Happy Easter Monday, hope everyone’s holiday weekend was wonderful. Lent is officially over and so is the experiment. We broke Lent in grand style with a big ham and turkey dinner with all the fixings, dessert, Easter chocolates and a big bacon, sausage and egg breakfast this morning, yum!! But things are still a little different around here, while we may not be quite as rigid with how much processed food we’re eating (the Easter Bunny did not leave organic chocolate!), I found that most of what we did is sticking. The reason for that is it wasn’t as hard as we thought it was going to be. Actually it was eye opening and thought provoking more than it was difficult. And we will be keeping most of it up. We will cut ourselves a little more slack to stray once in an odd while, but it’s had so many fringe benefits that we actually want to keep these foods out of our cupboard and fridge as much as possible. We figured that we would probably feel better and have more energy but some things were really unexpected:
1. Nobody in our house got sick – there was a MAJOR cold/flu going around for the past month or two, and while almost every other person I knew came down with it, nobody in our house did…maybe anecdotal but I’d say the food we ate (or almost as importantly, didn’t eat) had a lot to do with it.
2. Our garbage was greatly reduced – we are big on reusing everything we can and recycling the rest, but since we weren’t buying any prepackaged foods, usually wrapped in many layers of plastic and cardboard, our waste was reduced to half the amount of recycling as before and a quarter of the amount of garbage! Mind you our compost material went up three fold but that’s not so bad.
4. The kids really got into it – it’s funny, but I thought they would take this whole lent thing a lot harder than they did. Kids can actually be like little Nazis sometimes when you give them a cause! They checked labels, they asked about every piece of food they were offered as to what was in it and was it processed, they never complained about eating steel cut oats for breakfast almost daily, they were real troopers.
3. I lost weight! – completely unintentionally, but I lost 4 lbs. over the past few weeks without paying attention to my calorie intake or changing the way I exercised. That to me and any other chronic dieter is fantastic! And this may be a case of TMI but I’ve also been regular without the use of All Bran cereal or any other aid for pretty much the first time in my life…I think that all the gums and binders they put in processed foods must do the same to your insides!
All in all, an amazing experience for everyone in our family as well as our friends, who adopted quite a few new dietary habits and learned along with us. We’re now thinking about food and our environmental impact, that’s the next hurdle for us. We’ll keep you posted!