Monthly Archives: February 2010

Week 2 Recap

I can hardly believe that 14 days have past on the 28 day challenge. Here is my week in review:

Day 14: Happy Valentine’s Day:  This afternoon my husband and I went to check out a co-op and new source of milk. I was pretty impressed with the system they had in place. They place your orders and provide a drop off point for picking up local meat, milk, eggs and much more. I have actually purchased from some of their same farmers, so I was familiar with the quality of what I would be getting. After visiting the co-op it got me thinking….there needs to be one closer to my home and maybe I should check into opening one here. I know there has to be a need in my local area for this same type of service and maybe I could become a drop off /pick up point. My wheels are spinning….AGAIN!

Day 13: Get your (good) bacteria: I made Gingered Carrots (recipe from Nourishing Traditions). I actually started them earlier in the week not even realizing this was going to be part of this week’s challenge. I decided to start with the carrots as my first fermented veggie. Last week I drained some organic, whole milk yogurt so that I would have the whey to add to future recipes. I was surprised to find that the carrots are very mild tasting. They were a good accompaniment to the baked chicken we had for dinner last night. I am now on a good rotation with my Kombucha and now have a steady batch at all times – one for drinking and one fermenting. I can’t wait to try making water kefir.

Day 12: Finding Real Milk: I already have a good source of real milk, however I am not able to purchase it as often as I would like. Even though the health benefits should supercede the cost, I still have to be careful on a tight budget. I did find and try some raw milk cheddar cheese this week and found it very tasty.

Day 11: Sourdough: The starter I have is going strong. I made another batch of Whole Wheat Sourdough Crackers and a loaf of Sourdough French Bread. The bread is not totally LEGAL for this challenge however, as it has regular, unbleached flour in it and a small amount of yeast. I really want to make a 100% sourdough bread but the recipes I have come across call for baking it in a special heavy duty pan that I don’t have and I am a little intimidated to improvise with this type of recipe.

Days 10 & 8: Fats to eat Raw / Fats for High Heat:  I haven’t used olive oil for cooking for over 6 months after learning that heating it changes it’s properties making it unhealthy. I use it in salad dressings and for dipping sourdough bread in along with balsamic vinegar (I think this is better than garlic butter!) It makes me crazy watching cooking shows and how they always use olive oil to fry in. I want to scream into the television not to cook with it! This week I rendered my first ever batch of lard. It took several hours, but it was worth the effort. I purchased 10 lbs of pastured leaf lard and rendered 2 1/2 lbs which yielded 5 cups of pure, white lard.  I typically use butter or coconut oil for frying and in baked goods and now that I have lard I will replace the butter, saving the butter for my vegetables.

Day 9: Fight against GMO’s:  I have had a copy of the GMO Shopping Guide since last October and I keep it in my purse so I have it available when I am shopping. The first time I read through the shopping guide I was shocked to see all the products that have GMO’s in them and has made me more aware of what I am buying and feeding my family. I can safely say that there are no GMO products in this house!

I must admit that I am finding this challenge to be pretty easy. I really think I am feeling better and I can honestly say that the arthritis pain I was suffering from in my right hand is virtually gone. I am convinced that the foods we eat play a big role in how our bodies function and I will continue to monitor how I am feeling.

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First Week Completed

It is now day 7 of the 28 day real food challenge and reflecting back on the week has made me realize that I have been doing pretty good. Processed foods haven’t been in my kitchen for quite some time now, so I didn’t have an issue with this portion of the challenge.  The hardest part was the white flour (unbleached).  I have never had a lot of success with whole wheat flour so I am anxious to see how to do away with the white flour and still make baked foods taste good.  I was a little intimidated about soaking my wheat, but today when I rinsed the kernels I was so excited to see the little sprouts! I actually used some in our pancakes this morning and I think they were the best pancakes we have eaten (and they were ‘flour free”).  Now I have to figure out if I will be able to dry the sprouted wheat in my dehydrator.

I have the full support of my husband and our ‘new’ way of eating.  All the things sitting around the kitchen – soaking wheat, sourdough starter, kombucha brewing – has been pretty comical and made him proceed with caution.  I feel a bit like a ‘mad scientist’ and my brother in law said it was all my witches brew!  The biggest challenge for my husband has been that he can’t just go into the kitchen and grab something easily. Snacks take more thought than just opening a bag of chips or crackers. However, I did make some sourdough whole wheat crackers that were an instant hit. (I was ahead of the challenge this week and already had sourdough starter made).  These crackers were so good that I will be making more tomorrow.

I tried to incorporate whole grains into various meals. I made soaked brown rice and grass-fed beef that we enjoyed for two of our dinners, baked oatmeal with soaked oats for a healthy breakfast and my sprouted wheat for pancakes.

Moving forward I really want to start fermenting some vegetables.

I am looking forward to the day that preparing and eating ‘real food’ will become second nature.


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Day #2 – Good to go

Not knowing what the second day would bring turned out to be not so bad. It was directed to be a day to do some grocery shopping and at first I was a bit concerned since I will not be able to do this until Thursday. However, I had most of the real food items already in my kitchen so I feel much more confident that I am on the right track. Maybe this will be easier than I thought…..

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Day #1: Clean out the Pantry

This morning I received my first email instruction for the beginning of the 28 Day Real Food Challenge. I felt pretty confident with this step – I keep healthy foods, or so I thought. Well it wasn’t too bad, but I did have to remove more than I thought was in there. It actually was a good time to clean out the cupboards since some of my shelves are so high up that I can’t see what’s on them anyway. Well needless to say, I found some  old stuff that was outdated.

 This is the big Costco shopping bag of the purged items

 Here is what I cleared out:

  • Marshmellows – these were there actually because I used them in a craft project before Christmas.
  • Jar of Marshmellow Creme – I think this has been in there going on 2 years. Think it was for fudge or something….obviously didn’t need this one!
  • 3 boxes pasta – one box was whole wheat noodles (and I thought I was doing so good…) looks like the macaroni will make great kid crafts!
  • Box of instant milk (I knew this was bad, but just didn’t want to throw it out)
  • Soy nuts (GMO’s anyone! lol)
  • 3 pudding mixes – sugar free and regular sugar varieties (all outdated!)
  • 4 jello mixes – sugar free and regular sugar varieties
  • 1 box Jiffy chocolate cake mix – I don’t even remember why this was in here
  • 2 boxes Melba toasts
  • 1 jar ‘powdered’ peanut butter – this from when I was on a “healthy” weight loss program!
  • Bottle of Corn Oil
  • Organic Agave Nectar (I am undecided on this one, there is good and bad press regarding this product, but will go along with the challenge on this one)
  • Non Dairy Creamer – used in Hot Chocolate mix 2 Christmas’ ago for gifts…
  • 2 cans tomato soup, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, low fat of course! ; ) , 1 can lentil soup


Even though it looks like I had a lot of BAD stuff in there, I actually have much more ‘legal’ foods. I have the healthy oils (olive oil, coconut oil), raw cider vinegar, dried beans, brown rice, wheat berries, barley, raw honey, real maple syrup, tons of spices and sea salt, crispy nuts (pecans and almonds), homemade sourdough crackers, assorted teas, whole wheat flour, oats, organic corn meal.  As for the cream of chemical soup, I have been making my own version for a while now (this was just a straggler from the past) and it really tastes so much better and isn’t that much harder than opening a can.








I looked through the refrigerator (no picture because it really doesn’t look very appealing) and really didn’t find anything to move out. No skim or lowfat dairy lives here. I do not have ‘raw’ milk currently (cost prohibitive at the moment) but the dairy I do have is whole, organic milks and plain yogurt, real butter both regular and some grass fed, some Kombucha and miscellaneous vegetables. I have a few ‘husband’ friendly items that I will not be removing. He is supportive of the real food goals to a point, but it will take a bit more time with him. I feel that if the majority of our meals and snacks are made healthy that a few less than ideal items will just have to have a place here as well. The freezer has some grass-fed hamburger amd a few chicken breasts.

In addition to the clearing of these things today, I also made a batch of chicken stock and kombucha. Not too bad for day #1 except I think I fail the extra credit : (    and I thought I was doing so well, but I have a few items that boast more than one ingredient: tuna (water, salt), diced green chiles (salt, calcium chloride, citric acid), pineapple chunks (pineapple juice and clarified pineapple juice from concentrate, water, clarified pineapple juice concentrate<they add this twice ??>)

Looking forward to Day #2.


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