Hi there, I’m Eileen and I’ve been part of the 100 Days of Real Food team since September. When Lisa first proposed the idea of a Reader Diary, it made me think maybe I should take stock of my own daily food intake, and she was on board with me being the first entry to help kick off this new series!
It’s a new year, and I’m trying to be more mindful with many aspects of my life: quality family time, screen time, exercise, meditation and, of course, healthy eating. My goals through this process are to introduce new recipes to the family, send my husband with yummy leftovers so he’s less tempted to eat out for lunch, and to set a good example for my two children (12 and 7).
Reader Diaries Contest
As Lisa mentioned in her last “A Week with the Leake’s” post, we also want to hear what you’re eating at your house! Inspired by a “Cash Confessional” series on a website here in Charlotte, she thought it’d be fun to ask you to share not only what you are eating but how much you are spending on food for your family. We are still accepting entries and would love to hear from you!
All you have to do is submit what food you ate and purchased for one week and, if you are chosen to be featured, we’ll send you $50 to spend on groceries plus two signed 100 Days of Real Food cookbooks (one of each).
Our fridge was practically bare starting this 7-day project off, so my shopping cart was pretty much overflowing. A friend (who shall remain nameless) roped me into trying Whole30 for the month of January. I’ll be avoiding sugar, grains, dairy and legumes for the month. I purchased a lot more produce than I usually do, and a lot more meat (again, hoping to double meals and have plenty of leftovers). Which means I spent more than I typically do.
Groceries for the week (family of four): $ 294.40
Breakfast: My typical breakfast usually consists of 2-3 cups of coffee and some fresh fruit with yogurt (but I’m skipping dairy right now!). I don’t like eggs, so that is a big challenge with my breakfast options. The whole family was home so I prepared a batch of homemade sausage patties and shredded sweet potato hash browns.
Lunch: We had a very “snacky” lunch on this day. I threw together an appetizer platter of mixed cheeses, grapes, sliced pears, almonds, salami, crackers, sliced carrots and cucumbers.
Dinner: Dinner was slow-cooked pork with roasted vegetables. The house smelled good all day!
Treat: Our treat for the night was an apple dessert. I peeled and diced a handful of apples, mixed with some coconut oil, cinnamon and nutmeg, then microwaved for a few minutes. Easy and delicious.
Breakfast: A bowl of fresh pineapple, a few slices of bacon, and I also heated up those leftover sweet potato hash browns (yummy!) with black coffee – probably 3 cups.
Lunch (pictured below): Chicken thighs and bacon over mixed greens with sliced carrots, avocado and apple. During the day I tend to drink water with lemon, or seltzer with a splash of my favorite Peach White Balsamic Vinegar. It sounds strange at first, but it really jazzes up the water and makes me look forward to drinking glass after glass.
Snack: Sliced apples with some almond butter.
Dinner: More of the slow roasted pork from last night and I roasted some Brussel sprouts.
Breakfast: I had an early morning doctor appointment so I had 1 cup of coffee, ate a small banana and took an RxBar on the road with me to eat on the way.
Lunch: I grilled a chicken breast and put it on a big bed of mixed greens and cucumbers with some balsamic vinaigrette. Since I typically work from home M-F, I have the ability to make my own lunches and not be tempted to eat out.
Snack: Herbal tea and a pear.
Dinner: A new recipe: Beefy Ratatouille. This had a lot of vegetables in it so I was worried that my kids would balk, but the family really liked it!
Treat: The family requested cinnamon apples again!
Breakfast: Decided to make a smoothie for breakfast today. Banana, almond milk and 2 tablespoons of almond butter. YUM!
Mid-Morning Snack: A handful of almonds and dried apple chips.
Lunch: I had leftover ratatouille. Even better next day.
Snack: Tea and a bowl of grapes.
Dinner: This was a clean-out-the-fridge night. We each had either leftover pork, ratatouille or chicken with steamed broccoli.
Fridays are a busy day for me, so it was great to prep dinner early.
Breakfast: Coffee, pineapple and an RxBar.
Lunch: Grilled chicken with cucumber and greens (again).
Snack: Sliced pear and 100 calorie pack of almonds.
Dinner: I roasted a whole chicken in my slow cooker today. Served with roasted Brussels sprouts and bacon.
Breakfast: Coffee and sliced mango.
Lunch: Using Lisa’s tips, I used the leftovers from last night’s chicken roaster to make chicken stock overnight. For lunch, I added carrots and celery and a few pieces of leftover chicken for a delicious soup.
Snack: Smoothie (banana, almond milk and almond butter)
Dinner (pictured below): Slow-cooked chicken with artichokes and lemon. We’ve had something similar before, but I’ve never tried it in the slow-cooker.
We were low on milk (my kids drink a lot of it), so back to the grocery store. I had a small list, but since my kids were with me, I ended up with more in my cart than I planned.
Groceries: $70.11 Those darn impulse purchases!
Treat: The family requested stewed apples again. Good thing I bought more at the store today.
Breakfast: Homemade roasted potatoes, blueberries and grapes.
Snack: Smoothie with blueberries and almond milk.
Lunch: Grilled some chicken sausage, over mixed greens with cucumbers.
Dinner: Taco salad with avocado, orange pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, bacon, salsa and ground beef sautéed with onions and taco seasoning, over greens.
After dinner snack: Tea
Reader Diary: Final Thoughts
For the week, I spent $364.51 on groceries for my family of four.
It’s been a long time since I sat down and looked closely at my grocery receipts, so seeing this total number for the week was a shocker. I’m going to keep monitoring it over the next few weeks to see if this is the norm, or truly the result of restocking my fairly empty fridge. That being said, we tried a few new recipes this week that were a success – and, as a result, I have new meals to work into the regular rotation! My husband was thrilled to have ready-to-go leftover lunches, which made eating out less tempting. By the end of the week, my 12-year-old was making the cinnamon apple dessert all on her own for the whole family, which I think is a win-win!