I need a salad, cleaning out the junk, and unprocessed rules

Wow, I have been indulging wayyyy too much on treats and junk food.  I don’t know why, I’m just kind of in a funk and really don’t care right now 😦  We’ve been eating out too much and stocking up on cookies mostly.  Time to stop!  Not really a great way to get ready to start 150 days of unprocessed food 😆

So I cleaned out the cupboards and fridge today, and the plan is to go food shopping and get lots of produce.  For lunch I think I’m going to hit up a salad bar, my body is pretty much screaming at me for a huge salad.

Also we have been talking about our next unprocessed challenge.  So far we have this:

  • We are doing it for 150 days.  I am thinking about making the challenge for myself to go all year, but we’ll see.
  • As little packaged food as possible.  When we do buy packaged stuff it has to be made only of ingredients that would be in our kitchen.  We will aim for the 5 ingredients or less rule, but it’s okay if something has more but they are still real ingredients.
  • Whole grains most of the time.  We aren’t going to be completely anal about it – sometimes you just need a baguette or some regular pasta.  As long as there aren’t weird ingredients, no big deal once in a while.
  • Very limited eating out.  I think birthdays are pretty much going to be the only exceptions, unless we are invited to go out.
  • We are going to try and make sure our meat is organic, grass-fed or comes from a farm, I’m thinking about doing the meat co-op again but we need more room in the freezer!  Actually we need a small chest freezer.
  • We aren’t going to worry so much about organic produce.  I feel pretty comfortable with certain things being organic and others not.  I feel like any vegetables is better than none, and we can’t afford organic everything.
  • I will be going back to the basics and try to make most food from scratch.

That’s about all I can think of right now.  I’m looking forward to eating and feeling a lot better!!  And hopefully shedding the pounds I’ve gained this month 😉

100 Days Unprocessed – The Last Day!!!

Well, we are on our last day of the challenge today!!  I still cannot believe that I haven’t had any alcohol (save maybe 4 sips for tasting) for 99 days!!  I haven’t done that in a very very long time.  I am so proud of this 😀

We aren’t perfect, so we did allow for some ‘cheats’.  The list is pretty small though.  I’d say that through the 100 days we had some definite cheats like:

  • Hot sauce with sugar in it – why does there need to be sugar?!
  • Whey protein powder
  • Dark chocolate bars
  • M had a little bit of chocolate stuff given to her on Valentine’s Day
  • M had a sample of some sauce given to her on a square of white bread
  • We had a sample of some cheese that had some un-natural coloring in it
  • We used our own canned stuff, jams and fruit that did have plain old white sugar in them
  • We tasted some home brews, mead and beer, but of course it was just for quality control!
  • We still used sugar, but always evaporated cane juice.  I was over-using it at first but then we really toned it down after the first month and a half.

I think that is about it!

There were also some questionable items.  I went out to eat once at Noodles & Co. and got the whole grain pasta.  I don’t exactly know what is in it, but it seemed to be the best choice.  We ended up buying Mary’s Gone Crackers since I figured I could probably make them myself.  I did make crackers a few times but these guys somehow think the store bought are better.  We also bought some Ancient Grains cereal.  Again, the thinking was that we could make it at home, so no big deal.

So what are our thoughts?

  • I learned that I don’t miss the packaged stuff all that much.  I will be adding some stuff back in, but just things like condiments and some once in a while treats, but still made with better ingredients than corn syrup and white flour.
  • I don’t miss white flour one bit!!  Okay, maybe white flour is better for roux and sauces, but that is about the only time I would choose it over whole grain.  I grind our flour and we have been using wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, and rye and we all think they are all delicious.  So much more flavor than plain old white.
  • I feel GREAT!!  Most days anyway.  I still get the afternoon crash sometimes but overall my mood and outlook on life has improved, and I definitely have more energy.  When we first started, I think we were de-toxing a little bit.  I felt yucky, depressed, and just plain foul sometimes.  After a couple of weeks it really started to get better.
  • I lost some weight, about 12 pounds.  I do attribute it some to eating better food, but also to more exercise and just plain eating more veggies and fruit.
  • M says she is stronger 😉  She wouldn’t say this but she is also way less picky.  She has even tried new things and liked them.  Definitely eating more produce too.
  • The Boyfriend also doesn’t want to add back any processed foods with HFCS, chemicals, trans fat, etc.  He says he feels better than he ever has before!!  Also, his performance has improved as far as running and weight lifting.
  • We saved a ton of money by not going out to eat.  We were going out to eat quite a bit before we started this challenge.  Now we are having a hard time thinking where we would even want to go out to eat again!  For me, I want to do it sparingly, and go to places that I think I will love and probably serve real food.

So I don’t know what is next.  We were thinking of doing some other kind of challenge, but I can’t really come up with anything good.  It isn’t really a challenge anymore to eat like this so I think we will just keep on going.  I won’t lie, it is extra work that maybe a lot of people don’t have time for.  I don’t work full time so it is easier for me.  I fit things in when I can and I make time to make things.  I totally have things down now though so that it really isn’t that hard to do the extra stuff.  I like doing it too 🙂

I think the biggest thing that we have gotten out of this challenge is that we are so much more aware of what we are putting in our bodies.  M checks every label now, even more diligently than we do.  She is always asking what ingredients are.  It is so easy to just grab something and eat it and not even think about it.  But do we really need to eat all of the additives, preservatives, colorings, and chemicals, and just plain weird ingredients?  It might be harder to make everything from scratch, but I like being in control of what I eat and put in my body.  The food manufacturer’s really don’t have my best interests at heart, you know?  I hope that from all of this we keep that awareness and continue to strive to nourish our bodies.  We are proud of ourselves for doing this and sticking with it!

Unprocessed Day 93 Dropping the Ball

We are nearing the end of our Unprocessed Challenge – only 7 more days to go!  While  we have pretty much stayed on plan save a few mistakes and cheats (couldn’t give up my dark chocolate 😆 or protein powder), I wish I had done better.  I wanted to make cool things and share them with you.  But I didn’t!  Mostly we have been eating boring food.  Everything tastes great, but it is just basic stuff around here most of the time.  Breakfasts are eggs, fruit, muffins, scones, pancakes, oatmeal, fruit, and lots of smoothies.  Lunches are now salads and leftovers.  Dinners are proteins, sometimes grains, and always veggies simply prepared.  I’m not even making bread all that much anymore!  Part of the boring food is because we want to eat better and lighter, and for us that equates to boring I guess 😆  I am glad we slowed down on the treats though.  Treats should be that – once in a while treats – but we were having them as a compliment to or part of almost every meal.  I feel better now grabbing fruit more instead of treats.

So yeah, I wish I had been more on the ball to share meals and recipes and ideas.  Does anyone else find that the better they eat, the more ‘boring’ it gets?  I have also been thinking of what, if anything, I want to incorporate back into my diet.  The only things I have come up with are The Pie’s Pizza (once in a while!), dried fruit that does have sugar added, and we got these hard candies and gummy bears that definitely aren’t unprocessed, but I think since they use organic cane sugar and don’t use artificial dyes, they are probably an okay substitute for candy that we shouldn’t be buying.  Sometimes a whole wheat cookie just doesn’t cut it.

Anyway, I guess in the future I will try and share more of the stuff we did/do have and recipes and such that we used during the challenge.  I guess I don’t think to share because it has become old hat to me and doesn’t impress me anymore 😆

Thought I’d let you know…

Because I know you are just waiting to hear what I’m doing 😆  I have been counting calories again.  Yup.  Surprisingly it is not making me nuts (so far).  I find that when I amp up the vegetable intake, I don’t have a problem with staying under a decent number for me.  Since I have dabbled in fasting too, I am finding that I am just not that hungry anymore.  I can go longer between meals without eating and not feeling like I will die without food ASAP!  Something about how we are eating too has pretty much turned off the hunger button too – for the most part.  I often don’t really feel hungry, but have other symptoms like a mild headache or irritability, that tell me I might need to eat.  My stomach doesn’t even growl that much these days.  I like that I don’t really have to pay attention to my stomach as much.

So the calories.  I’m not sure that there will be a magic number for me to eat and combined with my activity will make me lose X number of pounds each week.  It did work for me before, when I stayed under 1500 and worked out whenever I thought about it, I lost 1.6 pounds consistently almost every single week.  I’d love it if that happened but I’m not sure that it will.  I  guess I am coming out of red alert mode mentally, thinking I must lose weight quickly for the marathon.  I want to lose it, but as long as my knee is feeling okay and I am dropping some pounds consistently, I will probably be fine.  As long as I am losing something I am okay.  I just don’t want to be trying and not see anything gone, you know?!  I know that when I was stalled, I was just eating too much.  Too much ice cream and too many cookies.  If I am counting calories, at least I’ll know where I stand.

I also want to track my nutrients.  I want to do better in terms of diet and good foods that will help me be a better runner.  I am not sure that this matters that much, I’d like to think that it does.  So I’m trying.  There is the magic ratio of 50/25/25, carbs/protein/fat that is supposed to be a good start for runners.  So far I’m kind of there, needing more protein and less fat.  I think it will be more of a goal to shoot for, but if I don’t get there it isn’t a big deal.  I will try.  I think it will be a good thing if more of the carbs come from fruits and veggies too.

So that’s where I’m at.  I am counting calories, but not until the day is over.  I am trying to be mindful about what I will eat, always choosing the veg and fruit first and then building around that.  Picking a protein and then some kind of grain last, if I need one.  So far it seems okay, granted it has only been 3 days.  I figure at least I will know better what I’m putting in my body, and it should help me to cut way back on the treats.  Tracking over the last week definitely has helped me do that so far.

Food & Budget 3.17

We checked out the Community Food Co-op’s Market Sale this week on Thursday.  I liked it!  I think I would do this regularly versus ordering, I guess because we don’t really use that much prepared stuff and are pretty picky with our meat.  Anyway, we got a few things and spent $34. Not bad, considering the tamales were $5 for each package.  I also wanted to try the eggs even though they are a little pricey.  I can get a dozen and a half for under $3 at Costco and I mostly use them for baking, sometimes breakfasts.  We’ll see how I like them.  Anyway!  We got:

  • 3 pounds of strawberries for $4.05
  • Cabbage $1.00
  • Celery $.77
  • Red bell peppers $1.72
  • 6 grapefruits $2.22
  • Mushrooms – white and portabello – $2.84
  • 5# bag of potatoes $1.62
  • dozen eggs $3.75
  • 3 packages tamales $16.89

The tamales were not really my idea by the way, but The Boyfriend loves them.  Not bad though, still.

We also bought an organic Bountiful Basket.  It had:

Pineapple, blueberries, apples, oranges, cabbage, green onions, tomatoes, green beans, mushrooms lettuce, bok choy, and carrots.

We also went shopping and bought:

  • Avocadoes $4.99
  • Green Beans $1.27
  • Cilantro 1.00
  • Green onions $.50
  • Habaneros $1.44
  • Jalapenos $.69
  • Org. Romaine $1.50
  • Onions $.25
  • Oranges $1.02
  • Mozzarella $7.99
  • Gallon heavy cream $10.99 (Need to make butter again!)
  • Gallon milk $4.99
  • Small Yogurt $1.59 (To make more yogurt)
  • Shredded coconut $6.59
  • Coconut flour $7.68
  • 50 pounds Kamut berries $43.95
  • Dried figs $7.99
  • 8 pack of Hansen’s Soda made with cane sugar $3.99
  • Apple cider vinegar $1.79
  • Vanilla $6.89
  • Whole wheat pasta $9.79
  • Pistachios $14.49
  • Frozen berries $10.99

Ok so this was not great!  But we did do some stocking up so I guess it’s okay, and we spent less the last two weeks.  I did buy some impulse items too.  I need to try harder next week 🙂  The total we spent on food groceries was about $226.50.  Yikes!

We also now have way too much mushrooms, celery cabbage, apples, oranges, and green beans!  I should have known better than to go to the co-op before the basket pickup 😆  Oh well!  Time to look for ideas and recipes to get them all gone.  I also don’t think I will do any co-op baskets until we go through some more of our canned fruit.  I don’t want any to go to waste, and we still have some applesauce and peaches left.  So I will probably skip next week and just do the sales flyers.

Food and Budget 3.10 – Will Work for Kale

I volunteered for my Bountiful Basket today.  It went well and I even got a little bit of a workout carrying boxes and doing lots of squats 🙂  I got kale as my extra!  We just got a conventional basket this week, still had lots of produce in the fridge from last week.  Here is what we got in the basket:

Bananas, pineapple, apples, oranges, blueberries, carrots, green onions, romaine, more kale, asparagus, cucumbers, mini sweet peppers, and anaheim peppers.  It was a pretty good amount of stuff.

In the past week I really really tried to not go shopping.  We did have to get a few things but not much.  I bought:

  • The basket of course $16.50
  • Carrots 20# I think? from Costco $5.79
  • Garlic $.23 – 2 pounds for 99 cents at Rancho!
  • Onions $.68 – 6 pounds for 99 cents at Rancho!
  • Spinach from Costco $3.89
  • Cheese $10.30
  • Milk $7.28 – we bought a gallon and a half – I made lots of yogurt.
  • Heavy Cream $3.79
  • Eggs $5.98
  • Pork belly from Caputo’s $18.52
  • Corn Starch $2.79
  • Chocolates $1.20
  • Olives $4.64
  • Ancient grains cereal from Costco $6.99

So the total spent this week was $88.48.  Not too bad, considering we went to Caputo’s!!  We usually walk out of there with at least $50 worth of stuff 😆  I really wanted some olives and pork belly though.  I will try not to go there until next month just to be safe!

I want to share more of what I’m making this week and possibly even do some planning for the week.  I guess I need to to make sure we get all of this stuff used up!  I do see a lot of salads in my future…

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Food and Budget 3.3

I am proud to say that I didn’t go to the grocery store and buy food this week!!  We had plenty of food and I really didn’t need to go.  We did go and buy doughnut pans, but that doesn’t count 😉  The doughnuts were meant to be!

Anyway, here is what we spent over this past week.  Our grand total with the baskets and groceries is about $62!!!  (Without taxes)

  • Avocados $4.99 at Costco
  • Grapefruit $6.00 at Sunflower – they were 4/$1 which is the lowest I’ve seen in a while and we still have a bunch!
  • Gallon milk $4.99 – this made 10 cups of yogurt and the rest we drank 🙂
  • 1 1/2 dozen eggs $2.99

Wow!  I did awesome 🙂

We also got 2 baskets from Bountiful Baskets – 1 organic and 1 conventional.  I’m thinking this will last us into next week, so I’m not sure if I’ll get another basket for next weekend or not.  We’ll see.  I was very happy with the amount of produce we got!

Here is the conventional basket.  We got bananas, pineapple, yukon gold potatoes, cantaloupe, apples, kiwis, cucumbers, butter lettuce, anaheim peppers, green bell peppers, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and atulfa mangoes.

In the organic we got swiss chard, green leaf lettuce, broccoli, pineapple, roma tomatoes, apples, small yellow onions, zucchini, kiwis, bell peppers, apples, strawberries, and blueberries.

I will have to come up with some ideas to use all of this stuff, besides snacking on fruit for ALL snacks 😆  We still have grapefruits, kiwis, bananas, and mangoes left from last week!  It’s good though, we all need to be eating more fruit and veggies.  If I come up with some kind of meal plan I’ll post that too.

Have a great weekend!!

 

February Goals Update

Well I didn’t do so hot on the goals for February.  Here’s where I’m at.
  • Lose 5 more pounds.  If I did it last month (with all of the extras/sweets I ate) I should be able to this month!
  • Keep working on the afghan I’m knitting.
  • Finish curtains for M’s room.  All I have to do is sew the back, make the sandwich, and add a border.
  • Spend as little money as possible :lol:  I actually did pretty well last month, I’d like to do it again.
  • Walk outside every day.
  • Keep exercising at least 5 days a week.
  • Keep up with the unprocessed and no booze challenge.
  • Work up to doing strength training 3 times a week.
  • Finish my current spinning project.

Epic fails on the curtains and spinning.  I didn’t not work on the curtains once!  I did do spinning here and there, and managed to finish the bobbin I was working on, but that’s about it.  The good news is that I finished last night feeling very motivated to start on the next one.  We’ll see.

I tried my best to lose 5 pounds, but that didn’t happen either.  I kind of slacked toward the end of January and started eating way too many sweets and ice cream.  Since I cut that out, I’ve been doing a lot better.  It isn’t a total loss though, I did lose 2.4 pounds, and get this – I lost over 6 inches!!!  I am measuring once a month, and this wasn’t even in a whole month.  More like 24 days.  In no way can I consider that a fail!

I walk a lot, but not outside every day.  This month has been too damn cold 😆  I should suck it up and just bundle up and do it, but some days I was really wiped out too.  I figured if I was really too tired then I just needed rest instead.  I still want to keep this up as a monthly goal.

I worked out as much as I could!!  I think I only missed a few days this month, so I definitely made this goal 😀

I did work up to lifting weights 3 times a week.  I thought it would be too hard, but it felt like I wasn’t doing enough with just two days.  So three it is.  I think the next goal will be to add kettlebells in once a week.

I knitted, quite a bit.  I am still working exclusively on the cabled afghan I started last year around this time.  I am determined to get the damn thing done!

So there is my update, not fabulous but I didn’t completely fail either.  I will get my March goals together and posted.

Did you have any goals for February?  How did you do?!

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Cake Doughnuts

Today is our 60th day of the Unprocessed Challenge!  I guess we celebrated by making doughnuts 😆  Were we the only ones on the planet without doughnut pans?  We just bought ours today, I don’t know how we lived without them!  Doughnuts are so cute 🙂

So these turned out really good.  I used this recipe and this recipe for guidance, which are almost the same except for a few differences.  I had never heard of the idea of mixing cornstarch with regular flour to mimic cake flour so I decided to do it.  I only used sugar (no honey), but also added cinnamon to my batter.  I meant to use butter but forgot to put it in!  I can only assume they would be even better with butter.  So here is what I used:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup kamut flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T melted butter (ok no I didn’t use it but you should :lol:)
  • 1 T vanilla

I put the batter in a ziploc and cut off the end to pipe it into the pans.  Mine baked at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, and then I glazed them while they were still warm.  For the chocolate glaze I used about 1/4 cup ground sugar, 1 tablespoon coca powder, and heavy cream to the desired texture.  I left mine more like frosting.  We made an orange glaze with 1/4 cup ground sugar, juice of 1/2 an orange, and the zest of an orange.  The chocolate was the best!!

So there ya’ go.  You can eat unprocessed and have your doughnuts too!

 

Food and Budget 2.25

Well folks, this has been another big spending week.  I guess I wasn’t really serious about sticking to the budget this week!  I won’t say that I’m definitely going to this week either.  When I’m ready I’ll do it 😆  We ended up putting in an order on Nuts.com for some dried fruit and powders, and in the interest of saving on shipping I got 10 pounds of stuff!  I also ordered an organic basket from Bountiful Baskets this week.  I just went to the store(s) too many times, and I couldn’t resist over buying.  Oh well.  We didn’t spend all of our other grocery budget so it evens out.  I still would eventually like to get back to not overspending.

So here is what we got in the basket this week:

Bananas, kiwis, oranges, mangoes, apples, a pear, romaine lettuce, zucchini, fingerling potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes.  I think this was a pretty good basket.  I’m glad I was able to show some restraint with the vegetables at the grocery store 😆

What we also bought:

PRODUCE:

  • Bell peppers – $3.30 – the yellow and orange were so pretty and on sale!
  • Cabbage $.66
  • Organic celery $1.50
  • Cucumbers $.99
  • Garlic $.94
  • Medjool dates $8.49
  • Grapefruit $2.00
  • Habaneros $1.26
  • Organic romaine $3.00
  • Key limes $.44
  • Yellow onions $2.39
  • Pasilla peppers $.68
  • Organic baby spinach $3.89

DAIRY:

  • Organic butter $4.99
  • Gruyere $11.33
  • Heavy cream $11.32 – a gallon!!

MEAT/EGGS:

  • Organic chicken $22.56
  • Eggs $2.99
  • Organic ground turkey  $15.17

GROCERY:

  • Organic sugar (not that we are out :lol:) $11.49
  • Brown rice noodles $2.99
  • Coconut oil $13.98
  • Masa $6.97
  • Wasabi paste $1.99
  • Crackers $9.98
NUTS.COM
  • 2 pounds dried cranberries
  • 1 pound dried blueberries
  • 2 pounds chlorella powder
  • 1 pound dried plums
  • 2 pounds mesquite powder
  • 1 pound gummy bears
  • 1 pound candy drops
Things to note:
  • I tried the Rancho market this week because they had some irresistible prices on some produce.  I got 20 limes, 5 heads of garlic(!), 6 pasilla peppers, and a dozen really nice habaneros.  I could have also gotten a great deal on oranges and onions but didn’t really need them yet.  I will watch for the next flier and probably go there again.
  • The cream was bought at the Winder Country Store`.  I don’t really like going there since it is an old smelly building :lol:, but I wanted a lot of cream to try making butter with.  Which I did!  It worked great and I figure I saved quite a bit of money doing that.  I can go into that in another post.
  • By the end of the week we finally came close to using up all of our stored onions.  We bought a 50 pound bag of yellow onions and a 10 pound bag of red onions last October, and they lasted us until now!!  We are definitely doing that again this year.  It was kind of weird having to buy them after so long!
  • We bought meat at Costco.  I don’t normally do that, but I thought we’d give the organic chicken a try (it’s been a while) and we found the turkey there as well.  I don’t know if I’m completely down with ground turkey, but we used it for tacos and it was pretty good. The second package and chicken went into the freezer for another day.
  • Nuts.com – The candy!  I know, but it is made with evaporated cane juice and completely natural flavorings, like from fruit.  I guess I was feeling deprived?  I don’t know 😆  Anyway we are NOT eating any until after our Unprocessed Challenge is over!!

Ready for the grand total?  With the online stuff we spent just over $175.  Way too much.  But we got all of that bulk stuff so I guess considering that it isn’t too bad.  Can only go up from here!