No Fast Food Challenge - Our Daily Green

Monday, January 28, 2013

No Fast Food Challenge

A few weeks ago, as part of our New Year's pledge to lose some weight and actually start putting more of what we preach into practice, we began to follow the health and wellness blog "Put That Cookie Down Now". This site is dedicated not just to exercise, but also strategies to eat healthier. It really is a great blog to dove-tail with our dedication to green living. To us, part of green living involves minimizing chemical intrusions on our body. One of the best ways to do that is to stay healthy and avoid the need for pharmaceutical intervention. Staying healthy is about eating right and following a regular exercise routine.

This weekend, they issued a No Fast Food challenge and invited their readers to join. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to really encourage a small step in the right direction. Long time readers know that we encourage an 80/20 philosophy. We allow for less than 100% compliance in all our challenges because it's easier to keep practicing small steps than get burnt out on an all or nothing approach. But for only 10 days, we are joining this pledge to avoid fast food.

(from Put That Cookie Down Now):

The basic rules are as follows:

  • No drive-through restaurants where someone is handing a bag to you through your car window.
  • No restaurants where you walk up to the counter, place an order and someone hands a bag to you.
  • No heat and eat stuff from the grocery store such as frozen pizza, chicken pot pie, mac and cheese, microwave meals, toaster oven breakfast pastries, etc.
  • No foods where the label has more than five ingredients (more ingredients = less nutrition). Recipes can have multiple ingredients.
  • No processed grain products like white bread, white rice and white pasta. Whole wheat will work though.
Probably my biggest downfall in this category is that we admittedly keep convenience foods around the house. With two busy adults and two busier teenagers, we are on the go. 
In preparation for this challenge, I spent yesterday in the kitchen prepping for the next ten days. I started with a very simple baked egg recipe to be a week's worth of high protein breakfasts. I had seen the eggs in muffin tin ideas on several Pinterest boards and simplified the recipes for to my own personal needs. In short, I scrambled 12 eggs and lined muffin tins with fresh spinach leaves. I evenly divided the eggs among the 12 tins and then put about a tablespoon of chopped red pepper into each tin. Sprinkled the eggs with a no salt mixed herb seasoning and baked for 15 minutes at 350. 

I learned a lesson: I should have greased the muffin tins. The eggs seeped under the spinach leaves and they glued themselves to the tin. (and all the recipes I've seen warn against using muffin papers, as the eggs will stick to the papers). Undeterred, I scraped the eggs out with a silicone spatula and had to scrub the muffin tin with a copper scrubbing pad. We all enjoyed a quick and healthy breakfast this morning as a result. 

As the challenge progresses, we will share additional tips and ideas that are helping us meet this challenge.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's recipe: my homemade sun-dried tomato hummus.  

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