We’re “starting fresh” this January, completing 22 mini-challenges in 22 days for a cleaner, fresher and healthier kitchen and grocery budget. Just joining us? Read about the what’s and why’s on the mini-challenges, as well as the previous days tasks, and jump right on in!
We’ve only completed three challenges so far but my kitchen is already starting to feel a bit cleaner and fresher. How about yours?
If you haven’t noticed, these daily tasks come with the underlying theme that they’re more than just challenges – they’re changes. Our refrigerators will get dirty again and they’ll need another scrub down, but we’ll all be thinking twice the next time we stick a cucumber or eggplant in there!
The same goes for leftovers and your grocery budget – by consciously being aware of the food we’ve prepared and the money we’ve set aside for groceries, we are much more likely to be good stewards of each. It’s an inevitable by-product that didn’t require any more work or effort. Good news, eh? And less work is A-okay by me!
Unfortunately though, today’s lesson leans a bit towards the “more work” than the “less work” side. I truly am kinda sorry about that, but at the same time, I’m kinda not.
Before ya’ll start to think these challenges are some sort of evil, diabolical plan that Evil Tiffany has concocted so that you can all suffer a little bit each day, I reassure you that they are not. Each and every one of these tasks were developed so that upon completion, we’d be one step closer to eating healthier and more nutritious food.
Today’s task is not a “one-step closer” type of challenge. It’s more of a five or six-stepper. It’s big. It’s HUGE. Monumental. GINORMOUS! (Is that even a word?!?)
The task set in front of you today is like the human cannonball at the World’s Fair, minus the human. It will completely blow your mind and change the way you view food – forever.
Are you ready for it?
Day 4 – Ditch Trans Fat
Today’s challenge is to eliminate trans fat from your kitchen. Never heard of trans fat? That’s perfectly ok because today I’m over at Kitchen Stewardship, talking about trans fat from the beginner’s point of view. Here’s a snippet:
What is a trans fat?
Easy Version: it’s a perfectly good liquid oil that a chemist has turned into a solid oil using their lab equipment.
More Scientific Version: brace yourself and read my write up here, then come back.
Everyone (including those government folks) agree that trans fats are bad. They do not come from the earth. They are created by fallible man, in a lab. Our bodies are unsure what this stuff is nor what to do with it, so it’s pushed aside and stored as fat.
This is the stuff that clogs our arteries and tissues. This is the stuff that makes it harder for our bodies to work. We must get it out of our kitchen…
Some of you are probably shaking your head (and fists) at me with these processed and boxed items, but as I mentioned – I am the average person walking on the street.
- Some of these were Nana’s snacks when she was in town.
- My husband cannot resist those girl scouts and their little pleading smiles (especially when they’re in your church), and how can you say no when the smile belongs to a friend at church?
- I never even thought to read the label of hot cocoa!
We cannot take anything for granted. We must read every single label and attack with discernment. Even if the stuff inside tastes good, the trans fat inside causes it to be more like plastic than food. And frankly, that’s just gross.
Part of your challenge is to head over and read the full post – then come back here and we’ll discuss in the comments. Aren’t you curious what all was in those pictures I referred to? And just because you have to click to read the full assignment doesn’t excuse you from completing it.
Oh yeah, this challenge isn’t just for the beginners either. Well seasoned real foodies are encouraged to scour their kitchens as well. We can never be too diligent with these toxins and sometimes trans fat hides and surfaces later, even when we think we’ve tossed it all.
Day 3 Update
Long time readers already know the answer, but there are quite a few new readers joining us (Hello to you! And welcome!) so I’ll give my own update for day 3 of our fresh start series.
Yes, I do have a grocery budget.
For MANY months our budget was $300 for two adults and two children. This budget currently includes all food, toiletry and cleaning items. It used to include diapers – for TWO kids – when my then 2 year old and newborn baby didn’t know how to do their business in the bathroom. However, after committing to organic chicken, eggs and butter, and eating way more produce than we ever had before, we started over spending our budget by $30 or so each month.
Mr. Crumbs and I discussed this and decided together that the changes we had made were worth the $30 each month. So as of January 1, our grocery budget is officially $330 each month for two adults and two children.
Now this doesn’t mean that we can go all crazy because the number is higher. In fact, it means the exact opposite. We must continue to be purposeful about our spending and be diligent when we choose where and how to spend our grocery budget. The good news is that we’ve been able to create a little wiggle room over the past month or two and I plan to share some of our recent discoveries with you later this month.
On a similar note, my grandma emailed me this picture last week:
Turns out she’s joining us in the Fresh Start series too and a clean fridge is the fruits of her labor. Way to go Grandma!
(For those of you who may be eyeing the jelly, condiments and milk, go easy on her. She’s 74 years old and continuously making healthier food choices. I’m proud she’s come this far and excited to see her finish the challenge. She’s proof that it’s never too late to start eating real, nourishing food!)