Food has been a large focus of our lives for the past couple of months. In fact, you could say that it has been consuming us.
After it became painfully obvious that we could no longer sustain some bad habits, we decided to make some changes. First, we cut back on take-out food — pizza, chinese food, burgers. When I was working a lot and juggling after school schedules, we ate that stuff far too often. Now, we're trying to keep those choices for emergencies only.
Then we cut back on carbs – pasta, white rice, bread, couscous. Even potatoes. Steve and I are allowed a small scoop of whatever that I've made for the kids, but that's it.
Without carbs, we're basically on a meat and vegetable diet. This means that you have to cook a lot more food to feel full. Luckily, I do have a lot of vegetables from our CSA. Lots of vegetables means much more time in the kitchen with cleaning and prep work. I need to make a lot more dishes, because nobody can eat a whole bowl of kale for dinner. One dish might be a tomato from the garden with salt, pepper, basil, olive oil, and a plop of goat cheese on top. Another dish might be a salad with roasted beets, spinach, lettuce, scallions, and bacon. Another dish might be roasted chicken. We're eating well, but I spend two hours in the kitchen every night.
This weekend, I mistakenly watched a series of documentaries about the state of meat production in this country — Food Inc., Frankensteer, and Forks Over Knives. So, now I'm officially freaked out about meat, too. This weekend, Steve and I decided to stop buying any meat from the regular grocery store and only buy the ethical meat at Whole Foods. Whole Foods rates their meat on their happiness before death quotient. A 1 rating means that the animals weren't raised in crates or cages. A 6 rating means they spent most of their lives in a spa. Ethical meat ain't cheap, so we're either going to have to cut back on burgers or eat less meat, too.
It's hard to tell what the payoff from all this is. It's been too soon. Steve immediately lost 10 pounds. I lost a couple. We're shooting for long term benefits — less junk in our bodies, good karma for the environment, all that. There is one clear short term benefit. Healthy, carefully crafted food just tastes better.