Back to Basics 10-Week Baby Step Mini Challenge

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Back to Basics 10-Week Baby Step Mini-Challenge

This might not be obvious in my online home here, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist and very tight-fisted when it comes to delegating and sharing responsibility. I’m totally selfish about being in charge.

Every so often, I’ll entertain a guest post, but most of the time I don’t relinquish the reins so easily.

However, when Tiffany of Don’t Waste the Crumbs sent a draft of her first post for this Back to Basics series, I was totally blown away. I immediately replied, “Perfect! I love it!” and we were off to the races.

Tiffany emailed me last summer with a seed of an idea for a guest post or two. She told me she had actually used my “Overwhelmed? Start Here.” post as a sort of 10-step program to makeover her kitchen and family’s eating habits, and she wanted to share how it was going with the KS community.

First, I was absolutely flattered that someone took that foundational post so seriously.

Next, I couldn’t wait to hear about her experience – and I knew right away that we had to make it happen.

What began as tiny as a mustard seed has blossomed into ten weeks of encouraging, back to basics, baby step posts. I’m going to hand over the writing of the Monday Missions – something I’ve never done before! – so you can hear Tiffany’s successes, failures, and sage advice.

The next ten weeks of Monday Missions will be a sort of “Reader’s Digest Condensed Version” of Kitchen Stewardship, with all the most important kitchen changes broken down and detailed out – perfect for a rookie to real food, anyone trying to make positive changes for their family, and a good review for those of you who have been on this journey for a while.

Posts during the week will generally support the theme of the “Back to Basics” Monday Mission but will have new content for every reader, not just rookies – including some great giveaways from new and familiar companies, my new and improved water kefir method, and (finally) the launch of Better Than a Box, the newest KS eBook, which is focused on helping you reverse engineer “old favorite” recipes that use processed ingredients you don’t want in your kitchen anymore.

I might even get to finish a partially written post I’ve been working on titled “How to Boil a Husband.” You’re going to love it! (It’s far less graphic and more helpful than it sounds.)

Or check this out: Follow the Baby Steps board on Pinterest by clicking HERE.

Buckle the seatbelts on your dining table chairs, visit Tiffany to say hello, invite your newbie-real-foodie friends, and get ready for an excellent ten weeks at Kitchen Stewardship.

Here are the topics coming at you —

  1. Cut out trans fat.
    1. Tiffany’s Monday Mission post on trans fat
  2. Utilize meal planning to include more nutrient dense foods in your diet.
    1. Tiffany’s meal planning Monday Mission
    2. Grace and Encouragement for the Long Haul
  3. Try a new healthy fat.
    1. Tiffany’s Monday Mission post – a great roundup of healthy fat information
  4. Make homemade yogurt. (advanced step = other fermented foods)
    1. Tiffany’s awesome heating pad method for making yogurt, the Monday Mission post
    2. How to Make Dairy (milk) Kefir
    3. How to Make Water Kefir (video)
  5. Use dry beans in your meals.
    1. Tiffany’s “use those beans!” Monday Mission
  6. Cut high fructose corn syrup (and artificial sweeteners too, plus a general reduced dependence on sweeteners in general).
    1. Tiffany’s high fructose corn syrup Monday Mission.
    2. Is Orange Juice a Good Option?
    3. Perfect Maple Syrup Bottle
  7. Make traditional bone broth.
    1. The bone broth mission (with easy slow cooker method!)
    2. 10 Reasons I Drink Bone Broth
  8. Do something about grains. (We’ll explore soaking grains and a grain-free diet this week.
    1. Tiffany’s Monday Mission and the story of her grains baby steps
    2. Does Satan Hate Bread?
      *3-week break from Back to Basics for a natural health theme in March.
  9. Make non-toxic homemade cleaners.
    1. The cleaning Monday Mission round-up
  10. Final week: more “green home” tips and review

You can see the whole “overwhelmed” list with more information on each point HERE, and you’ll see that we moved some weeks around and combined some topics for the purposes of the 10-week baby step mini-challenge.

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13 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. Heather says

    This challenge is PERFECT for my family as I will be handing over the keys to the kitchen to my still-SAD-loving husband in April so I can recover from having our third baby. I was very fearful of what we would be eating. Given that I am still slightly overwhelmed I couldn’t imagine what was going to happen if I tried to convince him jump into real food. Now we can do the mini-challenges together and he won’t be able to complain he doesn’t know how. Woohoo!

  2. Karen says

    I’ve been waiting for Better Than a Box :) yippee…I have about 3 friends I want to refer to this on..and we all have Kindles to download it too! So glad you were able to get it finished up. the first sample recipe you gave us was wonderful.

  3. Kathryn says

    This is just what I need to get my family on track! I have been slacking off and can’t seem to dive back in to where we were almost a year ago. Thanks for doing this I am really excited.

  4. Lindsey says

    This looks great.

    Here’s a question for you: I saw hemp hearts at Costco the other day and wondered a) if they taste good and b) if they’re really good for you or in the same category as soy.

    Also, I would love to read a post on choosing between bad and worse at restaurants (or in-laws). For example, what is healthier, conventional beef, chicken or fish? Is it better to choose white pasta or whole wheat (considering the phytates)? Are salads a good option? I’m always at a loss in those situations.

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      That is SUCH an awesome idea – I want to write the post tonight! I do have thought processes I go through when choosing the “better of the evils” per se at restaurants or others’ houses. Totally tackling that one soon, thank you!

      As for the first question…I’ve heard of artichoke hearts and hemp seeds, but never hemp hearts! I wonder what they even are? Costco is amazing sometimes. 😉


  5. Christy says

    My family is starting to take the baby steps and I am so excited as I continue to read your blog and others to educate myself! One nagging issue that is hanging over my head is what to do about my morning coffee!???!! I drink 1-2 cups on the week days and close to a pot on the weekend. The nagging part it that I love love love my artificially flavored coffee creamers….So any ideas you have to help my convert would be great!

  6. sage says

    I’m sorry I’m not clear on this – are you doing this back to basics challenge through the new posts that are coming in or are we supposed to follow the numbers above on our own?
    Thanks so much!

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