Day 64: My Husband Cooks and Another Big Trip!

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I have a new skill. I can glance at the amount of dishes piled up in the sink and know if they will fill the dishwasher (or be slightly too many or too few to fit). This is a ridiculous skill to have, but goes to show that nothing has changed with how much I am doing dishes as I continue to feed everyone real food several times a day around here. I almost always still running the dishwasher at least twice a day and just do what I can to try to keep it clean in kitchen. One thing that has made things a little easier lately is that out of nowhere my husband cooked dinner three times in the last week! My husband is a great cook and enjoys it too, but since he is so busy at work (and travels frequently) he rarely ever does it anymore.

So as a tribute to being treated to someone else’s real food cooking, I thought I would do a little feature on his creations which will hopefully encourage him to do more of this! From left to right this is some of what he made… white gazpacho soup, shrimp & vegetable kabobs over brown rice, and oven-roasted potatoes. It was all delicious and I hope he does more of this in the future!

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Well, I have another HUGE challenge coming up tomorrow. I thought our first trip away from home was hard, but this is going to be even more difficult. I am taking my girls out-of-town again, but without my husband this time. Instead we are going with a dear friend and her 6-year-old daughter (who let’s just say is not at all on a real food diet at all). This trip will take us north again to see my parents and then I will also just be taking my oldest daughter to New York City (with our friends) where we will stay in a hotel. Not only does the hotel part concern me, but I am also leaving my 3-year-old in the care of my (only partially real food eating) parents for two nights on their boat while we are in the Big Apple. Yikes! I am excited about the trip, but mainly worried about the following:

  • Can my daughters handle being around a friend for 5 full days that may very well be eating some (or maybe even lots of) things that they cannot have? Their friend can of course eat whatever her little heart desires so this will solely be our problem to deal with.
  • Can my parents handle sticking to our rules in my absence?? They will be staying on a boat that does not have all of the same conveniences as a full size kitchen (e.g. no oven, blender, or food processor). My mom said she has already lost sleep over this, which I do not find encouraging.
  • Last, but not least…how in the world do my 5-year-old and I manage to eat real food and real food only when we are staying in a hotel room for 2 nights that does not have a kitchen/fridge?
  • I could pretend that I am also concerned about my husband being home alone and having to fend for himself…but that is the least of my worries!

I just finished sending my mom an email with this list of meals that they can feed my youngest (and pickiest) daughter when I am gone. Since she is so darn picky it didn’t take me long to make this rather short list of almost every single real food item that she has ever eaten and somewhat enjoyed (without having a blender, popsicle molds, and other handy items around of course!):

What Sienna will eat…

Main

  • Spaghetti with whole-wheat noodles
  • “Roll up” (whole-wheat tortilla with hummus and cheese)*
  • Peanut butter and jelly on whole-wheat bread*
  • Scrambled or fried eggs
  • Cheese/corn quesadilla on whole-wheat tortillas*
  • Sushi with brown rice and cooked shrimp or veggies*
  • Oatmeal with a little honey and cinnamon*
  • Whole-wheat pancakes with pure maple syrup
  • Granola cereal with milk*

Sides/snacks

  • Fruit: grapes, cantaloupe, honey dew melon, banana, watermelon, pear, apple
  • Veggies: frozen peas (served frozen), green beans, carrots (sort of), broccoli (sort of)
  • Raisins*
  • Tree Nuts and Peanuts*
  • Cheese
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Popcorn
  • Brown rice
  • Avocado with a little soy sauce*
  • Sweet or white potatoes
  • Applesauce*
  • Whole-wheat pretzels*
  • Lara bars*

Treats

  • Fruit leathers*
  • Chocolate balls*

*To help make these meals happen I am bringing the following in my suitcase: whole-wheat tortillas, hummus, whole-wheat sandwich bread, soy sauce (without sugar), rolled oats, cinnamon, granola cereal, raisins, nuts, applesauce squeeze pouches, whole-wheat pretzels, Lara bars, fruit leathers, chocolate balls

Please wish us luck and stay tuned because I will post an update during our trip!

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24 comments to Day 64: My Husband Cooks and Another Big Trip!

  • Julie Mansius

    I saw that peanut butter and jelly is on the list of foods that your daughter will eat. Which kind of jelly do you use? Most are full of sugar. Thanks.

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      I use a Crofters jelly that I found at Earthfare. I believe it is called “simply fruit” and Smuckers has a similar brand called “just fruit” or “all fruit” or something similar. They use fruit juice concentrate as the sweetener.

  • Wendy

    Lisa,
    You CAN do this and I know your daughter can get through it too! You have planned ahead and have many delicious options. I’m sure you’ll have nut in your purse too! Remind your daughter she does not want to put all that high frutrose corn syrup or food dye in her body anyway and remember NYC has some of the best real food… in many respects they’re ahead of the curve on this one. Best of luck and can’t wait to hear how it goes!!

  • Cathy Pearlman

    Hi! I am the queen of healthy eating in hotel rooms with children. I’ve stayed in Mariott’s for 7-14 days at a time and the hotel doesn’t mind me bringing in a styrofoam cooler full of food. Styrofoam cooler = $5 at the grocery store. I get a hotel shuttle bus to and from the grocery store and stock up. Breakfast is always yogurt, fresh fruit and nuts. Lunch some sort of veggie wrap. Dinner whole wheat sandwiches, salads, all very creatively put together. I did once bring a hot plate and a cooking pot and made simple soups and pasta dishes. The hotel never batted an eye. It can be done with little one’s in tow. Challenging, yes.
    Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this 10 day pledge. Today is my first day! I think it will be easy for me with the exception of packaged cookies! I live in the city of Chicago and we are in the process of installing an extensive series of raised vegetable beds in our yard. I can seriously see us becoming self sufficient for all of our vegetables on a year round basis. I will also be putting in fruit trees and blueberry bushes. Can see us providing urban “farming” workshops. Lots of interest in the city, though outside of tomatoes and lettuces, not much info for family gardening in one’s own yard.
    Thank you again, for your vision of what is possible and for the lives you are touching. Best – Cathy

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Good for you guys! I have so much I can learn from others like you. Good luck with all of your upcoming gardening. I never knew growing my own food could be so much fun…but it really is!

  • Jennifer Flory

    Wow! This trip is going to be quite the test. (what fun, though!) These are similar to some of the issues that I face being a single Mom, with my girls going between houses, etc. I can totally understand the anxiety. I will send some positive energy your way. Can’t wait to hear about the trip and how everything went. Don’t forget to have fun :-)

  • I love that you are coming to the city! We of course live here and I bet if you hunt down a few things you will be FINE! There are so many more commercial whole food options here than in smaller cities. I also feel that NYC has a culture of fresh healthy food. I recommend City Bakery on 18th st between 5th and 6th avenue, their selection of organic baked goods and whole fresh real home cooked foods and veggies is staggering. Near there is the Union Square Farmer’s Market (only Monday Wednesday and Fridays and Saturdays–not sure about Sundays…) and I Love it. Also for a fancy dinner Cook Shop focuses on local seasonal ingredients (totally worth the food splurge). I am not sure what your exact rules are, but there are tons of places that serve local health foods. You will be able to find whatever you like. Spend some time on Google and I bet you’ll find some other options!
    Good Luck! Feel free to email me if you need any other recs–[email protected]

  • Andrea

    Hi, I just found your blog last night and I read the entire post today. It’s so inspiring! I’ve been wanting to eliminate processed food for a long time but always thought it would be too overwhelming, I just didn’t know where to begin. Your journey really breaks it down on a day by day basis and I feel as if we can now start with the 10 day challenge. It’s going to be hard for my family because unfortunately my children are 9, 13 and 15 and our pantry looks exactly like your brave friends who let you photograph her pantry. How is she doing? I figure if I can get the family at the 80 or 90 percent range and eliminate most processed foods it would would be such a great accomplishment. Since I’m the one who shops for the food, cooks the dinners and packs the lunches it all has to start right here with me, right? I’m just so worried about all the time spent in the kitchen!
    Keep the great posts coming and thanks for inspiring so many people!

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Thank you for your email! I am very thankful for my brave friend and they have little by little been replacing stuff and officially start their 10-day pledge in a week or so. I think even if you could convince your family to go 80 or 90 percent of the way you would enjoy almost all of the same health benefits. Good luck!!

  • You will be staying in New York City? Hotel Schmotel. We have some of the best restaurants in the world. Whole food aside, there are entire live food restaurants here. I’m sure you can find some great food destinations for your time here. Good luck.

  • A thought about non-rules eating friends and relations: instead of lists of food, provide RECIPES including brand names of products that are acceptable.

    I’ve been spending time with people who do the “dump, stir, nuke” style of “cooking” and food lists don’t cut it; they’re not savvy with figuring out HOW to use those things, so I’ve been devising simple recipes, with simple instructions, and few packaged foods so there’s no worry about going off the program.

    If you’re not writing down your recipes now, please start! You’ll want it in 33 days as you’ll modify some of what you’re doing, but you’ll likely not go back to your previous way of eating completely.

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      I have been posting all of my recipes on http://www.foodillusion.com

      • Oh, I know! Been following that blog too. What I meant by my suggestion is does your Mom read it? Is she willing to use the recipes?

        • 100 Days of Real Food

          Oh I see what you are saying…didn’t realize you were talking about my mom at first. Yes, that is a good point and she does subscribe to both of my blogs. For some reason though that sometimes doesn’t seem to be enough and the only thing I can figure is that it must be really hard to reprogram your way of thinking after doing things a certain way for so long.

  • Victoria

    I can still relate to the influence people have on our kids. I live with my husband and 2 kids, along with his sister and family. They are junk foodies to the max. I also have read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food and I completely agree with all that he has written. I believe in providing the best I possibly can for my children. But it is terribly difficult when my sister-in-law is constantly bringing home chips and cookies and other ridiculously processed food into the house. I can’t exactly throw out what she buys–she’s entitled after all, right? But when my kids see her kids going for chips and cookies all the time—things can get pretty frustrating. I’ve tried speaking to them about changing their habits, but they are playing the ‘ignorance is bliss’ card. And it’s such a shame. And it won’t be until we have our own place that I will have complete control and influence over my kids.
    I love your blog and I appreciate all your efforts! Thanks for paving the way to a better future(and letting us read your journey) for us all! Best of luck!

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Oh my gosh what a challenging situation for you!! I cannot imagine …and good for you for sticking to your guns even while being around an influence like that. Thank you for the comment and good luck!

  • Thanks for the blog article. Really Cool.

  • Adie

    I really love hearing this journey you’re on, but I’m finding it amazing how you describe the difficulties when you’re not in your house! I’ve never spent any real time in America but it sounds as though EVERYTHING there is processed! I’ve been a ‘real food’ eater since my teens and have always been able to find some option wherever I am (usually in Australia or Europe, the UK is the worst). I guess what I’m trying to say is well done you, in the face of adversity and obviously an extremely unsupportive environment!! I now have a morbid curiosity to visit the states, and have even googled some of the chain stores you’ve mentioned…..

  • Maggie

    I’m so sorry that you are so wrapped up in food. What a pity. The whole time I read this post, all I could think was “man, she can’t even have fun on vacation, and her poor mother won’t be able to relax with her own granddaughter.” I have a child with severe allergies; be thankful you don’t have to worry about your child dying when he eats a certain food. Eating- for two days- some “unsafe” “non real” food that 99% of the population eats is probably not going to make you or your children keel over. Sheesh.

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