Real Food Challenge Update

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Today is the start of day four of the real food challenge. I’m almost half way through! I’ll be honest, it really hasn’t been too difficult so far and I shouldn’t be celebrating half way. It is my plan to make this a somewhat permanent change (the exception being making sweets for celebrations).

Challenges: The two most challenging aspects of the Real Food Challenge are finding healthy sugar alternatives so I can continue baking and not having tortilla chips in the house. I love baking on the weekends. Friday night I found myself dying to make some Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies. I unsuccessfully searched for healthy satisfying alternatives so I could make the cookies. I would really like to find alternatives so I can continue weekend baking sessions. And then there are tortilla chips, which have been difficult because I love chips and salsa. Besides popcorn, this is the only true snack food that is ever in our house. To make matters worse I have a cabinet stocked with homemade salsa that I would love to eat.

Solutions:  I have a number of solutions in the works to solve some of the more challenging aspects of this Real Food Challenge.

  • Starbucks- I have found a Chai Tea Latte recipe that is wonderful. I’ve made it for the last three days and it has definitely curbed my     Starbucks cravings. Now only if I could find something to use in place of sugar so I could make a Caramel Macchiato (which is my favorite drink).
  • Tortilla Chips- I have a friend who recently returned from a great Central American travel adventure. Conveniently, she has shared that she learned how to make tortillas using no special equipment and wholesome ingredients. I’m going to try these homemade tortillas (yes I’ll be sharing the process) and bake them to eat with my homemade salsa.
  • Sugar- No great solutions yet. In some cases, I am able to substitute honey or maple syrup. However, I still don’t know what to do when I am craving Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies. I would love any suggestions for sugar substitutions.

Results: I have been feeling great! It has only been a few days, but already I can feel a difference in how my body functions. I have an extremely stressful job and while school is in session I really struggle to stay awake all day and sleep through the night. Changing the way I eat has helped tremendously. Honestly, I am not sure if it is the lack of refined sugar or if this is all a placebo effect, but it is working.

I was concerned when I began this Real Food Challenge that it would cost me a lot more money at the market. I did spend more at the store this week; however, that has more to do with stocking up for a Thanksgiving feast than it does with purchasing different food. I have found whole wheat flour prices to be quite comparable to the bread flour I typically bought. Honey and maple syrup are more expensive than refined white sugar; however, I don’t mind needing to spend a little more to replace one thing. Actually, the biggest change to my shopping is the research I do before going. For example, there were some things I needed for Thanksgiving dinner. I wasn’t quite sure if they would qualify and I had to sit down and read about the various brands before I went to the store.

In all, changes happen, life goes on, and it is just another weekend as I know it.

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3 Responses to Real Food Challenge Update

  1. Kassie. McManus says:

    I know this is probably very heretical but could I have your salted chocolate chip cookie recipe. Sounds really good, and I will try them as I contemplate taking the real food chllenge.

  2. Lisa Villanueva says:

    Brooke- Don’t know if you have read or heard about using Organic Blue Agave as a substitute for sugar. I bought a bottle at Costco. I tried it in Banana Bread and I was not thrilled with the results. I need to try it again and see what happens. Just wondering if you have used it?

    Lisa Villanueva/Saukville WI

    • brookeO says:

      I haven’t tried agave yet. I’ve actually been using a lot of honey. I’ve been a little intimidated by agave because I’ve never had it before. I may need to try it though.

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