Monday, December 1, 2014

menu plan december i & real food challenge!!

I'm back!!  Thanksgiving and the wedding were awesome.  I will do a full recap this week, but here is a sneak peak of the kids at our lunch break on the way to my sister's house.  I got wise and packed a cooler full of awesome, nourishing foods.  The weather was merciful and we were able to get out at a rest stop, run and play and stretch our legs, and enjoy some raw cheese, homemade sourdough bread, raw milk, kombucha, satsumas, and veggie beef soup.  Way more satisfying than fast food.  And probably even faster.  :)

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I think I caught Todd mid-chew.  He's usually much cuter than this.  
Before I get into our meal plan for the week, I want to announce my challenge, and invite others to join in!  I strive for a diet free of processed foods.  A diet that is supportive of health and also responsible to our environment and local farmers.  But we all know that life gets in the way.  I am not in control of every bite that goes into the mouth of my family.  And, to be honest, if I were - I would get a little crazy, I think.  I have that perfectionistic streak.  

However, I am in control of everything that I eat.  By that I mean that no one is holding a gun to my head and making me eat chips or popsicles or candy or whatever.  And for this month, I want to be extra-mindful of what goes into my mouth.  I have two main areas that cause me to struggle in this:

1)  I work full-time and often have to scramble to find something to eat for lunch.

2)  We eat most evenings with my amazing grandmother-in-law.  She is always open to me cooking, but getting all the ingredients there and prepped and ready after a long day can be challenging.

So, for the month of December, I'm doing a Real Food Challenge!  Every bite that goes into my mouth this month will be carefully considered.  You can read about what I believe constitutes real food here.  I would love to lose some weight and also feel healthier this month.  Does anyone want to join me!?  I know this is a hard month to do this kind of challenge, but it just felt like the right time.  Comment below if you'd like to join in for accountability.  :)

Now, on to the food!

Some notes:  we literally always have one of two things for breakfast if we are at home.

1)  -- scrambled eggs from our Mennonite hens
     -- homemade sourdough toast/English muffins/biscuits
     -- raw butter we have been making from our Mennonite cow cream
     -- local raw honey or homemade preserves
     -- seasonal fruit from our CSA or something I canned like peaches, pears, or applesauce

2) -- pancakes
    -- raw butter
    -- real maple syrup
    -- seasonal fruit

Vicki usually requests #2.  If we have time, I'm happy to oblige.  However, for the month of the Real Food Challenge, I'm probably going to stick to eggs.  Unless I make pancakes from sourdough starter.  (Sidenote:  I really need to update you on my sourdough journey!  It has changed a lot since that last link.)

Since it is so monotonous, I'm not going to put breakfast on the menu plan.

Lunches are pretty much always leftovers.  If I do some actual cooking for lunch, I will put it in the plan.  If not, just assume it's something unexciting.

For drinks, we always have raw milk on hand.  We also drink Berkey filtered water, kombucha, or homemade soda from our ginger bug.  Lately I've been drinking the buttermilk left after butter-making - yum!

Finally, I try to make one dessert-ish item that we nibble on all week for snacks and desserts.  For this week, I will make a brown rice pudding from some soaked rice.

-- lunch:  we were on the road!  We had leftover Thanksgiving ham, raw cheese, sourdough bread, raw milk, satsumas, homemade cranberry sauce, and some leftover pumpkin-sorghum pie.
-- supper:  we had just arrived home and ate some leftover BBQ pork, potato salad, white beans with pepper relish, potato chips, and God knows what else.

-- supper:  ham & white beans, soaked cornbread, pepper relish

-- supper:  beef soft tacos with homemade taco seasoning, whole wheat sourdough tortillas, sour cream, raw cheese, pickled cabbage salad (going to adapt Deb's recipe a little), avocado, chopped tomato (can you believe I still have a few little green tomatoes that ripened on the counter!?)

-- supper:  shrimp in Thai red curry peanut sauce (recipe coming soon!), Asian green beans, soaked brown rice

-- supper:  pork chops and cabbage braised in apple cider, mashed sweet potatoes, pear sauce

-- supper:  ham & pineapple pizza on sourdough crust with homemade mozzarella, marinated tomato salad

-- supper:  roast chicken, roasted spiced cauliflower and oven fries, leftover pickled cabbage salad

What are you going to eat!?

[This post submitted to Menu Plan Monday 12/1/14, the Homestead Barn Hop 12/1/14, and Fat Tuesday 12/2/14.]


susan livingston said...

I'm a creature of habit with my breakfast too! Either oatmeal or eggs! Good luck with your challenge!

Emily said...

Thank you Susan! Yes, breakfast just seems to be easier when I don't really have to think about it. :)