10 Mile Diet


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Rounding the bend into week three, and thus seeing the end of September gleaming on the horizon, I wonder what will stick from this experiment in 10 mile eating. Or re-stick.

I suspect I will never forget that just by eliminating grains and beans and nuts I lost 5 pounds and my ankles were as thin as a teenager’s (i.e. no bloating).

I suspect I will never lose sight of my food system, and will weigh the source of a product – and the possibility of local substitution – as I shop. I’m not sure I’ll revert to the Sears catalog in the outhouse for toilet paper, but perhaps there are many products I’ve used unconsciously that I can replace with something simpler and closer.

I suspect I will now invest more dollars in my local food system – as a shopper and as an investor and as a donor. I know I can get factory farmed chicken for 1/3 what I pay a local grower (i.e. friend), but I’d rather say yes to my neighbors for meat if possible. There is a principle called subsidiarity. Meet needs as close to home/source as possible and only go further afield if the solution isn’t at hand. Yes, I do want to eat local meat, and if I eat less because it costs more, that’s approved behavior in a range of diets. If I can’t get local, well, I’ll get regional.

I suspect I will also buy fair trade products that aren’t grown anywhere near me. Tea and coffee. Chocolate. I want to support local whether it is mine or a coffee bean grower in Colombia or Kenya. Relational eating and fair eating mean supporting farmers everywhere in staying on their land. Which isn’t easy for them, because subsistence and sustainable farming is very very hard work.

I suspect I will grow a very different garden next year. I have been a hobby gardener. Put some seeds in the ground and shout hallelujah if anything but kale and zucchini flourishes. I think I can plan a rotation for my 4 beds to produce more substantial and plentiful food. More carrots and beans. More spices (rosemary, basil and oregano in enough quantity to dry for winter). Fennel for flavor. Beets, turnips and rutabagas to store for the winter. Potatoes. Potatoes. Potatoes. I’ll get the winter squash in earlier so I will hopefully get more than 3 of them. I’d like to try parsnips too. And roma tomatoes that are good for sauce. As for fruit, I now know I want an apple tree and an Italian plum tree. We just gotta have sweet.

Of course for very good reason I’ll have lots of kale and zucchini and patty pan squash. That reason being – if all else fails, I have something from the soil.

Thinking about the foods I’ll ‘get back’ October 1 I find I am no longer desperate for crackers and cookies (though the first crunch might make a liar of me). I’m thinking I’ll re-tox in increments as to not get the food bends. I’m thinking I’ll give myself 10 more foods at a time. My list of returnees at the moment looks like:

  1. chocolate covered almonds
  2. a handful of nuts a day
  3. non wheat bread – a slice a day at most (spelt, rye)
  4. cheese – but really good cheese as a flavor not a food
  5. oatmeal (for the cholesterol, which i will test in two weeks to see what’s happened)
  6. dried fruit – prunes, apricots, raisins
  7. Mr. Mobeley’s sauce (you Whidbey-ites know what I mean) and/or goddess salad dressing
  8. almond butter
  9. stevia!
  10. popcorn at the movies

I can’t believe I didn’t say crackers after all my moaning earlier this month. Or avocados. Well, maybe I’ll do a list of 12 returnees to bring them in. What about balsamic vinegar? Soy sauce? Are you nuts, Vicki, go for 15. That’s a nice round number. (And if I go whole hog – so to speak –  on wheat, I too will be a round number.

Anyone making book on how many pounds will return once I expand my diet from hyper local?

Anyone want to give me their suggestions of the top ten foods to re-include? What would be on your food bucket list if the sky were the limit and the planet were there for the picking?

Another approach to re-tox would be to ask my body – not my mind – what it has really been craving this month. To take it as slow as I can when given permission to actually open the jar of nuts that have been staring at me this month. Can I apply awareness rather than rules? Let the invisible hand of my true appetites guide me? That may be very hard to do. Which, I guess, is why we create rules. So let’s see, what shall the rules really be? I have 9 more days to settle on that one. 9 days but who’s counting?


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