Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It’s the end of the 100 Meter Diet

Wow, I made it. I survived one full year on my 100 meter diet. I knew that I could … I even knew that I would … but still, I’m surprised that I did.

It wasn’t easy but I felt that I needed to do this and I’m glad that I did. I’ve discovered a sense of food freedom and a stronger self confidence that I didn't expect to find.

Living a simpler life, and becoming more connected to the foods that I eat, has filled me with tremendous energy that now fuels my desire to push the boundaries and take on more challenges. There’s nothing stopping me now. If you think that I’m self sufficient today … just wait until you see where I am in 5 years time!

I no longer care if people think I’m crazy for living and eating the way that I do. I’m being true to myself and I’m setting a good example for my children. There is nothing more important to me than that. I’ve excepted the fact that I can’t change the world, but I can change myself, and at the same time have a positive impact on those around me. I believe that I have done that on this diet and that makes all the effort worth while.

The hardest part of this diet was finding the time to blog about what I was doing. There were many stories and thoughts that never saw the light of day.

I never came close to quitting the diet but on a few occasions I came very close to walking away from the blog. With encouragement from friends and family I managed to keep up the blogging, even if it meant posting less frequently.

I’m glad that I stuck with it and I plan to bind the blog into a keepsake book for our family.

What will my diet look like tomorrow? Well, I’m going to expand my food sources beyond our property. I’m desperate to reintroduce a greater variety of local foods into my diet so I’ll be buying produce from our local farmers market as well as beef from our neighbour’s farm around the corner. As much as possible, I’m going to continue to make the majority of my meals by hand. Processed foods will rarely be seen in my diet. I’ve proven that I can live without them and I know for sure that I don’t want them.

As for the blog itself ... I’m not certain what will become of it. I wish that I had the time and the energy to keep it going but I’m not sure that I do. At least not right now. Living the 100 meter diet takes a lot of time and effort. Everyone in our family contributes, in their own way, to this way of life and it’s an excellent family bonding experience. Blogging, on the other hand, is a solitary task which pulls my time away from the family. I find myself apologizing to my family when I need to seek out some quiet time to blog. That doesn’t feel right to me and I’d much rather live this lifestyle than take time away to write about it.

For those that have been regular followers – thank you! Your comments and encouragement made me feel less like a lunatic and made me realize that there are many more like minded individuals out there in the world. I’m grateful for that and I really, truly needed to know that you were out there.

Finally, I can’t end the diet without an update on my weight. I started out the diet weighing 198 pounds and as of this morning I weigh 160 pounds. I couldn’t be happier with that result. I should have done this many years ago.

My next challenge is to rebuild all the muscle that I lost over the past year. In order to do that I joined a fitness gym yesterday and I’m pretty sure that I can find the time to commit to a work out routine. I’ve proven that I'm good with commitments.

Thanks for all the support and just for the record … I feel great!

Greg Stevenson (also known as Peskychicken)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Penultimate Post

The weather we had over this past weekend was absolutely gorgeous. Sunny and warm with a slightly cool breeze. It was perfect gardening weather.

On Saturday afternoon the sky presented us with a special treat ... I'll call it a cloud rainbow. Unfortunately the picture doesn't do it justice. You can click on the picture to get a larger view.

It contained all the colours of a rainbow but it was made up a wispy thin cloud streaks. I've never seen than formation before and I'm glad we had the camera close by ... beautiful.

So, I'm heading into my last full week on the 100 meter diet and I'm surprised to find myself looking forward to crossing the finish line. The freezer is nearly empty and I'm tired of baking bread and making noodles. I actually said to Barb this morning, "I would happily pay someone to bake me a loaf of bread".

I have 1 jar of pickled beets left, 2 jars of regular pickles, some frozen zucchini, frozen butternut squash, a few onions, some goat meat and of course eggs and goat milk. Survivable, yes ... Enjoyable, no.

Our local farmers market (The Aberfoyle Farmer's Market) opens on May 28th and I'm really looking forward to it. I'll be like a kid in a candy store ... buying as much fresh produce as I can. I hope someone there sells fresh bread ;)

One more week ... I can do this!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Finally ... the morels have arrived!

The first morel of the season is always the hardest one to find.

I've been searching for this tasty morsel for just over two weeks and I finally found it today.

I found another four smaller morels in the same area but I want to find more. Many, many more.

One season, about eight years ago, we found over ten pounds of morels on our property. I would love to end the 100 meter diet with 10 pounds of morels. It could happen .... and if it does I'lll be in heaven!

We're going to have wet, rainy weather for the next week or so. I'm crossing my fingers that all the rain makes the mushrooms explode all over the place.

Morel mushrooms are worth their weight in gold around our house. Everybody loves them. If you've never tried morels before you are really missing something special. In Ontario, May is the month for morels. They're hard to find but you could get lucky and find someone selling them at your local farmers market. It's worth a try.

Mmmmm. Morels.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Graham crackers

Recently I had a craving for some cheese cake but I was still feeling guilty about using store bought graham cracker crumbs last time. So I did a little 'googling' and found a recipe that I could work with.

They were surprisingly easy to make and they tasted really good. I'll be making these again.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup goat butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup locally produced honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup goat milk

Mix the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda together and set aside.

Then mix the butter, brown sugar and honey together and stir until it is very creamy. Incorporate the dry ingredients, as well as the milk and vanilla, then work the mixture into a ball. Knead the dough well, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, divide the dough into quarters and roll each quarter out flat (about 3 millimeters thick). Dust the dough with flour as needed to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin. Trim the sheet of rolled dough into a large rectangle. Cut into smaller rectangles and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Mark a line down the center of each one using a knife.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

And there you have it ... 100 meter graham crackers!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

End of April Update

April has ended and I head back to world of the employed tomorrow morning. I've enjoyed being home for the past month ... who wouldn't?

It was a particularly cold and wet month but that didn't stop me from getting a lot of chores done around the homestead. I've had the time to get a good head start on spring and my garden is in pretty good shape ... thanks to the pigs and some extra help from Michael and Matthew.

My weight slipped slightly and I'm now down to 158 pounds ... likely due to all the extra physical activity.

I've been spoiled by all the extra time that I've had to prepare my meals and I'll have to get back into the routine of preparing my meals ahead of time again. My food supplies are certainly dwindling but I have enough to see me through the end of May.

I'll be cooking my last frozen chicken today but I have a rooster in the barnyard that I've had my eye on. May might not be a great month for him.

The green onions, spinach and lettuce in my cold frames are growing slowly but they will benefit from some warmer days in May.

For the first time in my life I'm happy to see the dandelions start growing in the yard. Baby dandelion leaves with a simple oil and vinegar dressing makes for a great light salad after a long cold winter without fresh greens.

I doubt that there are many people out there that are looking forward to spring more than I am.

Bring it on!