Eyeing the leftover baguette in our bread basket today — just enough to toast up and pair with my morning tea — it occurred to me that as of tomorrow, such familiar favorites will be off limit. Twenty-four hours from now, it’s game on. I’ll launch myself, taking my family along for the ride, into 10 Days of Real Food.
I posted about this wholesome alternative to typical New Year’s diets last week. Have a peek here if you missed it.
I thought I’d share more detailed ground rules for those of you joining me on this journey. Below are the Dos and Don’ts according to Lisa Leake, the mom and blogger who inspired this “Real Food” resolution:
1. Any and all fresh, whole foods such as fruits and vegetables; seafood; meat and poultry; beans and legumes; nuts and seeds.
2. Other less processed wholesome foods such as whole grains (whole wheat bread, oats, and brown rice for example); dairy foods such as plain yogurt, milk, and cheese.
3. Beverages including water, unsweetened vegetable and fruit juice, unsweetened coconut water, coffee, and tea. Alcohol in moderation.
3. Minimally processed snack foods such as popcorn, nuts, and unsweetened dried fruits.
4. Honey and maple syrup in moderation for sweetness.
1. Any food product that has more than five ingredients on the label.
2. Artificial ingredients such as Splenda or artificial colors or flavors.
3. Deep-fried food or fast food.
4. Sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, cane juice or other heavily processed sweeteners.
5. Refined grains such as white flour, white rice, and conventional pasta.
I plan to get my household ship shape by tomorrow morning by doing the following:
–Clearing the larder of snacks, cereals, and anything else that doesn’t meet the Real Food requirements. I’ll make some decisions as to what’s worth saving, composting, or donating to my local food pantry. I’ll pull out core ingredients such sugar, white flour, and chocolate chips and squirrel those away until the 10 days are over. I have no illusions about giving them up for the long haul, but a little consciousness raising around using them will be good for us.
–Heading to the market to stock up on wholesome, minimally processed foods so we’ll have plenty of choices within easy reach. This will be a good opportunity to tinker with new ingredients such as using amaranth flour in pancakes or dates to sweeten cookies.
–Gathering recipes to fill in for some of the snacks and sweets that sometimes stock our pantry. I’m curious to try my hand at making crackers, wonder about baking granola without any of the brown sugar that’s become my habit, and am thinking the ripe persimmons I threw in the freezer last month might make a naturally sweet quick bread.
–Bringing my children up to speed on the 10 Days game plan. My kids are old enough to notice there won’t be any pretzels, even whole grain ones, in the cupboard since they don’t meet the five ingredient limit. I can already hear the groaning. I’ll encourage them to stick with it even when they’re out from under my watch, but will ultimately leave it up them to make their own choices.
I’ll be posting regular updates, ideas, and challenges of 10 Days of Real Food on my Facebook Page. For those of you participating, I hope you’ll do the same, either on Facebook or in the comments section below.