Dipping Into Real Food for 20 Days.

Food is such a hot blog topic right now. People love reading about food, people love talking about food, people love trying new recipes, and people love saving money feeding their family.

We are two of those people.


John and I are transitioning to a real, unprocessed food diet. We are doing so because we believe we can live a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle by making good food choices. It’s been a slow transition so far, and we have two amazing Iowa bloggers to thank: Diana from My Humble Kitchen and Ally from Ally’s Sweet and Savory Eats. {Both are food bloggers, and both feature easy, delicious, mostly-unprocessed meals that are easy for me to adapt to my situation.}

There are so many people that claim a transition to a real food diet is an easy or fast fix, so I thought I would share our actual meals from the last 20 days and you can decide for yourself if this transition is an easy or fast change and something you can make for your own family. I make a menu plan every week and tweak it as needed throughout the week. Because I menu plan, all I had to do was type up my meals for this post. What you see below is REAL.

{First, note that there are no trips out to eat. Part of this 20 day period was during our spending strike, so we did not dine out at all during this period. Also, on Sunday we have brunch and a small dinner. Lastly, some of our meals were meatless, which is not only frugal, but sustainably-minded. You can also assume that most purchased or semi-processed products, like peanut butter for example, are organic.} 
Day 1 Lunch: Cold cut sandwich, piece of fruit, homemade toaster pastry {with home-canned strawberry jelly}

Day 1 Dinner: Cheeseburgers with bacon {beef and pork locally raised}, home-canned barbecue sauce, and sautéed mushrooms, onions and peppers, served with a side of sweet corn {frozen from the garden}

Day 2 Lunch: Cold cut sandwich, piece of fruit, homemade toaster pastry {with home-canned strawberry jelly}

Day 2 Dinner
: Slow cooker barbecued chicken breast {with home-canned barbecue sauce} topped with a slice of locally raised bacon and swiss cheese, served with a side of buttery green beans {frozen from the garden}.

Day 3 Lunch: Cold cut sandwich, piece of fruit, homemade toaster pastry {with home-canned strawberry jelly}

Day 3 Dinner: Slow cooker shredded pork loin {locally raised} served with a side of buttery steamed broccoli.

Day 4 Lunch: Cold cut sandwich, piece of fruit, homemade toaster pastry {with home-canned strawberry jelly}

Day 4 Dinner: Leftover shredded pork loin {locally raised} with home-canned barbecue sauce on a bun, served with a side of sweet corn {frozen from the garden}

Day 5 lunch: Cold cut sandwich, piece of fruit, homemade toaster pastry {with home-canned strawberry jelly}

Day 5 Dinner: Locally raised ground beef tacos topped with lettuce, diced onion, black olives, diced green peppers {frozen from the garden}, and Greek yogurt {instead of sour cream}

Day 6 Lunch
: Taco salads using all of the toppings listed above and a few leftover crumbled taco shells.

Day 6 MEATLESS Dinner: French toast with maple syrup

Day 7 Brunch: Cubed taters cooked until crispy in a large pan, with crumbled, cooked, locally raised ground sausage, scrambled eggs, onions, peppers {frozen from the garden} and shredded cheddar cheese.

Day 7 Dinner: Two grilled pineapple brats {locally raised pork} on a bun.

Day 8 Lunch: Cold cut sandwich, pita chips and dip, homemade bar

Day 8 Dinner: Slow cooker barbecued chicken breast {with home-canned barbecue sauce} topped with a slice of cheese, served with a side of sweet corn {frozen from the garden}

Day 9 Lunch
: Cold cut sandwich, pita chips and dip, homemade bar

Day 9 Dinner: Loose meat {ground beef} sandwiches with a side of dilly sweet corn {frozen from the garden}

Day 10 Lunch
: Cold cut sandwich, pita chips and dip, homemade bar

Day 10 MEATLESS Dinner: Toasted peanut butter and home-canned strawberry jelly sandwiches with buttery popcorn.

Day 11 Lunch: Cold cut sandwich, fruit cup

Day 11 MEATLESS Dinner: Homemade macaroni and cheese with a handful of peas mixed in.

Day 12 Lunch: Cold cut sandwich, fruit cup

Day 12 MEATLESS Dinner: Pasta with store bought Alfredo sauce, and a side of buttery peas. A chunk of homemade bread on the side.

Day 13 Lunch: Cold cut sandwich, fruit cup

Day 13 Dinner: Locally raised grilled ribeye steak with a loaded baked tater {cheese, Greek yogurt, butter} on the side.

Day 14 Brunch: Two eggs over easy with buttered toast to dip in the yolk, and a locally raised sausage patty on the side.

Day 14 Dinner: Grilled jalapeno cheddar brats {locally raised} on a bun, served with a side of sweet corn {frozen from the garden}

Day 15 Lunch: Cold cut sandwich, fruit cup

Day 15 Dinner: Slow cooker barbecued chicken {with home-canned barbecue sauce} with a slice of cheese and a strip of bacon, served with mashed potatoes

Day 16 MEATLESS Lunch: Peanut butter and home-canned grape jelly sandwich, homemade bar

Day 16 Dinner: Grilled pineapple brats on a bun, served with a side of sweet corn {frozen from the garden}

Day 17 MEATLESS Lunch: Peanut butter and home-canned grape jelly sandwich, homemade bar

Day 17 Dinner: Locally raised cheeseburger with sautéed mushrooms, onions, and peppers {frozen from the garden}, served with a side of garlic mashed potatoes.

Day 18 MEATLESS Lunch: Peanut butter and home-canned grape jelly sandwich, homemade bar

Day 18 Dinner: French toast with maple syrup, sausage patty

Day 19 Lunch: Egg salad sandwich, homemade bar

Day 19 Dinner: Homemade {locally raised} sausage, onion, pepper, and mushroom pizza with sauce home-canned from the garden

Day 20 Lunch: Egg salad sandwich, homemade bar

Day 20 MEATLESS Dinner: Toasted peanut butter and home-canned grape jelly sandwiches, with buttery popcorn


What do you think? I know we have a long road ahead of us when it comes to eating 100% real, unprocessed foods. One thing I think we have going for us is a local source for beef and pork, and a bountiful garden from which I can preserve fruits and vegetables.
What do you do to avoid eating processed foods? Please share!


5 comments:

  1. That's a great job!!! Kudos to having your other half on board!! I do lots of this for myself & the childcare kiddos but getting the hubs to eat better... well.. its a work in progress... WE DO have locally raised beef in the freezer because my grandpa raised it & keeps his prices down so real people can afford real food, but other than that he still does a lot of frozen pizza, lunch meat & canned things. I belong to the local food coop so I get a few things from there every distribution but seldom is it something he is interested in :/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kim :) I feel like we are similar in the 'challenges with husband' department. Ha!

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  2. I noticed you have a cold cut sandwich most of the days for lunch. My husband and I are also trying to eliminate all processed foods and cut out all the carbs we possibly can -- I'd like to know what kind of bread do you use that you eat bread every day? We haven't had bread for almost a month, and I am craving a sandwich of ANY kind!

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    Replies
    1. Hi there! I am a carb freak. Love 'em, and have no intentions of eliminating them :) The homemade bread recipe we use is here: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2012/02/rustic-crusty-bread-a-simple-how-to.html

      My husband takes a sandwich of some sort to lunch most days of the week (since a microwave isn't guaranteed) and they travel well. I just slice the bread thin, and he never complains about too many carbs.

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  3. What sort of cold cuts are you getting? We've tried the natural-nitrate ham from Trader Joe's, and my kids and husband like it, but it's super smoky and still tastes pretty processed to me...

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