When 100 Days of Real Food asked me to write a recipe for a natural alternative to PediaSure, I was very excited. I am an integrative pediatrician, and real food is what my practice is based upon. I have seen the affects of synthetic processed foods on children, and anything I can do to help spread the word about whole food nutrition makes me over-the-moon excited!
cutting out processed foods
There’s one thing I forgot to mention about this whole real food on a budget project. Yes the food has to be “real” and yes it cannot exceed $125 a week, but the other part I’ve neglected to mention is that it must also taste good too! I might have overlooked the importance of this issue before, but as of late I’ve decided this is a must for me. I absolutely cannot eat just for sustenance. I cannot eat the same thing over and over again. And I struggle to be satisfied with a meal that feels like it is just a bunch of random things thrown together. Unfortunately I am finding that meeting this latest requirement could very well be the hardest part of all when it comes to having a budget drive our choices! All of this is top of mind after our dinner last night. For the better part of yesterday afternoon, the back of my mind was occupied with what in the world we could possibly eat for dinner. I was experimenting with not going to the store at the start of my budget week (like I normally do) and instead trying to “survive” by eating what we had on hand. Yes, “surviving” may sound a little dramatic, but that is how it feels! Monday night wasn’t so bad, but then last night every dinner option I could think of had some sort of roadblock.
One of my brave girlfriends not only signed her family of four up for the 10 Days of Real Food Pledge, but she also invited me over to talk food and help her raid her pantry. The first thing I noticed when I got there was that she did not try to alter reality by clearing anything out prior to my arrival. Her pantry was pretty much “what you see is what you get” in their household. And to be honest, I think they are going to have a lot more cleaning out to do than I expected! Since a picture speaks a thousand words my dear friend was also kind enough to let me snap this photo that you see here – you can click on the photo to enlarge it. (In case you are curious to see what a pantry with whole foods might look like check out a picture of mine.)
Well here we are on day 50 of our real food pledge – a milestone! I feel similar to when I was halfway through each of my pregnancies, which goes something like this… wow, we are already halfway done! And at the same time…wow, we are only halfway done? I would like to take this opportunity to remind those that don’t know me personally that only a little over six months ago not only was I clueless about what eating healthy truly meant, but I didn’t know the first thing about how to tell the difference between a processed and non-processed food. I was eating white bread from the grocery store, feeding my kids Kraft macaroni and cheese when we were short on time, stopping at fast food restaurants on road trips, and had never bought a single organic item in my life (well, at least not on purpose). That was all before I got the biggest wake up call ever from Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food.