Originally posted on Sconeday in 2010
Last year, I lost weight by eating.
You heard that right.
I lost weight by eating. I never set out to lose weight, and didn’t care that much, as I wasn’t terribly overweight for someone of my age (BMI 29, now down to 26). But in March of last year, because of this very blog (before I joined the team!), I started eating SLOW- seasonal, local, organic, whole. I actually increased the percentage of animal fat in my diet, without increasing the amount of animal products I eat. So- whole milk and whole milk products, grass-fed beef, sustainably farmed chicken, with !gasp! the skin on, and free range, organic eggs. I stopped buying food with ingredients, and started making my own everything: crackers, salad dressing, bread, jam, mayonnaise, you name it. I have not been eating any less.
By eating SLOW and other efforts (walking a lot more, expanding my garden) I reduced my family’s carbon footprint by an entire planet.
When I tell people this story, the responses are predictable– too expensive, don’t have time, don’t know how to cook, my kids won’t eat like that (why, do they have an independent income for their own food?) and on and on. So here is MY challenge– change your eating one day a week. Just one day.
Do you eat out all the time? Start cooking from scratch one day. I’ll let you buy pasta, but make your own tomato sauce, and buy your lettuce in a head instead of a bag. Use oil and vinegar instead of additive-rich purchased dressing. Just for one day a week.
Do you already cook from scratch? Pick another day, and eat only seasonal, whole foods that day. I’ll let you go to Whole Foods (if you must) or another aware market, and buy strawberry preserves in March, as long as they’re organic. I’ll let you buy pasta, but read the label and make sure it says “semolina flour, water” and nothing else.
Already doing that too? Make bread. Or jam. Or crackers (they’re ridiculously easy, look for my recipes over on the Mahlzeit blog). Go to a U-Pick-It and get enough fruit to make preserves. Don’t worry how it turns out the first couple of times, you’re only doing this once a week, remember?
Do you bake a lot? One day, don’t use the mixer-save the electricity and do it by hand. How often do you go to the grocery store? One day a week, right? Go to the local, organic market instead, or the nearest farmers’ market. Too expensive? It’s only one day a week!
Or are you like me, and way into this already? You can change yourself, and your family, and your planet one day a week as well. Eat vegetarian one day a week. Already doing that? Eat vegan one day a week (that’s where I’ve gotten). Already doing that? Eat raw one day a week.
If you’ve taken your food as far as you’re comfortable, then take your one day a week and walk everywhere. Use your day to donate time to a community or school garden, or a political action group. Plant a tomato- that’s way less effort than one day a week, and then use your day at harvest time to preserve the bounty. Use your day to write your elected officials and demand recycling, the end of Big Ag subsidies and work arounds, and fair rules for small family farms. If I can lose 25 pounds with literally no effort toward that goal, then we can save the planet.
After all, it only takes one day a week.
What will you do one day a week?