I’m Back!

I’m back! ¬†And I’ve brought a few friends (well, relatives but hey they’re friendly most of the time ūüôā ) ¬†My daughter Jordan and mother Joyce are committing to 2 months of local eating with me (and maybe more, we’ll see). ¬†We will start May 11, 2014 (Mother’s Day), yet we will be easing them into it from now until the start date.

How have I been doing these past 6 months “off local-only”? ¬†OK sometimes and really bad sometimes. ¬†The first day after, I went to 61 Main for a slice of carrot cake. ¬†It was so rich and extremely sweet! ¬†From there, it was a slow transition into including more and more non-local and processed things into my daily diet. ¬†Thanksgiving and Christmas with family were minefields of emotions. ¬†These foods that aren’t necessarily what I want to consume are intertwined with good feelings of family and connections. ¬†I was pleased that for Thanksgiving I had ordered a local, pasture-raised turkey that I prepared and shared with family and friends. ¬†My great-aunt also cooked a turkey because her point-earned turkey from Ingles was already there and she was worried my turkey would be dry and gamey tasting. ¬†She agreed that my turkey was delicious and beautiful in the end. ¬†It was quite pricey though. ¬†I am considering raising my own this year. ¬†Although I doubt I will do as fine a job as Holden Creek Farms, whose care and expertise in poultry tending is wonderful. ¬†If I don’t raise my own, I will simply budget to make a point to get one of their turkeys because it really is that good and that important to me.

After Christmas, it has turned into a free-for-all with food. ¬†One thing leads to another to another and before I knew it I had a Mountain Dew in my hand. ¬†Sweets, flour, and fast food – it is like I can’t get enough of it now. ¬†I think it has to do with willpower, yes, but I also truly believe that the food is designed to make us want more. ¬†For me, it is as if I was a drug addict saying that I can control my habit while saying it is ok to have a little everyday. ¬†And if I ever doubted that what I ate affected how I feel, I now have a constant reminder. ¬†Those low back pains, joint stiffness, acid reflux, gallbladder twinges… they are back, along with 30 pounds of the 65 I lost.

So I knew I would be going local again for my health.  And for my sense of loyalty to my community.  Every bite comes with a heaping dose of guilt.  If I am not voting with my money to increase my community, then I am most definitely voting against it.  And oh my! It was a lot cheaper to pay for quality local food than the fast food for a family of 4.  I need to eat local to get back on budget!  It amazes me that people complain about the price of locally grown/raised veggies and meat yet will pay $20 or more for Franken-food that will cause you to feel worse in the long run.  I wonder too about portion size and overeating of processed foods compared to the nutrient dense and complete whole foods.

This time of year is a great time to recommit, as Farmers Markets will be starting up in the next week or so, which makes it convenient to buy from locals.  David and I have started lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, collards, tomatoes, and peppers from seed.  Plenty more seeds to start too РI have the seeds from last year that overwintered in my freezer.  I plan to grow more of my own this year too.

If you are interested, re-read my initial post that got me started on this journey here. ¬†And if you feel the need to give ‘going local’ a try for a month or more, let me know! ¬†I have heard from a couple of families that are thinking of giving it a go, and from many people who are perhaps not going completely local but incorporating more local into their diets. ¬†I LOVE hearing that! ¬†I would like to do a mini-interview and post your story on this blog.