Day 35: Our Biggest Challenge Yet

Despite being in the midst of a very busy week with our kids at summer camp and my husband in New Mexico on business, I’ve hardly had the energy to worry about any of that since our biggest challenge yet is right around the corner. I have been overcome with concern about how we are going to continue on our diet of real food on our first week-long vacation away from home for Independence Day. We leave on Saturday!

As I have mentioned many times, being away from home (whether at a restaurant, playdate, or birthday party) has been the hardest part of our pledge so far. Up until now we have eaten an occasional meal out only to immediately return back home to our little haven of real food. But now we are about to embark upon a week-long journey where we will be surrounded by rule-breaking foods 24-7. And the last thing I want is for our “special diet” to make our trip any less enjoyable!

Our trip will include several nights at my parents’ house as well as a couple of nights on a boat trip. Now I have done a lot of pre-planning for trips before, but never have I focused so much on what we are going to eat! It all started at least a month ago when I had the wonderful idea that my parents should just take the 10 Days of Real Food pledge when we are there – how perfect! Let’s not forget though that I was raised with Kraft macaroni & cheese and Doritos as staple parts of my diet. After enthusiastically stating my proposal I got the feeling that my parents might be a little too set in their ways to even think about following such real food rules. I can’t say I understand (that could be a whole other blog!), but for some reason they just can’t imagine going ten days out of their whole life without eating white rolls, among other things. My dad still maintains that he is going to do the pledge with us, but if bets were placed I would definitely say he won’t last. I can only hope I am pleasantly surprised.

So back to what we are going to eat and how we will shield our children from every forbidden food my parents and others feel the need to eat! I really have no idea what I can do about the latter issue, but I did finally make some progress on the first issue. We will need to go out to dinner at least once on the boat trip, so I called 8 or 10 restaurants to finally come up with some options where we can order at least 1 or 2 things off of the menu. I will most likely need to bring some stuff in my purse to supplement the kids’ meals. We may also go out to dinner one other night, but I have yet to find time to come up with an option for that.

After repeated questions about what meals we will (in her words CAN) eat and what groceries need to be purchased, I finally sent my mom a detailed list of meal choices. One of the biggest challenges is that there aren’t many available local meat options (that I could find), so most of our meals will have to be vegetarian or seafood. There is a Whole Foods store near the airport, so we will stop there upon our arrival to buy the items we’ll need for this list I emailed my mom…



  • roll ups (I am bringing 15 homemade whole-wheat tortillas) and you can buy store-bought hummus and cheese plus Jason and I like spinach, cucumbers or tomatoes on them too
  • pb&j’s
  • we can make whole-wheat pizza one day…the girls love that
  • i can make a quiche one day
  • fruit, triscuits, and/or popcorn as side items
  • smoothies

Dinners (out to dinner on 2 nights so here are meals for the other 5 nights)

  1. Whole-wheat ravioli (maybe with a butternut squash filling – the girls LOVE this and we can make a double recipe so there are leftovers for lunch too or to bring out to dinner for them if necessary)
  2. A fish or lobster entree with baked potatoes and green beans (both girls like green beans)
  3. Scallop or shrimp dish (I photocopied and will bring two recipe options)
  4. Meatballs (with Whole Foods local ground beef) and whole-wheat pasta
  5. Mushroom/bell pepper fajitas with the flour tortillas I am bringing and cheese/avocado/sour cream on side
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  • Comments

    1. Deirdre |

      I wish I had some across this 3 weeks ago! I just came back from a 10 day vacation in Florida. 7 days were spent with my Mother-in-law and her good friend. I can’t tell you how hard it was to just smile politely every time her friend tried to tell about this great low fat/low cal snack she found at the supermarket (believe me, she had A LOT) but that’s another story. My main issue with eating right on vacation is that we ate out EVERY NIGHT and mostly lunch too! How did you manage going out sightseeing and the like and still be home in time to make dinner??

    2. G.D. |

      How are Triscuits “real food”?

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        We define “real food” as products with 5 or less whole ingredients. Triscuits are 100% whole-grain and only have 3 ingredients.

    3. Michelle |

      Discovered your blog via Pinterest. Am enjoying reading about your journey. Isn’t it crazy to think that eating REAL food requires so much advanced planning and others think it’s a “special diet”?

    4. Sarah |

      Hi — I’m trying to come up with meal plans but many of yours include whole wheat and I have celiac disease. What are some good alternatives to things like whole wheat toast that are GF? I have cooked with brown rice flour in the past, as well as a variety of other GF flours…but I don’t know which ones would be considered “real food” by your standards.

    5. JHP |

      I have been reading through your posts and am loving how you are able to stick with these dietary restrictions while traveling! I have Celiac, and therefore, must eat gluten-free, but I plan on starting this plan very soon! I love a challenge.

      And, I don’t know if I understood your latest reply correctly, but spelt is NOT gluten-free. Perhaps, I just misunderstood your comment, but just wanted to throw that out there in case anyone else was confused.

      I think what you are doing for your family is fantastic! I hope more and more people will see the value of real food! Thanks!

    6. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy) |

      Hi JHP. Thank you for pointing that out! I meant to say gluten free oat flour. Spelt can sometimes be tolerated by folks who might have a gluten sensitivity(like me) but not someone with Celiac. Good luck on your journey! ~Amy

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