Monday, February 6, 2012

Trying a new way to eat.

Ok, it's actually not "new" at all - Americans just haven't done it in a while.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I've been struggling with eating.  I've tried Weight Watchers (I lost about 25 pounds, and then got stuck for a year) and then I switched to tracking just calories.  (Not working.  At all.)

So, I've switched tactics again, thanks to the book "In Defense of Food."  (review to come.) It details how the "Western Diet" is likely our health downfall, causing a myriad of diseases that were non-existent 100 years ago - heart disease, diabetes, even some cancers.  He reasons (and backs up confidently) that because food companies can make a bloody killing feeding us fortified and processed foods, we've dug ourselves into a pretty scary hole.  It is, in fact, a recent phenomenon that children can be both obese and malnourished.

I can go into the details, but I wouldn't want to tell you something wrong, so I'll just suggest that you read the book.  Scare tactics in there? Probably.  A little bit conspiratorial?  Sure.  But it's a good book and he makes some really good points.

So.  That said.  I'm trying to eat more "real" food.  Mostly plants. 

I went to the Farmer's Market today. We're really lucky here.  We've got a HUGE market that runs 7 days a week year-round.  Time to take advantage.  So, instead of my regular trip to Harris Teeter, I grabbed $60 out of the ATM (about half what I normally spend on a week of groceries) and hit the (cold) market.

I spent $49.  Here's what I got:
Yummy, right?
9 Apples
1 red bell pepper
4 organic pork brats
2 pork chops
3 sweet potatoes
1 butternut squash
1 big ol bag of pecans
2 beets
12 eggs
A gazillion collards
1 ginger root (my new favorite way to flavor things)
1 huge bag of spinach
4 new potatoes

For us, that's definitely enough for dinners this week - and of course, Preston's daily apple.  We'll probably get a lunch or 2 out of it and I imagine we'll have eggs for breakfast a couple of days.  So, let's say, 8 meals.  That breaks down to $3 per person, per meal.  Not too shabby.  Also, amazingly healthy.

So really, it's just a bonus that it's giving money to local farmers and the meat is certified organic and humane.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to go all "locovore" on you here.  Just trying to shake things up a bit and eat in the way everyone always says they "should."  I mean, why not?  It seems like a great time to give it a try.  I'm sure there will be things that I'll still buy from the grocery store - cat food, greek yogurt, Luna bars, etc. - and I'll probably fill in from the cabinets and freezer - but big meals?  Market.

I'll keep you posted.  There are still things I'm wondering:
Is it more expensive?
Does it take more time to cook/plan/shop/prepare?
Will it help you lose weight?
What can't you get from the farmer's market?
Is it a lot more effort?
Does this all make you look really pretentious? 

Feel free to chime in if you have opinions on all of the above questions.

I'll keep you posted!


  1. Sarah I am very interested in hearing how this works for you - on many levels. I love the idea... I too am stuck. I am bored with our food routine and craving new. I have been reading about Paleo but it's really nutty and we have peanut/nut allergies around here. Good for you and keep us posted!!!

  2. Another book you may enjoy reading is "Wheat Belly" - it talks about how wheat in this day and age has been so altered and how now it is so bad for us. I'm trying to go Gluten-free-ish and noticing some big changes!

    Good luck with the new changes!

  3. I love the idea of buying local. Living in Iowa, I can do that a lot in the summer, but this time of year there are no farmer's markets around here- so I'm jealous! :) Good luck on this. I think it sounds like a pretty fabulous idea!

  4. I might try gluten free for 2-3 weeks and see how I feel. I have a few friends that have gone gluten free (and sugar free... not sure I can do that!) and really feel great.