Back in May, Ryan & I committed to a month of real food.
We made so many good changes that have really stuck with us, like:
+ reading: nutrition labels, ingredient lists
+ substituting: white whole-wheat flour for all-purpose flour, honey or pure maple syrup for white sugar
+ making from scratch: bread, salad dressing, marinara sauce, yogurt, etc.
+ eating local: shopping at farmer’s markets, planting our own veggie & herb garden, canning & freezing
Possibly the most difficult part of the challenge for us was the social piece. And to be honest, we made some exceptions there. We love good company, and we realized how much connecting happens gathered around the table.
The second most difficult thing was giving up sweets. I love to bake and we both have a sweet tooth, but after a while (read: weeks) the sugar cravings started to fade and fruit (like grapes and berries) started to suffice as dessert. And when we just had to have baked goods, I made these brownies or these pumpkin muffins which are sweetened naturally.
So what did we learn about how eating real food affects our bodies?
+ We had more energy.
+ We had zero (yes, zero) stomach aches.
+ We felt full after eating a lot less food than normal.
And how have we incorporated this into our lifestyle?
When we moved into our new home at the end of May, we made sure to just restock our pantry with the basics. We cook at home most nights and try to keep it “real”. 🙂 We’ve certainly made some exceptions this summer, like buying uber-processed hamburger buns, devouring s’mores, and baking with white sugar. We also go out to eat every once in a while with our family and friends. Sushi has officially been declared an exception to any guilt for always and forever because it’s our favorite.
Seriously, though, this challenge taught us a hugely valuable lesson – to think before we eat – and that is something that we will definitely hold on to.
Aside from the ones I’ve already linked, here are a couple of our favorite real food recipes:
+ White Whole-wheat Bread – Naturally Ella
+ Yogurt – The Homemade Pantry
+ Granola Cereal – The Homemade Pantry
+ Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos (on homemade tortillas) – Cook Smarts
+ Tortilla Soup – 100 Days of Real Food
Do you have any questions about our experience? I’d love to hear about your journey to a healthier lifestyle!