10 days of Real Food days 8, 9, &10

**The 10 Days of Real Food challenge actually ended last Friday, the 28th, but I’m just getting around to posting it now.**

The last few days of the Real Food challenge were kind of monotonous.  Lots of apple cinnamon oatmeal bowls and pancakes filled my mornings for breakfast while baked sweet potatoes smothered in almond butter remained a lunchtime staple.

Last week, I broke out the slow cooker to try out some recipes for when I go back to work. One of the recipes I found via Pinterest.

Source: food.com via Maria on Pinterest

Slow cooker Asian Sesame Pork Ribs.  Since I went to Trader Joe’s for this particular grocery trip and they didn’t have pork ribs for sale, I just used boneless pork chops instead and during the last half hour of cooking, I added in broccoli florets.  Serve over brown rice and you have yourself one tasty/healthy little meal.

 I’m off to get a little workout in while the little sleeps :-)  If I have enough energy leftover later I just might celebrate October by making pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting…

10 Days of Real Food-Day 7. Pancakes

Just catching up?  Read about the 10 days of Real Food Challenge *here*.

Today I started my morning off a little bit differently.  I decided to bring some Pinterest recipes to life.  I was going through my pins yesterday and I came across one for pancakes that would be acceptable to eat while doing the Real Food Challenge.  They sounded interesting, but very good so I decided to give them a try.

1 ripe banana mashed + 2 eggs all whisked together +1 tsp cinnamon & 1 tsp vanilla=light, fluffy and naturally gluten free pancake.  It made two pancakes, the first one didn’t turn out exactly round so it’s hiding underneath the top one :-)  This pancake mixture reminded me a lot of a crepe.  I will probably me making these again this week, but adding in some oats & almond butter for some breakfast “staying power”.

Madelyn decided that she’s been spoiled mommy enough with the awesome sleeping she’s been doing the past few days so she decided to pull an all nighter last night.  So instead of eating lunch, we snoozed right through it.

When we woke up, I hopped in the shower and snacked on some hummus and veggies.  We were very happy to get visits today from Auntie Liz & Auntie Sarah :-) It was nice to see some new faces.

For dinner we had leftover chicken from last night with a salad and potatoes.  I snacked throughout the morning on the usual favorites (apples, almond butter and trail mix).

I’m almost done with the 10 day real food challenge and the biggest take away I’ve learned is to read ingredients.  A lot of the prepackaged foods that we think are healthy, really aren’t that beneficial for you.  My goal is to try to eat more real whole foods and less prepackaged food.  Environmental > Factory.  Of course I’ll allow myself a treat every now and then, but I’ll be a little more conscious about what ends up on my plate.

 

10 Days of Real Food Days 5 & 6

If you’re just tuning in, you can catch up *here*.

Day 5 I started the day rather well.  It was a perfect Autumn Sunday morning.  I woke up ate an apple with almond butter, laced up my running shoes and headed out the door with my neon orange Nike hoodie & black lulu pants.  I had my longest run postpartum (a 5k in 37ish minutes).  It definitely wasn’t my best time but I was proud of myself for going that far -I’m still trying to find the perfect running route for our new neighborhood.  I came home, put up yesterday’s blog post and ate some breakfast (oatmeal with blueberries and peaches).  My plan was to clean our bathroom, shower and head to the grocery store for some groceries.  But after writing yesterday’s post, I bopped around online, took care of Madelyn, and started cleaning the bathroom but instead of hopping in the shower I just cleaned our whole house and before I knew it, it was 6pm.  Grocery shopping did not happen and so enters carryout pizza from DiCarlo’s.  :-/  I was doing so good with the real food challenge until that little thing called life got in the way.  Days with an infant just seem to fly by.  But I’m back on track after that little slip up.

Day 6-A new day.  For breakfast, I made myself some homemade apple cinnamon oatmeal…so much better than the prepackaged apple cinnamon oatmeal.  I cut up a fresh apple and mixed it into some oats, sprinkled some cinnamon over it and added almond milk.  Pair that with some pumpkin spice coffee and you have yourself the perfect fall breakfast.

For lunch, my sister came over and we snacked on a few different things: a sweet potato with almond butter, cucumbers, and trail mix.  After lunch, we strapped Madelyn into our new jogging stroller and took her for a walk.  While we were walking, chatting and enjoying the day, I couldn’t help but think to myself that I picked the best time to have a baby because I have maternity leave during some of the best weather of the year (in my opinion).   I was talking with a friend about whether we’d rather be pregnant in the dead of summer or in the dead of winter.  Both have their challenges (she’s due in December), but I said the dead of summer.  The days are longer therefore giving you more energy.  Pregnancy already saps so much energy from you, I’m sure the shorter days of winter doesn’t help this problem.

Tonight for dinner, I made a slow cooker creation: beer flavored chicken.  I chopped up 1/2 of a white onion, seasoned 4 chicken breasts with dill, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and then poured 1 bottle of New Grist beer into the pot.  I cooked on high for 5 hours and served it with some brussels sprouts (seasoned with olive oil, lemon and parmesan cheese) and a sweet potato-the reason for all the sweet potatoes the past week? I went grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and instead of selling them individually, they sell them by the bag so we have a lot to eat-same with the avocado.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a new breakfast that I’m excited to try!  It doesn’t involve oats, egg bakes or smoothies :-) Until then I leave you with this:

Little words of wisdom

 

 

10 Days of Real Food Days 2-4. 3 ways to eat Avocado

I had to compress the last few days of my 10 days of real food challenge.  Just as we were starting to get into the swing of things, someone went through a little growth spurt & when that happens I follow the rule “when baby sleeps, mom sleeps.”  Especially after two nights of being up every two hours.  But such is life.

I’m not going to recap every single thing that I ate, only the more exciting stuff.  But know that lots of apples and almond butter have been consumed as snacks the past few days.  I forgot how good that combo is.  When I was pregnant, almond butter did not at all sound the least bit appealing to me, but I’m making it up for it big time postpartum.

Last week, hubs and I went to Trader Joe’s after the little one’s doctor’s appointment.  One of the more exciting finds that I found were things little snack packs:

Instead of buying the big bag I opted for a big bag of smaller bags that I can just throw in my purse and eat on the go or in a hurry.

One of my lunches consisted of a lot of healthy fats.  A baked sweet potato topped with almond butter served with an apple and a 1/2 of a avocado.  It kept me pretty satisfied until dinner time.

For dinner one night, I made chicken cacciatore in the slow cooker.  Hubs requested this one dish, but instead of making it how I normally do, I googled a simpler/healthier recipe and found one on Weight Watchers website.  I scooped it out and served it on top of quinoa.  I was pretty satisfied with how it turned out.  A link to the recipe can be found {here}.

Friday morning’s breakfast consisted of an avocado smoothie as well as last three of my egg muffins heated up.  Because I loved how quick and easy the egg muffins were, I’m going to make them again this week but add some different ingredients in them and double recipe.  The avocado smoothie consisted of 1 avocado, 1 cup unsweetened plain yogurt, 1 cup almond milk, ice cubes and honey to sweeten it up.  The avocado throws people off but I really love them.

Friday’s lunch was a sign that I really need to go grocery shopping and pretty much just found whatever I could to make something edible and healthy.  I really wanted tuna salad and I was in luck because we had a packet of tuna in our cupboard.  Instead of adding mayo, I added an avocado to help with texture and taste and then I added almonds, dried cranberries, garlic powder and pepper.  It was really good, a little bit of sweet and salty and I didn’t really miss the mayo.

Yesterday, Madelyn and I went out to brunch with my mom and sister.  We visited one of my favorite restaurants, Cafe Hollander.  I enjoyed an omelette with a side of fruit.  After breakfast I ran some errands and went to Kohls’ to spend some Kohls’ cash.  Even though hubs calls it a gimmick to get you back into the store, I still can’t let it go to waste-it’s like throwing away free money!  I ended up with a Nike dry fit bright orange hoodie, perfect for the fall running season.

Last night for dinner, LC and I spent the night out.  My mom and sister came over to babysit Madelyn and the hubs and I went to a cookout/bon fire at a friends house.  She made the most amazing/moist chicken breast I’ve ever had on the grill.  I ate that with a really tasty salad some made and some hummus dip I had made.  It was really hard to pass up some of the other snacks there, but I managed.  I had my Malbec to keep me happy :-)

Nothing like bringing in the first night of fall with a bonfire, friends and red wine.  Lucky for us, Madelyn was sound asleep when we got home around 11:30 pm and she slept until about 4 am and woke back up at around 7.  After that last feeding session, I woke, snacked on an apple & almond butter, pumped went for a run.  I love my daughter, but it’s nice to get some “me time”, something I don’t see a lot of during the week because of LC’s work schedule.

I’m off to enjoy some oatmeal and pumpkin coffee. Enjoy the first official day of the fall season!  What’s your favorite thing about fall?  For me it’s the comfort foods, change of colors and Pumpkin spice lattes :-)

10 Days of Real Food-Day 1. Apple Crisp

When I set out to do the 10 days of real food challenge, I totally forgot about the huge bag of apples that I had planned to make apple crisp and other apple-y goodness with.  How on earth was I going to make apple crisp without adding sugar??  I looked at a recipe that my mom had given to me and looked to see how I could revamp it so that it still fell under the “Real Food” guidelines.  Done & done.  I even substituted the butter for coconut oil. Easy peasy and oh so good. Maybe tomorrow I’ll look up a recipe for real vanilla frozen yogurt in the vitamix and make this baby a la mode.

Naturally Sweetened Apple Crisp {print recipe}

Ingredients
  • 9 apples thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp chickpea flour
  • 1 1/2 C Oats
  • 1 C chickpea flour
  • 1 C pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 C maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 1/2 unrefined coconut oil
Directions
Preheat oven to 350.  Layer the apples in a 9×13 baking dish.  Sprinkle the 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1TBSP chickpea flour, and the one cup of maple syrup on top of the apples, then gently toss so that the apples are evenly coated.  In a separate bowl, combine the oats, 1 C chickpea flour, 1/2 C maple syrup, baking powder, baking soda, nuts, cinnamon, and coconut oil. Mix with your hands. Then when you’ve got a crumbly texture, sprinkle on top of apples evenly.  Bake in oven for 45 minutes.  Let cool and enjoy :-)
How did eating go the rest of the day?  I started my morning off with a bowl of Bob’s Redmill gluten-free oats mixed with blueberries, peaches, and unsweetened almond milk.  With the real food challenge you can have dairy, I just try to stay away from it as best as I can because it irritates my stomach.
For lunch, I munched on a pre-made salad from Trader Joe’s.  It was good, but you have to eat these right away (I bought it on Monday) because the lettuce was getting a little wilty. If I wouldn’t have eaten it today, it would’ve been garbage by tomorrow. It was a mixed greens salad with pecans, blue cheese and I topped it with Annie’s raspberry vinaigrette.
For a post workout snack (snuck in some zumba via Xbox today while someone napped), I ate an apple with almond butter and reheated two egg muffins.
Tonight’s dinner was leftovers from last night.  Yesterday, was the perfect weather for chili so I made our favorite: Sweet potato and black bean chili.  It was just as good, if not better than last night’s serving!  I think adding some cheese may have had something to do with it.
I think day 1 of the real foods challenge went rather well.  If you just set aside some time to pre make some things (egg muffins/dinner for two nights instead of one), it’s really not hard to do.  Like I said in the previous post, we generally try to eat as whole/real as possible, but sometimes life (new baby) can get in the way and deter us from that and it becomes more about convenience and less about nutrients.  I’d like to try and make my own bars one of these days because that’s generally my snack of choice to grab & go.

10 Days of Real Food

When one of my favorite bloggers & friend posted this status update on Facebook last night, I became intrigued-

A food challenge-10 days of real food.  For the most part, I try to eat as whole & healthy as possible.  But with the newest addition to our family and trying to get into the swing of things, “real food” sometimes just doesn’t happen.  Instead of taking time to make myself a quick lunch, I grab a Luna protein bar just to get in any nutrition and calories so that I can keep up the energy (and my supply) to feed the little one.  Last week when my grandma was visiting, she brought along her famous peanut butter cookies & pecan sandies made with gluten-free flour, and I can’t even begin to tell you how many cookies I consumed.  My excuse was, “I need the extra calories to support breastfeeding Madelyn.”  Yes, it is true that you do need to consume 500 extra calories while breastfeeding.  False, that it should come in the form of delicious cookies.

So, in an effort to clean up my eating, not only for me but for the daughter I’m feeding, I decided to embark on this challenge.  It’s been a while since I’ve partook in any kind of challenge and what better than to start with one that will make me more conscious of what I’m eating and that will allow me to take some time to nourish my body a little bit better.

What you CAN eat

  • Whole foods-product of nature not industry
  • lots of fruits & veggies
  • dairy products & UNSWEETENED yogurt (this pretty much cuts out any flavored yogurts)
  • whole grains
  • seafood and locally raised meats
  • water, milk, all-natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee or tea. Beer & wine.
  • Snacks-dried fruits, popcorn, nuts, and seeds
  • All Natural sweeteners-honey, 100% pure maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates.

What you CANNOT eat

  • No refined grains-white rice, white flour etc.
  • No refined sweeteners-sugar, corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff
  • Nothing packaged that has more than 5 ingredients in it
  • No deep-fried or “fast foods”

Here’s a link to the copy of the official rules {here}!

Looking over the list of what you can eat vs. what you can’t makes this challenge seem fairly simple.  My only hurdle will be the sugar-you don’t realize how much sugar is added into a lot of the “healthy” foods we eat until you start looking at ingredients.

Anyone willing to join Sarah and me on this 10 day challenge? There’s also a 100 day challenge, which I might partake in at the beginning of next year…I don’t want to let the holidays down :-)

I’ll be back later with a run down of how the first day went.