I’m just about finished with an 8-day challenge (I added an extra day because I just couldn’t wait) to eat only local food. (Check The Simple Challenge: Details page if you want to see what I’m eating. I’ll be updating it through Tuesday’s meals.)
I have quite a few posts coming to you this week- this one, of course, with the general recap. On Tuesday, I’ll talk about how I am combating the feelings of being overwhelmed and frustrated when I see a need for way too many changes. Wednesday is all about my post-challenge approach to food. Thursday, I’ll share some of my favorite recent social eating-related posts from other bloggers. To top it all off, it’s National Farmers Market Week, a fact that I did not plan and did not actually know about until a few days ago.
It’s going to be a great week!
A couple of amendments I made to the guidelines of the challenge:
1. I originally said that food I had on hand was allowed…but I realized that because the challenge is so short, I might not learn a whole lot living on pantry staples.
2. I made exceptions for coffee I had on hand and salt and pepper.
Although I could talk about food for a long time, I’ll stick to a few highlights (I know you have other things to do!):
1. I feel physically fantastic eating this way. This surprised me because hello, eggs! full fat dairy! meat! But I feel so good that although I’ve still been drinking coffee, I’ve needed so little (maybe none? maybe I just like the ritual now?) that I came down with a caffeine headache one afternoon (when it was “too late” to fix it).
2. My husband, who is probably a good representation of a typical American eater (loves meat, has few problems with fast food, drinks plenty of coffee and beer, will typically eat anything he’s given), is loving the challenge, too. He says he feels great and is glad I’m doing this. I’d been buying all our food, in part to scope out the locations available to me, and in part to track spending, but he took his own field trip and stocked up on (all local) produce and cheese. I’m not complaining!
3. I did not originally define what I meant by local. Mentally, I was thinking anywhere within a 30-45 minute drive, but I actually kept my trips to 15 minutes. My own challenge led me to discover the 25o-mile diet (<–If you click on that link, you’ll discover a fascinating blog!).
4. I’m thrilled to find out that quite a few stands and locations in my area accept FMNP (Farmers Market Nutrition Program) vouchers. If you are part of such a program and want help knowing where and how to use those, please email me (email@example.com)! I know they can present a challenge if it’s not something you’re used to, but I’d love to help.
5. I did sometimes miss beans, peanut butter, and tortillas. I think feelings of deprivation can be a hurdle when it comes to making changes in buying-related habits. I was surprised to find out that I have not been deprived at all. I have been enjoying plenty of flavor, nutrition, and variety. I’ve substituted collard leaves for tortillas, more savory dishes for the sweet, and I have nothing to complain about in any of that.
Stay tuned for my post on how I’m planning to avoid feeling overwhelmed in all of this!