Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Let the research begin...

We have now officially ended our 3 week experiment to eat no frozen and no precooked food. It has been interesting to look closely at what I'm buying and has made me more aware of where food is coming from. It also often had me looking at labels with more frequency which brought to light the processed nature of so many of the foods we rely on. Caitiejo and I will soon begin sifting through our research into the issue and putting ideas together for our final paper. Stay tuned as we research and are able to speak more to why a shift in our North American diet could be important.

Friday, February 18, 2011

One week to go

Well, we are officially done 2 of our 3 weeks of this experiment so I thought I would give a little update about how it's going. I have been surprised at actually how easy the no frozen and no pre-cooked eating has been, especially given the season. I am realizing that frozen and pre-cooked foods are not ones which I heavily rely on, with the exception of some frozen vegetables in the winter. That, at times, has posed some challenges as I seek a variety of vegetables in the middle of winter. The other challenge that has been ongoing, (and which I mentioned in a previous post) has been defining pre-cooked. Some things are straight-forward like pre-cooked bacon, chicken, or many convenience foods, but it has been interesting to think about canned items, or one of my personal favourite wheat-free snacks, brown rice chips. I am interested to see what our research will reveal in terms of which foods have the greatest impact on the environmental and social justice issues that we are concerned with which then may help us to define which foods we want to avoid more long-term. Although not directly part of this project, it continues to be a challenge for me to limit wheat and sugar. Refined sugars are in everything and wheat is something which our culture uses so readily. If nothing else, the limited wheat and sugar, paired with no frozen and no pre-cooked certainly makes me aware of what I'm eating and forces me to plan and organize well!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Off to Market We Go!

On Friday morning, Caitiejo and I braved the cold and ventured off to the Farmer's Market to see what's available this time of year which could help support our no frozen, no pre-cooked diet. It was nice to wander around and know that we could buy almost anything and it would fit into our eating parameters without problem. We noted that this is often not the case at most major grocery stores. While not all of the produce was local (and it was clearly labelled as such), a number of farmers utilize greenhouses which allow them to bring local cucumbers, etc. in the middle of February. I was also able to find a couple of wheat-free alternatives to foods I've been missing such as wheat-free tortillas. Regardless of the food we were able to buy, the one overwhelming benefit to this type of shopping is the ability to talk with the farmer or vendor and understand what it is that they're selling. It was nice to have conversations with farmers and feel some sense of supporting the local community. I think the grocery store experience has a tendency to alienate us from the food production process and does not cause us to think about how the food we consume made it to the grocery store.
While at the market, Caitiejo and I picked up some ingredients to make a delicious lunch together. We tried out a couple of types of sausages that would rarely be available in a grocery store and made a salad using fresh lettuce and cucumbers. It was so yummy and a lot of fun to cook and eat together. Overall, our market adventure was a success!

Monday, February 7, 2011


Well, we're only one day in and after text after text after text back and forth between Caitiejo and I, we've revised our restrictions. We've decided on no frozen and no pre-cooked because no pre-packaged is just too hard to define! How would you define "pre-packaged"? Cereal? Crackers? Oatmeal? At first glance no frozen and no pre-cooked seemed easy until I started thinking about things like canned tuna and soup which we decided are technically pre-cooked. My weekly meal plan is underway (which I do every week anyway), but I'm open to suggestions. Any good wheat & sugar free recipes out there that don't use anything frozen or pre-cooked?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Here We Go...

Welcome to my blogspot! This marks the beginning of an experiment for one of my classes, Citizenship, Democracy & the Environment. For the next 2-3 weeks myself and my friend Caitiejo will be taking on a restricted menu in the hopes of exploring the North American diet in relation to the course themes. We are interested in looking at packaging, processing, and the social justice issues associated with many imported food products. For the next few weeks all things frozen, pre-packaged and pre-cooked will be off limits in the hopes that we can explore the challenges and benefits of a less processed diet. In addition, for medical-related reasons, I will be sticking to a diet which includes limited-no wheat and limited-no refined sugars. This is sure to present its fair share of challenges and I look forward to sharing those with you in addition to other experiences, menus, recipes, etc. Please feel free to "follow" my/our blog(s) so that we can get a sense of how many people out there are reading. (Part of the assignment is to spread the word about our environmental action project.) Also, feel free to invite anyone to read who you think might be interested! You can find Caitiejo's blog at Well, here goes!