I'm starting the 28-day Real Food Challenge over at NourishedKitchen. We do fairly well here but we've let some things slip so we're going to do this (uh Clay, we're doing this just so you know). Click this lovely picture to go straight to the challenge:
The first day of the challenge may very well be my hardest. It's to clean out the pantry. I thought when I read at first that we were going to cut all processed foods out of our pantry it was going to be a breeze. But as I read more, oy, this isn't going to be as easy as I thought.
The list of things that are supposed to go:
* Vegetable Oils: Soybean, Cottonseed, Canola, Corn - this is easy. We don't have or use any of those anymore.
* Sugar: White Sugar, Brown Sugar, Turbinado, Agave Nectar (including "raw"), Sugar in the raw - I need to keep this for kombucha and water kefir. I will be talking to Clay about making a firm commitment about not using this for any other reason.
* Stevia: white stevia powder, stevia liquid - Ouch. Honestly I've known for a while that the stevia we've been using is hyper processed. But it's so good and it's been a crutch. I truly need to give it up. Part of me wants to just bury my head in the sand and pretend that this white powdered, non bitter stevia is better than Splenda. I want to pretend it's my low carb savior. It sure makes amazing low carb chocolate. Off to pull out our container of stevia leaves from our plants. This is one thing I will HAVE to grow more of next year I think. Okay. I just poured $10 worth of stevia down the drain. I feel sick to my stomach. But the time to try and stop being a health hypocrite needs to stop. Wow. So I am actually going to try and DO this thing! I think. Maybe.
* Margarine - no brainer. Couldn't pay me enough to eat margarine.
* Shortening (excluding palm shortening) - Same with this. Butter or lard for my pie crusts thank you.
* White flour: all-purpose flour, unbleached all-purpose flour, white rice flour, - Now this is where Clay and I will have to talk. It's easy to have a bucket of white flour. Sometimes I'm lazy and want to feed my sourdough starter without grinding flour. A LOT of times Clay wants cake and cookies. But I'm overweight. And tired. I need to stop this white flour, white sugar nonsense. In the last year where we started having desserts all the time instead of once a month or so we've had loads of sickness, lots of "my tummy hurts", headaches. Time to have a REAL talk to Clay about this. It's going to be a tough sell though to be honest.
* Cornstarch - I have some. But it's really out of selfishness. Adric's allergic to corn yet I keep some to use in random recipes. As I type it it leaves me a tad breathless that I've served my allergy child foods with cornstarch in it on purpose. Off to grab it and throw it away.
* Soy foods: soy sauce, soy flour, soy milk, soy lecithin, isoflavone-enriched foods and supplements - Okay this is a tad hard too. I'm so used to having it. BUT I have and believe in fermented miso. I have that and am interested in starting to learn to make it. Off to find my soy sauce. Ack. Once I went in the pantry I realized that A, I have more processed condiments in there than I realized. B, I realized that Clay won't be into getting rid of some of them like ketchup. And C, I just bought an entire big bottle of Bragg's. If I make sure I have miso, can I get rid of it without guilt? HELP again. It's painful to get rid of whole bottles of Bragg's. I haven't decided what I'm going to do about it. I'll tell you at the end of the post what I'm going to do about the Bragg's. It's from non-GMO soybeans? Doesn't that make it better? Ugh. But financially it's a lot to just get rid of. Thursday I will grab the unpasteurized Nama Shoyu they sell at our Whole Foods. Then we'll talk Bragg's.
* Dried Pastas and Noodles - don't have any and didn't order any in my last bulk food order.
* Iodized Salt - we don't use it.
* Refined Sea Salt - now we do have a big bag of this. We won't be getting rid of it because Clay wants to have it in case we need to salt large pieces of meat. I Think have found a source of bulk nice pink Redmond RealSalt for cheap. I'll have to research that. But I'll pick up some more gray yummy wet mineral rich salt at Whole Foods in the next day or so for actual use in the meantime.
* Meat & Dairy Replacements: TVP, veggie burgers, vegan cheeses, sour creams, rice and nut milks, vegan sausages - eh we don't use these.
* Processed cheeses - Clay's a big cheese guy. He won't want to live without it. This may be the one thing that won't officially be able to be changed. I'm not a miracle worker :)
* Skim and Low-fat Dairy: cheese, milk, yogurts etc. - we don't use. Hmm though we do buy processed cream cheese. But it's something we can live without and might need to learn to. Maybe start making some again.
* Boxed cereals, crackers and cookies - Another "talk to Clay" thing. He likes crackers. He has a huge box of them. BUT if I made sure that he had snacks everyday he wouldn't need them. Deviled eggs he loves. Muffins. Soaked flour muffins :) Fresh sourdough bread is his absolute favorite. So if I kept these things on hand he wouldn't crave the crackers. So will have to start planning on that so we can ditch his crackers. Maybe soaked flour crackers for that cheese he won't get rid of LOL.
Okay so I am still praying about the Bragg's. Part of me feels like Clay will be really upset if I throw it away. I'll post this week about how the conversations with Clay go about processed foods. He really doesn't feel like little bits are that big of a deal. Part of me feels that way too, but only when I want to not do what needs to be done. Ouch.
So run on over and join the Challenge. Even if you do just some of it, and make small changes they are changes. Any and all changes for the sake of your health are good and worthwhile.