Thursday, February 27, 2014

Spending Free/ Cleaning out the pantry Month in review (finally)

Since it the beginning of the year Mr. CT and myself decided that this would be a great time to do a spending freeze...for a whole month! Not only will we be saving money, from not spending money, we will also be cleaning out our pantry. The purpose of cleaning out our pantry is so we can make February our get healthy month! Will we keep up with giving month's certain goals? Maybe! I know I would like to, better to just take things slow however. Our spending freeze month actually began on January the 6th. The day before we took a quick and cheap trip to the grocery store so we could do 2 days of juicing as well as get any easy staples before starting the freeze. Of course we are paying bills but anything beyond that we have stopped. Almost like our bank account was frozen. If do need anything we have to scrounge up change (see clean out car) or sell something (see de-clutter the house).You can find out all about our juicing expericne (Day 1 and Day 2) however here is the reason we cut it short. We could not drink enough to get the calories we needed. I don't know it jus thte sheer amount of micro nutrients and liquids was far too much or what but calorie intake was way too low. Maybe more planning was needed, maybe it just did not work for us. Regardless it was a great expereince. On our "breaking day" I had

1 8 oz sweet potato
1 medium sized roma tomato
1 large garlic glove
Salt and apper to taste
I baked the sweet potato, tomato and garlic.
With the tomato and garlic I pureed into and added salt and black pepper and then poured it over my sweet potatoe.
Holy yum! It was such a delight to get something warm in my stomach, it had been chilly in Austin after all. Now came the intense part of the month. Cleaning out the pantry. We are trying to go super low allergen, healthy and frugal. Our first task, getting rid of any soy or gluten products! YAY...not. We love our breads and pasta. Yes we know there are gluten free version out there, however we have yet to try. Not to mention this: I.LOVE.SOY.SAUCE. Truly I do. However it has come to light that I may have an allergy. Not the usual, stomach issue, hives and vomit. No. My reaction is on my face (ew). My skin gets crazy dry and I start to break out. (excuse me while I brag) I rarely, if ever, get acne. I never went through the awkward acne ridden puberty phase. Well I went through the awkward puberty stage just sans acne. So any acne is like a red flag to me. As it should be. Any change your body makes should ALWAYS be a red flag of some sort. When I was working at Starbucks during college I started drinking soy milk (conventional cow's milk is gross, I don't care what you say). My skin got dry patches. So I stopped and cleared up. Of course being, maybe, 19? I ignored it. Soy milk, well milk in general, was a little pricey in my small Texas college town so I quit altogether. Tangent +  Soap Box. I grew up in Dubai, UAE. I spent a good 11 years of my life there. Before that was Nigeria, Africa for 2 years. When I moved back to the USA I was barely 18 (My birthday is June 3rd. I graduated on the 8th and moved back on the 15th) and had only spent 5 years of my life here, aside from the culture shock, the food and ingredients were crazy! It is true when you hear food advocates talk about how things are done in the USA versus the rest of the world. Completely true. My first few years here were horrible health wise. I gained about 20 pounds, but was just as active. I was a college volleyball player, cheerleader, an active member in my sorority, community and I was running at least 1 mile each day. I no it was not muscle. Not too mention all the walking from class to class. I was also sick, A LOT. I got stomach bugs, lung infections and the flu more times than I cared. What would this have to do with food? My immune system took a ridiculous shock! I was use to farm to table eating and moving to the USA that was not as easy as many would think. Now I am not telling you all of this to change your minds on anything. But to respect what food advocates are trying to accomplish and to really look at what you are ingesting. Food, beverages, pills, what have you. As well as what you are putting on your body. Our body is the only one we get, so take care  of it. Spending a few extra dollars on better food is a lot better than spending thousands on medications and healthcare. End Tangent. Now I am not some one to let anything go to waste. We started off with getting rid of the allergens. ASAP. To start with: Pre-Made and Packaged food. 
This little meal was kinda of fun. It was a packaged Kraft pasta salad. We made a cream sauce with the packaged powder dressing, jalapeno juice and a little cream cheese, obviously hot sauce on top.
Last post from our "experiment", short recap. Spending free was not as difficult as was expected however it did make us a bit more creative and frugal. I don't know how many different ways we can cook/use rice and beans. We also found a few tricks that will help with digesting those types of "high gas" foods (upcoming posts, of course). Now some exciting news! We are going through a total revamp of the blog! Woo!?!....!?! I just wanted to get this last post in since it ends the last experiment we tried as Custom Taste. Matt and I have decided to form a blog together and what better way than just revamp this one!? Don't worry there will still be plenty of recipes, food tricks and health post but a lot more content and something for everyone. So if you see the name drop from your reader that is why! I'll update as soon as we have the switch date set. Happy eatings!

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