Day Thirteen. A Road Trip With No Fast Food, Is It Possible?

Day Thirteen.

500 miles. Atlanta to Orlando. 3 kids. 1 adult. 20oz coffee. 6.5 hours. Did we stop for breakfast, yup and it was amazing!

I have been worried about this planned road trip to Florida ever since I decided to start this 60-day challenge to rid our home of GMO’s. The first thing that came to my head was…how can I do a road trip without eating Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks!? We always stop at Chick-Fil-A on exit 62. The kids have potty breaks, we have breakfast and play on the playground. Then we get in the car and go to Starbucks to refuel. It is a road trip tradition!

Knowing I couldn’t quit this challenge, I had to plan ahead. Which is TOTALLY not me. I am not a planner at all. I am a beach bum. The only thing I plan is when I can sleep. That is basically it. Dinner is usually thought out only a few hours, sometimes minutes before we eat. So you see, planning out what we would have for snacks, breakfast and possibly lunch was very overwhelming. But I managed.

We ate. No one missed the “tradition” as much as me. Kids are so much more go with the flow. We even found a Starbucks with organic milk for my coffee refill. Hallelujah!

We got to Florida and I did a quick survey of the food situation and we needed to run out again. Nothing about eating this way is fast and convenient, but I am getting used to it. My parents actually joined a local farm share so we went and picked up a big share of veggies and fruits.

Huge shout out to Aldi for carrying a lot of organic products. Check out what I found:

1. Organic raw cheddar cheese – $3.49
2. Organic yogurt – $2.99
3. 2 boxes organic cereal – $1.49
4. Cantaloupe – $1.19
5. 2 avocados – $.59
6. Hummus – $1.69
7. Bag of sweet mini peppers – $2.79

I got all if this for $16.00! I was shocked and very excited.

This week will be challenging figuring out a new environment! But I am up for the challenge!

**Do you have any tips for traveling or vacations and still maintaining a healthy, clean diet?**

Day Thirteen Food In Review:

(Click on the links for recipes)

Breakfast:

Bananas, yogurt, Lara bars

Lunch:

Guacamole & chips, cheese, popcorn, carrots

Snacks:

Popcorn, fruit leather, cantaloupe

Dinner:

Chicken fried rice

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Day Ten. Confession: I Cheated With GMO.

Day Ten.

I should have been more careful, I should have paid more attention, how could I be that stupid. I am now realizing I cannot be lazy and “slip up” on my son’s diet. After a weekend of celebrating my birthday he had a few “gluten” items here and there. Lasts nights dinner was the king of all gluten, pasta…

This morning he had bad tummy pain, was extremely irritable, tired, diarrhea and blood in his stools. Mommy fail. I already felt horrible for causing him pain and then he came up to me and said this: “Mommy, please don’t feed me gluten anymore. Only give me the good stuff that doesn’t hurt my tummy.” OUCH! Insert guilt. Since he has not been “formally” diagnosed with celiacs disease I felt I could fudge here and there. I may be totally wrong in my thinking it is all caused by gluten, but to me, the signs all point that way. He was doing great, until this past weekend.

And then to top the day off, since we were all in bad moods for some reason. I found my favorite jalapeño greek yogurt dip STILL IN MY REFRIGERATOR. Totally chalked full of GMO’s, I am sure, but I succumbed to the pressure of it begging me to take a taste and I did. GAH! Now I feel even worse. I am doing this blog, “60-day challenge!”… I am not even close to half way through… and I caved. Yup.

So! Since today was totally just not cool I will re-try tomorrow. I know I do not have to be perfect, but I want what is best for my kids. What parent doesn’t? I feel horrible that my son is struggling and in pain. I want to fix him, I can’t, only God can. Tonight I will continue my research on the effects of GMO’s in our diets, search for delicious gluten-free recipes for my son, sip on a glass of wine and some dark chocolate from my birthday.

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TIP: I searched our favorite go-to wine Trader Joe’s “two-buck-chuck” – don’t judge. I was pleasantly surprised to find Trader Joe’s brand wine is GMO free. See it for yourself: (taken from their website)

The finest quality, natural ingredients. This means:

  • NO artificial flavors, colors or
    preservatives
  • NO genetically modified ingredients
  • NO MSG
  • NO added Trans Fats

I have been working on our “budget” and what we spent last week. Mind you, this was an unusual week for us because we needed so many staple items. BUT! I will post it tomorrow, I know you have been waiting. 🙂

Day Ten Food In Review:

(Recipes in italics)

Breakfast:

Nature’s Path organic corn flakes with almond milk.

Lunch:

Rudi‘s gluten-free bread with peanut butter and raw honey, organic cheese sticks and apple slices

Snacks:

Strawberry fruit leather, cashews

Dinner:

Organic gluten-free macaroni and cheese, steamed broccoli and green beans

Day Seven. I Am Never Eating Again.

Day Seven.

Do you remember when you first learned how to read and it seemed like a whole new world was opened before your eyes? Suddenly there were words everywhere! It was exciting trying to sound them out, but I bet it was quickly followed with the sense of being overwhelmed. With so much new information, suddenly the world of words was swarming around you.
This is me in a nutshell today. I have read so much information over the last week, learned the beginnings of reading labels and it is exciting. *cue the anxiety* There is SO MUCH information it is really overwhelming. If you combined: Food Inc, Forks Over Knives, Genetic Roulette and Frankenfish into one big documentary you would basically never eat anything again. You feeling me?
Let’s face it. There are very few people who can afford to buy everything all organic. The majority of us are on some sort of a budget, we clip coupons and search the sales ads for the best deals. We all know that organic food is expensive and it seems they are never on sale, right? Does it bother you, like it does me, that to eat healthy we have to pay more? It just seems so backwards. I could go and buy a combo meal at Burger King for less than I could a little pint of organic strawberries. It is unreal.

Here are 10 helpful tips I have learned this past week:

  1. Buy only the foods that are GM organic: corn, squash, zucchini, papaya, soy, alfalfa sprouts, and all dairy and meat. Tip: Organic whole chicken is as cheap as the non organic at Publix, $2.99lb. Buy a couple and cook them in the crockpot. Use the meat all week and make a chicken stock from the bones.
  2. When you buy non organic produce make this: homemade produce wash to get rid of most of the pesticides.
  3. Stay away from processes foods. It is hard at first (for us 3 days) but I promise your kids taste buds will change to like the new whole foods!
  4. Buy foods that you can use in multiple ways over the week to stretch your dollar. Example: avocados are great for dips, salads, tacos and even on fried egg sandwiches.
  5. Shop at a local farmers market or find a farm share near you.
  6. Buy only what is in season. It is much cheaper this way.
  7. Search the Internet for coupons. Organic foods companies are starting to put out more coupons for their items! I am going to start an Organic coupon database soon.
  8. Do not try to do it all at once, unless there are major health issues forcing you to, go slow! Take your time.
  9. Whole Foods offers a gallon of FREE organic 365 milk on Tuesdays, with a $30 purchase, when you and your kids attend story time.
  10. Publix does B1G1 free on frozen nonGMO items like: Udi’s GF bread and Van’s frozen foods. Watch your store circular for the deals.

Okay, so I told you yesterday about Bradley improvements. There are still things I would love to see change and I am hopeful over time we will see those changes. My progress has, unfortunately, not been as dramatic of a change as Bradley. The only noticeable difference I can speak of it a general sense of more energy. I do not need my second cup of coffee in the afternoons anymore. Like with Bradley, I am hopeful I will see changes in my pain levels and G.I. issues. I have had years of damage so I did not expect a change over night. It will take time.

DAY SIX FOOD IN REVIEW:

(click on the link for recipes)

Breakfast:

Van’s GF waffles with maple syrup and bananas.

Lunch:

Cheese, apples and peanut butter, avocado’s and organic corn chips

Snacks:

apples, bananas, almonds, handfuls of homemade granola

Dinner: (Seth and Norah went out for a special Valentine’s Daddy/Daughter dinner and dance) 🙂

Bradley and I: Leftover meatloaf, rice and a cobb salad.

Day Six. Sweet Success!

Day Six.

Today is my birthday. I was wondering how I was going to apply the rule, “when it is Mommy’s birthday she doesn’t cook!” with this challenge and not many already prepared options in our house. Well, thanks to Whole Foods and an amazing organic restaurant we made it happen!

Did you catch that I said we went to Whole Foods again? I am convinced they have labeled me “the crazy mom with wild, out-of-control kids”. I bet they mumble under their breath when they see me walk in…Ha! I do not know what it is about that place that makes my kids feel the need to talk at the top of their lungs, hop like bunnies and knock things off of shelves! Maybe it is all the organic goodness that gives them extra energy!?

What I do know is I need to get a lot faster at reading labels. Oh my goodness, it takes me forever! It will get easier, right? Side note: someone needs to invent a grocery cart to buckle 3 children, have room for groceries AND not be a massive limousine like Targets version.

We are almost finished with our first week of being Non-GMO with our food, well, minus a couple mistakes in the beginning. Are you interested in the health update!? Get excited. I know I am!

Bradley:

  • Bradley has slept through the night 3 nights in a row, 7pm-7am. I know, it doesn’t seem like much, but this Mommy is rejoicing! That is huge for him! “Normal” was not falling asleep until 9:30pm. Waking up at least 2 times crying because he hurt or was thirsty.
  • He has been clearing his plate and asking for seconds and occasionally thirds! Never ever has he been such a good eater! “Normal” was picking at his plate, not eating much and saying he was so full he could not eat any more. He still has not gained weight, but he also has not lost anymore!
  • He is drinking far less. It sounds weird that drinking less is an improvement. “Normal” was needing several sippy-cups throughout the day and then more throughout the night.
  • His overall mood has changed. He seems less agitated and irritable. He is still your normal whiny three year old, but I can see a change 🙂

…I will continue with my progress tomorrow!

HOT TIP: If you are in the Atlanta area here is a great organic restaurant! L’ Thai Organic Restaurant and Wine Bar. Outstanding service and food! Here are a few pictures of our dinner tonight. Uh-mazing!

photo 1

Organic basil spring rolls with spicy peanut sauce

photo 2

Filet Mignon Basilienne (Kra-Prow Nua San-Nai)

8oz Dry aged grass-fed Filet Mignon scrumptiously grilled to perfection, served on a bed of organic spinach fettucini, topped with grilled Tiger prawns and sautéed fresh basil, onions and mixed bell peppers in basil wine sauce.

photo 3

DAY SIX FOOD IN REVIEW:

(click on the link for recipes)

Breakfast:

Homemade granola with fresh strawberries

Lunch: (at Whole Foods)

Kids: GF pizza (free pizza day!), Me: mixed greens salad, green beans, Mediterranean barley salad

Snacks:

Bars, almonds and cashews, cherry tomatoes

Dinner: (us out, kids at home!)

Kids: peanut butter sandwiches, organic string cheese, strawberries and chocolate cake from Whole Foods

Us: See pictures above. Incredible!