I have been on a mission to grow everything I eat for 101 days. I am 3 weeks into the challenge and each week has taught me something new.
If you would like to get caught up:
- Homesteaders Food Challenge – What it is
- Headaches, cravings, cooking & starvation – Week 1 Survival
- Can I Grow All My Own Food – A Diet is Born – Week 2
Here are 4 things I’ve learned this week:
ONE: Eating a Diet of 100% Real Food Can Mean Weight Loss
It has been(25 days) since I began “Eating the fruit of my Labor.” In the first 2 weeks I lost 4 pounds. Week 3 I lost 2 more pounds.
That is a total of 6 pounds gone in 3 weeks for anyone having trouble with the math.
This is crazy. I did not set out on this journey to lose weight. I just wanted to see if I could raise all the food that I ate.
What is weirdest of all is that I feel like I am eating soooooo much more than usual. I am always cramming food into my mouth. It’s mostly veggies and berries and cold fried rooster, but it’s food & I’m always eating.
If you’ve always wondered if there was a way to eat everything you want, as much as you want, as often as you want and never have to count calories, fat grams, or points – I think I found it.
This is it.
The perfect diet: Just grow, mill, raise, pick, shoot, kill or gather everything you eat. Everything.
In some of my recent research I ran across a website hosted by a Doctor who was all about finding your, “Ideal Body Weight.” He preached a message to eat only real food. Eat all you want – but it has to be real. Things like: meat, veggies, nuts, fruit, beans, nothing fake. His prediction was that if you do this your body will automatically reach your “ideal body weight.”
His definition of “Ideal Body Weight” was not a formula based on your height, bone structure or anything else. Just that we all have a healthy Ideal Body Weight that we will naturally end up there when our bodies are fed all real stuff. No sugar. No store bought flour. Nothing processed. No preservatives. Just real food.
I dig this guy’s sermon. I know large people who will never be a size 6. Even if they quit eating. That’s just not in their cards. BUT if they ate an all real food diet they would probably land somewhere healthy.
It’s not a number. It’s not a size. It’s not a measurement. It’s just a healthy you.
I think adopting this way of life could mean the end of dieting forever.
Actually doing it is another problem entirely.
Eating the way I am eating right now for 101 days is an adventure. Living like this forever would be hard.
If I had to mill wheat, make pasta, let the pasta dry and then boil the pasta EVERY TIME I wanted a noodle for the rest of my life…. I’d die, or more likely, I’d probably just quit eating pasta. Most days I just want to boil a box of organic noodles and eat in 10 mintues.
TWO: Convenient foods are so very convenient
It’s amazing how much time goes into preparing meals on this Food Challenge. I spend hours making things that I used to be able to prepare in 15 minutes without a second thought.
Foods that I used to buy that are consuming my life right now:
- Processing Sugar (sugar beets? making sugar at home? Ummmmm – out of my league)
- Making Cheese (yes, I am becoming a cheese-making master)
Seriously, not only does it take time to make these things from scratch, you’ll probably burn as many calories making some of them as they contain. You are going to lose weight either way. Either:
- You’ll decide it’s too much of a pain & not eat or
- You’ll spend hours making it & burn off every calorie you consume.
It’s a win-win.
THREE: I LOVE DUCK!
I LOVE DUCK! It’s rich, it’s succulent, it’s full of flavor, it’s full of fat. Right now I am going through a fat-consuming-a-thon. I can’t get enough fat in my diet & when something greasy, oily or buttery hits my tastebuds I’m in heaven.
I’m craving things like beef fat, egg yolks and duck oil. What is wrong with me? I know, it probably has something to do with the turnips & radishes.
If you’ve never eaten duck, you should know that they are REALLY oily. After cooking one little duck I had an unbelievable amount of duck fat. Yes, I saved it. Yes, I considered drinking it.
I know that some of you are cringing because we have pet ducks, and we loved our Ping, and how could I? Well, the duck that we ate this week was not one of our pets. It was a duck we processed & put in the freezer last fall.
The day I saw that duck on the chopping block I made up my mind that there was no way I was eating it. I conceded to allowing the poor guy to go into the freezer but made my stand not to eat (nor cook) that sweet duck because he was a duck and ducks are pets not food.
Fast forward 9 months….. Then I went on this Homesteaders Food Challenge and got hungry. Suddenly things that were not food a month ago are on my plate. Things like turnips, bunnies and ducks.
I still wouldn’t have considered eating a duck right after loosing Ping, except our freezer died and it was either eat the duck or throw the duck away. I am not about to throw food away right now, I’m hungry – so I had no choice. Quack for dinner. Sorry. If it makes anyone feel any better, I’m not eating Ping.
Moral of the story: Duck is awesome.
If you can get past the whole pet thing – duck is the bomb. My daughter (Ping’s person) did not eat any duck that night. No duck for her. That’s OK. It’s not for everyone…. but it’s definitely for me.
A friend came in the Pawnshop last Monday and asked if we wanted to buy some ducks for food. He has 25 about ready for processing. We could just finish them & eat them. I was bouncing around the room smiling saying, “Please! Please! Please!” to DH. Yes, I want the ducks. I’ll take all 25. How much are they? It doesn’t matter. I’ll take them all.
FOUR: Sugar & Cravings
If you are as addicted to sugar as I am, it will take 3 weeks before you can think about anything else.
As far as the Nutella cravings & sugar withdrawals go – they are gone. Finally!
I don’t know what to say. I don’t even want sweets anymore. So, so, so, so weird. I was a sugar-aholic. I had a screaming headache for the first week I was on this “lack of food” plan. I’m pretty sure it was the sugar detox that did it. Now that I am 3 weeks in – I don’t care if you have a pie. I don’t care if you have a cake. I’m good. Pass me the duck.
I do feel like the time I am spending cooking, preparing and growing food takes……. all day. I LOVE to cook. I am having fun cooking all sorts of things I’ve never attempted before, but a day off would be nice. I would really like to just go eat at a restaurant. Not because I want different food. I LOVE my food. I would just like a break from cooking. Does that make sense?
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Let the Food Challenge Continue!