Day 1 of 100 days with no sugar or processed foods

Our first day of no sugar or processed food is coming to a close, and it went well!  I really think we’re going to be able to make it 100 days.

What we ate today:

Breakfast was these whole wheat pancakes  reheated from yesterday (with a slight variation, honey instead of sugar).  They were served with warmed frozen organic raspberries and strawberries and chunks of pear.  These are always a huge hit, so we made a triple batch yesterday, and they kids fought over the last one.

Lunch was whole wheat bread with hummus with a side of rainbow carrots and green peppers.  This was a flop, and the kids ate only a few bites… but I’ll chalk that up to having soooo many pancakes for breakfast.

For dinner, I made chicken, bacon, bean, cheese and veggie quesadillas.  I threw these together with things I had around the kitchen.  On the side, I served some avocado.  The kids had a few bites, but weren’t wild about them.

The snacks they got today were popcorn with salt and plain yogurt with leftover raspberry and strawberry sauce from breakfast with a touch of honey.

So far, I have found planning and prepping in advance are making the biggest difference to feeding the crew.

The prep I did: Yesterday, when I had a few minutes, I threw a pack of organic bacon into the oven at 350 (all spread out) for about 20 minutes.  I used some bacon for quesadillas, I’ll use a little tomorrow for macaroni and cheese, and the rest is frozen to use as a topping for pizza this weekend.  First thing this morning, I threw 3 chicken breasts in the slow cooker with a little salt and pepper, and shredded it around 4pm.  Half of that went into quesadillas, half will be a pizza topping, along with some veggies I chopped.

The planning: during the month of december, between all the craziness of the holidays, I put together a 7 day meal rotation that suits my time constraints (three itty bitty kids), our preferences, budget and fits the rules of the 100 day challenge.  The meal plan is posted in my kitchen, and although I love to cook on the fly… these days, if I don’t prep and plan… we don’t have dinner!  So I’m hoping the convenience of sticking to the meal rotation will overcome my desire to be spontaneous.

one good stink deserves another….

Lying in bed this morning, I had a spectacularly naive thought….the baby is just over two months old, maybe this is when things start feeling a bit easier…. (insert eye-roll)

9:30am, finish donating 75% of my breakfast to the kids.  …because for some mysterious reason, my oatmeal tastes much better than theirs.

10 30am, we’ve completed tidying the kitchen 3 times….Elise likes to empty cupboards.  nuff said.

10 40am We head to the basement, for some rainy day play.

10 50am, I smell something horrendous, and wonder why I feed Elise pickles….  I suddenly realize it’s not Elise… it’s the contents of our local sewer.  which is now running through our basement.

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11 30 to 11 40 am, many frantic phone calls to the hubby, to figure out what I should do…

11 50am I am finally on the phone with a plumber.  I happen to also be juggling the nursing newborn and a toddler who believes I am the trampoline.  I thank my God in Heaven that Caleb was quietly playing horsey.  But he would occasionally take a little break to accompany me to the basement of many smells; to assess whether more sewer was coming in or if the smell was indeed getting worse.

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12, We had bacon for lunch, because of course the smell of bacon could cover the smell of the sewer running through our basement.  right??

12 15, I swear the smell is getting worse. ….but just on the off chance, I check Elise’s diaper…. of course …she has bad case of diarrhea.

12 17, leave Elise to run around naked for 5 seconds while I get a new diaper and outfit. Pee. all. over. the. floor.

12 22….7 wipes, 4 paper towels, and an outfit later… we’re all a little happier.

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12 30, I notice paw prints on the floor…  of course the dog had been out. and tracked mud through the house.  Leaving me a Hansel and Gretel style trail.

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12 47… I start to wonder, had the dog made it to the white couch yet?? ….oh yeah… he was happily sitting right in the corner.  But before settling into his spot, he  (of course) walked over the whole couch, just to make sure.

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12 48  The dog had a time out on the back door rug, until I could clean him up.

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1 30pm Time to start stress baking…  Since it had been a tonne of messes today, I thought why not let Elise try baking brownies for the first time.  Might as well.

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She loved it!  And hardly made any messes.

3pm, We pulled these beauties out out of the oven.

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5pm, I grab some pizza crusts, top them with spaghetti sauce, cheddar cheese, feta, sundried tomatoes and loads of chopped baby broccoli.  Pop the 3 crusts in the oven, for 20 minutes at 400F.

5 30pm, we enjoy this deliciousness.

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6 30pm We end the day with brownies.  Because any day is better when it ends in brownies.  (even though it still smells like an outhouse in here….)

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Butter Tarts. I dare you to just eat 1!

For some families it’s chocolate cake, or chili, or lasagna, for us, butter tarts are the main attraction for the holidays.  Butter tarts are especially my dad’s absolute favourite treat.  This weekend, my parents came by for a little visit.  So I thought I’d invite the kids to make a mess in the kitchen and give my dad’s favourite a try.  I found this recipe, and it worked out fabulously.  In the end, it really ended up being easy enough for my 3 year old to do most of the baking!

You’ll need:

  • pie pastry (16 tarts, your own or tenderflake – I used tenderflake)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1. Preheat oven to 400F.  In a small bowl, place raisins and cover with hot tap water; let stand on the counter for 30 minutes.
    2. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together the soft butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup; stir well until sugar is dissolved and butter is creamed.  (Caleb and I just used the paddle attachment on the good old Kitchen aid)IMG_5338
    3. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
    4. Drain raisins
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    5. Retrieve tart shells and divide raisins equally into all shells; then divide butter mixture into all tarts
    6. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes; filling will be lightly browned but still bubbling.  (We cooked them for 17 minutes, and they turned out a bit more consistent than we were looking for, we like them running down your chin.  Next time, we will cook them for 15 minutes on the dot.
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    7. Let cooked butter tarts cool in pans for 10 minutes after removing from oven; then remove and place on racks until completely cool.IMG_5379                                                                      ….and miracle of miracles.  I was able to stick to just having 1 tart!!  But I’m getting awfully close to my first post partum weight loss goal… and no butter tart can get in the way!!

If you give my mouse his cookie…

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He will ask for Books! Books! Books! We love books! ….and cookies. And if you can combine them, around here, that’s a winner.  We’ve been reading If you give a mouse a cookie, and my little guy just loves it.  He now references the book in his every day play, “if you give me a peanut butter sandwich, I might ask for some jam… and if you give me some jam.  I might ask for some chocolate”.  (because in his mind, everything leads to chocolate).  If you aren’t familiar with the book, a mouse asks for milk, which leads to asking for a cookie, which leads to a mirror, which leads to a haircut, and on and on.

I know I’ve already mentioned our love for Sonlight’s preschool program. But I must say it one more time. How many programs include baking and eating cookies as part of the curriculum??  Cookies are not the only benefit we’ve been seeing.  Even though Caleb can’t read yet, you’ll often find him snuggling in a corner with a book and his little sister has been copying him.  She carries around books she likes, and will ask us to read at every opportunity.

Elise has also recently decided she doesn’t want to miss out on story time, and instead of wandering off to play with other toys, she’ll get up on the couch to hear the stories.  We’ve started reading her some of the simpler stories from the beginning of Caleb’s curriculum, like Goodnight moon, which she almost knows by heart.