10 Day Pledge Wrap Up

I need a 10 Day Pledge that focuses on ending procrastination….

We did it! We finished the 10 Day Pledge last Monday (yes, over a week ago) and have decided that we will continue this new food-style for life, with some modifications to maintain sanity and a balanced budget.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Appreciate food. Not just the taste, but the effort that goes into growing, preparing and serving actual food.
  2. Be aware of what you are putting into your body and your family’s bodies. Although I have been a label reader for a looong time, the rule about 5 ingredients or less made me more aware of what was in those cans, boxes and bags, not just the calories, fat, protein, carbs and vitamins, but all of the “extra stuff”. Why is their corn syrup in my “pure” vanilla extract? What is BHT and where does come from, and why am I willing to put it in my body? What is the difference between xanthum gum and locust bean gum and why are they in there?
  3. Make friends with the folks who grow your food. Say hello, ask questions and support local families who feed you. You’ll find out lots of interesting things about food and how it’s grown and stored and sold. For instance, my baker hates to get up early in the morning so he doesn’t (hence the name Slow Rise Bakery). He bakes his bread at a decent hour so he can be awake for his kids after school. This means I don’t need to get to market at the crack of dawn to get his bread before it sells out. And the guys that plant and tend and harvest my veggies are very proud of the fruits of their labor and willing to discuss any topic about their produce you can think of.
  4. Play with your food. For example, I never would have thought to make my own tortillas but they are simple, and amusing to make. And they taste delicious, even if they look a little funny (hopefully experience will help with that a bit). Don’t be afraid to experiment or try something new or teach your little ones how to make oatmeal. I found a great cookbook for getting kids involved called The Whole Family Cookbook what a hoot!
  5. Con the doubters. I got my son to try a recipe for zucchini by calling it cheesy squares rather than zucchini squares. He ate 3. He “hates” zucchini. Enough said – be creative in your descriptions as well as your cooking.
  6. Be flexible. I pack my son a healthy real lunch everyday. I figure he is probably trading some items at school, but I am not going to stress on that. He knows what I am trying to do and why, but he’s 7 and sometimes 7 want to trade his homemade oatmeal bar for a rice krispie treat. And sometimes my 48 year old hubby wants a hot dog at the fair, or my 21 year old wants a frappacino, or I want a rice and bean burrito on a white flour tortilla at a college open house. I’m taking the advice of another real food blogger, Andrew Wilder: “Once a week, go ahead and cheat. Eat anything you want.  But make it special.  Look forward to it all week.  Savor the meal.  If you do, I’m pretty sure you’ll find those french fries are much more enjoyable.
  7. Real food costs real money. No doubt about it real food costs more. But I see this as a good thing because it makes you more careful in your choices and the quantities you are willing indulge in. It not only makes you careful, it makes you appreciate your food more. No more absent minded food abuse with a bag of chips or box of Oreos.
  8. Your body will be happier. It sounds hokey but it is really true. We all feel better. Hubby and 17 year old lost almost 5 pounds each, and didn’t go hungry or feel deprived. We ate well. Our bodies like this. Our bodies were made to process real food, not food-like substances. No tricks, lots of treats.

SO… go out and give this a try. If you aren’t ready for a full-out Pledge, try Lisa’s weekly mini pledges: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/category/100-days-of-real-food-mini-pledges/

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