I was on one of my acupuncturists' tables recently when I realized that lately I spend a lot more time thinking about cooking and talking about cooking than I do actually cooking. In my house, we read cookbooks and essays on food. We shop farmer's markets and are passionate about local produce, traditional foodways and sustainable living. . . at least on paper. The reality is, we are two adults-- one a reluctant and harried citizen of corporate America and the other a happily busy business owner--working hard, volunteering, raising a toddler, doing our projects, and just trying to keep it all together. More often than we should, we fall into the grab-and-go trap that is completely at odds with what we talk about when we talk about Slow Food, Weston A. Price, Paleo-/Primal, Wendell Berry, et al.
When we do cook at home, we cook good food. We belong to a meat CSA and buy organic produce. We shop farmers' markets for the good local stuff, and we are fans of soaking grains and making a big pot of bone broth on the weekend.But too often we let time get away from us and we find that it's 9pm and no dinner in sight. Out comes the phone and the Thai delivery menu. Or it's 8am and late for work and nothing for breakfast. So we make a quick trip to the Peet's kiosk in the train station for our morning coffee and start the day on unorganic coffee and processed sugar on the go.
The cost of our coffee and muffin in the morning, our tom ka gai takeout at night, is not only hazardous to our health, it is also a nightmare on our bank account.
And then there is the environment.
If all we did was have that one coffee a day, in a paper cup, then between the two of us we are using 730 cups a year. 730 cups, plus their little plastic lids, the stir stick, if you use it, and the coffee sleeve. The takeout containers - the plastic boxes, the paper bags, are a huge amount of landfill as well. We reuse what we can (those plastic containers we get from Indian delivery are excellent for storing stock in the freezer) and we recycle of course. We're not total barbarians. And yes, sometimes we are organized enough to bring our own coffee cups in the morning. But sometimes we're not, and we've decided to not leave our eating habits up to chance anymore.
So I've decided to embark on a very simple adventure. For the next month, I will endeavor to eat and drink only things that we have prepared at home. With the exception of water and tea in my office, one daily cup of coffee in a reusable mug, and some travel and lunch dates plans we already have in place, everything I consume will be made at home. If I don't make it and pack it for the day, I won't eat it. No more sweets at the coffee stand, no more poison popcorn on our (all too rare) movie dates, no more sweet, sweet 10pm delivery Tikka Masala. I know that getting back into the swing of conscious eating and pretty clean living will affect my health. As a holistic professional whose daily work is helping others achieve their wellness goals, this will of course be a good thing. I'm particularly interested in seeing the effects in my skin, my energy levels, my cravings, and to a lesser extent to my weight. I will report back to show what I am eating and how I'm feeling. Care to join me?