So, when we first started planning the challenge, we had been dead set on being absolute purists. My husband and I have a tendency to be very hard on ourselves. We feel very guilty about succumbing to temptation and are very critical of our short comings. We were going to do it for a long enough time, it was going to be hard and it wasn't really going to count unless we did it 100%.
As the weeks went by, we started thinking about Rule 2 of the "Get started guide" page of the 100 mile diet registration site.
Here is what it said:
" 2. There are no rules.
Make your 100-Mile Diet experiment a challenge. If you’re trying it for a day, consider getting tough: every ingredient in every product has to come from within 100 miles (that was our rule for a year). Over a longer period, escape clauses are nice. Maybe the occasional restaurant meal or dinner at friends’ houses? And what will you do if you travel? Ask some deeper questions, too. If you eat meat, where does the feed for the animals come from? If you’re vegetarian, would you be prepared to eat animal products if no beans or tofu are raised where you live? If you just can’t live without coffee, don’t let it stop you. Wave your magic wand and declare it ‘local.’ "
Now, no magic wands here. We had completely refused to declare things local just BECAUSE we couldn't live without them. After all, we were only doing it for a shade over 2 months. Whatever we wouldn't have, we would get again someday. We were also very strict about the "social life amendment" (as previously mentioned) and refused to simply have dinner at everyone's houses to apply it without any circumstances. This is why we have voluntarily chosen to add days to our challenge when we felt we had over stepped our bounds.
But, the idea of reward day, a day or two in the middle of the challenge where we could go and have dinner at a restaurant felt like a great motivator.
So we decided to establish the rule:
- Split the challenge in 3 and have 2 reward dinners (one at 1/3 and one at 2/3 of the way) where we could go anywhere, eat and drink anything and not feel guilty about it. That being said, it could not be a dinner at home since that meant buying ingredients that then would just sit there and be un-used. No. It would be a one shot deal where everything would happen at one place, for one meal, and then business back as usual. No going to one place for drinks, then elsewhere for dinner and stopping for ice cream on the way home. One place, one bill and 2 hours of reward. That was it. Plus, we figured eating at a restaurant meant that the ingredients had travel far, but were being used for multiple meals which means less of an individual footprint.
Tonight was day 23 and our first 1/3 and it was nice. You would think we would have jumped on sushi, Mexican or something exotic like Indian or Thai. But no… After careful consideration, we went to our favorite burger place: Had locally brewed beer, split an appetizer of antipasto that was mostly roasted and grilled seasonal veggies and each had a burger and fries. I had a tofu burger and my husband, funny enough, had a burger topped with local goat cheese and maple-rosemary mayo.
We realized after last night that continuing, at least partly, with what we are doing after the challenge might not be so hard.
Back to the challenge though, and we are more motivated than ever!
Coming in my next post : Experiments with home made cheese!