1. We will not consume any pantry food that comes from a box or a can (the exception might be canned tomatoes or dry pasta).Since our household is currently on NutriSystem, we can't avoid all processed foods, but at least we are certain that the prepared meals we are eating are nutritionally balanced, low sodium and low fat. With the provided meals, we add fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, etc. That is where we will focus on "eatin' it real". Here are my personal goals:
2. We will not consume any processed fridge products other than dairy items.
3. If a recipe calls for a processed condiment (such as ketchup), we will carefully analyze the feasibility of making said condiment from scratch
4. We will limit our eating out together and alone but will not avoid social gatherings such as family dinners.
Everything else should be as natural and unprocessed as possible. Yup—we’ll even attempt to make our own bread. Though we will not be grinding the wheat to make the flour.
- No canned fruits or veggies. This is the majority of our discretionary diet at the moment, so it will get the most attention. We will have to make more frequent stops at a Mega-Mart because our small-town store does not carry some fresh produce, such as green beans, year round, or adjust our menus to what fresh veggies are available. This also means no packaged fruit cups in my lunch - especially the "parfait" type with some mysterious custard-like substance. They are delicious, but of course they contain less actual fruit in order to keep the calorie count similar to a plain fruit cup. Fresh fruits only.
- No packaged pasta - what little we are eating I will make fresh from whole-wheat flour.
- Homemade bread - again we're not consuming much right now, but I will make our own IF I can determine how it compares in calories/portion size to the ready-made stuff. Tortillas will have to be an exception, but I already buy whole grain, low fat.
- Dairy - Since I don't know how to make cheese, nor do I have a cow, that will have to come from the store, as will milk, obviously.
- Peanut butter - don't know how to make my own, so I will look for natural varieties in the store or just eliminate it all together since I don't eat much anyway.
- Salad dressing - I know there are tons of recipes out there to make it myself and regulate the fat/calories to boot.
- Hummus - This is one of my favorite snacks, so I'll be looking for recipes to make my own.
As you can see, we aren't able to dive into the all natural challenge completely, but we'll take a dip where we can and, hopefully, develop better, healthier eating habits. If you want to give it a try, visit Trish's blog (link at the top of the page) to sign up and see what others are doing.