I miss coffee.
That pretty much encapsulates my experience over the last ten days. Mornings were fine for the most part, as my body seemed to give me the benefit of the doubt. “Surely, she will secure some caffeine!”, the body seemed to say. By about 2pm, a headache would settle in behind my eyes, and stay there until dinner time. On Tuesday that triggered such an awful migraine that I found myself lying on the couch with a cold wet towel on my face, and whimpering. I needed to stay hydrated, but could not bear to move my head, because it hurt so much, so Italian placed one of my hydration bladders on my stomach, and stuck the drinking tube in my mouth, all the while trying not to smile. Pathetic sight, indeed.
Why is there nothing grown in Ontario that contains caffeine is beyond me. A business opportunity, perhaps? We will start the very first coffee grow op. A substance that improves concentration and energy without needing a prescription? Yes, please.
Yesterday was my birthday. I woke up, considering ditching the entire experiment for a day, and eating cake. For most meals. And then realized that I truly did not feel the need to. But I wanted coffee. So I had some.
Interestingly, this proves to be an interesting lesson in mild addictions – while the first few days without coffee were brutal, the cravings subsided after about a week. Yet after having coffee yesterday, I woke up this morning wanting nothing more than another cup. Anyone who has ever noticed that eating a particular trigger food can lead to wanting more of that trigger food can relate.
Olive oil is also desperately missed in cooking.
Never thought I’d say this, but… butter does not cut it, and bacon is not enough. You can’t exactly “lightly coat” your vegetables in butter before putting them on the BBQ.
And butter instead of dressing in a salad? Do not try it. We have.
We seem to have an obsession with snacks in North America. Snack foods, healthy snacks, snack ideas. Snacks, snacks, snacks.
The 100-mile diet is not exactly conducive to snacks, however, there are options.
1. Fruit/berries is always an option. [Unfortunately, the berry season is pretty much over in Ontario].
2. Boiled eggs. When you are starving, it turns out that a boiled egg or two is a freaking perfect snack to tie you over until you get home. Per-fect.
3. Cottage cheese in a melon. This is from the first few days of the experiment, when we still had some cottage cheese left over. I was not able to find local cottage cheese since, and I am not convinced that putting yogurt into a melon would achieve quite the same effect.
4. Yogurt. Yep, love this option. Plain local yogurt, ranging from 4 to 6.5% fat with maple syrup or honey, and black peanuts (which are a thing, and are amazing!).
There is another radical alternative to consider here… Do we really need snacks? Why? Why not focus on getting three or four (or however many work for you) meals a day?
The first ten days clocked in at close to $200. This is more than we would typically spend on groceries in ten days. Animal proteins are the most expensive item, and local legumes (like beans) are scarce, hard to find AND overpriced.
Yet… I cannot help but acknowledge that we have saved money in multiple ways.
Extra effort to utilize the herbs and vegetables from the garden. That includes green beans, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, basil, lettuce, parsley, garlic and few others.
The 100-mile diet implies no eating out. At all. There is simply no way to eat out locally – meals or snacks, so no coffee, no snack at a gas station, no coconut water in the middle of the day, no joining a friend for lunch.
I would also have to factor in the daily cost of the supplements which I stopped using altogether this month – that’s 30-40 servings of protein powder, 30-40 servings of BCAAs, and few others that I am not consuming, (and hence, not paying for).
This is the essence of what I was hoping to get out of this experiment. Flavour. Everything is bursting with flavour. I feel like everything I am eating tastes exactly how it’s supposed to taste.
This morning a yellow tomato blew my mind. Yesterday, a rich cut of local pork was so tender it was falling apart under my fork. Apple cider made three blocks away from the apples grown there tastes like… apples. And nothing but apples. NOTHING.
There are discoveries to be made every day.
I am few pounds down, which I primarily attribute to two things: 1) sharp decrease in snacks and random bites throughout the day, and 2) lack of “extras” in food – no nuts or oil in salads, no bread with dinner.
I was definitely hungry for the first couple of days without meaning to be. Now that we have a bit of practice with including more satiating things like potatoes into meals, I hope my weight will stabilize.
Twenty more days to go.
YOUR TURN: It is harvest season. Are you taking advantage of many farmers’ markets bursting with flavour? What is your favorite local food right now?