Extreme Lifestyle Experiment: Update #1

Two weeks. It only took me two weeks to completely lose my mind. I’m still going on the challenge, but I’ve already had a major slip-up.

This is how its been going:

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On the first day, I thought I had some potatoes remaining in cold storage. Apparently not, as they had all sprouted in the bag. That wasn’t a great start, but I was able to get to the local store (which only sells local dried foods) and I was happily surprised to find a container of salmon patΓ© so that what was my dinner.

The next day I went to the market where I was able to buy summer squash, small cucumbers, tomatoes, kale and local made habanero mayonnaise (yum!). I felt quite proud of myself and like, Yay I’m gonna do this! However I realized I had made one very large mistake. I embarked on this challenge to save money, to pay off some debt. But guess what! Eating local is expensive! The tomatoes and the mayonnaise each hit me for about €5. ‘OK,’ I thought to myself, ‘You’ve GOT to get this figured out’.

I was eating fresh berried from our bushes for breakfast. A good money saver, can’t get cheaper than free and it fit within my rules. My husband was kind enough to cook rice for a few meals (I can’t make rice…yes, it’s that bad!). Rice is also on my list, so we’re good there. Just fry some summer squash and call it a day. Hubby also made some slow cooker pea soup, which I really enjoy for some reason, so we ate a lot of that.

I did tell my husband that he didn’t have to do this challenge with me. I knew it was a major lifestyle change and I figure since he didn’t actually sign up for it, it wouldn’t be so nice to force him into it. He’s been really great trying to make meals which include things I can also have and then I only have to make whatever I want with it. However, it’s proved extremely challenging to sit there and watch the man eat bread or drink fizzy water without pulling sad puppy dog eyes.

I did manage to tell a couple friends what kind of crazy thing I had set for myself. I was invited to join on a berry picking trip. So this happened…

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I got a whole bucket! πŸ™‚ This went promptly into a jam making session. I’m not so great at jam yet. It turns out kind of watery. But, this turned out really well (for me to eat, at least) and I’m looking forward to having it on cabbage casserole and hopefully some bread too (if I can ever figure out how to make it).

I managed to get some info on local farms that might sell directly to me. Β I went, I bought, I Β will go back! With this place I now have access to peas, cherry tomatoes (OMG – SOOOO GOOD!), kale, potato, onion, summer squash and turnip. This alone is enough variety to do some canning, eat fresh and make some soups for freezing.

And then it happened. About 1 week in and I got hungry. Not normal hungry, but eat the chair kind of hungry. I don’t actually understand what happened. I have been eating. Quite a bit, actually. But maybe not having all the instant food and whatever in it to make it instant, threw my body into some kind of withdrawal or something? I was so hungry. I would eat and snack and eat but I was still as hungry as if I hadn’t eaten anything. So weird.

So when I got together with a longtime friend of mine the other day, I went off my balance. I cheated. I cheated in a major kind of way. I ate restaurant food (which actually wasn’t outlawed if I was away from home) but then I did it like 2 more times in the span of 7 hours and I got whatever my little heart desired. She was horrified, I’m sure. I don’t feel embarrassed though, because she had been sufficiently warned. And then I shopped. I bought gas water, donuts, cheese bread, mini pizza. Which I kind of hate myself for now because it’s like I’m having to start all over again. I also wonder – how in the hell did people do this? Are we really so spoiled that I thought I was going to die after only 2 weeks?! Two weeks not of dieting, but of eating whatever I wanted, as long as it was locally sourced/made/grown. You know, one really wonders about these things. 50 years ago, eating like this was the norm. Now? Not even remotely normal. Areas are growing singular crops, instead of the formerly diversified ones, because most of those crops are going into the processed food we eat. People were satisfied eating locally. People knew what to do, how to make it work, how not to get bored, what to mix it with so as to maintain healthy systems. Us in modern day? Hah.

I finally got it together and worked up the nerve to try a bit of ‘baking’. Bread is far too complicated at this point, but I did find a fantastically simpler recipe for wheat tortillas. I will be posting the recipe at a later date. I made the tortillas today and it turned out well! Not so pretty, mind you. But they work. You can put stuff in them and they wrap. Best yet, I’m not the only person here who will eat them. Win!

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So that’s how that’s been going. What do you think, is a occasional fall down acceptable in a challenge like this?

I still feel like I’m in for the win though. My husband bet I wouldn’t last 2 days, and I beat that wager by a long distance. (Although he’ll try to argue that I’ve been begging for food gifts from him all along. Don’t believe a word he says about that…). This is harder. Much harder than I actually thought. I’m hungry and I’m cranky but there’s also some weird sense of pride that I feel. Like somehow anyone but me cares that I’m eating berries for breakfast instead of diet shakes. I feel like I’m doing something healthy and constructive for myself (and I know hubby is glad I’m at least trying to learn to cook something). And I feel like I’m doing something good for the local economy. Not just wasting money, but actually investing in something that local people have poured their backs into creating.

To be continued…

Any thoughts on this?

-Mliae

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. No-one passes any real test without a blip. Keep at it; tell us, and that will help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      An interesting way to put that πŸ™‚ Thank you for your encouraging words. I can’t believe how difficult this is actually proving to be. Maybe it wouldn’t be so hard if I didn’t have to see all the things I can’t have and could only focus on what I can? I’m seriously thinking about suspending trips to the food market for awhile. It just overloads the senses.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I laughed out loud quite a few times at this, especially “eat the chair hungry.”
    OF COURSE you got hungry, and not because you weren’t consuming processed food. You aren’t satisfying your body fully. You need complex carbs that give you long-burn energy and a more-full feeling, healthy fats, good proteins, etc. Bread is a different craving than rice than oats than quinoa.
    Also, bread is not difficult. Really. Find a simple recipe that has reviews saying it tastes good, buy the ingredients and pans for it, and make sure your warm water feels like a bath a newborn won’t scald in. πŸ˜‰ You can do it!
    I feel you on the rice-making, though. I like rice cookers for that very reason. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Hi there and thanks so much for the advice! I was unaware that the water for bread needed to be that temp…and what a great description! I’m glad you got some smiles out of the post. Laughing at myself is really the only way to cope at this point. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. glenda kilminster says:

    I love your enthusiasm, innovation and creative life experiments! and challenges> I’ve been trying to do live on things nearby but you left me in the dust with your homemade torilla!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Wow, thank you! It’s so great to hear that you’ve been joining me on this journey too πŸ™‚ How is it going?

      Like

  4. I am so impressed! Seriously! I don’t that I would have lasted a few hours much less the time you’ve put in. Good job girly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Ah-hah! Heeyyyy…that’s so wonderful to hear! Thank you so much for the encouraging words. Really. Now I’m fueled for another day! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha I’m glad it helped!! Kick butt!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mliae says:

        Totally did!! Thanks guuurrrlll! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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