Our Natural Foods Transition: Week 1

Things didn’t really hit home for us until I went full-force at our pantry and fridge with a garbage bag.

That was Friday, June 21st. Day #1 of our healthier selves!

I took everything that was an animal product, highly refined, or processed, and trashed it. Not before I gathered it on the counter to take a photo of the event first though. It was kind of a big deal for us. It still blows my mind a little that we took this plunge. Here’s to the first day of a life based around whole-foods and not processed, packaged items! And for our ENTIRE family… Not just me for once!

There were a couple of things I kept for Scarlett’s sake though- mainly crackers and the gluten-free pretzels that she loves. I mean, I’m not crazy. I can’t just take away all of my 2 1/2 year-olds food and expect her to eat vegetables and grains all of a sudden. She’d starve! She will need a much more gradual transition. I did throw out all of her cheese-sticks and yogurt though! I don’t want any more animal products in her diet. ZERO. And you might think I’m silly for getting rid of her soy chicken nuggets, but I chucked those too. I am hoping that we can eat a diet with as little soy as possible since it is pretty controversial. Is it good for you? Is it bad for you? Better to just avoid it overall. Plus- how processed does soy have to be before it becomes a ‘chicken nugget’? I mean, seriously!

counter

Out with the bad.

(I’ll miss you Froot Loops…)

counter1

In with the good.

The next day, we went to the local farmer’s market and picked up a TON of awesome, fresh, organic produce. I’ll I’ve got to say about that is $$$$$$! It doesn’t help that I’m in Germany and the Euro is so much stronger than the dollar… ugh.

We also bought what we could at the grocery store and then ordered any specialty type items we couldn’t find off of Vitacost.com. I love buying stuff there. They pretty much have everything you would want for healthy pantry items, plus vitamins and supplements. So I also purchased some multi-vitamins and probiotics for all of us while I was at it : )

garbage

Nothing like jumping head first into this thing.

By the way, my Grandma would have a heart attack if she saw this. She grew up in WWII England and firmly believed that you should never throw any food out. I mean, I can’t blame her- she has told me all sorts of stories like how her whole family would only receive a ‘pad’ of butter per month. I’d probably be pretty stingy with my food if I grew up that way too. I remember one time eating a Bugle out of a box in her cabinet and I swear they must have been 5 years old. She is that serious.

So we just won’t tell her about this….

Anyways! Now that my house is basically barren the question is, “What are we going to eat now?”

I’m not going to lie. It was pretty hard. I was very stressed this first week. I felt like I had this un-intentional pressure coming from Dave to come up with some good meal alternatives or else he would quit because “this sucks“.  And I HATE salads so the last thing I wanted to do was eat salad all week…

Previously my diet consisted of 1 cup of homemade granola with yogurt and ground chia seeds for breakfast, a green smoothie for lunch, Cupcakean enormous helping of ‘something sweet’ for between lunch-dinner snack, and whatever gooey cheesy-starchy thing I made for dinner that night. No vegetables on the side. And I ate like this pretty much every day. Worse when we were traveling.

It wouldn’t be very hard to improve upon.

The first thing I did to change my diet was knix all my sweet/sugary foods. They are no longer allowed to be part of my every day diet. They really should never have been.

All animal and processed products were out of question now too.

Off the top of my head I came up with a basic list to create meals from: Pasta, Sandwiches, Wraps, Salads, Grain Salads, Soups…. and that was all I could think of to start. Not exactly inspiring… but ya gotta start somewhere. This is how the week ended up playing out-

oatmeal

Breakfast

  • The first two days we all started off with fruit. Apple, orange, banana, strawberries. Didn’t matter. It was always fruit first. Then we ate something more substantial- oatmeal. Not instant packet kind, but rather the plain, quick oats with a touch of almond milk and brown sugar. Ground chia/flax seeds too! Oh and I should mention that Scarlett won’t eat oatmeal. Even with brown sugar. I just gave her a piece of organic whole wheat toast with coconut oil instead.
  • Dave kept with the fruit and oatmeal all week. He really likes oatmeal. I switched to a water-based green smoothie in the mornings. It’s lighter and doesn’t weigh me down for the run that I take around 10am. Plus any chance to sneak in greens instead of me having to eat a salad and I am totally there!

spinach muffin

Lunch

  • I just had another green smoothie for lunch. Pretty redundant. I used different fruits and vegetables though for some variety. And instead of water I used Almond milk to make it a little bit more substantial. I would have made an actual meal but my brain just couldn’t take it. It was on overload, big time. I was too worried about what I was going to make for dinner from now on to even think about what I was going to eat for lunch. I am very smoothied out now.
  • Dave was in better shape for lunch than me, that’s for sure. He ate a chopped cucumber tossed with a basic, homemade vinaigrette. He also had a red-pepper tomato soup that I threw together quick. And to solidify the meal he had a whole-wheat, organic english muffin with some coconut oil. That is what he ate at home. He wasn’t so fortunate at work since he forgets his lunch 98% of the time. So there was one day where he where he ate nothing because he was too busy anyways, another day where he ate fries at McDonalds, etc. Not great, but we’re still new to this. We’ve got to work out those kind of kinks.
  • Scarlett experienced a little bit of a shock since I took away her yogurt and cheese-sticks, two things that were staples in her diet previously. But she wasn’t upset about it. She never cried or asked for them again after I told her, “They are all gone.”  We just had to be a little creative. For school she ate the same thing she always does- peanut butter and nutella sandwich, dried fruit, and graham crackers. We need to work on that eventually. At home I made her some healthy spinach muffins, which she liked. I also started ‘After School Fruit Snack‘ and ‘Fruit and Veggie Time‘ before dinner. She loves fruit so she had no problem with either of these things, although she still won’t touch the vegetables.

Detox Taco Salad | thegreenforks.com

Dinner

  • I decided to make Raw Taco Salad for our first ‘whole-foods’ meal. Dave really likes tacos so I figured it would be a safe choice. He LOVED the salad! I was actually shocked by how much he liked it since it didn’t have the traditional ground beef mixture. I enjoyed it as well. To make it a little more substantial I added some cooked, brown rice to it. Neither of us needs to lose weight, especially Dave, so I don’t want to have the meals be too low in calories. Plus I don’t want him to be left feeling hungry. That will not encourage him to continue the diet. 
  • Next, I made Dave spaghetti with a jar of original Prego sauce. We had it in the pantry so I figured we might as well use it up. And he wouldn’t eat what I was eating so it was his best option at the time. I made myself a delicious, homemade black bean veggie burger. Veggie burgers are one of my favorite things to have for dinner so I was plenty pleased with my meal. I’d really like to get Dave to like veggie burgers eventually. Also, we each had a green salad to start our meals. 
  • Scarlett would not eat this (of course). Wouldn’t even try it. During the week she ended up with fruit, toast with coconut oil, an almond butter sandwich (which she didn’t really like), or some spaghetti with olive oil.

Overall, I would say that our first week was a success! We didn’t eat like kings or anything, but we didn’t starve by any means.

And to top it all off, we feel great! Like- GREAT. After the initial detox period resided we were both so enthused by the way we felt it gave us so much encouragement to keep going. And the detox itself wasn’t that bad for either of us really. We got lucky. Aside from being pretty tired and lethargic the first 3 or 4 days, we were fine. No headaches, dizziness, break-outs, or anything. And even though we were tired, we kept exercising regularly and during/after each work-out we would have this surge of energy! It was awesome.

If we feel this wonderful now, I can’t wait to see how we feel after doing this for a month!

 

4 Responses to “Our Natural Foods Transition: Week 1”

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4 Responses… add one

  • Marina August 5, 2013, 8:03 pm

    Such inspiring story, love it!!! We are changing our diet as well and it’s have being 15 ! very successful days (harder with the kids though) and I can’t wait for some new and healthy recipes!

  • lmachell August 6, 2013, 6:00 am

    Thank you Marina : ) That is awesome about your diet too! Just stick with it and it’ll get easier and easier as the days go by. Dave and I are feeling amazing and there is no way we are going back to our old eating habits.

  • LaNeshe August 5, 2013, 8:47 pm

    This is so exciting! I’m also working on a healthier lifestyle. I love this transition for you and the blog!

  • lmachell August 6, 2013, 5:59 am

    Thanks LaNeshe! I hope that I can give you some healthy inspiration with my story and recipes : )