As the week winds down I'm ready to answer the questions/comments that have been posed to me about starting on this food journey. "Isn't that expensive?" "Whoa that sounds like a lot of work!" "But I work and I am so busy!! That would never work for our family!"
"Isn't that expensive?"- I.e. dude you have a lot of kids!! How will you afford to buy "real" food? Let me share that after making the initial investment (yes friends I see this as an investment in my family!) last week, my grocery list for next week is rather short. The items that I did buy that are normally not on my list (whole wheat flour, coconut oil, 100% maple syrup) are all going to be used over a period of weeks so the cost honestly does even out. I did notice that I had to make an extra trip mid-week to the grocery for more fruit-but hey, it wasn't like I was buying dorito's or candy. If I am buying more of something real and good, I feel pretty good about that. I do know that for our family, eliminating the packaged snacks is going to save money!! Each summer I notice that our grocery bill goes down when I am not buying snack for school lunches, so I can't wait to see how this works once I am intentionally making better choices with our food dollar. Not to sound all rosey (I don't want to lose your trust early in this journey!) I will say that the bread was a major expense. I did go to our local Great Harvest and purchased 2 loaves of the Honey Wheat big loaf (which was cut into sandwich slices for me). The 2 loaves did total $10, BUT I still have a full loaf AND the slices are so big that I am making sandwiches with one slice of bread. Great Harvest does have the bread system where you purchase 12 loaves and get one free-I'll be racking up some free bread in the upcoming months!!
"Whoa that sounds like a lot of work!"-Yes, honestly it was! I have 3 words for you about my breakfast menu: prep, prep, and more prep. I handled this by taking a day (for those who work full time this would be Saturday or Sunday) for cooking what I needed ahead of time. I made the whole wheat pancakes the day before and did the same for the muffins. For the upcoming week, I plan on making what I need for the week and will then freeze the items so that I have everything. For the record, I substitute teach and have many weeks where I am working full time. I appreciate that we are all busy-look, it's a choice you have to make and then find the time to make it happen. I can't believe that TRYING to make a change for your family isn't the best choice, but I'm not in the business of making those judgments for you. I would encourage every family to try to make little changes. It's taken me several attempts (and failures) to get this going.
Week one tips:
- Plan, plan plan-plan for success!! If you don't want to do this on a large scale, who cares!! Try to make on change for your family!! Take a mini pledge!! Serve a new fruit or veggie for dinner!! Replace your white wonder bread with some whole wheat. It's okay to try. Trust me!!
- Set a grocery budget and stick to it. Try shopping from your pantry. Use up what you have and fill in the gaps with "real" food.
- MAKE A WEEKLY MENU!!! Keep your menu simple. Keep your choices simple!! I am no Martha Stewart but once I find what works, you will find it rotating frequently on my menu plan.
- Prep whatever you buy as soon as you get home. You don't need fancy schmancy containers. Use plastic bags, recycled spaghetti jars-just get everything cleaned, scooped, chopped and ready. Then when you need it and you are super exhausted and cannot handle the "I need a snack right now" meltdown you are ready!!
- Check out a new cookbook on healthy eating at the library. I was blessed this week to get a book on loan and it was wonderful!! I now have armed myself with choices!! I feel good knowing that I can try a variety of new healthy recipes and keep what works while ditching what doesn't.
- Be patient. I could have an entire post on my Warrior daughter. Perhaps I will in the upcoming weeks. I shall nickname her Warrior because she FIGHTS against every healthy item that I place in front of her. It is a battle!! Again being totally honest, the only morning that she TRIED any of the breakfast items I made was the day of the smoothie. Don't feel like you have to cheer or pat me on the back-we already had test driven the smoothie when I first found 100daysofrealfood so it was kind of like cheating. Do I get frustrated with her? No doubt about it!! Do I long for her taste buds to change-absolutely!! Do I worry that because she is athletic that her little body isn't getting the food it needs-yes, and that is why I will keep putting the healthy stuff in front of her. As a side note, she is really going to freak out when we hit June 1st. She talks about it daily as if the world is ending.
So as week one of our breakfast revolution winds down do I think that it was worth it? YES, YES, YES!! Was it extra work-yes. Did it take time-yes. But, did I feel good sending my kids out the door knowing that they ate really good food-that is the biggest yes of all.
Tomorrow I plan on posting my breakfast menu for week two. I am also going to do a "mini-lution" for the week. If you are interested in doing it with me leave a comment here or on Facebook. I have two that I am mulling over and can't quite make the decision yet!! If you want to do your own "mini-pledge", head over to 100daysofrealfood.com and click on the mini-pledge tab. Again, you will find so much stuff there-it is amazing!!!