100 mile diet for 100 days

June 5, 2009

Last weekend, our group finished the 100 mile diet. I have to admit, I feel guilty about how much cheating I did in the last 1/3rd of the 100 days. I definitely lost motivation, especially after the arrival of Eli. What started it was that there was a stretch of a few weeks where we were primarily eating food that people had made for us. (Which was wonderful!) I'm a little bit like that: Once I feel like I'm not really playing by the rules, I start finding it harder to say "no" to the little things.

First it was saying "ok" to ketchup (which has sugar in it). Then I started saying "yes" most of the time when people were going out to eat for the little occasions of life, or when lunch was provided for us at work, and during the last month of the challenge Meredith and I were even occasionally ordering food in when we were tired and disorganized and didn't feel like making food ourselves. And then, the last week or so I started drinking Pepsi again. Bad bad bad Daniel!

So finishing this 100 mile challenge wasn't a very "pure" accomplishment, but then we sort of knew going into it this wasn't an ideal context to be attempting it. The factors were:

1.Meredith not doing the diet given her pregnancy. Right away, that's trouble, because it meant Meredith and I were eating different things, which is harder to organize and, frankly, brutal for me when she is eating out and bringing food into the house that I can't eat. I guess I now know what it's like when one marriage partner attempts a diet and the other one continues to pig out :)

2.The arrival of Eli: It just doesn't make sense to make your life unnecessarily difficult on top of a little baby arriving.

3.Doing the 100 mile diet in the dead of winter without fresh produce.

4.Meredith and I really procrastinated on the canning/freezing, which meant that we had almost no "greens".

5.For some really strange reason, our group didn't do any potlucks until the very end of the challenge. This was clearly very silly. Getting together every three weeks for some tasty food would have been a big morale booster.

However, all of that negativity aside, there were aspects of the diet that I really enjoyed, and I was in fact very strict earlier on in the challenge, so I have a good idea of what is involved. Here were some thoughts and highlights:

Learning more about the Kitchener Market and the St. Jacobs Farmers Market.

Buying food from the people who grew it is pretty cool. It makes you feel thankful towards a person/people, which adds a new dimension to food. It's not the same when you pick up a plastic container from a grocery store shelf!

A new fondness for apples. What an amazing food! Our group remarked how, as many of them as we ate, we didn't really get tired of them! (I was never even a fan of them before the challenge)

A renewed appreciation for potatoes... mashed potatoes especially.

Making homemade sausage was a lot of crazy fun and we really enjoyed eating it this winter.

Although making all of your meals at home feels like a lot of work (which it is), there's an element of convenience there, too. It's wonderful to consistently have left overs for lunches, and making homemade bread takes less than ten minutes! (Going to the store to get bread would take at least 15)

Overall, despite the struggles, I'm happy that I participated in the 100 mile challenge, and I think it has cultivated a healthy appreciation for local eating.

I look forward to making a vegetable garden in our backyard sometime soon and continuing to enjoy Waterloo Region's wonderful harvest.

September 9, 2008

I now have a simple little website shell up and running for our group:


July 2008

Last night Meredith and I had our small group over for a potluck meal, and as we considered what to do for our time together in the fall, someone had a great idea: Attempt the 100 mile diet for 100 days. Wow.

We decided to start on Feb. 15 2009 to give ourselves time to read the book and plan, and that would make the end date the annual Mennonite Relief Sale. We have all sorts of other ideas in terms of fund raising for the church's building fund by hosting a 100 mile dinner, etc., as well as fund raising for the relief sale.

It's all a little scary at this point, but I'm excited. It should be lots of fun and an amazing learning opportunity!

I think this might be my first "group" thing in my list of 99 things. I'm looking forward to it.