Tuesday, July 10, 2012

30 Day All-Natural Park family challenge

I've talked about my newfound hippie-ish tendencies on this blog before, so this probably won't surprise any of you, although you may find yourself shocked that the fast-food loving, soda-chugging caveman I married is going along with it:  The Park family is embarking on a 30 day all natural eating challenge.

What does this mean?  Will we be eating wheat grass clippings and doing juice fasts and only consuming things that haven't been heated over 86.2 degrees or dried on adobe planks in the sun?  Not quite.  At least, not for us.  But if that's the route you want to go, more power to you.

For us, it means no preservatives.  No artificial colors or flavors in anything.  No Jack in the Box.  Some of you will think this is no big deal at all, and others will cry out loud and try to figure out how to smuggle Sundrop to Corey at work. 

For me, it is truthfully not going to be that big of an adjustment.  Or so I think while I'm still here in the planning stages.  But, I cook almost everything we eat from scratch and besides the occasional Lean Cuisine or plastic wrapped square of American cheese product (stop judging - you know you love those things too) I eat natural foods. 

And I can count the times that Brooke has had something artificial on two hands and almost all of them involve Grandpa sneaking around like the Grinch at Christmas and shoving a chunk of taffy between my child's rosebud lips while he thinks I'm not looking.  In fact, I take great pride in the fact that this past week he tried to feed her neon red Icee from the machine in the Circle K while we were watching the Fourth of July parade.  She looked at him like he'd grown two heads and said, "No, Grandpa.  That's not organic." 

Okay, she just said, "No!"  but that was good enough for me. 

So, that leaves the rebel patriarch of the family.

For the most part he eats what I feed him, but he has never been one to shy away from a Dr. Pepper on the way home from work, a breakfast burrito because he forgot to grab breakfast, or a double quarter pounder and grande fries just because he didn't want to eat the stir fry I packed him for lunch.

So, when I broached the subject I treaded lightly.  I led with the goal of the experiment, which is to buy all of us a little more energy and help us feel a little less heavy especially here in the 110 degree heat.  Since Corey has a class right now he spends most of his day on the flightline, where it is at least 15 degrees hotter than the rest of the city, and to say that he feels drained by 2pm is an understatement.  So, I'm crossing my fingers that replacing simple sugars with more fruits and veggies, and more lean proteins is going to help him out a little. 

It's not a weight loss plan, but I won't be upset if I drop a pound or two that seem to have taken up permanent residence on me since our cruise. 

What I really want to do is get over the 3 o'clock hump that I currently have where nothing in the world sounds better than crawling into the crib with Brooke and taking my own power nap.  And if organic bananas and homemade salad dressings can do it then I feel discovering the meaning of life is soon to follow. 

Because I wasn't sure this was enough of a challenge I'm also going to be forgoing plastic bags, which I try to do all the time but always manage to forget them in the trunk or on the counter at home.  I'm also going to be limiting canned, bagged, frozen, and pre-prepared foods - even the natural ones that are acceptable on this plan - and doing my best to stick to raw, clean foods. 

Brooke drinks boxed organic oat milk so that's still in, as is her weakness:  Annie's Organic honey wheat pretzels.  I figure they're natural and organic and packaged in foil instead of BPA leaching plastic, so they can stay.

But, I'm baking up graham crackers tomorrow to kick off our plan, and this week I'll be making ketchup, hamburger buns, bread and granola bars to make sure our house still has some convenience foods that we love the ease of. 

Oh, and I'm also trying to do this on $100 a week.  We have a low grocery costs here and no food tax, so this is possible but difficult. 

I'd like to promise that I'll blog every day during this experiment, but I'm afraid I'll make myself a liar before we begin, so I will say that I promise to keep you updated. 


Susan said...

I will do everything that I can to support you if you promise that you aren't going to show up here looking like that guy at the top of your blog. I might even learn a thing or two. Mom

Webb said...

I fail to see what is wrong with wanting to take a little afternoon siesta, other than that I think you have a great plan! Although I never have, and probably never will, go as far as you with the natural foods thing, millie and I have also been making changes to how and what we eat. Nothing wrong with natural!