Monday, July 2, 2012

Real Food Pledge: Week 2 & 3

After being without air in our house for close to two weeks during a record-breaking heat spike, we are so thankful to have the air working, thanks to a patch on the old unit. We'll have a new unit installed on Wednesday. Hopefully this will mean that we will be able to gloriously bask in chilled drafts for many years to come without having to put any more money into it. 

Now it is time to get back to business: The Business of Real Food. Last week we decided to forego the challenge of Real Food in exchange for the challenge of Coping with No A/C - a fair trade, wouldn't you say? 

Thankfully we did not actually have to live in our house while the air was out, but instead turned into nomads, staying at Josh's dad's house and my parents' house and driving home daily to make sure the animals were all fine and dandy. The animals, strangely, seem relatively unaffected by the heat - not that we're complaining, since I've heard of several chicken fatalities this week and am thankful all of our seven ladies are still in the land of the living.

Okay, so back to Real Food. This week we will be doubling up on the Challenge so we don't fall behind in the schedule that we're following with Julie's family.

The Real Food Challenges we will be facing this week:

1. Only "real beverages" can be consumed: water, coffee, tea, and milk (only naturally sweetened with a little honey or 100% pure maple syrup). One cup of juice will be allowed throughout the week. Wine (preferably red) will be allowed in moderation (one drink per day).

2. 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.

< white; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', sans-serif; line-height: 18px; text-align: left;">In addition to this, we will be attempting to keep up with the challenge from Week 1 to consume 2 fruits and / or veggies per meal. All three of us are actually enjoying this part, surprisingly!

I think the real beverage challenge will be pretty simple if we take it easy on eating in restaurants. The only thing we drink at home is water and milk/almond milk, plus I'll have a cup of coffee with cream and sugar maybe once or twice a week. It's when we go out that we order Dr. Pepper (me), sweet tea (Josh), and pink lemonade (Mags).

The meat challenge should be pretty simple as well. From 2010-2011 I spent six months as a vegetarian, both to prove to myself that I could do it and also to reduce my mental need for meat. After those six months I transitioned to consuming only meat that was produced using ethical methods, mainly sticking with locally raised products.

 When I started dating Josh, my ethical meat stance fell by the wayside (I was maybe too lovestruck to care right then?), but lately I have been extremely convicted to take up that lifestyle again (perhaps you came across my late night Facebook rant about it... more on this to come). The transition hasn't happened instantly. We still give in and go out to eat wings occasionally, but our family is moving in the right direction. This week I'm excited to take a more vegetarian focus in most of our meals and revisit some delicious recipes that I discovered during my vegetarian time.

Some things we will eat this week:

Red Lentil Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Earth Fare Vegetarian Pizza with garden salad
Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff*

*Meat Disclaimer: We have a bunch of Earth Fare grassfed ground beef left over from the weekend that we will be eating to avoid it going bad. Other than that, we will stick to local-only!

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