After discussion, hubby and I agreed that this wasn't really what we had in mind when we decided to attempt this challenge. And, even if it was, there is no way I can devote that much time to this project in the middle of the school year. Our primary goals are to reset: to eat more healthfully, be more conscious of what we put in our bodies, read ingredient labels, cut out our demon-foods, fix our snack habits, and try to cut out as many chemicals as possible. Here is the list of goals we came up with, in order of importance:
- Completely eliminate our demon foods: candy for me, pop and chips for hubby.
- Cut down or eliminate snacking and desserts (especially the unhealthy ones).
- Bake all of our bread products (buns, loaves, crackers, pizza crusts, etc.).
- Switch back to lean meats; attempt to buy some from the farmer's market. (Although, I know we'll probably still use mostly grocery store meats, even with their added ingredients.)
- Focus more on fruits and veggies; more salads.
- Make all cookies, crackers, etc, from scratch with real ingredients.
- Use more whole grains (sub brown rice for white; whole wheat flour for white flour).
- Grate cheeses ourselves to avoid stablizers added to shredded cheeses.
- Cut back on eating out (not that we do that much anyway); be more conscious and careful when we eat out.
- Cut back on our reliance on meat; one vegetarian dinner per week?
Some other thoughts, ideas, and plans:
- We'd initially talked about doing only two weeks, but after reflecting, we realized that it needs to be longer to actually have a chance of changing our patterns. So we're going to do a month.
- We wanted to wait until after the Easter candy was out of the house, and I know you're not supposed to start changing things on a Monday, so we agreed to start on April 7.
- I am willing to cut back, but not totally eliminate sugars.
- I am going to attempt to make all of our sauces: ketchup, mustard, salad dressings, mayo, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't have time. If we have to purchase, I will read the labels carefully and select the most unprocessed I can find.
- I will attempt to make all pasta from scratch, but if necessary, will buy the most unprocessed I can.
- I did not realize the extent of added ingredients to our canned beans and tomatoes; I will try to start using more dried beans and frozen veggies.
- I would love to go back to making my own yogurt, but I'm not sure I'll have the time. If I don't, my usual plain yogurt already fits the kitchen test.
- For the most part, our cheeses, butters, milk, cream, peanut butter, maple syrup, and honey already pass the kitchen test.
- We will continue to use/cook with vital wheat gluten, wine, table salt, olive oil, safflower oil, corn starch, and some seasonings (sriacha, soy sauce, etc.).
So...let's see what happens!