There is no question that this has been an incredibly enlightening experience for us so far, but at the same time who wouldn’t be ready for it to end? The reality is that we will still eat very much the same as we do now, but on day 101 we will have the ability to make exceptions as we see fit. For example, just tonight, right after we ripped open a package of prosciutto from the farmer’s market I noticed the label said it was cured with brown sugar. I guess once I got the locally raised meat part checked off my list I forgot to double-check the ingredients…what a bummer! Now I have to find a lucky recipient for our $8.50 package of meat.
Lots of people have been asking us what we will do when this is over so I thought I would make a list of other exceptions that we plan to dive into after the 100 days…
- Some store-bought items with either six or seven ingredients or with forbidden ingredients including…
- Mayonnaise (my girls love egg salad and I have not been happy with homemade mayo recipes)
- Apple pie flavored Lara Bars (several friends have told me this is their favorite flavor and I have not been able to try it yet!)
- Some good ol’ organic Heinz ketchup (although we don’t really use that much of this condiment it will be incredibly convenient to use again)
- Worcestershire sauce happens to be an ingredient in a lot of good recipes and no matter how natural it is it has been strictly against the rules for us
- Something deep-fried, although it will be homemade of course…I am thinking sweet potato fries will be first on the list.
- Maybe one batch of my (old) signature chocolate chip cookie recipe with real chocolate chips instead of the unsweetened bitter ones. I will also probably use the sugar that the recipe calls for, but may stick with whole-wheat flour.
- Lastly, we are all looking forward to the ability to be more flexible when we are out of the house. Aside from the items I have listed so far, things will probably pretty much stay the same at home. But, since it is always so much more difficult to stick to the rules when we are out (at a restaurant, friends house, or birthday party), that is where I expect to see the most change. I really don’t know for sure though if I could stomach my girls digging into a high-fructose corn syrup filled grocery store cake at a party or not…I will just have to wait and see on that one.
Once we truly hit day 100 I will be sure to also make a list of what we will do differently (in a positive way) as a result of this experience. As we close in on the final stretch of our pledge it is too easy to think of what we miss, but of course we have also learned so much and will make many more changes for the better going forward.
Okay, enough of that sappiness. So today my 3-year-old had her first day of ballet/tap class, and the instructors hand out a piece of candy to each child as a reward at the end. I don’t see why they can’t just give out a sticker or a stamp instead (kids love that stuff too!), but apparently they weren’t too fond of the idea when I suggested it last year when my older daughter was a student. I have learned that I can now pretty much trust my 5-year-old to stick to our rules in my absence, but I am not so sure how much of this my 3-year-old really “gets”. Luckily there is a glass window on the door of the classroom so I could peak through as they were handing out the candy. I held my breath as they got to Sienna feeling worried that either they would forget or she would freak out that she got something different. But, to my surprise all went as planned, and I was honestly perplexed that she didn’t seem to mind that she got a sticker instead of the candy she saw every other child receive.
In the car I couldn’t help but ask her about her special little sticker and if she saw what the other kids were given. She told me candy of course and I said, “Did you wish you had gotten the candy too?” I hate to even ask her that, but while I am of course committed to our rules it would break my heart to think of my girls feeling left out for any reason. Out of nowhere my 3-year-old responds with “No, because I can’t have candy”. Wow, okay so maybe she HAS been paying at least a little bit of attention over the last 81 days. I honestly think most parents (my “old” self included) would have never said, “Don’t give my child the candy” because we would just assume there would be some sort of major melt down as a result…and parents always want to avoid melt downs! Well, I guess you never know what will really happen until you try. And maybe it took us 81 days to get to a good place with our younger (and pickier) child, but I would of course have to say it was worth the effort (especially now that the hardest part is over!)