So, here are the steps that I have taken and the things that I have committed to doing so far. I still have lots of steps to take but it's a start:
1. I quit using/buying "fake" butter (I can't believe it's not butter). I don't use butter very often so I decided that I would rather have more calories instead of more artificial ingredients and chemicals. There are over 25 ingredients in fake butter spreads and most of them are long, hard-to-pronounce, artificial ingredients. So, I started buying real butter.
2. I got a bread machine and I made my first loaf of fresh bread last night. It turned out great and was very easy to do. For some reason I have always had a fear of baking with yeast.... it just seemed so difficult and easy to mess up. Well, this was super simple and the bread is great. I am using organic ingredients and eliminating bread that was baked in mass quantities weeks ago from my weekly grocery list.
3. I have completely eliminated artificial sweeteners from my diet. This wasn't a really big deal for me right now, I gave up caffine and pop years ago but I still put 1 packet of "Sweet n' Low" in my decaf tea every morning and I still get diet peach iced tea from time to time. I now have packets of "Sugar in the Raw" that go in my tea (it has a little different flavor than refined sugar). I only use 1 packet a day so I am okay with the small amount of extra sugar in my diet. As my sister would say, "It's better than brain foam" (she heard somewhere a long time ago that artificial sweeteners don't have a way of leaving your body so they create foam on your brain. I don't think it is very accurate but they still are not good for you).
4. I am being more intentional about planning meals that do not have meat in them. We didn't eat meat every day before but it wasn't an intentional decission... more just a function of what we had in the fridge and what meal I could make from it. So, I am now planning our menu a little more intentionally with less meat. We are having spinich and mushroom quiche for dinner tonight... should be good!
So, that is what I have come up with so far. I will keep you posted on our progress! I hope you will consider the real food challenge too!