I am what I eat, Part 2

Haha--I was afraid of being this way, so I didn't put in EVERY picture of my meals as I was first tempted to do...

So, for those of you who actually found Friday’s post interesting, read on. For those of you who want me to get off my d*** soapbox already, then…you’ll probably want to stop reading now–‘cos it’s about to get REAL.


Seriously, though, ever since I saw the film FOOD, INC., I’ve been on a crazy binge for any and all films, magazines, or books that can educate more on the current state of farming and food creation as well as the growing movement back to nature. (Those of you who left me recs on Friday: you have made me so happy. I can assure you I’ll be watching/reading.)

Because of my “findings” on this research binge, I have officially stopped shopping at the supermarket. My eating choices are no longer only about health (thought that’s still part of it), but also about doing what’s morally right. I simply cannot support an industry that has destroyed our farms, destroyed our diets, and trapped us in a obesity epidemic.

Just watch FOOD, INC. You’ll understand after. Once you know about how are farmers are trapped; how our slaughterhouse workers are burned through like matches; how the cattle, pork, and poultry are treated before slaughter; how far our food travels to even reach our grocery stores; or how terrifying GMOs (genetically modified organisms) really are; you won’t ever want to go to a grocery store again either.

Like I said in a comment last Friday, that film left me sobbing, and every time I think of it now, my stomach hitches painfully–and my resolve to do the right thing locks further in place. Have you read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair? It’s like that. Again. But possibly worse because the public turns a blind eye–but it’s not our fault.

In fact, I’d like a show of hands who grew up learning “Fat is bad” or “Carbs are unhealthy”. Yep–I bet it’s all of you. And how many of you STILL think this is true? It isn’t. Look at the Germans and the French, who eat full fat dairy/meat/etc. and tons of bread. Obesity is few and far between in those nations (though it’s definitely on the rise as the same “foods” that plague the USA are spreading there as well).

The great thing is that more and more people are starting to realize how messed up our food industry really is. There’s a nationwide paradaigm shift going on as films, books, and word of mouth spread this “back to our roots” movement. It is EASY to get healthy food if you’re willing to step outside your supermarket’s walls and just look.

Even better: it’s oftentimes cheaper.

For example, my husband and I average ~$40/week on fresh fruit/vegetables at our farmer’s market. We’ve started eating less meat (FORKS OVER KNIVES, people!  O_O We used to eat a meat every night with dinner, but now we’re only having it 2-3 times/week), so we spend about $70/month. We buy it from our local butcher who gets all his hormone-free, antibiotic-free, grass-fed, free-range* products from local farms.

We used to spend ~$100/week on food. Now we’re spending closer to $60–and that’s EVERY MEAL. Breakfast, lunch, dinner is averaging at $1.5 per person per meal. There is no denying that’s cheaper than ye olde McDonald’s.

In addition to food, I’m also part of a CSA that lets me buy everything from soap to coffee to flour. We even get our PET FOOD from them, and it’s cheaper than the Royal Canin we usually feed our animals.

Best of all, though, is that all of our $$ goes DIRECTLY to the farmer, and we aren’t paying any sales tax. Huzzah!

It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Now, I can hear people rolling their eyes at me and muttering, “Treehugger” under their breath. That’s fine. I used to be like you. I used to eat fast food and gorge on Oreos. I used to think cooking was an inconvenience and faster was better. I used to think weight mattered more than health.

Like I said on Friday, I grew up thinking that food came from a grocery store. I STILL know next to nothing about farming, vegetable varieties, seasonal produce, and so on (like, I had no IDEA there were so many varieties of peach. For the last 2 months, the Frenchman and I have gotten a new variety of peach every week. This week, we have Red Havens. I think they might be my favorite so far). But I’m learning. Slowly but surely, I’m learning.

What I Eat

So to finally answer the question that people emailed for in the first place, HERE is a list of what I eat in a day:

Breakfast of fresh fruit and yogurt

Snacks: fruit, granola, coffee (from a local brewery that works directly with a farm in Honduras. I cannot live without coffee, I’m afraid.)

Lunch: leftovers OR a sandwich (locally made parmesan wheat bread, hardboiled egg from an heirloom chicken, locally made cheese, farm-fresh lettuce, heirloom tomato)

Snacks: more fruit, yogurt with honey and nuts

Dinner: whatever we can conjure for a seasonal vegetable plus either a grain or small meat portion–so last night, we made cabbage rolls with a cajun style (locally, ethically raised) pork, celery, onion, and tomato filling. We still have a lot of fresh pork and cabbage, so we’ll make up somthing else tonight.

Parmesan, poppy-seed bread

I can tell everyone is appalled at how complicated it sounds. Cooking on the fly every night? Peeling and cleaning and preparing fruit/vegetables/meat for every meal?

I totally feel you. I still hate wasting time for meals…except…I don’t see it as wasting time anymore. Somewhere in the last year, the girl who hated cooking and only followed recipes has become the girl who loves seeing what will come out of the pot tonight. The girl who hated taking time to cook now loves spending the time with her husband in the kitchen.

One thing we do ALWAYS do is make extra dinner–either so hubby can take it for lunch the next day or so we can freeze it for a later meal when we have no time. For example, last weekend, we made an ENORMOUS batch of vegetable lasagna (again, just using whatever ingredients we had on hand…which meant there was a ton of squash in this particular version).  It was enough food for not only dinner on Sunday but also two more dinners, which are now frozen for later consumption.

Easy. Once you get in to the habit of it, very easy.

But even better than that, it’s delicious. And healthy. I have so much energy these days, I actually have to take a daily walk with my dogs just to get some of it out. (I’m like Rob Lowe on PARKS AND RECREATION!)

Well, this post has gone on long enough. Too long, probably, but I wanted to answer the question about what I eat…and that required tomes of backstory. My apologies. ♥

Now it’s you’re turn. You tell me: what do YOU eat for each meal? Do you (or can you) go to a local farmer’s market?

*Free-range means ACTUALLY free-range. Most free-range products simply mean the animal isn’t in a cage…but that doesn’t mean it actually has any space to move around.Oh goodenss, I’m getting sick just thinking about “free-range”.