the end of a chapter

So, it’s been just over a week since I finished my affair with the 100 mile diet. It’s been pretty exciting to be able to eat whatever I want and buy whatever I like when I go grocery shopping. Last Wednesday I went to Malibu Fresh and bought some Bodhi’s Bakehouse bread (the kind we used to eat when I was younger), some sliced ham and salami, organic avocados and whole egg mayonnaise as well as 100 mile vegetables. My friend Bec brought over some olives her mum fixes up and we had delicious sandwiches and olives. And tea! It has to be said that I’d already had a few cups of tea as my passion for the 100 mile diet weakened, but it’s still nice to drink it in your own house whilst taking up hems.

My appreciation for food has increased tenfold. I’m more aware of the importance of buying organic, local and healthy food. My body certainly tells me when something I’m eating doesn’t agree with it, and the 100 mile diet helped me get used to the idea of cutting things out for the sake of my health. I used to feel bloated quite often from eating too much bread, the kind that’s full of chemicals as opposed to real bread, and chocolate just makes me feel gross. I know now that I can easily go without and feel much better, instead of giving myself whatever I want like a spoilt child (which is good because they always end up fat and friendless.)

I’m still taking my lunch to work every day so that I can eat fresh salads without paying $10 for them. I picked some figs from over my neighbours’ fence the other day for my breakfast and I spotted a lemon tree when I was riding to a friends’ that will soon have puh-lenty of lemons for me to loot. Mundella Greek Yoghurt continues to take up an entire shelf of our fridge because it’s so good for breakfast, and I still intend on buying locally grown fruit and vegetables.

My vegetable garden is a graveyard for compost scraps and when summer puts everything it owns in a box to the left, I will pull together the energy to fix it up and plant things. We still have herbs growing though- basil, oregano, sage and a bit of dill- and that gives me hope for the future of my garden.

I’m thinking now about what my next food venture will be. I think what’s most important (in regards to diet) is eating wholefoods and cutting out unnecessary preservatives and additives and junk that comes with processed and packaged food. I still want to support local growers though, so I think I’ll be heading toward a Western Australian wholefoods diet. I’ll give it a little rest though before I start writing about it though.

I’m studying Health Science this year at Curtin and will transfer to Nutrition next year, most likely, so my food education will increase over the next few years. I’m really looking forward to gaining knowledge about something that will be helpful not only for my own family, but for others and their health.

So, thank you to all of you lovely people who have been reading my blog and encouraging me in my quest to eat local food. Also, thank you to the following places: Jarrahdale, Rockingham, Mandurah, Kwinana, Mundijong, Serpentine, Harvey, Australind, Gingin, Fremantle, Capel, Roleystone, Baldivis, Mundaring, Canning Vale, Donnybrook, Busselton, Bindoon and Dardanup. I very much appreciate you growing food for us. Thank you also to my Mum for doing the diet with me, to my brother for good advice, to Rhys for the company on long grocery shopping trips, to Hannah for bringing me fruit and vegetables and for my neighbourhood for having fruit trees near their fences.

And thank you, God, for creating it all in the beginning. We can plant it and water it but You make it grow.

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i know i need to write a final post

But I have a book I really want to finish and I was working yesterday and today. Plus I have no good pictures to put in said post that will encapture everything that this three months has been.

I did wake up this morning and think, “I can eat anything I want today,” and then promptly had yoghurt and nectarines from Jarrahdale for breakfast. I did have a soy hot chocolate and a toasted cheese sandwich that made me feel bloated for lunch, but dinner was completely 100 mile except for soy sauce, a welcome guest.

I will write something poignant and hopefully inspiring soon, but not today.

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things i’ve learnt

Yeah, so it turns out I was too busy with work and going out the last two days to write posts. So, I apologise. I’m not sure I have much to say today, except that my one stalk of corn is growing in veggie garden #2 and that I’m going out for Mexican tonight. Here are a few things I have learnt though:

  • It takes a lot of driving, time and energy to go 100 mile grocery shopping.
  • I really thought it would be easy to do the diet for three months, but it’s actually been quite difficult as I get to the end.
  • I love bread and pizza. I want to eat them.
  • Fresh fruit is amazing and especially good for breakfast. It’s much better for you than what you’d usually have for snacks, like biscuits and chips.
  • Pecans are hard to get out of their shell but have a delicious sweetness to them once you get them in your mouth.
  • When mint dies because it’s too hot and you might forget to water it everyday, it brings up new shoots. It will never die.
  • Packaged food and fast food have lots of things in them and they’re not all good for you.
  • Cloudy, cool weather requires hot drinks and I think it’s ok to have a soy hot chocolate with marshmallows when such occasions occur, even if it’s not 100 mile.

I’m off to buy some more food for my house. Two and a half more days to go.

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figs are bunches of flowers

Hannah brought me some figs yesterday from her Lilly St house in Fremantle. I had them with yoghurt and honey for breakfast this morning and took them to my friend’s house tonight for dessert. He asked me whether figs are actually the flower of the tree, and I said I didn’t know but maybe. I’ve never really noticed a fig tree flowering before. Turns out, figs aren’t technically the flower of the tree but inside a fig are many flowers. They’re pollinated by a fig wasp that gets in through the little hole in the fruit so it can grow seeds. I thought that this was interesting news that ought to be shared. Figs are in season, so go and eat some.

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food is a blessing

I went out for lunch today with my friend, Alicia, who I haven’t really seen much of since she came back from France a fortnight ago. We went to The Greenhouse in Perth and had some amazingly delicious food- figs, lamb kebab, sourdough bread, goats cheese, braised chickpeas, fresh greens and baked custard. We drank Bella Ridge rose, from the Swan Valley, and caught up on the last three months of our lives. To make it even lovelier my boss was having lunch there, unbeknownst to me, and paid for our meal! My mind immediately went to thinking how I could pay him back but then I stopped myself and just acknowledged the blessing that it was. Of course I said thank you too, because it was so generous and gracious.

I was on a church camp last year and my friend, Nika, was giving us a bit of a sermon. I remember her saying something about how God created so many things simply for us to enjoy them, food being amongst those things. God doesn’t eat, He doesn’t need to, and He could have just provided us with one thing to eat that would supply all of our nutritional needs as humans, but instead He gave us a cornicopia of choice. I could sit here for a week and write down all of the things you can eat but I think I’d still miss everything. Why would He do that? I think because He loves us, wants us to experience pleasure and because He is the most creative being that exists. So how do I handle all of that grace? I can’t really repay Him, and that’s not the point of grace, but I can thank Him and show my thankfulness in how I treat this blessing.I can be generous with food- sharing it with others when they’re hungry and giving my money to charities so that others might not be hungry.

I can be hospitible- inviting friends over and cooking for them so that we can eat and drink and celebrate the blessing together.

I can eat healthily- because this body isn’t mine, it belongs to God, and I need to treat it well.

I can eat food that was grown ethically- because the Earth is ours to look after and a lot of farming methods don’t look after it at all. 

I can be frugal- because I shouldn’t waste food by throwing it away and adding to landfills when I could just be more careful with how much I put in front of me.

I can say grace- because I should always remember where my food came from and be full of thanks for it. And I am.

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where/what to buy

Well, almost there! What? Does that sound like relief? Perhaps. Perhaps I’d just like to eat a cheeseburger without feeling bad about it, or not overthink whether I should go out for dinner or stay home and have eggs because nothing’s defrosted. When I started the 100 mile diet almost three months ago, I was so excited about it and it’s pretty safe to say that I talked about, and thought of, little else for at least the first month. But then came Christmas dinners and events and New Years and then going on holiday and simply having nothing to eat and places being closed over the holiday season. I’ve stuck to it quite well though and I’ve learnt a lot over the 3 months, but goodness me, I’m looking forward to a week off from thinking about food before I start my next venture.

So, to help anyone who’d like to partake in a bit of 100 mile dieting for the Rockingham and surrounding regions, here’s some help so you don’t have to think as hard as I did.

Places I Shop For 100 Mile Foods

Thomas Rd- for fruit and vegetables, free range eggs and chats with people.

Malibu Fresh (on Malibu Road, Rockingham)- for free range eggs, baby spinach, organic produce (some is local), vinegar, olive oil.

Redicuts (in Warnbro Fair- not actually a fair) and Warnbro Quality Meats- for local beef and lamb.

Shoalwater Quality Meats- for local free range chicken (Liberty Chickens) and pork, lamb, beef.

IGA Rockingham (near the foreshore)- for Ferguson Valley free range chicken. 

Spud Shed- potatoes. I’m not too sure what else they grow, because they surely can’t grow everything. They have signs saying Product of Australia and I wish they’d have more saying Grown Here to help a sister out.

There’s a place in Mandurah on Pinjarra Rd near the Spud Shed there that also has lots of local fruit and veggies and they’re really lovely, so check them out.

Brands That Make My 100 Mile Foods

Mundella- yoghurt, ricotta cheese. Fact: Mundella Greek yoghurt is the best Greek yoghurt. No. Don’t argue. You can get Mundella from pretty much anywhere.

Harvey Fresh- milk (lactose free, full cream, whatever your heart desires), whipping cream, double cream.

Kara Australis- olive oil (the cheapest local olive oil I could find).

Baldivis Eggs- free range eggs. (There are quite a few others but that’s mostly what I buy. They always have an address on the back of the carton to say where they’re produced.)

To be honest, that’s about it. A lot of other “local” foods have other ingredients in them, salt or sugar especially, that aren’t from within 100 miles. So, that’s where salt from the sea, herbs from your garden and honey come into it. You can get local honey from so many places, especially Jarrahdale, so it’s not necessary to buy Eastern states’ honey from Coles. How often do you buy honey? Not that often, so just go on a bit of a drive and you’ll find some delicious flavours made from local flora to add to your tea, yoghurt or a warm mug of milk.

I hope these lists have helped. Even if you have no intention of doing the 100 mile diet, I think it’s always nice to keep an eye out for local produce to support local growers. Innit? I’ll write a post every day for this last week, so stay tuned for more 100 mile stuffs.

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dragging my feet

Well, again I haven’t written anything for a few days. Don’t think I’ve given up on the whole thing- I haven’t- I’ve just lost the, for lack of a better word, passion. After I got back from Walpole I didn’t go to get any salt which means that I’ve been using regular salt. I’ve been out for dinner a few times and didn’t really care about what I ate. I have slipped up and been unprepared for a couple of lunches and settled for whatever I could grab quickly, which means I’ve had fast food a couple of times. I haven’t been very self controlled when it comes to snacking on things I shouldn’t and last week when nothing was out for dinner, instead of getting everyone else McDonald’s and making an omelette or something for myself, I just jumped on the bandwagon. So, I’m sorry. To who I don’t really know. Maybe myself.

I did have a very enjoyable grocery shopping experience on Saturday though. There’s only one place on Thomas Rd that’s still open for selling me 100 mile fruit and vegetables so I went there to stock up on watermelon, tomatoes, celery, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, peaches and apples. The watermelon was delicious and red, the peaches were the perfect balance between sweet and tart and the vegetables were kinda just vegetable-y. An old guy who was doing his shopping told me that it’s far better for you to eat the darker leaves on the outside of a lettuce than the lighter, crispier leaves in the middle. He said that the same goes for cabbage too. So, folks, just clean up the leaves, chuck them in a salad and get over the fact they look a little nasty. The guy who owns the place asked me if I like eggplant and I said I kinda did so he went and got me a pink eggplant from out the back. It’s pretty cool looking and I almost don’t want to eat it.On Saturday night I also made a roast chicken and vegetables for Alicia’s welcome home dinner. We had baked custard for dessert but the consistency was really weird, maybe because I used lactose free milk. At least Cam could eat it and it tasted nice.

So, with 12 days of the diet left, will I be able to do it properly? I hope so. My thoughts are going ahead to what I’ll do when it’s over, maybe a Western Australian diet so I can use flour, or maybe a whole foods diet so I can be healthy. I know I wan to focus more on my garden and growing vegetables and herbs for my mum and I. I picked a handful of tomatoes this morning and it was encouraging.So here’s to the last leg of the 100 mile diet. I hope I make it!

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