Week 4 (14 weeks of mini-pledges)

No fast food or any foods that have been deep-fried in oil.

This challenge is one I’m going to have to be very conscious of.  I have a bad habit of turning to take away when we are running late instead of making something healthy from the fridge or reheating a meal I’ve frozen.  It’s an expensive habit but one I really want to break.

real food-fast food-processed food-healthy eating

Image courtesy of Iamnee/freedigitalphotos.net



To do this challenge properly I will need to make sure that I plan ahead.  I will need to menu plan – a habit I used to do but have fallen into bad habits of just grabbing rubbish. This year I have been consciously trying to make changes by following these challenges and  doing it at a slow pace instead of trying to make rapid changes as I find that harder to do.




My Commitment for this week

  • Recommence menu planning
  • Prepare meals when I have time for ease of cooking later in the day
  • Cook meals ahead of time to reheat later
  • Pack snacks and meals for when we are out and about


In regards to last weeks challenge of purchasing meet within 160km of where it was raised – I haven’t purchased any meat this week and just eaten the meat we’ve had on hand, although we didn’t eat many meals with meat anyhow.

Week 3 (14 weeks of mini-pledges)

All meat consumed this week will be locally raised (within 100-miles of your hometown). Meat consumption will also be limited to 3 – 4 servings this week, and when it is eaten meat will not be presented as the “focal point” of the meal. Instead meat will be treated as a side item or simply used to help flavor a dish.

This week will be another fairly easy week as far as “cutting” anything out goes.  We don’t eat much meat in our house as my daughter is a vegetarian although we do enjoy some fish based meals occasionally.  I do get chicken breast, bacon, and ham to make different meals for my son who enjoys meat but not a lot as a. it’s expensive and b. I’m not one for making different meals for everyone. Down on the Farm

I don’t know where to source locally meat that is raised with 160km (100 miles) from our home. I will check with the butcher next time I purchase meat to find out where they get their meat from.  I will also be more conscious about where the meat has come from when I’m looking in the grocery store.

The End of Week 2

Well this week has gone very well also.  I’ve continued to be very conscious of what drinks I am consuming and what I give my children.  I ensure that we always have water on hand when we go out and take an esky to keep it cool.  I must admit I love my water nice and cold and struggle, especially in Summer, to drink it straight from the tap.

real food-water-processed

Image courtesy of suphakit73/freedigitalphotos.net



I have an earthenware water filter on my kitchen bench that I fill our bottles up from and leave in the fridge to cool.  In Winter the water from it is lovely and drinkable but in Summer it is still too warm for my liking.  Having the water on the bench for easy access means the kids regularly run in from outside to get a drink straight from there.  It really encourages them to drink.  Now if I could just get them to remember to fill it up so it doesn’t run out……..


Week 2 (14 weeks of mini-pledges)

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 will be allowed in moderation (an average of one drink per day)


Image courtesy of num_skyman/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of num_skyman/freedigitalphotos.net

This weeks challenge is also going to be fairly easy for us.  The only drinks routinely on offer in our house are water, milk, tea, and coffee.  I don’t use any form of sweetener in my coffee and I don’t drink wine.  Juice is a yearly treat for Christmas breakfast for the kids and I try to limit their soft drink intake to birthday parties only.


I’m also conscious of always taking a water bottle with us when we go out.  I have a number of stainless steel water bottles in the fridge to just grab and go.  I also have extra bottles of water, ice bricks and an esky for easy access for long days out.





The end of week 1

Well the week 1 challenge is going quite well.  I make the majority of our meals at home but this challenge has reminded me to be conscious of how many vegies or fruits are making it into our meals.  It has forced me to think ahead of time what our meals will be which means we aren’t grabbing just anything and that each meal contains some great nutrients.  The next two days will be hard though as I’m on nightshift and I tend to grab whatever to keep going and it is often crap.  I have planned our main meals so it’s the “midnight snacks” that I need to be careful of e.g. crisps and chocolate machines and Maccas runs!

Real food, recipes, processed food

Image courtesy of Mister GC/freedigitalphotos.net

We really enjoy porridge in our household, however being in Queensland it is too hot as a summer breakfast.  We’ve discovered Lisa’s recipe for Overnight Oats and my son and I really like them.  My daughter, however did not, she can be fussy though so I will experiment with different combinations to see if I can find an option she likes.  This will be a regular in our breakfast repertoire especially during the warmer weather.

Week 1

Of the rest of my life.  The beginning of 2015 has heralded the start of my new focus on food.  I am wanting to reduce my family’s dependance on processed food and return to a diet more in keeping with our ancestors.  Many foods that we consume today would not be recognised by our grandparents generation.  We are consuming more and more processed foods and our health is getting worse – coincidence? I think not.

Image courtesy of Iamnee/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Iamnee/freedigitalphotos.net

We consume more sugar, fat, and junk than ever before and we are seeing an increase in diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol etc etc.  It’s about the time we focused on what we are eating and make a change from within.

I have done a lot of soul searching over the past few months with some health issues I have.  I know a diet based more on whole foods and much less on process food can really only make the situation better.

As I’ve mentioned before my biggest inspiration for this is Lisa Leake at 100daysofrealfood.com so I will be endeavouring to incorporate as many of her ideas as possible on my journey.  I’ve been inspired by the changes in health she has seen with her own family when she undertook this process. I will be following her 14 Week Challenge that has started this week and will blog about my experiences about as I go.  My kids Miss 15 and Mr 10 aren’t so sure about this pledge but hopefully by taking it slowly they won’t even notice the changes.

I’m normally really good at making a menu plan and following my shopping list but I have become really slack with this over the past months.  This means I am just buying whatever and hoping to find inspiration when I get it home. I’ve gotten lazy and it’s leading to lots of waste, can’t be bothered nights, and takeaway.  When I menu plan I make much better choices and eat much healthier meals.



Week 1 (14 weeks of mini-pledges)

“Eat a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.”   

Image courtesy of amenic181/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of amenic181/freedigitalphotos.net


I always try to incorporate fruit or vegetables into our meals but some days it just doesn’t happen as convenience wins out.  However, now that this is part of the pledge I will ensure that every meal has at least two fruit or vegetable.  I note that Lisa says to eat organic but the reality is on such a low food budget ($100 per week) I really can’t afford the extra cost of organic.  I do regularly go to a farmers’ market to purchase my fresh produce and will continue to do this.  I am also in the process of setting up my own vegetable garden and am really looking forward to having fresh, homegrown produce in the near future.


Image courtesy of Simon Howden/freedigitalphotos.net


This first pledge is relatively easy for me to do because even though I’m overweight I’ve always eaten a lot of fresh produce.  My weight is from the other crap I eat outside of mealtimes and this is what I really want to reduce by doing this pledge.

On this journey I am going to gradually move to a whole food diet and cut out a lot of the processed food.  We don’t eat a lot of meat as a. my daughter is vegetarian (but will eat fish) and b. it’s expensive.  I do get ham, bacon, and chicken for my son and cook these for him when his sister isn’t home for a meal but for the most part my son and I eat vegetarian too.

One problem I envisage with transitioning to whole foods is that a lot of whole-grain foods are so much more expensive than the processed foods.  What I don’t understand is  how this can be given that the processing takes more effort?  Shouldn’t this make the more processed foods more expensive?  I can’t work that one out.

Unfortunately on such a small budget it can sometimes be hard to justify $5 for 1kg of brown rice when you can get 2kg of white rice for $3.  I do the bulk of my grocery shopping at Aldi which reduces my bill considerably but unfortunately they don’t offer a large range of whole grain foods. I will endeavour whenever possible to find the whole-grain options but if paying less for white (I know it’s more refined and nowhere near as good for you) means I can feed my kids then…….  I’m hoping, however, that by doing this process slowly that eventually I will have it so that I can incorporate whole-grains alot more. I really hope that is the way this pans out!



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