100 Days of Real Food Challenges, Week 3

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. You can read the whole series here.

Pinterest Collage bw

Week 3: Eat only locally raised meat, only 3-4 servings per week.

During this week, I pledged to eat no meat or only locally-raised meat for breakfast and lunch. As you can see from the above link. the goals was to eat only locally-raised meat for the entire week and to limit consumption to 3-4 servings. However, this is not viable for my family for two reasons. First, Nora is a very picky eater, yet one of the only things she agrees to eat is meat. So, we are heavier in the meat eating than before we were parents. Second, we cannot afford local meat, especially since we eat meat at most dinners. I feel like these are connected, of course, because if Nora likes meat, we should be helping her to eat healthier meat. This was on my mind a lot this week and, as you’ll see below, I did some research to think of solutions.

What I Ate This Week

This week, I ate mostly vegetarian for my lunches and breakfasts. Breakfast was a no-brainer for me, because I don’t eat meat in the morning. I tend to have fruit & yogurt, fruit & oatmeail, or egg, veggies & toast for breakfast. For lunch, I made a vegetarian minestrone soup, with two types of beans. I ate out once during the week at the college grill, but they served local meat. During the weekend, we ate at my favorite local Mexican restaurant, and I ate likely non-local meat. Honestly, I intentionally ate meat, because there were no good vegetarian options and I knew that before going there. Oh well, 6 out of 7 days is laudable.

Successes & Challenges

I spent the week researching local meat resources, after my friend Jenn recommended in the comments of the previous post to find some farmer friends. Here is what I learned:

  • I found Homegrown Cow through a friend. I cannot afford the prices now, but it’s good to know it exists.
  • A local market/restaurant, Bushel & Peck’s, sells whole chickens for $4.99 each.  Now that is more than affordable. Over winter break, I’m going to try to buy one, roast one, and make homemade broth from the bones and some veggies, using this video series from Mama Natural.
  • Bushel & Peck also offers, through their farm Grass is Greener Gardens, a local meat CSA.There are two 4-month seasons, December-April and June-October. I’m going to see if we can try to participate for the summer, if we save a little money. Pricing is: small $450, medium $600, large $740, poultry only $400 and they allow for payment in 4 installments. We also save 10% for picking up in Beloit.

I also started using my Pinterest account again, which had been languishing, so that I can find a place to store all of my various recipes and ideas.

What I’m Taking Away

I think that I’ll continue to eat mostly vegetarian or local meats, when available. I’ll also try to think of ways to afford local meats for my family, perhaps by starting with the local chickens and moving up to the meat CSA in June.

I also had a good, but hard, conversation with my husband this week about my own relationship with eating and food. It’s not a new thing, in fact, I wrote a book of poetry about it. He reminded me that we already eat really well as a family and eat far less processed food than most. When we went to the grocery store, I was happy to see a cart filled with mostly fruits and vegetables. I need to remember all of this and be gentle with myself as we continue to make these small tweaks.

Starting today, I’m joining Week 4, which is no fast food or deep fried food. This should be a snap, since coincidentally, the college grill is closing on Wednesday.  That’s my main source for fast and deep fried food during the work week, so I just (really) need to make it through Wednesday.

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