Update on our Eat Real Food Challenge

Here is an update on the "Eat Real Food" challenge:

I have learned alot this week and I feel great about the steps that we are taking towards healthy, more responsible eating habits.

I have made 2 loaves of bread in our new bread maker (wheat and french). They both turned out great and have been a great replacement for store bought bread. It does get stale much faster so we have a container in the freezer for any remnants (not that there is left over bread very often). I will make stuffing or croutons out of the leftovers some day. My husband likes fresh bread so much that I can experiment with pretty much any meals with any "earthy" ingredients that I want to. As long as there is fresh bread on his plate or the smell of bread baking in the air, life is good!

Elijah LOVES the bread maker. This is how he spends his time when the bread machine is mixing the dough (if you can't tell, there is a window on top of the machine that he is looking through):
*DISCLAIMER: At no point during the bread making process was my 19 month old left unattended standing on the kitchen counter.

Right now, my very first batch of jam is cooking (in the bread machine). STRAWBERRY! I have talked about learning how to can ever since we have had a garden but I just haven't done it. I am off of work this week with Eli so I got some canning stuff this morning, I have done a little research, and I am hoping to can some jam this evening. My primary goal in learning how to can is so that we can eat from our garden all year round. Last year I didn't plan our planting very well so everything was ready to harvest at the same time and it was ready so early that we were still eating most of our meals in the dining hall at camp when our veggies were fresh. So, I am making a plan for the garden so that the harvest is later and more spread out. Then I will can whatever I can so we can eat our garden veggies next winter.

Still looking for local options for organic chicken. I have found several farmers who sell it fresh in July-October but have not found any local options for frozen organic chicken. I am going to call a meat shop later today that I know has organic beef and bison, they might have chicken. The organic meat part seems to be the most expensive and difficult to find right now. So, I will keep looking. In the mean time, I will make a trip to "Trader Joe's" in Pittsburgh next week with Eli to get some organic meat and a wider variety of fruit & veggies (although not local).

So, that is where we are so far. Oh, one more thing. I took it upon myself to finish the Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies so that temptation has been removed from the house.... a sacrifice I was willing to make for my family! ;-)


  1. Deb, I have enjoyed reading these blogs. I have also tried to start eating healthier. It started for me when I started giving Stella solid food. I remember looking at the yogurt container one day and saw that there was something like 36g of sugar in it! I couldn't believe it. Then it brought my attention to all of the perservatives, artificial stuff, hydrogentated oils and such in all the foods we were eating. We have been making changes ever since! I would love to start a garden (don't know anything about gardening) and have my own chickens for eggs! We'll see what happens. Keep up the good work!

  2. Love the picture of Eli! Curious kids are a good thing.

    Good luck with the jam! Homemade jam is a real treat.

    Have you thought of a cold frame for your garden? I am planning to build one to extend our growing season. It would give you guys a chance to enjoy lettuce, spinach & chard well into the fall, when you'll be back to eating more at home.

    Great post Deb!

  3. I wish I had room for a garden. :( We share our in-laws but they live in West Sunbury and since the kids have been born it's harder to get out there for gardening stuff.

    I love to can though. I have two good salsa recipes if you are interested. And applesauce... easy peasy. Just takes a little bit of time. That's all I've ever canned so far though.

    I used to make fresh bread all the time. I need to get back to that. Do you find that your loaves are fluffy or a bit smaller? Ours always turned out too small or too soft to slice nicely which made doing sandwiches tough. Would love your recipes! Perhaps we can swap some at church on Sunday. We are on nursery duty. :)