100 Days of Real Food Mini-Challenges, Week 1

Starting on November 25, I’m participating in the 100 Days of Real Food: 14 Week Mini-Challenges. Each week, I’ll post a reminder about my new weekly challenge and a recap of how my week went. I want to engage in this process mindfully and gently. My goal is to find a healthier path overall, which will be easier if I treat myself kindly.

Mason jar 2

Tuesday’s pretty breakfast

Week 1: Eat 2 fruits and vegetables at every meal

To start this 100 days (98, really) of real food, the first mini-challenge builds the foundation of a healthy diet – fresh or frozen produce, preferably organic. (I did not buy organic, for financial reasons.) I know in my heart that this is the right way to eat, but I always have challenges sticking to it without a tangible goal. This week’s challenge was specific and tangible and it allowed me to check in with myself at every meal.

What I Ate This Week

My breakfasts were probably the biggest overhaul. I feed Nora alone in the morning, while Aaron gets ready. Therefore, I must have food that is available, fast, and something that our somewhat picky eater will actually eat when she would rather play. We ate  a lot of variety: plain whole milk yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit, oatmeal with apples and peanut butter and fruit on the side, and when I ran out of fresh fruit, Thanksgiving leftovers.

Lunches were a little easier. My mom was in town, so we ate out a bit more than normal. I just analyzed each menu to find the healthier, vegetable-ier choices. I ate sandwiches with vegetables and vegetable soup sides, a not-so-great beet salad with chicken, an also not-so-great pumpkin ravioli dish, and again Thanksgiving leftovers.

Dinners are simple – we eat pretty balanced meals at dinner. Aaron is the dinner cook and he does a phenomenal job providing us with good, real food. We ate split pea soup,  my mom’s latkes with my homemade applesauce, and lots of Thanksgiving leftovers. My Thanksgiving was pretty balanced: carrots, salad, apple sausage stuffing, cranberry sauce, and turkey.

Successes & Challenges

Overall, the week was very successful. I casually planned my meals with the two fruit/vegetable requirement and double checked my work before eating. This small shift guaranteed that I ate 6 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, which is a great way to structure my day.

I had a few (small) challenges. I under-bought for breakfast foods, so I had to resort to my leftover pear salad (which was  a nice breakfast). I had only one meal in which I skimped. For Thanksgiving lunch, I didn’t really eat a meal at all, but didn’t eat any fruit or veg. As I mentioned, I didn’t buy organic fruits and vegetables. They aren’t ready available locally in the winter and I can’t afford it much, so I’m looking into fruit and vegetable washes.

What I’m Taking Away

I am definitely carrying this easy challenge forward for the foreseeable future. It’s a simple way to provide a good solid foundation for my day. I noticed that my snacks (not covered in the challenges) didn’t often include fruits and vegetables. I’m hoping to work on this going forward.

Starting today,I’m starting my most dreaded challenge: Week 2: Drink only real beverages: coffee, tea, milk, and water, sweetened only with honey or maple syrup. No sodas, no sparkling waters, and no hot chocolates. Sigh. Wish me luck!

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