop, fried chicken (breading removed), "california blend" vegetables, green beans, salad, mashed potatoes. Almost shared a scoop of vanilla ice cream but decided against it!

Day 6:
Breakfast: leftovers just like the day before, except Matt drank milk with cocoa powder, said it didn't taste any less sweet than nesquik, except the texture of the cocoa powder was all chunky and weird

Snack: Cora had a doughnut and a Push Pop with her Sunday school class. I had a small glass of orange juice instead of a doughnut! We stopped at Aldi for groceries, and Matt and I each had a "100 calorie pack" of mixed walnuts and almonds, and gave Luke a piece of fruit leather to chew on. Cora was till working on her push pop.

Lunch: Beef, cabbage, broccoli, onion, garlic, sesame seed, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce stir fry over cauliflower rice. It was good!

Snack: Matt and luke and I had apples. Cora had real fruit fruit snacks.

Supper: First "warm" day we've had all winter - it was above 40 degrees so Matt offered to grill steaks. Yum! He also grilled a few smoked sausages because he thought that'd be easier for the kids to chew, and they loved them. We had steamed broccoli with cheddar cheese melted on top as a side. For dessert we had a grape, kiwi, and strawberry fruit salad. For "dressing" I ran two peeled oranges through our kitchen-aid mixer's food processing attachment and stirred the mix together. This was amazing!

Day 7:
Breakfast: 1/2 pound of bacon and fried potatoes, Matt drank milk with Nesquik

snack: leftover fruit salad

Matt's lunchbox: apple, fruit salad, leftover chicken soup, leftover stir fry, unsweet tea

Lunch: Me: leftover tuna salad on spinach, 1/2 smoked sausage, 1/2 avocado. Cora: smoked sausage, 1/2 avocado. Luke: 1/2 smoked sausage, still won't eat avocado.

Snack: apple

Supper: Chicken salad

Snack: Raisins

First week reflections: Not too bad! The food's been good, energy levels have stayed good, haven't been hungry, and we have lost inches off our waistlines. Really!

Biggest problem is dessert, and not drinking milk. Beginning to consider how difficult it would be to obtain whole-fat, raw milk for it's many benefits over pasteurized....hmmm....