Who: Aislyn Greene, assistant editor
What I gave up: Sugar, booze, dairy
The biggest challenge: The daily grind. It’s easy to stay pure when you have plenty of time–and no stress–on your hands. It’s much tougher when you’re slammed at work and pie presents itself just when you’re jonesing for a sucrose hit.
My takeaway: Small (pie-shaped) hurdles aside, I appreciated the opportunity to check my habits for a week. I spend so much time eating on auto-pilot, especially the sweet stuff (a little leftover holiday candy here, a bowl of chocolate granola there) that I’m no longer in touch with how frequently I actually crave sugar. It turns out I really only want something a few times a week. Same thing goes for wine and beer: Last night, I wanted nothing more than to curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and a good book. Instead, I sat in the sauna at the 24-Hour Fitness behind my house, and then curled up with a good book. Just as relaxing, but without the immediate gratification. Good life learning!
But that wine-free sauna time also led me to deeper reflection about the food values I hold. Sure, I want to feel healthy—eat my leafy greens, curb the sugar intake, treat my body like a temple, ya da ya—but, of equal importance, I want my actions to support a healthier food ecosystem. For me, that means keeping up with my CSA, shopping the farmer’s market when I can, avoiding Trader Joe’s ridiculously overpackaged snacks, and spending more time in the kitchen. Which I tell myself is tough when I’m busy, but is really just another habit. So this week, I reaffirmed my food values: I used up almost every single fruit and veggie in my CSA box—this easy recipe was a favorite—I ate out only once, and I spent some time exploring local food options in the Bay Area.
I’m celebrating with: Whiskey, American Hustle, and the most perfect piece of pie I can get my hands on. I thought for sure I’d run out and do this after the challenge but, after a week of self-denial, I don’t want to waste my splurge on ho-hum treats.
Next time I’ll: Make it an eat-local challenge! Can I eat only foods grown within 100 miles of my home for a few weeks?
Photo courtesy of bartendingnewsflash.com
The initial challenge: Sunset Eat Fresh
Day 1: Bye bye, Candyland
Day 3: I cracked