The food challenge ended five days ago, and I have to admit a little easing of restrictions towards the end, mainly because we were staying with a friend.
So what have been the benefits, surprises, difficulties and will it have any permanent effect? The latter is a hopeful YES!
It was surprisingly enjoyable and although this sounds very ignorant of me, I was also surprised by how many local vegetables you can find in January. Processed foods were obviously off the menu so our diet become instantly simpler, healthier, even earthier! It was a relief not even having to think about eating the shop-bought cakes, doughnuts and fudge on offer at work; when I went into a supermarket to buy some food for my daughter all those shiny packages with peppers and lettuce in them were distinctly unappealing.
I realise this sounds very smug. It certainly wasn’t all easy and there were several lapses, just some minor bending of the rules! My egg sandwich with homemade bread got a little too wholesome after about day 3 and I got a bit fed up with chopping up squash. However the answer to this will be to experiment with more varied recipes, find more exciting winter ingredients and also sharpen our knives! One change will be to visit the farmer’s market more to see what is around at different times of the year, also grow our own even if it is just lettuce and spinach in a few pots.
I have to admit I have enjoyed eating some food from abroad, even from a supermarket (Horror!) since finishing the challenge. I particularly enjoyed eating an avocado. But I really enjoyed it! It was a treat that I savoured, just as I have savoured locally grown salad, with dressing made from rapeseed oil and tart apple juice, roast beetroot, roast squash soup. This will be the main benefit of this challenge; learning to value taste over convenience as well as feeling more in touch with the local food-growing communities.
Clare, 31st January 2014