Post Pledge 2: The Struggle

This post was going to be all about how we’ve barely even broken the rules (other than on 2 or 3 occasions) since ending our pledge….and then today my husband went to Subway for lunch. Yep Subway, as in the fast food restaurant that specializes in deli meat from who knows where? I have to admit I cringed when he told me this because I can’t say I was ever a big fan even before our real food pledge. He is out-of-town on business of course, and was both hungry and short on time (what else is new with his biz trips?). I guess since our pledge was over I thought I was off the hook for having to pack him food to bring along, but today I very much regretted that I didn’t do it anyway.

While he was off chowing down on a fast-food sandwich I was at home relishing every last bite of a super yummy “roll up”. I have come to be a little bit obsessed with these homemade whole-wheat tortillas and wrapping up everything I can in them (pictured is homemade hummus, cheddar cheese, and some local tomatoes). See the thing is…our real food pledge actually kind of spoiled us. When you eat wholesome, nutritious, flavorful, real food day in and day out you come to love it and want it (and expect it) for just about every meal. Continue Reading »

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A look inside a whole foods fridge

Since the most popular Food Illusion post to date has been “A look inside a whole foods pantry” I thought it would be appropriate to expand things by moving onto our fridge. Before I get started I want to answer one question though…yes, I cleaned out my fridge prior to this little photo shoot.  But for those of you who know me (and my type A personality) well, you also know that this is not very far from the truth. And aside from eating healthy foods or not, I am a true believer of everything in one’s fridge (and pantry) having its very own spot. It drives me crazy when we are staying at someone’s house and you have to spend five minutes trying to find that bag of grapes you know you saw earlier. At our house the answer is always the same…it is in the fruit drawer!

So let me break down the picture starting at the top… Continue Reading »

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Post Pledge: The First Rule Breakers…

I had this vision that after completing our 100-day pledge it would be difficult for us to indulge in any former rule-breaking foods. As it turns out…we didn’t have any trouble with it at all! And one of our first meals ended up breaking even more rules than we originally anticipated. Pictured is one of the delicious (if I do say so myself) tacos that we had the other night. My first thought was that we would be breaking the local meat rule with an all-natural ground turkey option from Earth Fare. I personally prefer the flavor of ground turkey over ground beef, and unfortunately I cannot find any local sources for ground turkey around here.

As you can see our turkey taco mixture (which included bits of carrot and mushroom) as well as some other goodies (like cheese, bell peppers, tomatoes, avocado, and sour cream) were all wrapped up in a nice little crunchy taco shell. I was so focused on finding these shells that are made with masa flour (which is a whole grain corn flour) that it didn’t even occur to me to consider how the taco shells were made. So a few bites into our meal, I couldn’t help but notice the yummy crunchiness and said to my husband…are these deep-fried? The moral of our little dinner story is that if it looks like a chip, tastes like a chip, and crunches like a chip, then it is definitely a deep-fried chip!! Continue Reading »

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Recipe: Easy Peasy Applesauce

It is apple season here in the Carolinas! Making homemade applesauce is somewhat of a special occasion around here since a healthy store-bought alternative (with no sugar added) can easily be found. I am not saying the store-bought stuff is nearly as good as the homemade version…just more convenient of course. Let’s just say that my husband and I do not regularly consume the little store-bought containers of applesauce, but all four of us fight over the last few drops if it is homemade! Plus making it yourself can be a fun activity (especially with kids), and luckily you can freeze the leftovers.

It is especially quick and easy to make this dish at home if you have a handy dandy apple slicer that will cut out the core and cut the rest into pieces. You can find these inexpensive tools at most grocery stores (or Target), and they will easily cut your prep time in half. Not to mention they come in handy for just slicing apples for a snack (or even pears too!).
Continue Reading »

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Day 100: We Did It!!

I cannot believe day 100 is here! And at the same time I am so glad it is finally here. It’s not that I plan to do things much differently going forward, but I very much welcome the ability to make exceptions as I see fit. This new ability comes with a small price though…lots of difficult decision making! Rather than all the processed stuff just being “against the rules” we will now have to weigh the pros and cons for every situation like…

  • Letting our daughters have the same cupcake as everyone else during birthday celebrations at school (I am thinking we will let them)
  • Deciding what to do with all of the candy we get trick or treating this Halloween (we are thinking we might keep a few coveted pieces and give away the rest)
  • Telling the dance studio that they can stop giving my 3-year-old a sticker while all the other kids get candy at the end of class (I am actually thinking I will not make this change…she hasn’t complained about only getting a sticker so what is the point in switching?)
  • Ordering directly off the menu the next time we go out to eat (I think we can only make this decision on a case by case basis)
  • Allowing any of us to eat white bread or anything made with refined flour the next time it presents itself (I don’t know what will happen with this one)
  • Continuing to let our old “treat basket” remain empty rather than allowing it to fill up with the same junk again (At the beginning of our pledge I saved everything that came out of the basket, but had a change of heart a few weeks ago and actually got rid of all the sweets!)
  • Deciding what food we should travel with the next time we go out of town (I am to the point where I can’t imagine not bringing any of our wholesome goodies along)

In addition to thinking about all of the difficult decisions that we have ahead of us, we are also looking back at the things we ate during our pledge that broke the rules (by accident of course)… Continue Reading »

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Prepackaged Snacks for School

The other day my brother asked my opinion on some organic prepackaged snacks they were considering buying. He said that for their busy family (which includes two working parents and two kids, ages 8 and 4) it is important for their school snacks to be individually wrapped. After reviewing the list of ingredients he emailed me I thought the “Organic Jammy Sammy Snack Size Sandwich Bars” had both pros and cons:

Pros:

  • It was organic (although just because something is organic does not mean it is okay…there are a lot of highly processed organic foods out there)
  • It contained whole grain oats
  • It contained whole grain barley flour
  • Salt was the last ingredient on the list, which means it was what they used the least of

Cons:

  • The first ingredient (and what it contained the most of) was the strawberry filling which lists cane juice (a sweetener similar to sugar) as its top ingredient
  • The strawberry filling also contained rice starch and pretty much anything with the word starch (like corn starch) is highly processed/refined
  • The strawberry filling also contained citric acid (a preservative)
  • In addition to the cane juice in the strawberry filling these bars also had two other forms of sweeteners listed – agave and more evaporated cane juice Continue Reading »
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