Real Food, Real Homesteading Challenge: Week 1

February 9, 2016


I know this challenge just began at the end of last week, but I thought, why the heck not update?! I did say every Tuesday, and I am a firm believer in beginning as you mean to go forward. So update #1, here we come!

Planning Ahead

I will say, right off the bat, starting this challenge in the dead of winter probably wasn’t the smartest move. Ambitious? Totally! Smart? Not so much. Here’s why. As I talked about in my 2016 homestead goals post, I don’t have anything put up for the winter, except for what there was room for in my freezer…which, considering it’s February and the last of the harvest was way back in October, there ain’t any of it left. MEANING, I have to source all food grown within 200 miles. Which sounds A LOT easier said than done. I wish I had invested in a canner last season, because I would’ve had an easier time doing this challenge with food put up from the harvest. It would require much less work than sourcing locally grown foods in the middle of a New England winter. Seriously–it’s snowing as I type this (sigh). Alas, I won’t give up! I may have to tweak my parameters to more, ahem, attainable levels for the winter season. But I’m fairly confident that come spring, and through summer, I’ll be able to stick to my original “rules”. (Am I the only one who dislikes that word? Anyone with me?!)

On a more positive note, I did sit down and do a meal plan for this week, and that has been invaluable. Seriously, if you’re debating meal planning, but finding excuses not to (like me), DO IT! It’s incredible what a bit of planning can accomplish. There are so many resources online, from recipes to free printables to help you organize it all. Pinterest is ah-maz-ing! I would definitely recommend taking an hour or two to get your week of meals planned out, from recipes to grocery list to meal prep. It’s a life saver! If you’re new to real food, or just need a refresher, I LOVE Kristin’s site, Live Simply. I can’t recommend this site enough. It’s my go-to for all things real food, and natural living. Definitely an invaluable resource!

Real Food, All the time?

I had planned on posting a bit about what I’ve eaten, but since it’s only been a few days, I don’t have all that much. I’ve also been working pretty crazy hours at my job, so a lot of my eating has been there (I work at a restaurant part time). This presents a challenge in and of itself. I could order literally anything on the menu, so it’s easy to be led astray and gorge myself on all things unhealthy and delicious. But I’ve been pretty good about sticking to my unprocessed rule. I’ll usually have some grilled chicken or salmon with veggies, or a salad. While I can’t say it’s sourced within my 200 mile range, it is a relatively healthy meal. I will say though, two things I’ve been consistently eating are:

  • Ancient Grain toast with mashed avocado and two eggs (from my hens!) and
  • A green smoothie, usually a mix of organic spinach, locally sourced raw milk, organic fruit, organic avocado and chia seeds

Usually both at the same time, for breakfast or lunch, or the smoothie later in the day. If you’re wondering about the avocado–try it! It adds this unreal creaminess factor that tastes glorious. Yes, I’m using the word ‘glorious’ to describe a smoothie. Ain’t no shame here 😉

Eating Seasonally…in the Winter

I have to say, I really didn’t focus on eating seasonally this week. Going forward, this is actually one of the things about the challenge I’m most excited about! I’m so used to eating whatever I want (and certainly paying a decent amount of money for it!), that I don’t think I’ve ever really tried eating what is in season during the winter. It’s hard to believe anything will grow this time of year, with all the cold and snow, but I also have to remind myself that back when people relied mainly on themselves instead of the grocery store, they had food put up from the harvest. Hearty foods like potatoes and squash filled root cellars, along with carrots and onions. Check out this link for some ideas. Eating seasonally helps off-set food costs, and is healthier, in my humble opinion.

So! That’s really all I’ve got for our first update. Going forward, I’ll definitely include some recipes that I’ve tried, along with continuing to share my challenges and accomplishments. If you have any tips or tricks to eating a real food diet, or to eating seasonally or locally, chime in below in the comments! I’d love to hear them!


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