Monday, October 1, 2012

Food: Day 1

I woke up this morning ready to begin the food challenge and also a little unsure of how this was all going to go down.

I love breakfast, but since I have to be at work at 7:15, I usually don't eat right away.  Today, while making Maggie's lunch, I ate a couple apple slices (convinced apples would be one of my seven foods) with a small spread of peanut butter (debating whether or not to make this one of my 7.)  My stomach started growling after I dropped her off at kindergarten, so when I made a quick trip home, I ate a nectarine. (there are 3 of them at perfect ripeness on the counter)

I confidently said "no" to coffee this morning, even though I was making espresso drinks for some ladies at church for a couple hours.  In the midst of steaming milk and pulling shots, I found myself salivating over a pumpkin spice latte.  Yes, I could have had one for free, but coffee, as much as I enjoy it, was not going to use up one of my 7 foods.  Plus, I like my coffee with delicious flavors pumped full of sugar.  Which is precisely why it's time to do without.

For lunch, I had the remaining, very small portion of leftover pesto tortellini.  It was so small I almost don't even want to call it lunch.  It did the trick for the time being.  Besides, I hadn't really decided what was going to be ok/not ok, and I definitely did not want to waste it.

For dinner: grilled chicken breast with olive oil, salt and pepper, topped with a slice of mozzarella cheese (already had) and sliced tomatoes (from the garden).  I had a bowl of spinach (already had) with oil and vinegar, salt and pepper for the dressing.  It was too vinegary and not enjoyable at all.  I also had a side of whole grain bread (no butter) with sliced avocado.  In addition, I ate corn on the cob which was given to me at Bible study last week.  I was pleased at how simple this meal was to prepare, but the salad needs some pizazz to keep me eating it.  I typically load my salad up with some crunch - craisens, nuts, seeds, etc. so scaling back with the greens may be difficult to stomach.

I brought cookies over to Bible study tonight, and although their aroma tantalized me, I resisted.  The ones that came home with me went straight into the freezer where I won't have to look at them or smell them for another 29 days.

Now that I have one day under my belt, I made a list of goals and limitations for this month:
  1. Waste not.  This means I'm giving myself permission to use up the perishable items I currently have in my fridge and pantry that will not be edible at the end of this 30 days. (Milk, mozzarella cheese, leftovers.)  This also means I'm going to take advantage of the produce in my garden this month.
  2. Throw away stuff we're never going to eat.  Go through the cupboards, fridge and freezer.  Get rid of things that are taking up valuable storage space (like that ready-made lasagna I'm pretty sure was in the freezer before I married Paul three years ago).  Donate boxed/canned items.  Throw away unlabeled cans (one of our high school house sitters thought it would be funny to remove all the labels from our canned food.  I'll admit: it was funny.  But, I can't handle the mystery of anonymous canned foods.)
  3. Donate.  I drive past hungry people holding cardboard signs almost every day.  I want to make an effort to share food with them.  I'd also like to explore our local food program called "FISH" and "The Community House".  Since I didn't grow up around here, I don't know what options are available for the hungry.
  4. Research. I am becoming increasingly more aware of scary chemicals and toxins in the food we eat.  I'm devoting this month to watching documentaries and reading articles regarding food and how it's prepared.  Over the past 8 months, I've started reading ingredient labels and do my best to avoid genetically-modified (GMO) foods and "chemical soup" (ingredients I can't pronounce).  I am having some health complications and want to reap the benefits of a no-sugar, all real-food diet.
After much deliberation, I finally settled on these 7 foods:
  1. Chicken
  2. Whole wheat/grain bread
  3. Seasonal fruit (mainly apples)
  4. Potatoes
  5. Spinach (dare I say I'm already regretting this choice?)
  6. Eggs 
  7. Avocado
These seven foods are very similar to what author Jen Hatmaker ate during her food challenge month.  They are whole foods (not processed, true to their original form) and a good balance of nutrients and fats.

I also made an addendum based on goal number one above:
  1. Use up perishable items like bread, tortillas, veggies, milk, cheese, etc.  But when they're gone, they're gone.
  2. Take advantage of our garden produce and be creative in implementing them to my meals: basil, green beans, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, potatoes and green onions.
  3. I'm going to try to limit my seasonings to salt, pepper, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and cinnamon.
One down, 29 to go.

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