It’s not that we were that unhealthy a family to begin with. I don’t go to fast food joints, I try to limit the amount of junk food my kids eat, and I serve a lot of vegetables. However, I do also have a major sweet tooth, chocolate is probably my favorite food, and I love Coke at a ball game. It’s just that I read this article about how the same processed foods served in the UK have different ingredients as the one’s here. Wait…What???? Why? Turns out most countries in Europe don’t allow GMO’s (genetically modified organisms).
The article also pointed out that we are a sicker population that dies younger than populations of other wealthy nations! Then I started to think of all the people I know who have died young of cancer or have a weight problem. The scary thing is– we don’t know what partially hydrogenated oil (or other things I don’t know how to pronounce) does to us or at what point is it problem causing — one serving or one thousand servings?
That’s when I decided to take the 10-day Pledge to eat “Real Food.” Not just for me, but I took the pledge for my whole family of 5. No one had a choice, because why would I want to only protect myself from the potential dangers and not my family. The kids weren’t psyched and thought it was completely “unfair”, like they were being punished. I was determined to make it something that would be fun and yummy! So the first thing I did was make chocolate chip cookies with whole wheat flour, raw cane sugar and organic chocolate and guess what, they truly could hardly tell the difference! Mostly what the pledge involved was lots of cooking, no white food (flour, sugar, rice that had been refined and processed), and no packaged foods unless they had 5 ingredients or less and all of which I could find in my house and would recognize if put in front of me.
Without going into a day-by-day meal-by-meal inventory here are 10 comments about our experience:
- We were far from perfect. Husband forgot a couple times at work. Kids shared lunch, ate who knows what at their friend’s houses, and when I ran out of something I used the old version (like jam).
- Involves lots of cooking and planning, which I enjoyed much more than I expected. When you haven’t planned though, it’s really hard. No Trader Joe’s frozen food. Made eggs one night that I didn’t feel like cooking.
- Went to the grocery store every two to three days, probably twice as often as I usually do.
- I spent a lot more money on groceries, but I in the end we spent less our usual groceries with a couple nights of than eating out or ordering in for a family of five.
- It didn’t change so much what or how I cook, outside of the white food, but more changed our other meals.
- Homemade granola was not a big success. The kids missed their boxed cereal in the morning. But I’m still trying out different granola recipes.
- One of my children complains of stomachaches almost daily; only one time during the 10 days mentioned a tummy ache.
- After the first few days, I felt a little different, cleaner.
- Everyone agreed it wasn’t as bad as they expected, “actually pretty good” and didn’t mind the idea of continuing in a slightly modified version.
- Now that it’s over, we are continuing on a less stringent basis. We can eat out, and if there is an affordable organic version of a packaged food, I’ll buy it.
I feel like I’ve done a good thing for our whole family, not only in our health, but also in our awareness of what goes into our food. I highly recommend it and I think my kids would too!!!