I am back to report on how my first week of Real Food Challenges went. Just a reminder of what my first challenge was, Week 1: Eat a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal. The whole point of this particular challenge is for you to displace something else that you would normally eat (like chips or fries or even crackers) with some colorful produce.
You may remember that I was confident going in to this challenge. We already eat fruit or vegetables with pretty much every meal, so how hard would it be to add one more, right? Well, the answer was that while it was tough during the planning process, it really wasn’t that hard to execute. It was difficult to train my brain that vegetables are just as filling as my beloved wild rice blend or red potatoes. When I looked at the meal plan I made for the week, I was skeptical. Tim, my meat and potatoes man who used to shun veggies completely, was even more doubtful than I was that we would feel full without our starchy sides. It didn’t take long, however, to realize that the mountain of peas and broccoli on our plates were a meal in itself. We also found that finishing a meal with an apple or some berries was the perfect palate cleanser, and really cut down on my sugar cravings. I didn’t feel the need for dessert when I finished my meal with fruit. We also did some experimenting, which is why I pictured our first attempt at veggie pizza at the top of this post. I’ve been meaning to try a veggie pizza ever since we started meatless Mondays, but hadn’t gotten around to it. We followed the basic “recipe” that I outlined in this post, but topped our pizzas with roasted broccoli, mushrooms and yellow bell pepper. They were awesome!
In general we did really well during week 1. The only exception was when we had takeout. An unexpected trip to the ER (and the subsequent exhaustion) made it difficult to want to cook at home. We had a fast food lunch and a Chinese takeout dinner this week, which didn’t follow the rules, but these things happen. My new motto is to not let the pursuit of perfection get in the way of the good. What I mean by that is to not let the fear of failure keep me from attempting something that could be really good for me. I may not get it perfectly right, but even the attempt is a good and positive change. So despite my slips, I still count week 1 a success. I am definitely more willing to replace a starchy side with another vegetable, though not at every meal. And I really do like finishing my meal with fruit. I am determined to do so at least twice a week from now on.
Week 2: Beverages will be limited to coffee, tea, water, and milk (only naturally sweetened with a little honey or 100% pure maple syrup). One cup of juice will be allowed throughout the week, and wine (preferably red) will be allowed in moderation (an average of one drink per day).
*sigh* I am not looking forward to this week. Though I have no problem drinking water, and actually drink quite a lot of it, I like to drink other things as well. I usually drink two diet sodas a day, one with lunch and one with dinner. I also like to enjoy Sobe Lifewater, or Vitaminwater. I rarely drink coffee these days, and I never drink milk. I absolutely understand the point of this challenge, but it is not going to be a fun week without any soda. Luckily I really enjoy my tea without any added sweeteners. I’ll be drinking a ton of tea this week.