In my final "half-way assessment" I'll update about how our day to day eating habits have changed. At the onset of this challenge I knew I would not only have to refrain from gaining weight during this year (so my clothes would continue to fit), but I would try to lose a few pounds so some of my more snug outfit options would work. Weight Watchers was our go-to plan.
My husband read a book after the holidays that examined the quality of food widely available including issues with preservatives, pesticides and mass-farming techniques. It was an eye-opening look at my typical grocery cart. I then read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" (Barbara Kingsolver) which took it a step further by suggesting we learn to eat "seasonally" and buy locally.
I rarely embark on anything by sticking a toe in the water. With me, it's dive right into the deep end. So, when my husband suggested we revise the kinds of groceries we typically buy, I was ready to clear the back yard to start a farm, live off the land, be sustainable. Join a farm collective. Can tomatoes. Make everything from scratch. Greeeen Acres! I totally see me as Lisa.
Here's where we stand:
- I do not have a "green thumb". I can grow the basics but I killed perfectly healthy cilantro and parsley, my dill disappeared, my basil got slugs and I'm not sure if it's typical, but my spinach got very funky once summer set in. The great exceptions are my towering tomato plants. Over 6 feet tall, each is laden with pounds of tomatoes. The very first ripe tomatoes made an incredible chicken dish this week. Next year I will scale back and focus on the garden successes which I document on my iPad.
- I buy organic whenever possible and really watch out for preservatives. The bulk of grocery shopping is done at Trader Joe's.
- Our meat, poultry, eggs and butter are delivered from a local farm. John Henry's Farm in Millington delivers every other week and the products, all from Happy Animals, are excellent.
- I make all of our marinades, salad dressings and seasoning blends from scratch and I'm getting pretty good at it.
- We buy local produce whenever possible.
We did indeed lose pounds as we implemented this plan. And then, I discovered something wonderful.
I discovered the joys of coconut rum. Coconut rum is like a sip of vacation. We have found a variety of mixers to add for an alarmingly large repertoire of rum drinks. Rum drinks add pounds, but rum drinks make me happy. I'll just bet there was a Tiki Bar at Green Acres!