MMM5 Round-Up: Improved Eating Behavior

August 27th, 2009 - filed under: Furthermore » Monday Monthly Mission

On the first Monday of every month, we take on a ‘mission’ – a shift or habit or inspiration – to work on together. There’s strength (and support) in numbers! On the last Thursday of the month, we reconvene to see how far we’ve come.

This month’s mission was all about eating. Specifically, making better choices towards a healthier, more sustainable food system. Each Monday, omnivores were challenged to go vegetarian, vegetarians were asked to eat vegan, and vegans (that’s me!) were becoming loca-vores. It sounded simple enough, but for me it wasn’t so easy, after all.

I checked in after the first week to go over some of my issues. At that point I decided to approach being a loca-vore more like I approached my month of RAW. See, with veg*nism, you either are or you aren’t. You either eat ‘X’ or you don’t, period. But eating RAW, and eating locally, can necessitate concessions. (I can get raw olive oil, but I can’t get local olive oil. I can get local tofu, but I can’t get raw tofu. Etc.) A Raw Foodist is one who eats over 80% raw foods, and when I was raw I maintained a 95+% raw diet. So I treated eating locally the same, and I’ve maintained a 95+% local diet each Monday since then.


Monday 17 August 2009

I started this day better prepared, having visited the co-op the day before, this time. What a difference a little foresight makes! Breakfast was a big bowl of watermelon and a glass of OJ. I had a midmorning snack of a nectarine (my fave!), and lunch was that incredible plate shown above. All from my garden, red and yellow tomatoes and Italian basil. I also had an entire plate of my mutant carrots – all of them! An afternoon snack was another bowl of watermelon and the last of the foraged blackberries.


Dinner was quite the feast! Homemade Indian stew (Aaloo Channa Masala?) with potatoes, local chickpeas (score!), onion, tomatoes, spinach, and garlic. I served this over farro and accompanied by my homemade garlic naan bread (local whole wheat flour, w00t!). It was divine.

Things I used that were NOT local: The OJ, which I poured and drank on early-morning autopilot before I even realized it, oil (cooking and olive), vinegar, 1 tsp sugar + 1 tsp yeast + 1 tbsp rice milk for the naan.


Monday 24 August 2009

I didn’t really eat meals, so much as constantly grazed all day. From morning through evening I ate 2 peaches, 3 apples, a foraged pear, and lots of local trail mix. Dinner was a veritable smorgasbord of Mediterranean goodness. I whipped up some homemade roasted garlic hummus with those local chickpeas, I oven roasted a zucchini (from my in-laws garden), I tossed up a little salad of garden cherry tomatoes and [in-laws garden] cucumber, served some sliced onion and raw spinach on the side, and finally, some more homemade bread – pita pockets this time. It was fantastic!

Things I used that were NOT local: olive oil, some lime juice and a scoop of tahini for the hummus, a bit of sugar and yeast for the pitas, and some cranberry juice (it’s medicinal, ya know?)


So, how did it go for all of you guys? Were you successful in your new dietary ambitions? What have you been eating?

Just a reminder that this coming Monday is still a part of August. I’ll be announcing the next Monday Mission so we don’t have to wait ’till the 7th, but I’ll also be finishing up this mission and eating all local. I hope you’ll join me next Monday and see this all the way through to completion. You guys are awesome!


  • Julie

    Your homemade garlic naan and pita’s look AMAZING! Any chance you’d share your recipe?

  • Hannah

    mm that all looks delicious

    I’m just curious,why didn’t you stay raw? I realize it can be very costly and is pretty restrictive,and I’ve been trying, but keep crawling back to my pasta/vegan home-baked sweets.Some people say that’s just part of the ‘detox’,the cravings, but having to not give in to them (sugar,breads),it totally screwed up my normal eating patterns and I ended up with disordered eating :/
    Needless to say,when I was eating mostly raw,I felt amazing.
    I was just wondering about your views on RAW (even though I realize a good bit of mine was mental,not other things like cost,effort & time spent on recipes,etc)

  • Kelly

    I have to be honest….About 15 years ago, I went 99% raw for 6 weeks. I felt amazing in terms of energy and clarity but it was extremely difficult and time-consuming and, after awhile, even though I referenced various raw cookbooks, all the food I ate started to taste the same! It may have been because I was trying to find substitutes for all the foods I missed – bread (dehydrated crackers), hot soup (pureed veggies just barely warm) and sweets (dates and raw coconut and almonds)! I think things could be a bit different for me now…though no less challenging. I still admire the lifestyle and I wouldn’t mind shooting for a 75% raw diet…

  • Sayward

    @ Julie – Of course! But they’re not mine. =)

    The naan recipe is from The Post Punk Kitchen, available here. I used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose, olive oil as my veggie oil, and added 1 teaspoon of alt milk to the batter. When brushing the baking breads with oil, I added crushed garlic and fresh dill to the oil mix I brushed onto the breads. THEY ARE SO GOOD.

    The pita recipe is from Bread & Honey, available here. Again I subbed in all whole wheat flour instead of all purpose. I’ve made this recipe a few times and I’ve only successfully gotten my pitas to ‘pocket’ once. But it makes great flatbreads!

    @ Hannah – My biggest reason for not staying RAW, I suppose, id because I’m not convinced of its superiority. I went into my RAW trial with a very open mind, neither pro or anti. I definitely felt great in some ways while I was RAW, but I also suffered in others. Doing my nutritional analysis, I was not entirely satisfied with my overall intakes (my calories were generally too low and I was getting very little protein. I’m not an ‘omg you need protein!!!1′ person at all, but I wasn’t satisfied with what I was getting).

    I do think that raw foods are great for you, and these days I eat probably 50-60% raw, some days as much as 85%. I often eat entirely raw before sundown (not ‘on purpose’, just because that’s how I like to eat and it makes me feel good) But I’m not going to make some rules about how much RAW foods I need to incorporate each day – that sort of rigid dietary structure is just not for me, right now.

    That said, I know people who THRIVE on a RAW diet. My RAW teacher beat cancer by going RAW and has been absolutely flourishing on her RAW diet ever since. Personally, I know I feel *crappy* if I only eat cooked foods, and I feel great with a higher percentage of RAW foods. My husband and my father (who practices Chinese medicine, which really condones cooked food) both do much better with a primarily cooked foods diet.

    So, bottom line, to each their own! =D

    @ Kelly – I agree, I missed a lot being RAW, and at least right now in my life, being able to ”break bread’ with friends is important to me! But every body is different. Maybe you should try to bring in more fresh fruits and veggies – I bet you’d benefit from it (more fresh foods never hurt anyone, right??). I definitely feel better with more raw foods in my life.

  • sarah

    Dang. Julie beat me to it… I was going to ask for the naan/pita recipes also ;) Thanks.

    Yeah on the raw vegan – we are vegan, but not religious about it, so yeah the raw thing is hard but it doesn’t mean we will quit the vegan thing. Going vegan was a decision, going raw is a goal. But that could change – it’s kinda weird now… it’s cheaper for us to be vegan, but more expensive to be raw. Trying to find a happy medium… we really eat similar to you – raw during the day, cooked meals in the evening. It’s hard to find balance on a budget. And I totally agree that it’s different for everyone. Lot of trial and error… so who knows. I think the most important thing is not to be legalistic about it. It’s ok to give and take – better to eat a cooked meal than starve because you can’t make something raw, or not eat because you’re out of town and there’s nothing 100% vegan. We still eat eggs, we still eat sushi (mwhahahahahah). I ate a California roll with cream cheese in it this weekend. Ha… oh well. Will I die? I think not. Did I know it was cream cheese BEFORE I ate it? Yeeeessssssss…

    @Kelly yeah I totally hear you… I feel so much better raw, but it is difficult to mix it up. And it’s incredibly hard to be vegan, not to mention raw, in Missouri. Coast vegans should never complain ha.

  • Sayward

    @ sarah – It sounds like you’ve found something that is sustainable for you, and that’s super awesome. I imagine it must be pretty trying sometimes in Missouri!

  • Lynn D.

    Sayward, Victory Estates in Keizer, Oregon makes olive oil from trees grown there and there is another place near Dundee that does too, but I’ve forgotten the name. I wonder what the freeze this winter did to their trees; I think it totaled my two lemon trees.

  • Sayward

    @ Lynn D. – Yeah, I’ve seen some Oregon olive oil at our Farmer’s Market. Very cool!

    Sorry about you lemon trees. I’m growing a Meyer myself, but I keep it indoors! =D