Whole Foods in a Hurry: Week 4–Reflections and Instructions

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Oy vey! I just added up all the groceries I bought for this challenge. I knew it would be higher than doing a “normal” OAMC and my goal was to keep it under $200. I did, at $184.14 (this does not include items I already had on hand).

So that’s good, right? Well, except that I didn’t buy all grass-fed or free-range meats, organic dairy or veggies, etc. My chicken thighs, as mentioned, were organic; my beef was the Publix GreenWise ground chuck, which is raised without hormones or antibiotics and is organic. I did buy organic ketchup since regular ketchup has HFCS and other icky stuff, and I bought cage-free eggs (but at Wal-Mart, and honestly I don’t really trust their brand).

The rest of the chicken, the pork, the vegetables–none of it was “up to par” in what many would call “whole foods.”

But you know what? It’s still a big leap for me, and I’m working my way across the ravine. Using all whole grains, very few canned items, no HFCS, no soy–it’s definitely a vast improvement! And I’ll keep working until I can get to a place of being able to store that half a cow in a freezer and have beef for $3/pound. As it warms up, I’m excited to scavenge the farmer’s market and seek out some local farms for real cage-free chickens and eggs.

I hope some of you are planning on cooking this great menu! I’ve already done some taste-testing and I’m excited about digging into the rest of the items in my freezer. It’s VERY stocked!

Here are the recipes modified for your Big Day and here are the instructions. Here is the grocery list if you need that, too!

Next week, I’ll share with you how my Big Cooking Day went–including vlogs of me (with icky hair…in t-shirt…no make-up…and exhausted! Aren’t you lucky?).

Missed a week? Here’s the Why, the Menu, and the Budgeting.

The time for submitting your freezer menus to Once a Month Mom is up, but you can still compete in the Cook-Off if you want to win some awesome prizes! Tricia revealed the three top menus we chose on Friday, and you can vote on which one you want to be the March menu every day at Once a Month Mom.

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7 thoughts on “Whole Foods in a Hurry: Week 4–Reflections and Instructions

  1. Jessie, we all need to take baby steps with these types of things. Diving in head first can be rather overwhelming. I think you did a fabulous job!

  2. Jessie, What a great job you are doing! We made the switch to Whole Foods about 4 years ago and at first it is a big challenge. Keep in mind that you should have several meals throughout your week nights that do not include meat. Not only will this help you cut back on your grocery bill, but it will help you to create more meals focused on vegetables! It's a win win switch to a healthier lifestyle! Good Luck and I am looking forward to reading all of your ideas! Thanks! Anna

  3. Ok. I have got to get into this once a month mom thing. I perused on Monday and need to get my head wrapped around it, but March- hopefully March.
    Yay for you! Keep up the great work!!

  4. Wowza, girl. You've been busy! I'm very scared to add up the cost of our groceries for Monday. We've got our menu ready and are dividing the purchasing responsibilities today.

  5. I wish I were there to cook with you. I am trying, in my own way, though. Tonight I made very lean thick boneless pork chops (in the blue Le Creuset, of course). Then I cleaned up the pan with some cognac and put the chops wrapped in foil in the microwave. It's the poor girl's warming oven, bless its heart.I sauteed some fresh mushrooms and added the precooked organic brown rice from Trader Joe's. I know, it's not 45 minute rice, but it works really well. After that was done (about 7 minutes), I put the rice mix in the wave and put some pancetta niblets in the pot (also from Trader Joe's). When those were crispy, I added some more cognac and some balsamic vinegar and poured in a bag of spinach. Wilted greens in seconds! The alcohol in the cognac burns off and leaves you with a wonderful taste. Easy (about 30 minutes total) and very healthy. Enjoy, as my waiter would say.

  6. Interesting challenge! My biggest stumbling block in these OAM kinds of challenges is the organization aspect. Maybe I should start with a 2week challenge (or sadly, a one week version!).

  7. Sounds like you're doing great~and great with the budget! The Whole foods journey is just that…a journey. I usually advise people making drastic eating changes to take baby steps. It will be easier to stick with in the long-run. I am still making changes myself…REALLY want to add more fish to our diet but don't want farm-raised and I can't afford the alternative. Keep on keepin' on!

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