(We completed a very successful 10-day Real Food Pledge in October 2011, but I am catching the blog up to date after a LONG vacation.)
Days 7 and 8 of the Real Food Pledge fell on the weekend. In some ways the weekend is easier because there is time to go to the farmers market and prepare great meals. On the other hand, this weekend was more social than the weekdays, and it was tougher to stick to the pledge with other people providing my food. Of course it was a lot of fun… and worth losing some control over food options. Plus, one friend made us an incredible spread of all real food!
Saturday morning we enjoyed frozen whole wheat pancakes, left-over from day 1. I froze them in packs of three, but next time I will add a piece of freezer paper or wax paper between each one. That will make them easier to defrost/toast than a stack of three:
After breakfast Patrick and I went to the Western Wake farmers market to get fresh, local, sustainably-grown goodies for the week. I’ve been talking to the farmers more, and I enjoy getting to know the people responsible for growing my food. Patrick likes to WALK at the farmers market, so it’s not as easy to shop as it was when he would sit in the stroller. I get him involved in selecting and paying for our food, so that makes the trip a little less chaotic.
Even at the farmers market I had to be careful to follow the guidelines of the pledge to avoid processed foods. I almost ate a sample of honey-sweetened jelly (ok) on a wheat thin cracker (not ok), but I caught myself in time to get a piece of our Great Harvest whole-wheat bread to try it on instead. Local honey blackberry jelly on Great Harvest bread is delicious!
One farmer had a basket of tomatoes marked down to half-price because they had rough spots on one side. I bought three, and they were perfect for my lunch salad:
*This marks the end of the draft-post I wrote last fall. The rest of the post is what I remember with the help of my photos.*
Jim chipped-in to our real food efforts and made whole-wheat pumpkin bread from 100daysofrealfood.com.
I think it might be against the “spirit” of the pledge to eat the whole loaf within a few days. But it was delicious, and we all enjoyed it.
Saturday night we were invited to a Puerto Rican family dinner. Although it smelled and looked AMAZING, this particilar dinner did not include many items that qualified for the strict rules of the real-food pledge. I chose to refrain from everything other than the pinto beans (which tasted sweet like they probably didn’t qualify either). The important part of the night was sharing the company of friends and meeting their visiting family, but it also made me eager to occasionally relax the “rules” once we completed the 10-day pledge.
In contrast, on Sunday we were invited to dine with a friend who follows nutrition guidelines very similar to the pledge. It was refreshing to be offered a buffet of beautiful real food, with nothing to avoid.
The appetizer consisted of fresh berries, grapes, dried fruit, and raw nuts. The salad was a delightful mix of cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh herbs tossed with lemon juice and olive oil. Homemade, flavorful, oven-roasted tomato sauce over whole-grain pasta with meatballs made from farmers market bison and beef provided a satisfying main meal. An incredibly delicious way to wrap-up the weekend!
A lot of effort and thought went into this meal, making it mentally-satisfying in addition to satisfying hunger. I value knowing the origins of my food, appreciating the nutritious value of a meal, and enjoying the bond of sharing a common food philosophy with others.