1. Reading Food Labels
2. Eliminate Artificial Food Dyes
3. Quit Artificial Sweeteners
4. Try Some Kefir
I've been thinking a lot about where we are going with this challenge and at this point, I ran into a little problem. I wanted to do something with fruits and vegetables, but what I wanted to do has already been done. So this week's challenge is a little different. I'm going to link to a specific 'weekly pledge' that 100 Days of Real Food did and then add my two cents here.
Directly from 100 Days of Real Food:
Eat a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.
I couldn't agree more with this challenge. Putting it into practice might be a little tougher than the others, but the post that Lisa did has some excellent ideas on how to do it at breakfast, lunch, and dinner (click on link above to check it out).
Fruits and vegetables are good for you. It's really that simple. This is a basic law of nutrition. Don't let any 'diet plan' tell you that you should limit your fruit and/or vegetable intake to be low carb or not eat avocados because they are 'high fat'. That's bologna in my book. Also, the more good stuff you are eating, the less space you have for yucky processed stuff. So it's win/win!
Estimated Cost of Change
Replacing processed foods in your family's diet with nutritious and preferably organic fruits and vegetables isn't going to be cheap, but it is possible to do it without breaking the bank. The thing to remember is that it IS a replacement. So if you normally buy crackers to go with lunches, you'll want to stop, save that money, and put it towards additional fruits and vegetables. Go organic with what you can, especially with items that are on the Dirty Dozen list.
I'll be honest, the cost here could vary wildly depending on where you shop, whether you buy organic, what is available where you are, and what is in season. During off-season times, it's good to buy frozen fruits and veggies because they retain more nutrients than those 'fresh' that have been shipped across the globe to you. CSAs are great to save money on produce in the summer, but look into it now, many stop offering or get full by March. I'd stay away from canned fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Some are processed with additives like salt and sugar, some cans have BPA, and they just don't taste very good.
Additional Time CommitmentThis is a big one. It requires a lot of planning. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner planning. This is why I have struggled with it in the past. I like to just open the fridge and grab what looks good on any given day. Unfortunately, this mindset leads to not buying enough produce to last us a whole week. Then I end up feeding my family a bunch of grains (pasta, cereal, etc) until I go shopping again. Today was like that. I'm overdue for a grocery trip, so we had Ezekiel bread sunbutter and jelly toast for breakfast and organic whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce for lunch. So yeah, no fruits or veggies in today's meals so far (unless you count that sauce, which I guess could be one).
So tell me, got any great ideas to get fruits and veggies into your day?