Monday, January 30, 2012

Real food in February

I've finally decided to challenge myself to something that I've always wanted to try, but have always put off for "another time". Since I mentioned that I wanted to start doing monthly challenges for myself, I'm going to start off with a bang in February--with what could possibly by the most difficult challenge I could pick for myself! ;)

I am going to eat 100% REAL food for an entire month (at least February is the shortest month!)  This isn't a weight loss kind of thing (since I'm trying to maintain my weight now) but more of a "feel good" thing. I want to see what happens to my body when I feed it "real" food. I'm hoping that it will help with my insomnia, my lethargy in the afternoons, and possibly my anxiety and depression.

I'll never know if it will help until I try it, so February is finally the time I'm going to do so!

Now, "real food" means different things to different people, so this is how I will define real food for my purposes:  1) Food as it appears in nature, without added stuff to it; 2) Packaged foods with just one ingredient (e.g. brown rice, natural peanut butter w/o added sugar or oil, pure maple syrup, one-ingredient whole wheat pasta, etc); 3) Homemade foods made from "real" ingredients; 4) meat, fish, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, spices, and other whole foods.

Obviously this is super strict, and I would never commit to living this way forever, but it's something I'd like to try for a month.  It's going to require a lot of planning, and certainly a lot of time for cooking and preparing foods. I plan on writing and sharing my food logs for the whole 29-day challenge adventure.

I think the hardest part of this for me will be that I can't have sugar! I think that's why I've avoided doing this challenge for so long--I love my dessert. I'm going to have to come up with some alternative desserts using honey and maple syrup for sweeteners. I've gotten some food ideas from the 100 Days of Real Food website, and I think that will be a helpful resource.

I'm not going to force my family to do this with me, so I'm sure I'll have temptations. But I'm actually kind of looking forward to doing this! I'll start on Wednesday.


I was surprised how many of you asked about my 30-in-30 list and why Jerry's family hates me. "Hate" is probably a strong word, but they definitely dislike me enough to let it be known. Jerry said that he's always been the "black sheep" of his family, and some of his aunts and uncles really dislike him--and therefore, they dislike me and our kids as well. Some of them were extremely rude to us a few years ago, and I've avoided going to any "family functions" ever since. It's just really uncomfortable to be around people that I know don't like us.  BUT, I really don't want to bring up family drama into my "happy place" of a blog ;)  so let's just let it go! I'm honestly not worried about it at all.


Poor Eli woke up this morning and his legs hurt so badly that he couldn't walk. I thought he was just being dramatic, but I kept him home from school because he still had a low-grade fever yesterday. After a while today, I realized he really wasn't faking the leg pain, and I made a doctor's appointment for him this afternoon.

Jerry just took him to see the doctor, and they tested him for the flu--it came back positive, which didn't surprise me. And the leg pain was actually due to dehydration. She said that he is very dehydrated, even though he hasn't been throwing up.

I'm really going to have to push liquids on him. We have Gatorade, but he doesn't like it. He will only drink water if he's dying of thirst. The only thing I can get him to drink is milk (which he would drink by the gallon if I'd let him) but he has a mild allergy to milk, so I only let him have one cup a day. I'm going to figure out some sort of reward system for him to drink lots of water.


Today was my scheduled long run--and it was only 5 miles. During marathon training, the long runs go up for two weeks, then fall back for a week. So it was 6 miles for week one, then 7 for week two, and now just 5 miles. Then next week it'll be 9!

Because I kept Eli home from school, I couldn't go meet Jessica to run with her, and I ended up having to run on the dreadmill. It felt like the longest run EVER, but I managed to finish the 5 miles.
I did some hills, so it's showing a higher calorie burn than usual, but I did the 5 miles in 49:10. Eli has to stay home tomorrow too, per the doctor's orders, but I don't have a run scheduled.  Maybe I'll have a "movie/pajama day" with Eli.


35 comments:

  1. I just found your blog on pinterest-which seems to be how a lot of people did. I just wanted you to know that you are an inspiration to me. I'm taking up running and I have loved reading your story.

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  2. I want to do this challenge too! I was drooling over Oh She Glows this morning and thought "I wonder if I could do this for longer than 1 meal?" I might just jump in with you! Though having my sons Pizza Party on Wed might present a HUGE challenge.

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  3. I've been trying to get on this diet adventure forever. I have such an addiction to sugar it's insane. I'm in college right now so trying to make sure I have natural foods on me in between classes are rough.

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  4. That sounds like an adventure in itself. Keep us posted. hah

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  5. are you sort of doing a paleo type diet? I have been tossing the idea around! I hope the food answers alot of your other issues. And thank you for blogging!

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  6. I have to say, thank you for this blog! And for doing what you're doing! You're such an inspiration to me! I'm down 30 pounds on my way to over 100 pounds and likely will be having a tummy tuck afterwards too! It was so inspiring to read your story! You're post about how you started running got me on the treadmll too! Here's my blog in case you want to follow me too! Keep writing! Keep inspiring!

    http://phoenixblaise.blogspot.com/

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    1. Good for you Eva.. 30 pounds is amazing. I read Katie's blog and had to start my own as well. She is a huge inspiration. I found myself wanting to lose weight for myself rather than everyone else. Hoping this time I will accomplish it because I want to. Good luck on your (our) journey.

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  7. try grabbing some pedialite freezies...will help with eli's dehydration :)

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  8. Love the 100 days of real food website, thanks for sharing!

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  9. I think for the dehydration you should give pedialyte & if it's too salty for him cut it with kool-aid. He won't be able to fight anything off if he's dehydrated. I know kool-aid is total crap, but right now he needs to get better! Also, popsicles, if he'll eat those. (hahahahaha, like any kid wouldn't!)

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  10. Have you read "Food Rules" By Michael Pollan? I HIGHLY recommend it. It is a super quick read, you could even skim it at the bookstore... It has helped me eat more "real food" day to day.
    Simple things stuck in my head like "If your grandparents wouldn't recognize it as food, don't eat it"

    http://www.amazon.com/Food-Rules-Eaters-Michael-Pollan/dp/014311638X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327970766&sr=1-1

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    1. I just requested that at the library today! I got the audio version so that I can listen to it during a long run ;)

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  11. I really like your plan, I'm excited to see what your findings are! I hope eli feels better soon. Does he like juice? Maybe you could mix juice with water, my sister does that with her kids :)

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  12. Perfect timing for your clean eating! I'm doing that too - starting next week - doing it for about 12 days (then we're going out of town) and then picking it back up when we return and keeping it up til my 30th birthday in mid March. Excited to see your recipes!

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  13. A woman I worked with used to eat raw... so the same concept. She had a severe allergy and was trying to 'cleanse' her body so she did a juice fast for 90 days and then did raw foods or another 90 days. She was a vegan so she didn't feel it was too hard, but it always amazed me and I thought it would be great to do. I admire anyone who can do that! Keep us posted on your 'adventure'!

    p.s.
    My co-worker used to use her deheydrator A LOT during this. Just a suggestion to spice things up a bit. If I remember correctly, your brother got you one? I'm sure you'll get some great tips in that book and website, but her deheydrator was used so much that she bought 2! :)

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    1. I'm not going to be eating "raw"--I could never give up cooked food (nor would I want to!) I'm just going to be eating "real" food for a month :)

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    2. Still, major props! It was so crazy watching her eat all of her raw foods. She made bread in the deheydrator ... it was interesting. But still great that she could do that.

      Have fun with the real food! You never really think about how much we eat is processed ... it's sort of sad.

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  14. Hi there! I've never commented before but I used to follow you on Sparkpeople and now I read your blogs almost every day here. I love them and find them very motivating! Today I thought I'd comment because of your "real food" adventure and worrying about no sugar... Have you ever seen the blog chocolatecoveredkatie.com? she makes healthy desserts that are vegan and uses dates alot to naturally sweeten desserts. She even has cookie recipes!! I've never seen sugar in her recipes (although I only discovered the blog last week). It might be worth checking out to keep your sweet tooth satisfied this month! Good luck!

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  15. Good luck with your food challenge! I would love to find a good challenge for myself. I should probably start with something not so drastic! I hope Eli feels better soon! As a child I HATED water. And... I sort of still do. I just love juice so much! Hope you enjoyed a cozy day at home with your sick boy! <3

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  16. My food challenege would look like this: eat a fruit or vegetable today. How do marathoners eat? Eh, they STILL pants their poop!

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  17. Hoping Eli gets to feeling better. Poor little guy. You're such an awesome mom! Hang in there :0) ---Tammy

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  18. That is quite a challenge. Good for you! I don't think....no.... I KNOW I couldn't do it. Not sure that I could do it for one day, let alone a whole month.
    Poor Eli, I worry about little boys when their legs hurt. I hope he gets well soon. Like Eli, I'm not much of a water drinker. I do however, drink my weight in Diet Squirt. Not good, I know, but so tasty!

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  19. Every year I do a 21-day "Daniel's Fast" for spiritual reasons. I can't say that I feel physically better but it does help my spirit. A Daniel's Fast doesn't include any protein (except for nuts, which are questionable to me to include in any fast) so that could be that reason.

    I think the big thing, for you, will be getting off sugar. I also think you will be amazed at how it improves your mood, and even affects your propensity for depression. Sugar is poison, just (at this time) still socially acceptable.

    Another person who advocates "eating clean" is Tosca Reno. You should look her up, she is a writer and an inspiration. She is pretty hardcore but you might get some tips there, as well.

    Go for it, it could change your life!!

    melissa

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  20. I would be curious as to the cost of eating "real". I always think its more expensive but so worth it....maybe keep journal of what you spend too just to compare to other months...

    Sounds interesting.

    ;-)

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    1. We did this sort of "whole foods" month a couple months ago and it ended up being MUCH cheaper. We even get organic fruits and veggies delivered for $108/month from a local co-op. Rice, beans and other cereals are CHEAP if you buy in bulk and we only ate meat (organic from Trader Joe's) a couple times/week. Packaged food & eating out is SUPER expensive when you think about it. The only think that costs is TIME to cook the food.

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  21. Awwwww poor little guy :-( I hope he feels better soon. I also have to agree with the Eating Clean book. I have it, it you would like to read it I can send it to you.


    Mandi

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  22. Good for you! I have noticed on your food log that you don't seem to eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. I tried a challenge in December to eat 7 servings a day. It was definitely difficult - and required me to start with thinking of how to fit in 7 servings and then allowed me to build in other food around that. Maybe a good strategy for a real food month? Also, beans / lentils are great "real foods" that are also inexpensive. Good luck!!! From another Katie (ps I found your blog recently and it's so inspiring - you have a great writer's voice)

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  23. I love that it's called a "dreadmill." I am also in love with your blog. I read it everyday! This morning I woke my butt up and went to the gym for some dreadmill time at 6am! Now I'm at school (gettin' my Masters on!). My goals are a 5K in April and a 5K walk for MS in May. My big goal is to join a soccer league! I miss a leaner body, although I was never "fit." I just wanna kick some balls!

    Your blog is fabulous and inspires me to MOVE! Thanks, beautiful!

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  24. I have been starting to Eat Cleanly too and a great resource is Tosca Reno. She has a book and a page on Facebook that she shares tips on. Also "Clean Eating Online" has a Facebook page and shares recipes just about every day. Just as an FYI to you ;)

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  25. This is awesome. I'm curious to see how it goes for you and how much better you feel by eating "real food". I bought Clean Eating magazine and I can't even pronounce 90% of the ingredients in it, so it's kinda just sitting there collecting dust. I really want to eat more real foods, but I know, like you said, takes alot of planning, prep & cooking time. I think it will be worth it though.
    Love you blog, by the way. I've been following for a couple of weeks now and you are a true inspiration to me!
    Love, Jen
    http://skinnybitchwannabe.blogspot.com

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  26. When I was a kid my mom would give us OJ mixed with 7-up when we were sick. Only time we got ever got pop and the juice kept us hydrated. Hope your guy feels better!

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  27. Poor Eli. I hope the little guy feels better soon. The flu is the worst!
    Good luck on your February challenge, Katie. You'll do great.
    When I was married the first time, my father-in-law never spoke to me. If we were in the same room together alone, he'd just get up and leave. I was in that family for 13 years. It was really hard on me in the beginning because I didn't know what I'd done to deserve that kind of treatment, but after a while I realized it was all about him and had nothing to do with me. That family is nuts to think less of your family - you all are fantastic, interesting people. Their loss.

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  28. I recently discovered the 100daysofrealfood website and was HOOKED! I haven't done it super hardcore, but I've changed a lot of my habits- our bread, pasta, and a few other things. It's a good bit more expensive, but it's worth it! It's the first "diet" I've been on where I haven't felt deprived. I'm still counting calories (since bacon, cheese and real butter aren't calorie free), but I have tons of other boards, but there are specific recipes that are either already all whole foods, or all real foods or are easily altered.

    As for the sugar issue- I haven't given it up all together, but I don't use it at my house anymore, so I rarely have the refined stuff. We use 100% maple syrup or honey (the good stuff!). One of my favorites is honey and cocoa powder mixed with some nuts thrown in (my favorite is pecan, but you can use whatever). It's not calorie free, but it's really rich and super yummy! The specific "recipe" is on the real/whole food dessert board :)

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  29. Hi, Just discovered your blog through Pinterest yesterday. Love it, it's very inspiring!!
    Anywho...Does your son like popsicles? That's usually a good way to get a kid to get liquids surreptitiously!
    On your depression/anxiety, etc....this may be hard but have you considered giving up grains altogether? The more I read, the more I see them as a culprit in the depression/anxiety and lethargy cycle. Sorry!
    Take care, hope your son feels better soon - I hate it when my kids are sick :o(

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