28 June 2012

The Eat Well, Save More Real Food Challenge Guidelines

This challenge is meant to save you money, time and energy so with that in mind, there are a few guidelines.

Firstly, don't rush out and spend a fortune buying groceries.  Instead go through your pantry, fridge and freezer and take a good look at the food you have on hand.

Then do what you normally do:

1. Make a meal plan using up as much of the food you already have as possible
2. Write up a shopping list, adding only the foods you need to round out your meal plan
3. Stick to it!

So what can you eat on this challenge:

1. Whole and real food, no tins, packets or boxes that have more than 5 ingredients listed and those 5 ingredients must be real food, not additives such as colours, flavours, added vitamins and mineral, thickeners etc.

2. Lots of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables (frozen 100% veggies and fruit are allowed). Try to source organic produce if you can (Costco have reasonably priced organic produce for those on the East Coast and of course food you've grown yourself is always best).

3. Dairy products like milk, butter, pure cream, unsweetened natural yoghurt, eggs, and cheese (margarine does not count as a dairy product!).

4. 100% whole-grains, this includes rice and flour - substitute wholegrain for white in baking - see Whole Orange Cake, Sweet Potato Chocolate Cakes and Healthy Moist Coconut Cake for ideas on how to do this. If you don't make your own bread, find a bakery that does a 100% wholegrain loaf - Bakers Delight and Brumbys both do a nice loaf and both do "deals" or find a local bakery and support it.

5. Fresh seafood (look for locally harvested seafood to cut down food miles and ensure freshness and no tins!).

6. Fresh meat such as beef, lamb and pork and fresh poultry. Try to source organic meat (it's only expensive if you forget your portion size and over-eat) and poultry. Eat these foods in moderation; use them as the side dish or accompaniment to your vegetables.

7. Drinks are water, milk, all 100% natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee and tea, and organic wine and beer (if you absolutely must!). No commercial flavoured coffee or milk mixes please - try 100% pure cocoa in your milk for a delicious hot chocolate. Try to stick to plain water - at least 8 glasses a day please.

8. Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn and cakes, muffins, biscuits and slices (in moderation) that are made from real ingredients (MOOd or bought - see the 5 ingredient rule).

9. Only natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup (Aldi have a reasonably price pure maple syrup), Agave, Stevia drops and 100% fruit juice are acceptable in moderation.

What you can't eat on this challenge:

1. No refined grains such as white flour or white rice.

2. No refined sweeteners such as white or brown sugar (if you must use sugar, raw sugar is best), any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda.

3. Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle, jar or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label.

4. No “fast foods” (you can make your own versions of fast food using your real foods, just don't buy them).

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