So you may have been following my French Obsession and my recent discovery of Lunch in Paris which has inspired me to start a 30 Day Go Fresh Challenge!
Here are the Rules of the Challenge:
1. Starts September 6th thru October 6th (that way you have Labor Day to still pig out)
2. No eating out. Everything must be made at home with fresh ingredients
3. Buy/Use fresh ingredients when possible. This means nothing pre-packaged, canned or frozen.
Why Go Fresh?
1. OK, I know it sounds a bit extreme. But here's the deal: When things are pre-packaged or pre-made they lose the integrity of their nutrition. Plus they are typically loaded with sodium and preservatives to keep the item "fresh". The fresher the ingredients, the more benefit it is for you!
2. Save $$$! Seriously, save your reciepts. You'll be amazed at how much less you end up spending on groceries. PLUS no more impulse buying those Oreos or Ben & Jerry's!
3. Support your Local Market. Buy what's already readily available in your community. The more distance the item comes from, the more time it has to lose it's nutrition (and the more money you will pay for it!)
Do I have to also go Organic?
This challenge isn't necessarily Organic. However, Organic does mean less preservatives. At this time I'm not restricting myself to Organic only.
What about drinking Cokes?
OK... technically Cokes shouldn't be included with "fresh" eating, but I understand a caffeine fix when I see one! Consider making your own Sweet Tea during the challenge, or switching to homemade coffee. If that still won't cut it, Cokes are still OK during the challenge. :)
But when am I going to have time to make all my own food?
Hubby and I have slowly started the process of going with fresher ingredients. It's actually been relatively easy to go fresh. We have been trying a few things we can make ahead of time.
1. We bought our own beans, soaked them and boiled them for chili last week. All you have to do is let the beans soak the night before.
2. You could also buy a whole chicken, bake it, and you can get 2 meals out of the meat. Use the meat for putting in soups, making quesadillas, etc.
3. Buy bread from your store's bakery.
4. Use ingredients like rice, beans and veggies that you can plan your meals around.
5. Make your own Chicken/Beef Broth on your days off. It can stay in your fridge for the week.
***Making things ahead of time might sound like it is defeating the purpose, but it's still a step closer than something that came out of a can or out of the freezer.
To Get Ready for the Challenge, Hubby and I found a Farmer's Market near our house! There was also a spice and herb shop that we found! We also have a Butcher in our neighborhood! It's kind of fun going from store to store to get what you need!
Our Day at the Farmer's Market!
OK, so the Challenge is not to make your life more difficult. I understand if you work long hours or have a family of kids who might not agree with the Challenge. The point is to have fun and learn a new way of eating. Think of it as trying new opportunities instead of limiting what you "can't" have. Obviously there are going to be a few times you might have to cheat if you are pressed for time. Have fun with the challenge, or maybe keep it do "dinners only" instead of basing it around all your meals.
During the Challenge I will be posting recipes that are "Fresh Friendly." I hope that you join in or at least stay tuned for our Challenge Adventure!
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