Monday, August 9, 2010

New Challenge

This week, I decided to take on a new challenge to only eat LOCAL food. As you know from the blog, I am not much of a fruits and vegetables person. And when I do eat them, I tend to opt for bananas and mangos, which are not, by any means, local fruits. However, I would like to start eating a little more locally, because the food is of better quality and because I think it's good to support local food producers.

I got the idea from my cousin Dave and his girlfriend Mairin, who live in Toronto, and are eating solely food grown within 130 miles for 130 days. Their blog is at
It's a great blog and I'm definitely going to use it as a resource as I attempt this challenge.

I, on the other hand, am not quite so ambitious. In fact, yesterday was my first day of the plan and I was tempted to quit as soon as I rolled out of bed and craved my cup of coffee with cream. My rules are much less extreme:

The rules:
1. Eat only locally grown fruits and vegetables.
2. Eat only locally produced breads/ grains (that means I'm not concerned about the flour, sugar, baking soda, etc...)
3. Eat only local meats and dairy

1. I can use olive oil and spices like salt, pepper, etc...
2. I'm still debating whether alcohol should be included in my plan...As of now, it's not, although I am going to try some local beers and wines.

I know that my "eat local" regime is less pure than it could be, but hey I'm taking baby steps here... And this is more of an attempt to learn more about eating locally, rather than a strict diet plan.

One thing I noticed after my first, albeit failed, day of eating only local food, is that this challenge is a bit like going back in time to the 1400-1500s when trade was pretty limited and people could only eat what was grown/ produced near them. In many ways, it was more of a historical culture shock, then a food/ environmental change.

So yesterday was the Watermelon Festival in Richmond, VA and it was awesome. It's a huge event, with tons of music, food, alcohol, and, you guessed it, watermelon ;) I went with N, and we enjoyed a yummy, if slightly bubble gum tasting, watermelon cocktail at Galaxy Diner.

Then we had a free scoop of breyers ice cream. I have been craving ice cream for a while so it was a yummy treat.

Then we split a watermelon beer, which was pretty gross, I have to admit :)

And lastly, I had some delicious funnel cake.

All in all, it was a very fun time--however I failed to stick to eating HEALTHY or LOCAL. Oh well, the Watermelon Festival only happens once a year ;)

So, as you can see, I dismally failed on my first day, but today is a new day. For breakfast, I toasted some of N's delicious bread from earlier in the week and topped it with local peanut butter from Williamsburg and some local honey. For lunch, I'm going to make a tomato sandwich with a freshly baked baguette and some fresh basil. Yum. And for dinner I'm planning to make a roasted (local) chicken. So, we'll see how it goes.

FYI--I have decided that counting points and eating locally is too difficult--particularly because most local foods don't have nutritional labels. So I'm just going to try to make healthy decisions and eat appropriate serving sizes. Wish me luck. I'm also going to try to get to the gym after work today. Happy Monday everyone.


  1. What a cool challenge!! Make sure you check out and I bet you can find a ton of farmer's markets close to your area. I love this idea!

  2. Cool Challenge!