Monday, August 25, 2014

Five Mile Diet ... Mostly

We have tried to stay within the five mile parameters, although we probably made it too easy on ourselves by exempting drinks. Coffee and tea are exempted, which means I still, also, get to enjoy sugar and cream.

With a couple of exceptions this week, we did stay within the five miles every day. One day last week, we had a particularly busy day, and while I should have just buckled down and cooked dinner (my friend, Melonie, would ask, What Would Ma Engles Do, and she definitely would NOT have gone for Thai take-out, just because the day was busy and late). Anything would have been better - not necessarily better tasting, but certainly better than succumbing to the temptation. I was weak.

Saturday ended up being another one of those kinds of days, with our girls involved in dance/community service events, and we just decided to take the easy way out.

Otherwise, however, we did manage to eat close to home.

My consolation is that there were more successful days than not. My favorite meal has been to brown ground beef, season it like I would for tacos, and then add zucchini, squash, tomatoes, green beans ... whatever vegetables I have. The first time I made it, Deus Ex Machina kept commenting on how good it was, and so it has been a repeat. The bonus is that it has proven a good way to get everyone to eat things like zucchini, summer squash and green beans. We've also had chicken for a couple of meals. Usually our chicken is stretched two or three meals. This week, we had it roasted on Day 1 and in a casserole in Day 2. Deus Ex Machina took chicken to lunch on a couple of days.

Breakfast is still hash browned potatoes and an egg.

I've stopped snacking as much as I used to, but for whatever reason, I think I'm actually gaining weight instead of losing. I joke that Deus Ex Machina is losing weight ... I'm finding it. Maybe I'm just drinking more sweet, creamy coffee or sweet tea.

We're still eating only foraged foods on Sunday, and this Sunday was actually an incredible day. We had braised groundhog (we saved the legs from last week's road kill), which was really, really good! And with it we had applesauce from the apples foraged in our neighborhood. The funny part is that, not only have we eaten every Sunday since we started foraged only Sundays, but we have enough extra stuff left from the last few Sundays to make another meal - some apples, a few milkweed pods and some mushrooms.

We're on the last week of the challenge, and I don't know whether to say it's been a success or a failure. We haven't been completely faithful to the five miles on a couple of occasions, but mostly, we have eaten only what is available locally. We could have been more creative, and there are a lot of resources that we didn't even tap into that we could have made use of.

I did make both cheese and yogurt (skills I'd already learned). Both are delicious, and we've enjoyed having them.

The real test will be September, to see how much and/or how quickly we slide back into not always paying attention.

We're having a portion of our house rebuilt, starting today, and when they were doing the demo, they found a lot of rot and some ants. We've been trying to get this work started since March, and truth be told, we've been sketching and planning this sort of work for almost a decade. It was finally started today, and we realized that we really did wait too long. Mold, rot, and an ant infestation might make the job a lot more involved than it would have been if we had gotten to things earlier. Guess we'll see if there is a price for procrastination. Either way, we're in this house for the long-haul, and we're very hopeful that this renovation will make our house work better for us.

P.S. Zucchini pickles fermented with whey. Yes!


  1. What a great job you are doing! And you even sound like you are having fun. I have a locally produced breakfast every morning - not 5 miles local, but certainly 100 miles local. A free range soft boiled egg with a perfect crisp apple (I love dipping the apple slices in the egg, instead of toast 'soldiers'). I could also try your breakfast - hash browns with local potatoes and butter sounds very yum. It took me quite some time to get used to a breakfast without any grains, but I feel much better for it.

  2. Well, thank you. I'm actually embarrassed by how poorly I'm doing, and how many times I've allowed myself to "cheat." :) I can be hard on myself, though.

    The hashbrowns are wonderful, and even before the challenge, my favorite breakfast is potatoes grated into hot oil and cooked until crispy, and then a fried egg put on top of the potatoes with some sliced raw tomato on the side. The flavors are so wonderful together!

    Apples sound delicious! We're starting to see some early apples, but we're still a few weeks away from the real harvest. I love apple season!

    Oh, and with the exception of the once or twice I ground some corn, and some cheater rice, I've been grain-free this whole month. Huh. That is kind of weird. I hadn't thought much about it.

  3. Honestly, I think that Ma would have LURVED to have Thai takeout once in a while. Charles could have pulled the "Now, Caroline..." and given her the puppy dog eyes and she'd realize she worked her tuchus off and maybe Thai - or an orange - wasn't such a bad thing. ;)

    1. Didn't Caroline and Charles, occasionally, go to Nellie's Diner? :)

      I guess I should remember that when I get hard on myself. It just seems like that for a month we could have stayed true to the challenge. It's just a month. Right? ;)