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Can I Grow All My Own Food? A Diet is Born

If you’re here for the first time,  Welcome!  I am Candi, I write this little blog and I am attempting to grow/raise/pick/harvest/kill/ or otherwise obtain all the food I eat for 101 days…. Yes, with my own hands… Yes, right here in my little neck of the country.

If you would like to get caught up:

I am 18 days in and it’s getting better!  The headaches are gone.  The bloating is gone.  The Nutella cravings are (almost) gone.

Biggest surprise so far is the weight loss.

Let me first say that I never intended this to be a weight loss program.

But apparently it is.

I didn’t really want to lose weight.  On the other hand, I don’t mind losing weight either.

Good grief.  I lost 4 pounds in less than 2 weeks without trying.

just keep eating

Weight Loss

Thoughts on why I’m losing weight:

  • Nutella may be fattening
  • Avocados may be fattening too
  • No, I don’t want any more turnips, radishes, peas or kale…  I’ll just have water
  • Eating is complicated
  • Eating takes too much time
  • Cooking is an undertaking
  • I think I’ll just drink

I’m kinda kidding.  I am eating but it’s just not the same.  When I’m having (pre-challenge) fried round steak with mashed potatoes, homemade gravy and green beans, it doesn’t matter how full I am – I’m gonna keep eating until I can’t breathe.  This is how much I enjoy food.  When I’m having chicken, mashed turnips and radishes I eat until I’m not hungry & then I go do something else.

Recreational eating isn’t fun when the food is turnips.

tomatoes 1.2

I actually think I’m eating more than usual, but what I’m eating just doesn’t have that many calories.

I’m about 18 days into the 101 day Challenge & everyone is asking me what is the hardest part.  I have plenty to eat, so that’s not really a problem.  There are 3 Hardest things so far:

The Hardest Part

  1.  TIME.  I was not prepared to for the amount of time it would take me to prepare meals.  This has been one of the biggest adjustments.
    • Example #1:  I want pizza.  Get out the mill.  Grind wheat berries.  Make crust.  Make pizza.  Eat 2 hours later.
    • Example #2:  I want pasta.  Get out the mill again.  Grind wheat berries.  Make noodles.  Let noodles dry.  Eat 3 hours later.
    • Example #3:  I want gumbo.  I need chicken broth.  Get a chicken from the freezer.  Boil dead chicken with onions & garlic for… all day.  Eat gumbo tomorrow.
  2. Eating away from home.  Staying on plan when eating at home is EASY.  It takes thought, time and preparation, but at least I have everything here & I can cook it.  Going out, over to friends or just to the pool is a challenge.  Last week I ate a quart of green beans for lunch…. twice.  Maybe, I should just not leave the house for the next 83 days. lol
  3. Sweets.  This was hardest the first week.  Now that I have 2 weeks under my belt & am on week 3, the Nutella isn’t calling me quite so often or loudly.

cherries

The Sacrifice

Here’s 4 of the food’s I’ve passed on because I’m committed to starving myself this Food Challenge.

  • Mexican.  Yes, DH, who, by the way, HATES Mexican food decided to join some friends dining at a fabulous, local Mexican restaurant last weekend.  No.  I did not eat ANYTHING.  Not the chips and salsa.  Not a margarita.  Not a deep fried burrito smothered in queso sauce.  Nothing.  I filled my youngest daughter’s Dora the Explorer thermos with homemade, homegrown gumbo (which happens to be fabulous) and packed it into the Mexican Restaurant like I had food allergies.  And that is what I ate.  While everyone else stuffed their faces with tacos, burritos, huevos and fajitas…… I ate Gumbo.  Feel very sorry for me.
  • CRAB LEGS.  I think my family has turned on me and is trying to get me to blow this “eating the fruit of my labor” thing.   How could they?  One thing is for sure, If I can pass on my favorite Mexican dinner and a pile of crab legs, I think I can make it the full 101 days.  I just can’t think of anything more tempting…. but, I’m only 18 days in, so I”m sure more work is to come.
  • Birthday Cakes, Father’s day Cakes, Summer Desserts.  I’m a salty girl at heart and if the choices are dessert or chips and salsa – I’ll take the chips 99% of the time. Furthermore, if I am going to have something sweet it’s not gonna be a cake.  Cake does not do it for me.  If you want me to be tempted by a dessert, cake is not the right bait.  Pies, fudge and anything ice cream are my weaknesses.  I should also mention that if I excel anywhere in the kitchen it is in the area of desserts.  Maybe it’s because I spend more time baking sweets.  Maybe it’s because I have a sugar addiction.  Maybe it’s because I’m a snob.  Whatever the reason, I am usually not tempted by desserts prepared by other people, bakery’s or places.  I like my desserts.  I like them the way I make them.  I make good pie.  I make good ice cream.  I make good fudge squares.  I make good coffee cake.  Yours just isn’t as good as mine. LOL
  • Popcorn.  Have I ever told you about my popcorn problem?  I have one.  It doesn’t matter if I pop my own Non-GMO, organic, popcorn in Non-GMO, Organic, Coconut oil  and sprinkle it with Pink, Mediterranean salt OR if it’s the junk popcorn from Tinseltown.  If it’s popcorn, I will eat it until the bowl/bucket/bag is vacant.  Then I will go get my free refill and eat it again.  No kidding.  I can put popcorn away like no other.  Then I am sick for 2 days.  But I will still empty any popcorn vessel the next time I get my hands on one.  So, I took my baby to see Finding Dory for his birthday AND I DID NOT EAT POPCORN.  You should be very proud of me.  I had to sit 2 seats away from him and his giant bucket of sin and temptation.  But I did it.  No popcorn.  Go me!

What I’ve Eaten

Here’s what’s been on my plate in the past 2 weeks:

Breakfast

  • Giant barrels of coffee
  • Eggs (scrambled, fried, sunny side up, and omelettes)
  • ham
  • bacon
  • sausage
  • pancakes (I made with my fresh milled wheat)
  • french toast (I made the bread with fresh milled wheat)

Lunch

Dinner

pizza crust

  • Pizza (crust homemade from fresh milled wheat).  I used a hand emulsifier to puree a jar of spaghetti sauce to use as pizza sauce.  For toppings we had:  sausage, onions, peppers, tomatoes, fresh basil.
  • Gumbo.  Made with chicken and sausage & just about every vegetable I’ve ever grown.  Served with stir fry peas & no rice.
  • The Pig-fest because my freezer broke:  Pork chops, pork steaks, breakfast chops.  Sides included roasted turnips & kale salad.
  • Steak dipped in butter on Father’s day because my brother would let me have any crablegs.swiss sausage 7
  • Spanish sausage served over handmade pasta (made from fresh milled flour) with turnip greens.  This was a good, good night.
  • Venison burgers (no bun).  Sides included turnips and radishes.  This was the fastest dinner I’ve prepared yet.
  • Fried Round steak (in lard) with homemade gravy, mashed turnips and buttered peas.

Dessertberries 1

  • Fresh picked strawberries, black berries, black raspberries and cherries.
  • My daughter and I have managed to make a delightful muffin that follows all the Food Challenge rules.  The ingredients are:  Fresh milled wheat, butter, eggs, real maple syrup, salt and strawberries (optional).  They are super wheat-y and wouldn’t impress most folks, but if you haven’t had sugar in 18 days they are almost as delightful as Nutella.  They fill the void for that “something sweet” I crave after dinner and are also a great, fast breakfast.

What I’ve Learned

This challenge is also confirming somethings I’ve known for years.

One:  Fat doesn’t make you fat.

Because no one my brother would not let me have crab legs on Father’s Day I ate not 1 but 2 steaks (yes, I raised the steaks).  I should also mention that I dipped every bite of those 2 steaks in the drench that was intended for the crab-inhalers.  Yes.  I dipped all my steak in melted butter.  And it was fabulous.

Two:  Dairy doesn’t make you fat

I spend the first half of my days walking around with a giant coffee & maple flavored milkshake in my hand, also know as a latte.  I like them hot.  I like them cold.  I like them room temperature. I like to drink them 3 or 4 at a time.  I like them, Sam I Am.  I have had people walk up to to me, look at my giant barrel of coffee milkshake, and say, “Do you know how many calories are in that?”

“No, I don’t.  And if I did, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t stop me from drinking it.”

Anyhow, I’ve been told several times that my latte dependency is a weight-problem waiting to happen (or maybe it already happened).  I am happy to say, my latte addiction doesn’t appear to be causing me to retain water, bloating or other annoying issues that lead to me having problems with my pants.

I am also guzzling full-fat milk and butter products like a dairy farmer.  I know that dairy products around here are going to be fresh, raw and unprocessed – so I’m sure that helps.  But, it seems safe to say, at least for me, dairy doesn’t appear to make my pants tight.

Three:  Fresh Milled Whole Wheat doesn’t make you fat

I have gotten some questions over the past 2 weeks asking details about what I’m eating.  I’m not on the KETO diet.  I am eating carbs and even bread.  It’s just not from the store. The difference is that I am grinding all my own flour.

Whole, Wheat Berries

Fresh milled wheat is not like the flour sold in stores.  It has the entire kernel intact (germ, bran & endosperm).  It is never separated, processed, refined, or reunited.  I take whole wheat berries (little oval seeds that come from stalks of wheat) and grind them into oblivion.

Warm, Fresh-Milled Flour

Fresh ground wheat is different:

  1. It contains 40 of the 44 nutrients necessary to sustain life (that come from food)
  2. It begins to lose it’s nutrition immediately after it’s ground & should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to slow down the oxidation process (and retain nutrition)
  3. It will go rancid

Real food goes bad.  Even real flour.  Shocking isn’t it?  We are so used to white flour in little paper sacks that keeps for ages, it’s hard to wrap our brains around a flour that will go bad.  Real wheat is like an apple or other fruit in that once it is exposed to oxygen it begins to deteriorate.  Fresh whole wheat will keep for a few weeks before it goes rancid, but the nutritional content that exists at the time of milling is all gone in about 72 hours (if it’s kept at room temperature).

Once that nutrient rich flour is baked into bread, crust, muffins or anything else, those nutrients are safe and sound.  You can freeze them, bag them, store them & they will retain their goodness for months.

DSC01751
Homemade bread made with Fresh Milled Wheat Berries

Real, whole, fresh-milled flour is a super food.

Around this homestead, we are enjoying carbs.  We’re making muffins, pancakes and even pizza crust with freshly milled wheat (and Food Challenge approved ingredients).

Final Thoughts

back porch

Final Thoughts on Week 2:

  • I feel fantastic.
  • My clothes fit better.
  • I have more energy.
  • I am craving junk less and less.
  • I don’t want any more peas or turnips for the rest of my life.
  • There are some enormous batches of maple ice cream in my very eminent future.
  • I am 3 1/2 pounds away from weighing what I weighed before I got married (23 years ago).

So far – so good.  I’m not quitting yet!

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love y’all,

Candi

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