I Am Ending The Extreme Lifestyle Experiment; Food Diet

It’s been over 2 months now since I initially launched my most challenging experiment thus far and I am at the point now where I have to end the experiment as it is now.

For those of you who have not been following, this experiment was based around the premise of only eating the food that we could grow here, and what is grown/made locally. Beyond those items, I allowed myself the ability to purchase oil, butter, eggs, wheat powder, vinegar and sugar from the market so that I could make and preserve our own food. The reason I did this was to see 1) if I could live locally and sustainably, to 2) put my money into our community and 3) try to stop myself buying some of everything a the market and force myself to learn how to cook real food and by doing that 4) pay off some debt.

It was challenging at first, and then I kind of got into the groove.  However, it’s been quite difficult to maintain this challenge in a household with more than just me. It’s been incredibly expensive too. I did not think things through thoroughly before setting the ‘rules’ for myself on this challenge. What that resulted in was me spending 4€ on a can of local salmon pate instead of 27 cents for a bag of macaroni. This is no way is helping my debt issue. It has been an amazing feeling knowing that I’m eating sustainably and locally, but I just cannot keep up the momentum. I need food items to eat with the vegetables and I need to be able to purchase items that I can afford. I need to be able to buy fruit for my family. And if there is a bowl of fruit on the table, why am I not allowing myself to eat it?  This is why I am ending the experiment.

I am ending the experiment as it is now, anyway.  My plan is to thoroughly integrate this challenge for myself in my day to day life. I will continue to buy locally and purchase as much produce as possible from local farms. But I will also make smart purchasing decisions in the market. I will allow myself that cheap bag of macaroni, and a can of tuna with the occasional avocado. I will still try to make bread and muffins instead of buying them, but I will not feel conflicted about buying food items for my family that are affordable options.

The great thing about this experiment is that I learned so much! I met many local farmers and am looking forward to returning for big orders to last us the winter. (Fingers crossed) I have learned how to cook a variety of items from just a few options, not to mention varying preserving methods.

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I have learned that I don’t need to waste my money on piles of unfulfilling foods. A few potatoes fills my stomach for longer that 2 plates of pasta.

I have learned how to forage for mushrooms and berries (though I still don’t trust myself to do it on my own).

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I have learned that having a small portion of locally caught fish is just as filling as a huge plate of pasta with sauce. I have also learned that if I just eat right, I don’t need all the extra stuff I was loading into my shopping cart.

So, what do you think?

-Mliae

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26 Comments Add yours

  1. I think you did a good job, you’ve learned much. I wish you the best. As mothers, we all sacrifice for our children. I don’t know if you have done the following but if not you might want to try it. Along with your spouse sit your family down and explain what your goal is and ask them to help, I think you’ll be surprised with the outcome. ☺☺ Good luck….☺☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Wow, thanks so much for your great comment! I did actually get quite a bit of cooperation from my hubby. He made all sorts of meals with the locally grown food. But I just didn’t feel it fair to restrict others as much as I restricted myself and it just got complicated.

      Like

  2. Marge says:

    Hard to limit yourself in a household but kudos for trying!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      So hard. Thank you! 😀

      Like

  3. Organic / whole foods can be pricier but worth it down the road. At least you tried! Props to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Thank you! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think you have done very well, learned a lot, and are being sensible

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Thank you. That means a lot coming from you! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am impressed! Honestly, I think you learned a lot during your journey and that means the most. You are definitely an inspiration!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      Thank you! I did. I learned a ton!
      I think this is the 1st time I’ve ever been called an inspiration 😀 Smiling for days!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You definitely are! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  6. dragonflyzia says:

    Baby steps…it sounds like you learned a lot. Keep the new things that you like the most and experiment on a smaller scale and you will find that you depend less and less on the processed foods. At least that how it has been for me. I think you are the right track, good luck!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      Thank you so much! Yes, I think you are correct. Baby steps. I went too fast too far on this one. Doing good, but loving actually having a bit of variety!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. …ah, but a plate of pasta noodles – either made at home or bought – with a well done condiment (even simply oil and garlic, or tomatoes, honey, sweet onion and butter) leaves a pleasure that a potato doesn’t quite match, usually. Of course, turn the potato into gnocchi and….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      Hah! Exactly!! And thank you, I’m hungry now….

      Liked by 1 person

  8. msw blog says:

    oh, how we get sucked into these experiments. You and your readers may enjoy this post
    https://reallifeofanmsw.com/2018/02/21/imperfect-produce/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Hey there, thanks for sharing this!

      Like

  9. Hoon Gyeong says:

    It’s really hard to control from having tasty food.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. sebby holmes says:

    I think you are so admirable for trying this experiment. We can’t change things overnight but if everyone made a conscious effort to change their eating habits just a little bit it would have an impact. Well done 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Wow, thank you so much for your very kind words! Sadly, it didn’t last as long as I’d hoped. However, just trying that experiment completely transformed the way we shop & eat. We’ve sourced bags of potato and onion from a local farm and we try to incorporate that into at least 1 meal daily. Just that has made such a difference!
      Thank you 😀 *hands over comment of the day award

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sebby holmes says:

        I have a restaurant and there is a shameful amount of waste. We are constantly trying to be more ethical/sustainable in our approach but cooking with Thai produce thousands of miles from where it is grown is always doomed to fail in reducing the carbon footprint unfortunately. We do forage for certain dishes but we have a long way to go. Keep up your great work. You are an inspiration 👍

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mliae says:

        Oh, I believe that easily. I’ve worked in restaurants and its unbelievable how much food waste there is (mainly from customers plates and from having to predict the exact amount of ingredients you will need for the delivery). I can only imagine what you’re dealing with when it comes to specialized ingredients!
        Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I really enjoy your food blog 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. sebby holmes says:

        Thank you for taking the time to look. Best wishes Sebby

        Liked by 1 person

      4. mliae says:

        🙂 🙂 🙂

        Like

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