Oh, remember how I was on a certain “food boycott”, or “moratorium”? Yeah, I’m not sure there’s anything on there that I haven’t broken in the past months:
- Pop aka Soda aka Coke: compared to some people I know (compared to some people that live in my basement) I don’t drink a lot of pop… however… ginger ale has become a staple in my liquid intake… (see immediately below)
- Booze aka Alcohol (excluded wine): well, I’ve certainly been drinking wine, but I’m also back on the drink again, taking much pleasure in the mixing of libations. Rye and ginger ale is a perennial favourite, as is Cran-Grape and Vodka (I’ve had my first taste of potato vodka and I loves it), and of course Gin and (apple) juice (especially the good Tropicana fresh-pressed apple juice…yum). Oh, and chocolate martinis (equal parts vodka and creme de cacao on ice), served with a nice herbed havarti or smooth goat cheese. Yum. I don’t drink a lot, or often, but I do so like it
- Potato Chips (also includes nachos, tortilla chips and corn chips): there was a period there where I just said “fuck it” and gorged myself silly. I’ve stopped that (for) now.
- French fries (mainly forcing me into the salad route): I have had french fries maybe 3 times in the past 3 months, but only a few at a time. I still always choose the salad option.
- Chocolate: I dipped into the little guy’s Easter chocolates a few times, but each time I find it quite unsatisfying. I did also buy a Bounty bar a while back to curb some cravings but overall, I’m good at staying away (primarily because I quite object to paying over a dollar for a chocolate bar).
- Hamburgers (because I’ve been having terrible indigestion with them lately): oh… oh, it’s been a bad, bad time of late. I had a hamburger a few weeks ago, and I had really strange dreams that night. I’ve also eaten hamburgers every day this week for the past four days (had a big father’s day BBQ at the in-laws and we were sent home with too many leftovers). I’m now officially off burgers for another, let’s say, six months.
- Fast food (the bad ones… Pizza and subs and Mediterranean is okay): still avoiding the fast food joints like the plague. The wife pulls me into a Harveys from time to time, and it’s not a beautiful thing, let me tell you (I usually choose chicken or veggie burger… money not well spent)
- Mayonnaise: apparently Miracle Whip isn’t mayonnaise. I have had a couple of sandwiches at restaurants come with mayo, but I’ve not personally requested or added Mayo to anything
- salad dressing: I’ve nipped into some oil and vinegar SD on occasion, and some restaurants serve their salad with house dressing even if you ask for “no dressing”. For the most part, salad consumption is way, way up, and generally dressing free.
- candy covered nuts: (a strange item for the list, but yeah, I’ve avoided them)
- anything with trans fat: what? Cheese has trans fat? NoooooooOOOOOOOooo! I still eat cheese. Anything else with trans fat, though, out of the diet as much as humanly possible.
- donuts: I was doing so good, that is until we went to SilverCity Yorkdale, the only movie theater with a Tim Hortons in it that I’ve been to (and they don’t hyper-inflate their prices…crazy!). The craving overtook me and I had some. Then Kevin and Nat brought a couple boxes of donuts over for my birthday (evil) and left them behind (evil). I’m off donuts again. I gained a lot of weight on my birthday week. Yowza.
- Cinnabons (but not all cinnamon buns): we bought some incredibly trashy raspberry filled danishes off the discount cart at the grocery store at the end of May (I told you, I ate like crap then). Not cinnabons, but nasty, tasty stuff.
- Swiss Chalet: mom-in-law took us out to dinner there one night. I didn't want to say no (also, had fries, but only cause they screwed up my order).
- chicken wings from Pizza Pizza: actually quite easy to avoid those travesties of cuisine
- onion rings: I’ve had a few, mostly from Aden/my Harvey’s visits.
- packaged cookies: I’m sure I’ve had one or two, but I’ve purchased none, and I usually decline any offers (and regret it immediately if I don’t decline)
- ice cream: all of it, contains trans fat. bad.
-Yoplait Yoptimal yogurt: actually the only yogurt I buy now is Western Dairy no-fat plain (for putting in the morning smoothie). It’s got 2 ingredients, and is awesome.
- Pogos: not a one
- Pre-packaged mac and cheese: we made this recently (Master’s Choice white cheddar) and my bowels screamed in protest. You see the amount of sodium in that stuff?
- Frozen waffles: some getting plenty freezer burned in the freezer (duh) right now. They’ll stay that way
So I’ve been very, very awful in staying totally away from the moratorium foods, however… and this is a big, huge, gargantuan however… I’m eating probably 80% healthier than I was last year. I tend to have a fruit smoothie every morning (made with mostly organic fruits from our farmshare… more on that in a second) and the cereal we’re eating is, mostly, on the low side of the ingredient count. That is to say plenty of shredded and/or puffed wheat. Things with less than five ingredients… we check labels diligently now.
Ah yes, the farmshare. As noted in the In Defense of Food review, we signed up for the community-shared agriculture via Plan B Organic Farms. Click the link and read all about it… but if you’re lazy, here’s the gist:
- you pay up front for a “share” of the farm’s yield
- you can buy a half-share (10ish pieces) or a full share (18 pieces) and you get 20 weeks (starting 1st week of June) of fresh, as-the-land-provides produce from a local organic farm
- As opposed to “organic baskets” all the veggies are locally sourced, and in most cases coming from one farm (diversified crops)
- A fruit share is also available and contains fair trade, organic fruit (always locally sourced where possible)
- pick up shares weekly at the local community depot drop-off
We bought a 1/2 share of veggies and a fruit share, and today is our third week. We’ve been loving it, even though we’ve got more parsnips than we know what to do with (what do you do with parsnip anyway). The difference in quality of spinach or greens or cucumbers is noticeable compared to store-bought. The general price for us with both the half-share veg and the fruit share is about $40/week and is more than worth it. Getting our shares every week, we make a concerted effort to eat the fruits and veg as opposed to thinking about what we want to eat the coming week and buying it at the store and letting it go to waste. In fact we’ve not spent more than $80 in groceries the past three weeks (when our typical bill was about $120/week). It’s a different way of thinking about our food and diet, but it’s also a better way, I think. I definitely been eating much better meals than ever before thanks to it.
If you can’t get to the local farmer’s market (which is the best way to get your fruits/veg/meat, I suggest you go this rout. Supporting local farms and farmers not only provides them with a living but provides you with the best (nutrients-wise) and freshest food possible, equally minimizing the impact of transportation/shipping on the environment and the budget.
If you don’t live in Toronto, try doing a search for “community-supported agricuture + [your town]” or consult this list