Life. Love. Family. Our Perfect Imperfection. Living life as a Catholic, homeschooling family with three amazing, unique boys, a too-oft serious, frustrated and anxious but also loving momma, and a fun-loving, hardworking dad.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

6 Ingredient Challenge, Week 2

Six Ingredient Challenge buttonJoin the Six Ingredient Challenge hosted by Hobo Mama and Anktangle!
We're on a six-week path to eat more whole foods, guided by one simple rule: Buy foods with six ingredients or fewer. And we're blogging about our journey on the way.
This week we're answering the question: How is the Six Ingredient Challenge going for you so far?
You can see all the responses to this question on February 14 at the link-up post.
To join in the Six Ingredient Challenge anytime during the six weeks, visit the sign-up page for a list of posts and to link up!


I'm doing this one a little different. I'm going to write little blurbs (hopefully each day) throughout the week and share on the 14th. 

 We are doing pretty good so far. I only do the main grocery shopping for the 5 of us every two weeks so it makes it a little easier. I do usually have to get a few perishables every few days, though. For us, I planned to buy as few items with more than 6 ingredients as possible. We did pretty good, but did (as I mentioned in week 1's post) buy cereal, granola bars, fruit snacks and a couple of other things that I really didn't even check. I know that the granola bars have 8 or 9 ingredients. Since we've already been buying mostly organic, avoiding food dyes, sodium nitrates/nitrites, and high fructose corn syrup, I figured those items would be our vices so to speak. In all honesty though, I have made some questionable choices. I had planned not to eat out at all, at least the first 2 weeks of the challenge. Especially after the pizza "incident". The other morning, we were running so far behind, Baby J and I didn't eat before we took the boys to school, so I treated us to breakfast at Big Boy's. Another morning, I stopped at Burger King for a quick breakfast (we are trying to cut fast food out entirely, but I'm struggling with this one). Finally, yesterday, we were out getting Baby J's birth certificate, had an hour left on our parking meter, and were across the street from numerous restaurants. I chose Subway, and while I know it's not healthy, it might have been better than the other choices. So starting fresh today. Over the next week, we will pick off the menu (mama included ;) ) and on Thursday or Friday I will start planning for the next 2 weeks. I'll probably plan it a little more flexible than before.

Still sticking to the challenge. I picked up some toddler smoothies for Jack today - the ones in the little pouches - for a quick snack or breakfast on days we are running late over the next week. I made sure to check the # of ingredients to and since water and fruit don't count, they had 5 ingredients each (yogurt/milk, and added vitamins).

I have got to learn how to make a good loaf of whole wheat bread :( We had to stop at the store after Mass today and get milk, eggs, dishwasher soap and, you guessed it, bread. I didn't even bother looking at the ingredients of the bread. I know it's more than 6 ingredients but my boys really like sandwiches for lunch and toast with eggs. I have a really nice breadmaker, but I've never had luck making a good sandwich loaf that everybody will eat. Especially, one that's whole wheat. However, I've recently started using King Arthur white whole wheat for all my baking and it seems quite a bit "lighter" so I may have to attempt again.

Ugh! Not doing good today. Well, actually, we had a great day in most ways. Snow day for the kids, so they played and helped out with the baby while I cleaned and re-organized the whole kitchen! Of course, I forgot to eat much of anything, and by dinnertime I had a headache. Tomorrow is trash day so we always try to do leftovers on Monday night. Jas had a parent/leader meeting for cub scouts so he was only home for a short time. Nothing sounded good to me so we fed the boys and after he was done with the meeting, he stopped and bought fast food. Blech! It wasn't even that good! Oh well. Thinking ahead to next week. Also, I talked to the boys about the gogurt they usually get for school lunches and we decided together that we aren't going to buy it anymore. It's sad when they add 3 thickening agents, plus vitamins into it to make it what it is. I explained we can use plain whole milk yogurt and add jelly/jam/applesauce/maple syrup/etc to flavor it and it will be healthier! They actually loved the idea. :)

Remembered that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and we need a meatless meal. Jack and I stopped and picked up frozen shrimp (for Jas, E and A) and some boxed Annie's mac and cheese for all of us. I think the mac and cheese had 6 or 7 ingredients but it was darn close ;)

Yay, dinner turned out good with green beans thrown in for good measure. Since we were at an appointment, I did stop and grab some fries on the way home because I was starving. :( Not doing so good on the no fast food, no pop, no candy for Lent so far, and it's only the first day! But I am starting a new menu tomorrow and most of the stuff from the last two weeks were within the "rules" so I'm pleased. Now that I'm starting from scratch a little more so (having used up some things we already had, but may have been over 6 ingredients), I can really see where we are, and how we/I am doing. Our budget is a bit tighter this week so it should be interesting...

Happy Valentine's Day! We don't usually do anything special for V-day. Tonight we are just going to have chicken quesadillas for dinner. In conclusion for the week, I can say we did ok as a family, but mama, not so great. I am grateful for this though, because it is helping me see my mistakes, keeping me honest, and accountable, and at the end I hope to be able to come back and see how far we have come!!