100 Days of Real Food Mini-Challenges: Week 4 (Again)

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.

I forgot to post this on Monday, after trying to find a picture. Oh well, here it is, just before the end of Week 5.

Week 4: No Fast food and no deep fried food.

After a week-long hiatus for the holidays and a not-so-successful week 4.1, I’m returning to my 100 Days of Real Food Mini-Challenges. This challenge would have been impossible during my road trip to Nebraska. On the lonely sections of I-80, all that is available is fast food and deep fried food. And I ate it during my trip, while doing my best to eat healthy. This week, while slightly challenging, was so much easier than my past two weeks.

What I Ate This Week

I was off of work during this week, so there was a lot of home cooking. For breakfasts, I stuck with my standard yogurt and fruit, egg and avocado sandwiches, or fruit smoothies. For lunch and dinner, we made vegetarian split pea soup, chicken vegetable soup, salads, and chicken and veggie stir fry lettuce cups. We also ate out twice, at a local restaurant before a movie and at a sit-down restaurant in a neighboring city. For Christmas, my in-laws got me a food dehydrator, so I got to experiment a little bit with dehydrating food. I was able to make a successful batch of kale chips (yay!) and truly botched a batch of potato chips (boo!). I see myself continuing to experiment and find ways to make fruit and veggie chips on a regular basis. Unrelated to this challenge, I also received a secondhand bread machine and I made some pretty decent breads this week.

Successes and Challenges

Avoiding fast-food restaurants proved a minor inconvenience, rather than an impossible feat. Since I was home with my husband and daughter, I had control over where and what I ate. When we decided to eat out on Thursday and Friday, we chose sit-down restaurants and I monitored my food choices. I will confess that on Friday, at our sit-down restaurant, I did choose to eat Parmesan-encrusted asparagus spears that I realized were likely fried after I ate a few, but I let it go. They were tasty. Other than that slip, I stuck to the challenge.

What I’m Taking Away

Is it feasible to always avoid fast food restaurants? Probably not. Do I need to eat at fast food restaurants as often as I normally do? Probably not. This week was much easier than a typical week, because I wasn’t at work, tempted by the college’s fast food grill, where I eat more often than I should. I think going forward, I will do my best to limit my patronage of this restaurant and choose non-fried foods when I do eat there.

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