Real Food Challenge: Week #2

You’ve got one week under your belts: you’ve cleaned out your pantry, learned about the proper preparation of grains, prepared a soaked flour recipe, started your sourdough, sprouted some grain and – perhaps – even attempted milling your very own flour. So it’s time to check in and let everyone know how you’re doing.

Did you really clean all the processed food from your pantry?  Are you still struggling with placing stevia, whole grain pastas and agave nectar on the forbidden list?  How’s your sourdough starter going?  What, in this first week, was the most challenging and what was the least?  What real food has made its way to your tables and which nourishing meals are you preparing for your family?

So, sit back and evaluate the week.  If you blog, share a link to your post (or posts) below so we can check them out and give you some support.  If you don’t, make sure to check in by commenting.  We have some fantastic prizes for the challenge (Nourished Kitchen Recipe Cards, Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Ingredient Guide and a Starter Kit from Cultures for Health featuring dairy kefir grains, kombucha and water kefir grains).

Did you miss an assignment or a day?

If you joined the challenge late, missed your email or assignment, get caught up by checking out the challenge’s archives.

Real Food Challenge Prizes:

Remember, to be eligible to win these prizes you must check in every week to share your progress – where you succeeded and where you struggled.

  • 2 Participants will receive a 1-year Subscription to Nourished Kitchen’s Recipe Cards by Mail.
  • 1 Participant will receive a Real Food Ingredient Guide by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.
  • 1 Participant will receive a culture kit containing water kefir grains, dairy kefir grains and a kombucha mother courtesy of Cultures for Health (see their listing on the resources page)

Post Your Progress for Week #1

If you have a blog, link your post or posts here.  If you’re working the challenge without a blog, post a comment to let us know how you did during week #1.

Learn to Cook Real Food

Inspired Recipes, Tips and Tutorials.

What people are saying

  1. Mommaofmany says

    I posted a recap of the week, and some pictures of the pantry cleanout. That was the hardest part for me. I can not throw out the white flour, pasta and rice completely. My husband enjoys homemade rice a roni and white-four sourdough and french bread. I am focusing on keeping it traditional for breakfast and lunch and preparing healthy-ish and enjoyable meals for him in the evening.

  2. Stacy says

    Definately had trouble with the clean out process, but I have definately had more energy this week.
    Found some good recipes for my sourdough that I will bake tomorrow!

  3. says

    great week – cleaned out kitchen cupboards and fridge – cooked all our meals – stocked up on raw butter, local raw goat milk, grassfed meat – even some organ meat :)
    No sprouting – buy sprouted flour already for the little baking that I do for special occasions – and no starter since I can’t do gluten – mostly grain free cooking in our house….
    started fermenting kefir again – so that’s a positive

    Can’t wait to see what else is coming up

  4. Kass says

    Hi Jenny,

    Thanks so much for doing this challenge. I have been interested in Traditional Food for some time. I came across your website last year when looking into more natural sweeteners so your website was my first introduction to Traditional Foods. It was (and is!) very overwhemling but I was intrigued. So when I saw your challenge I thought it would be a great way to get me started. We have a couple of dietary restrictions to work with -I am a vegetarian (I eat eggs and dairy) and one of my sons has celiac disease. Throw in a couple of picky children and my head was swimming!

    My first reaction when I saw the Day 1 challenge was ok, we eat pretty healthy it shouldn’t be TOO bad. WRONG! I was surprised and somewhat horrified at how many unhealthy things we have been eating. I really, really struggled with it and truth be told did not throw everything out. I did throw out most but kept a couple of shelves “for company”. I haven’t quite figured out how to feed other people’s children yet when they come to vist when they are used to certain foods. I kept some white sugar for when I have friends come over for coffee and tea, etc. i also have not thrown out the boxed cereal but have told my 3 kids that it is only for emergencies (ie. when my experiments do not go as planned -so far so good!)Plus a couple of snack foods I haven’t figured out how to replace -I feel it has taken me a little longer to figure out how to make things both gluten free and nut free (not because of us but my kids are not allowed to take nut product to school) I have, however, done my utmost to follow the guidelines you have set out when feeding my family and feel I have been fairly successful. I do feel though that I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen and on the computer! I have enjoyed every minute of it though. I began a gluten free sourdough starter today (I’m a little behind) but am still intimidated by sprouting grains. Do they just soak the one night and then are only rinsed from there on?

    I find we are more satiated with this new diet. My 10 year old son is a non-stop eater and this seems to have slowed him down somewhat -in a good way. I think he is getting the fat and nutrition he needs to help him feel more satisfied.

    I am feeling a real sense of satisfaction even though I am still feeling overwhelmed. This just feels so right to me and am so excited to learn all this new information. Funny though, I have been shopping at my local health food store mostly this week but went to the supermarket today and was struck by how the absolute vast majority of the products there are junk. It is really sad, scary and frustrating! I could say more but I feel like I am writing a book! Thank you so much for all your information and guidance! I look forward to the rest of the challenges.

  5. Sheila says

    I’m another one that thought I did well on how healthy my cupboards are, but I have cornstarch and a couple of commercial baking additives that I have to give up . . oh well.
    I do grind my own wheat for our bread, make our own yogurt and kefir. I’m not going to ferment anything, I’m the only one who likes them and I have a good source for very clean, organic and traditionally fermented foods if I have that yen.
    I am buying a sourdough starter tomorrow. I won’t risk ‘catching’ my own here, I’ve done it before and it was no good. We are in a wet zone and the house we rent has mold issues (working on getting out of here!)
    All in all, I think we’re doing pretty good, but yeah, that surprise in the cupboard . . . ;p

  6. J` says

    Hi there!
    I’m signed up for the challenge as a test to see how well we are doing. Cupboards have been cleaned for a few years now and fortunately had no contraband at the beginning of the challenge. We are currently mostly gluten free. So… no sourdough for now.

    Wonderful job, I look forward to the email each day.

  7. says

    Posted my recap! I even managed to make some nourishing Super Bowl food. We were stuck in on Saturday due to snow, so my sprouts were well-tended, and I made sure my husband got lots of nourishing staples Friday morning so I wouldn’t have to resort to non-nourishing foods (can’t throw everything out, since I don’t make my husband stick to this strictly). And I have an apple crisp in the oven now with a topping of sprouted wheat, butter, and Rapadura.

  8. Lisa says

    This week has been great! My sprouted grains are not cooperating but I’m hopeful that by tomorrow my wheat berries will have a little sprout on them. Am planning on grinding into flour-a first for me! :) Enjoying learning more info and doing something great for me and my family!

  9. Karen says

    What a good idea….and how ambitious you want us to be. Guess it’s time and time is not to waste.
    I’ve just signed on and tomorrow, I’ll run through what I’m supposed to do, starting w/ throwing out stuff in my kitchen.
    I’m not into sprouting grains, nor eating them yet, along w/ fruit…yet…as I’ve found that insulin resistence is probably what I’m dealing with.
    So, I’ll just keep it simple and enjoy my protein and veggies for now.
    thanks for the’s a great idea.

  10. says

    Good to know I’m not the only vegetarian here!

    I had to abstain from the sprouting/milling grain challenges. We don’t have any sproutable grain in the house and our food budget is exhausted until the 15th. But I’ll take on that challenge then, for sure.

    I’m also holding back a bit on the sourdough starter for the reasons I listed here: I am planning to sour some rye and spelt this week to make bread for my kids; I just need to get some filtered water.

    Otherwise, it was a great week! The only struggle I had with the pantry challenge was about whole-wheat pasta, a favorite food for my kids. And I know I need to switch to nama shoyu instead of Bragg’s – I’ll do that with the next shopping trip, too.

    I enjoyed the opportunity to really commit to soaking my grains (just oats and rice at the moment). All in all, I’m loving the challenge and looking forward to what’s next! I’m lagging behind a bit but doing the best I can! I’m amazed at your commitment, Jenny, and so glad you’ve put this together for us.

  11. Jenni says

    I have to say that all in all it’s been a great week. I cleaned out my pantry completely. It took me 2 days to get up the courage to throw everything out but I did. My kids even got in on the action and threw out their candy stash they had from Christmas. I purchased a sourdough starter and I’m going to get it going tonight. I haven’t sprouted any grains but as soon as I can make the trip to purchase some, I will give it a try. The only hitch all week was on Saturday evening when we had friends over for dinner. I tried twice to adapt a favorite dessert recipe to natural sweeteners and failed miserably. I ended up serving a chocolate fondue (with refined sugar) with fresh fruit. I did, however, make soaked grain tortillas for the enchiladas. Thanks for the challenge Jenny. I’m looking forward to this next week.

  12. Jenn says

    I thought that the first day would be so easy! I cleaned my pantry out months ago. (Insert preening here) And then it happened. I opened my pantry and started to really look at it. I’ve let a few things drift back in that don’t belong there. Chocolate raisins, conventional microwave popcorn, full sugar jelly, a “regular” cake mix that I hadn’t had time to give away that managed to return itself to my cupboards!! Ah!! I really realized that I NEED these periodic recleans to remind myself of what I want, and to make sure I’m not slipping into the old habit.

    As for the breads, we don’t use grains at all (instead we bake with Almond flour), so instead of soaking flour for bread I looked up and printed out the method of soaking nuts. With that info in hand we got to making wholesome foods that way.

    I have to say that taking control again this week made me feel more confident that I’m not just floating through my life, but that I’m an active participant in it:)

  13. Brent says

    Its been a great week and my wife and I have really enjoyed the changes we have made this past week. Eating had gotten so boring for us and we were doing way to much of it. This past week, our meals have be more exciting and fulfilling then they have been in a long time and we have not had to eat as much either.

    We had steel cut oats that we soaked in home made kefir yesterday for breakfast. We added walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds that we soaked overnight and also added some strawberries and banana. It was so good.

    Our sour dough starter seems to be really coming along and starting to show lots of bubbles and has a great smell and a really nice sour taste.

    Ive started shoping around for a grain mill and am really looking forward to that experience.

    Thanks for all your work putting this together for all of us.

  14. Jenifer Anderson says

    I’ve been doing some of the the traditional nutrition things for a while now – buying local pastured meats for over a year, raw dairy and pastured eggs since last summer. I make the WAPF homemade baby formula for my son (he does GREAT on it!) I’ve done the soaking grains thing, so that’s good.

    We love the quinoa salad with pine nuts – made that using turkey instead of chicken, and DH was THRILLED! That’s a new favorite for him. The sourdough starter is bubbling happily and has even contributed to some pancakes. Making bread this week may be a problem if I don’t get to the store, and that’s a problem too right now.

    My challenge this week has been that I flat-out don’t have the stuff to do the sprouting and milling of grains. I don’t have appropriate sproutable grains, nor do I have a dehydrator or a mill.

    What I DO have is over 32″ of snow on the road in front of my house, and a lot of worries that I won’t be able to GET my raw milk this week… which means I’m going to have a real problem with making baby formula… Oh, and we’re supposed to get another 12″ or so of snow on Tuesday into Wednesday…

  15. Charity says

    We’re on an extended vacation to the lower 48 right now, so its difficult to do many of the things on the challenge, but I am using it as a plan for what I will do when I get back. Those cupboards really need to be cleaned out and replaced with some real food! I did try to get rid of some no-no snacks we had with us and make some healthy ones to replace them, like soaked flour crackers. I have a sourdough going already at home and am looking forward to reviving it and getting it going again when we get back. Sprouting grains will be something new for me as well. I don’t have a grinder, but I do have a dehydrator, so I did some research on grain mills in the event I manage to save enough money to buy one sometime in the future.

  16. Leslie says

    I have to admit that this was a bit overwhelming for me this week – I found it difficult to purge all the bad without knowing what to replace it with (except fruits, veggies, and meat) and then trying to accomplish the steps…I am not able to run to the store daily to try things out with new ingredients. SO, my big accomplishment for the week was having some great dialogue with my husband about real food and why I want so desperately to feed my family on real food. He was surprisingly on board. My biggest challenge was what I mentioned earlier…trying to just focus on doing what I could with what we had and not get bogged down with what I couldn’t do. I am still looking forward to all that we have to learn and am hopeful that as I stock my pantry and fridge with the good things…that the steps will seem a bit more “doable.”

  17. says

    I posted my update on my blog.
    I did OK this week though I did miss or skip a few assignments. Some of those I’ll work on this week.
    Thanks for the challenge!

  18. Heather says

    Thanks for the challenge! This is perfect timing for me! I went through the pantry and found all kinds of junk lurking in there. My husband is not on board with the changes, so I now have one shelf dedicated to his stuff (the top shelf where I can barely reach anyway!). We have a good selection of the nourishing foods already, including raw milk, lots of fresh veggies, and organic pastured eggs and meats. I really appreciate the lessons on grains. I’ve read a little bit about preparing grains but never quite understood how to do it. I made the soaked oatmeal, and it was surprisingly delicious! I’ve located a local source for organic wheat berries, and I ordered a dried sourdough starter, which I plan to get started on this week.

  19. Alexis says

    I was worried about being able to keep up with everyone else because my husband and I live paycheck to paycheck, but it wasn’t as difficult as I originally thought. Our basic ingredients still leave much to be desired, but I’m trying to prepare them in a much healthier manner.

    In the oven (with the light on, my kitchen is cold) I currently have my sourdough starter (it keeps separating!), a quart of yogurt, oats soaking for oatmeal in the morning, and a bowl of lightly moistened lentils who are on their way to being sprouted (I don’t have a grain mill, or any local source for wheat berries, so I’m sprouting legumes instead).

    My husband hasn’t been as supportive as I would hope. He doesn’t really understand the benefit of paying a little more for quality ingredients instead of just buying the cheapest stuff he can find. Frustrated, tired, and standing at a loss in the grocery store this weekend I caved and bought a package of frozen tortellini. It didn’t taste as good as it usually does and I woke up the next morning feeling hung over. I stand thoroughly chastised, and I think my husband now knows not to push me to unhealthy alternatives.

  20. Anne says

    Thanks for this challenge! We already were doing many things from Nourishing Traditions, raw dairy, soaking some grains, grass fed meats, but this has taken things to a whole new level!
    I haven’t gotten rid of all the contraband, I have a 7 and 5 year old who snack on crackers often. I feel like I need to get some replacements that they like before I get rid of everything. But my mindset has changed, and I am looking forward to trying to make some crackers this week!

  21. Kathleen says

    When I started this challenge, I thought it wouldn’t really be a challenge for me. I am a part of a raw goat milk underground in my community and I make my own cheese; I have easy access to and use grass-fed beef, lamb, pastured chicken and eggs, and there are several organic farmers nearby supplying wonderful winter greens and beets this time of year. Truely I am blessed because I know there are others doing this challenge that will find it a challenge to procure good meat and milk. And cleaning out my pantry was easy, because there wasn’t a lot to clean out (yeah, some whole wheat flour, and brown sugar – but for the most part I can pronounce the ingredients of all my stuff and I had pitched anything with HFCS a long time ago). So what were my challenges? First of all, I am single -therefore I don’t bake, and rarely eat any grain products at all. I did replace the oats in my larder because I wasn’t sure they were ‘rolled’ oats (got them out of the bin at the CoOp), and one of my favorite meals is oats soaked in goat milk with raw apple. So, I thought to be on board I should at least TRY some of the sprouted grain you talked about, but I really don’t have the time to make my own so I utilized one of your sources and bought 5 pounds of sprouted whole wheat flour. Not sure what I’ll do with it when it arrives – but maybe NK will inspire me. And being single I really don’t ‘cook’ alot – I eat a lot of fruits and raw veggies (like salads) and grill a lot too. Simple but good. I have been known to eat hummous and carrots for dinner too. Probably I don’t eat as well as I should.

    The second challenge is huge for me. Although I have heard about the dangers of soy – I thought that the dangers were in regard to ‘too much’ soy, so I have never given a second (or first) thought to my using a soy-based (non-GMO) protein powder for breakfast. The powder I have been using contains all the US RDA and more, fortified with those ‘essential and trace’ minerals and also has lots of spirulina. Yum. Mixed with milk from my UGMN (underground goat milk network) it was really Yummy. I have always looked forward to this every morning! I have used this as part of my breakfast regimen for over 15 years!! And does it get worse than that? Yes – I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (auto-immune type) 5 years ago, and upon review of lab work previous to that I was likely Hypo-thyroid 5 years before I finally got treated. I thought I had been doing a good thing for myself. I thought I was getting an extra boost of vitamins every day, and even on those days when I didn’t have time to eat I thought at least I got some nourishment in my breakfast drink. So, little did I know that likley this stuff has been making me sick. Dang, I feel like an addict having to give up a habit that is like an appendage of my body. Yes – I know I have to throw it out, but it’s not easy. So now I am looking for a quicky protein drink I can make with goat milk especially for those days that I am in a hurry or that I can throw together when I travel. (I can’t always remember to soak my oats the night before, and I sometimes don’t really feel like eating at all in the morning).

    In addition to that, I must say I have learned alot during the first week, and it has inspired me to do a little more research on my own. Thanks Jenny.

  22. Christine Crain says

    Well I cleaned the cupboard of the crap, much to my husband’s dismay. He was the most upset about the lack of chips and Pepsi of course, but the rest he’s fine with.

    We also got a side of lamb from a local farmer that raises his sheep grass fed and finished, so it’s wonderfully healthy. I’m also looking to track down a local chicken and pig farmer that follows natural diets as opposed to normal grain feeding. My husband’s uncle raises cow on grass when the sheep is gone we’ll be getting beef from him. I think we’re going to need a larger freezer…

    As for all the sprouted grains and what not, I follow a primal diet for my husband and I, so we don’t eat breads and grains.

  23. Kathy says

    I absolutely loved the first week of this challenge. My one “hard” thing is the pasta….I love pasta! Have not thrown it out yet, so maybe I have failed at the challenge, but, everything else I already do. Since I work full time and don’t get home till close to 6p.m, I actually buy all my fermented food, saurkraut and kombucha are my faves right now. I only buy organic spelt sourdough bread and raw milk, yogurt, cream, butter and cheese. There is an awesome small organic farm 10 miles from my house and I spend a lot of time there. They have everything I need to eat a nourished diet! So at this time I haven’t actually tried to sprout my own grains and ferment my own food or start a sourdough. On the week ends I make all my husband’s lunches for the upcoming week: granola,muffins, salad dressings, mayo, ketchup etc. And Sundays we go to church and visit family which leaves me little to no time to try all the awesome challenges. I will definitely be doing all of them when I have more at home time…retirement!!! So even tho I am not actually “doing it myself”. I have checked off every challenge from last week. Except the pasta…give me little time on this one…please!! :) I have been eating like this for about 2 years now and feel great…if I do veer off the nourishing path, I can certainly feel it…and it doens’t happen very often now! I love your guidelines and I love checking off the challenges. It is the first real guided road I have seen to keep me on the right path. Thanks so much…your website has become my fave!

  24. Renee says

    Well I’m not doing as well as I would like. I was surprised at how many items of the good things on the list we were already doing and that my husband was willing to try some of it. But I find this challange difficult in the far north to be started in February instead of in the summer when more fresh foods are available from my garden and/ or the farmers market. I find that to be a significant disadvantage and really hard on the budget.

    I’m excited to be learning about soaked grains and sprouting. I’ve been wanting to make my own yogurt and sourdough is very hit or miss do to a cold kitchen. Both my son’s work at a dairy farm milking cows so I’m working on buying milk from that farm.

    I have a question about my dehydrator, it doesn’t have temp. control, just an on/off switch so will that be a factor? and will I need to be concerned about the grains dropping through the openings of the trays?

  25. says

    This has been a challenge for me. While I didn’t toss everything on the naughty list, it is being ignored and not eaten by me at least. I’m trying to start a starter from scratch, but it’s not bubbling yet so I may have to re-think that one. The wheat is sprouting and ready for the dehydrator today. Husband found a seed source locally for sprouting seeds so we picked up a few this weekend. We also had soaked oatmeal for breakfast which was new to us. We’ve not really soaked grains before. There is an update on my blog. Thanks for this great challenge.

  26. Jennifer says

    we don’t eat grains or pseudo-grains at all in our house – only rice infrequently. our processed food is mostly of the rice cracker type for those infrequent, spur of the moment, “i need a quick snack” — as vehicles for getting liver pate or goat cheese off the plate.

  27. Lauren says

    I recapped week #1 on your facebook wall- would you rather have those here in the comments section or there? Thanks!

  28. Devon Hernandez says

    Overall, great week! Definitely had some hidden no-no’s that had to be given up, but wasn’t as bad because I really, really limit that stuff already. Haven’t been able to start my sourdough yet, still waiting for the dried starter in the mail. I did soak grains though (like I do usually), made my first loaf of sprouted flour bread (your milk and honey wheat bread recipe!), sprouted lentils for the first time (yet to cook). I didn’t sprout any grain for milling though, as I have a good source of local sprouted flour available, and I have no mill (yet). I’m excited for week #2!

  29. says

    I participated the best I could. Wednesday was my birthday, so a special dinner out had been planned by my husband. Then, I went home to see family and friends over the weekend, and people kept taking me out to eat. I made healthier choices than usual, but not the best ones. I cleaned out my pantry, but kept a few things that my husband (who goes between vegetarian and vegan) insisted on keeping. So, we have whole wheat pasta, agave nectar, and things like that. Also, lack of grocery money prohibited me from purchasing new foods last week, but will be doing so this week. I ruined my kombucha scoby and kefir grains. I will have to wait until it is in my budget for new ones, which is disappointing. Will be making the sourdough starter today, and hopefully sprouting some grains within the next few days.I did, however, purchase some pig fat to make lard and chicken feet to make stock. I plan on making those things tomorrow.

  30. Pam Montazeri says

    Some hits and some misses this week. Did not toss everything, but learned what not to buy again. We are an empty nest household, with many visiting grandkids, so I am working on replacing those processed kid snacks with more wholesome foods. We are a fruits and vegetable based household to begin with, as our menu is largely persian. But the white rice is an issue. Have been using butter and evoo forever, as well as ghee. I did go on a shopping expedition and stocked up on raw milk products, nuts, seeds, grains, ect. My biggest problem is sweets, and I am diabetic, so that needs to be my #1 concern. I use maple syrup and molasses, but need to cut that as well. I soaked grains for porridge, which was delicious. Looked into a local farm co op, and possibly sharing a large purchase of grass fed beef. I would like to do the sourdough, but I don’t have an oven at the moment, although I used to do that years ago in my vegetarian hippy days! Thanks for the opportunity to learn!

  31. says

    We have been eating Nourishing Traditions style for about 3 years now. This has been good for me to remember why we do a lot of what we do though, to shore up some laziness in the food prep arena, and most importantly, to help my mom learn. It’s been fun to have her come most days on her way home from work to pick up today’s nourishing food. She’s been a great sport and I’m so thankful for this challenge to help her learn, and my own family regroup.

  32. Ruth says

    I have been enjoying the challenges so far. I did not throw much out the first day, but did a pantry inventory instead. If there was anything on the no list, I wrote it down and noted why I still had this thing. For example, it’s something my husband keeps for his own use, its something I need to find a substitute for, etc. I want to keep coming back to this list over the remaining weeks. I did have mostly good stuff already, so was ahead on day 2. :)

    As for grains, I have been learning more about and practicing the soaking technique. I have made oatmeal, a skillet cake, and,today, plan to do biscuits. I sprouted some quinoa grains, but I am not sure yet how to use them. I have also ordered a sourdough starter, and have a cow share plan here on the desk in front of me. So all in all, I feel like it’s been a great week of improvements.


  33. says

    I cook from scratch and we eat 95% real foods. One caution I have is to make sure you and your family can eat the NT was before throwing everything out. My dh has an illness that requires him to eat a low fiber diet. he can’t have the nuts and seeds . He can’t have most of the whole grains. I use rapadura and honey for my sweetners. I use organic white unbleached flour for baking. Along with organic bread flour.We don’t eat processed foods. I soak our oatmeal.We use full fat and butter.He drinks Organic Lactose Free Milk. I guess my point is not everyones system can handle the some foods.Just be care. He did try the whole grain thing. A seed got caught in his colon which caused it to ruputre. they removed half of the colon and he now wears a bag on his side.So please be careful when making changes and seek a doctors advise.

  34. alice says

    I’m reading along and trying to keep up (I didn’t need to clean out, as we got rid of all the bad stuff a long time ago), but haven’t gotten as far as I’d like. I’ve been distracted with reading Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads, though, so my slow progress has been for a good cause! I’ll hopefully get caught up this week (looking forward to yogurt!).

  35. Veronica says

    I found the hardest part of the cupboard clean out was the frustration with finding replacements for things like crackers. I’d love to make my own, but if it’s a huge task and they go bad within a couple of days, I don’t know how often that’s gonna actually happen. It’s so difficult for those of us that also work full time. Planning to do most of the nourishing prep over the weekends is fine, until something comes up and ruins the meal plans for the week because, I don’t know, you couldn’t soak that flour in time or something. Another challenge is living with someone that is resistant to these changes. I’m sure I’m not alone in this one. I am glad to say though that my cupboard wasn’t nearly as icky as I expected it to be. I wouldn’t say that I’ve been able to 100% stick with every rule every single day, but I think I’m making some good changes :)

  36. janis says

    This week has been a challange.
    I did OK cleaning out things.
    I managed to fix mostly real foods.

    I am waiting on starter to come in the mail for sour dough, so feel I am behind.

    I had to order sprouted ground grain, as we have no dehydrator and our oven will not cook low enough. This is very costly at this time for us.I’m unsure if I will be able to fully participate.I am discouraged.
    There is no raw milk and I have been unable to locate any that is not ultra pasteurized.I’m unsure if I want to give up all dairy and grains.

    I did find raw cheese at the store! and fixed the no processed cheese, cheese dip off your site and it was great for Super Bowl.

  37. says

    We’ve done pretty well this week–soaking grains (which I’ve planned to do for years but never actually get it done), feeding our preexisting sourdough, making kefir, grinding our own oatmeal and flours (which we’ve done for about a year), etc.

    The whole-grain pasta and the box of crackers moved to our emergency box. Given that we have 2 feet of snow on the ground and are expecting another foot tomorrow (here in DC), I just couldn’t get rid of them!

  38. Sarah says

    It was a pretty good week. I’ve been researching these topics for several weeks now, so I had already gotten a head start on cleaning out the pantry. There are some things I can’t throw out (like pasta) because my husband is very attached. Hopefully as time goes by I can come up with healthier substitutes that he will enjoy.
    I had started some sourdough the week before last, but it seemed to be going very slow. I think it will be okay, but found this morning that it had some uncovered and the top was all dry and crusty. :( I hope it turns out because I’m really looking forward to making sourdough bread with it.
    We don’t have a grain mill, and at this point can’t afford one, but I’ve been keeping an eye out for a good deal on a used one.

  39. AllergyMom says

    I was very happy to clean out all the accumulated “stuff” that I didn’t realize had snuck back into the pantry. However, I’ll be happy to move past the grains phase of the challenge. Both my kids are recovering from lots of intestinal damage and can’t tolerate grains yet. About a year ago, I did make a sourdough starter with sorghum flour – turns out to be an excellent sourdough bread!

    We’ve also shared our leftover honey with neighbors, as we all have allergic reactions to it right now. Is blackstrap molasses ok? I guess we’ll find out.

  40. Char says

    Week 1: Sheesh. There was a lot in my cabinets to reconsider! The sugar (white – organic) will stay – for the kombucha. I am gluten free so at this point not so worried about grains. I love getting the daily challenges – I am finding lots of useful information I didn’t have.

  41. says

    I am really enjoying this challenge, I have learned so much! I am really looking forward to what is to come. I did have a tough time starting, but I did make chicken liver pate for the very first time yesterday and have two of your recipies on my menu for this week. Thanks so much!!

  42. Leslie says

    Just checking in!

    I did not do so well with the first assignment. I still have a few things in my cabinets which I’d like to see go. Sugar is one of them. Also, I find that the organic baby crackers are so simple for me, that I couldn’t get rid of those.

    I began my sourdough starter and have had terrific success with sourdough bread. My family loves it and it is so easy! My sourdough is my new baby.

    I also started kefir. After over a week of it tasting like vomit every morning when I tried it, this morning it finally had a better taste. I was told to be patient, so I’m waiting it out.

    I have not started the soaking of the grains. I do not have a dehydrator and to make enough for my family would be really tough, so I’m sticking with the sourdough for now.

    That’s it! I’m looking forward to the rest of the month.

    Leslie (Momma of 11)

  43. CeciMami says

    My re-cap is late (crazy day yesterday…) hope that’s ok! :)

    On the clean cupboard day I was not at all surprised to find the things that I’d been “meaning” to get rid of for a while…still taking up space in my cupboard. Instead of throwing things away (since we’re on a really tight budget) I’ve started replacing things as we finish them with healthier options (been food shopping once since then and stuck to my new healthier food list!). I’ve been trying to be TF for a couple years yet so it isn’t a ton but still and all…it’s going to be REALLY hard to give up our white sugar for baking because, even though I love Sucanat in my coffee, it just doesn’t bake up the same (in my experience) in stuff like scones.

    Day #3 went well as I’ve soaked our oatmeal for a while now…and now that we have eggs in the house again I’m going to make your baked oatmeal for tomorrow…can’t wait! :)

    Day #4 (Sourdough) I’ve tried at and failed miserably with in the past (something about living in the desert…not as many wild yeasties flying around!) so I’ve decided to wait until I have the money to buy a starter from your source. I’m making our food budget extra tight so that I can order a couple of things from them at the beginning of March (including a Kombucha mushroom since buying bottled is no longer in the budget, an a yogurt starter!).

    Day#5&6 Since it’s been cold here I’ve had some issues getting my grain to sprout but am pleased with the results. This day made me realize that I’ve totally been malting my grains and that is probably the reason I’ve had so much trouble baking with them! DUH! We’ll see what kind of bread baking luck I have with this batch!

    All in all I have to say it was a successful week overall, just the kick in the pants that I needed to get back to my TF ways! :) Thanks so much for the challenge!

  44. says

    Just jumping in here today, February 9th. But after reading the archived challenges, I’m pretty caught up. I have a sourdough starter going already, and we already had most of the no-no’s out of the house. I’m ditching the Agave Nectar though!! never knew that, thanks! We have raw milk here, and farm eggs, but I still have to supplement with store junk, because I cannot afford to feed us entirely on the good stuff…I’m trying to get better at shopping, and cooking so that I might be able to.

    this is an exciting challenge. I hope I can keep up!

  45. Kelly says

    This is mind-blowingly hard.
    I confess.
    I didn’t throw away all the refined garbage.
    It is sitting in a brown paper bag in the garage.
    I don’t know why.
    I’m trying, but I feel lost in the snack department. I am dairy free due to my nursing babe’s reaction to it. That is difficult enough- then on top of that, to take away my rice cheese? oy! what am I to eat to stay full between meals? :(

    I’ve found that I am craving dairy and SWEETS, oh the sweets.
    I’ve committed to buying some raw milk for the rest of the fam, and am considering buying a Blendtec blender and excalibur dehydrator….. I’ve switched my daughter’s post-dinner treat from ice cream to a yummy “smoothie” made with milk and frozen fruit- she looooves this!

  46. Jenny says

    Kelly –

    I remember how hungry I would get when I was nursing my little guy – especially when he was a newborn.  I suggest you pick up some nuts, vegetables, larabars, dried fruit and naturally prepared beef jerky (if you haven’t the time to prepare it yourself). Bread spread with ghee (which is butter without the milk solids) or coconut can also help to tied you over.  Boiled eggs or deviled eggs are also good.  Homemade hummus with vegetables can be quite filling as well.

    You’ll make it through, promise.

    – Jenny

  47. says

    I am really behind on posting my progress, but we have been doing fairly well. We already eat all the healthy, traditional fats and don’t have much in the way of processed foods in our house to begin with.

    I think my biggest challenge has just been eating enough. I have been so incredibly busy with my web site, our business, and home schooling our son that I tend to get really caught up in what I am doing. Then all of a sudden it is really late in the day and I have not eaten as much as I should! Fortunately when I am eating something, it is always wholesome.

    The only thing I’ve eaten this week that wasn’t healthy was a few bites of bun at the restaurant we ate at for dinner last night. I took the bun off my chicken because I forgot to ask the waitress to leave it off on my order. – but this restaurant is known for their local, organic fare so the bread was better than some (and it was covered in real butter, cheese, and pesto!). I’ve also been tasting the Green and Black chocolate samples I received in the mail this week to write my review of their products. They are great, but we received milk chocolate (and dark is my favorite), so my son has been enjoying those samples.

    I also find that I am having a challenging time eating enough vegetables. I eat plenty of real fats and proteins – meat, seafood, cheese, home-made yogurt, butter, coconut oil, and others. I am having trouble getting motivated to also prepare vegetables to go along with it. And then of course, I find myself being hungry sooner than I should.

    Last night I actually found myself feeling really exhausted and almost as though I might be coming down with something (I’ve been completely healthy all during flu and cold season this year, as has my husband – and our son has only had one sick day all year). I ate a very healthy dinner with local, pastured chicken, mozzarella cheese, pesto, and sundried tomatoes, a big salad, and a cup of clam chowder. I took extra cod liver oil and probiotics before bed, and made sure I drank extra water – the mixture I always keep around is filtered water with a bit of unsweetened cranberry juice (for minerals) and added some fresh squeezed lemon. Today I feel much better! Now I need to focus on getting my vegetable intake back up. Thanks for the Real Food Challenge, Jenny!

  48. AllergyMom says

    What a great week! I’m making so many new food-connections around town. AND, both my kids are loving our homemade sauerkraut. I look forward to next week.

  49. Adrienne says

    I think I did pretty well this week. We already used real maple syrup and molasses, we bought Rapadura and now I’m looking into a local source for raw honey. I have been soaking all our grains and beans, but I still have to sprout some. I also started the sourdough culture. My husband and daughter are addicted to bread, so for our family that has been a little hard. Luckily we found Alverado sprouted sourdough and tortillas. I am really looking forward to making a real sourdough loaf! We also bought some ghee for cooking. I used it for the first time to sear goat neck for a goat neck stew. We have joined a local organic meat CSA, and it is really great. I feel like we are healthier, and I am giving the best, nourishing food to my 18 month old daughter.

  50. says

    I bought a farm last year, with the idea of growing and raising all my own food. I am loving all the wonderful information I am getting from you! I am new to eating anything healthy, being a junk food junky all my life. My biggest surprise so far was how I am not having any sugar cravings at all- eating healthy is much easier than I had anticipated. Mostly eating chicken, turkey, eggs and salads I have grown myself. This will get easier as the gardening season progresses. I have started my sourdough, and am really looking forward to tasting that. I have done much else… YET, due to budget constraints, but it’s great to know all that I need is sitting in my email box for when I am ready for each step. Thanks!

  51. vicki says

    Hi I am vicki from sth australia, love your website and the 28 day challenge. I had just bought nourishing traditions by sally fallon and mary e enig when I stumbled upon your sight and saw about 28 day challenge. It is great, I am sprouting lots and have made saurekraut and apple and beetroot relish will try some tomorrow. Have been thinking of making sour dough bread for ages but always put it off thinking I would muck it up but when it was in the challenge decided to go for it, mine is a little runny not sure wether this is correct thought I would take some out and make sour pancakes tonight. Have been off margerine for a couple of years now after eating it thinking it was the correct thing to do butter is sooooo much nicer. Thankyou Jenny for putting up the challenge.

  52. says

    French or garden sorrel, with its long single leaves and
    reddish-green flowers (June and July) is that which will be found cultivated but grows wild also and will usually be juicier and with a little less of
    an acidic kick than wood sorrel. As you enter the OWL phases,
    you’ll need to be more mindful of your carbohydrate count and keep better track of your weight. Over the next several days, increase the homemade percentage until you reach 100%.

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