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The Most Extreme Food Experiment I Have Ever Undertaken

Hey, Friend.

Today I want to tell you about the most extreme food experiment I have ever undertaken. This was a number of years ago, and the lessons from that one month persist to this day. I am notorious for self-experimentation. I love, love, LOVE experiments. I love trying new things. New sports. New activities. Different ways of eating. The latter is especially fun for me, as I work with a variety of clients who have all kinds of food allergies, intolerances and limitations. I first learned about the 100-mile diet a few years ago, and the seed of the idea has been in my mind ever since. The original experiment is described in the book “The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating”, written by a couple from Vancouver in the early 2000s. I never understood why people made such a big deal out of local food. “I can have strawberries in February, even though I live in Canada”, I thought to myself. “Who cares where they come from?”. That all changed on a beautiful spring day a few years ago. I walked into a local grocery store to pick up a couple of staples, and was stopped in my tracks at the entrance. “What was that smell?”, I wondered. It wasn’t a smell, but rather scent, aroma, an intense hug of deliciousness that entered my nose. My senses demanded to know where it was coming from. Whatever this was, I wanted it. And then I found the source of that sensational overload. Strawberries.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Or nose, rather. Could this be? I’ve been eating strawberries all year, but this… These strawberries were something else.

The month was June. I just came across the first batch of local Ontario strawberries, picked a day before at a local farm.

And just like that I understood why people made a big deal out of local food.

My mind was blown.

Ok, but eating 100% local?

That sounded really hard.

I wanted to do it!

I wanted to learn more about where my food came from.

I wanted to choose fruit and vegetables that were grown close to home - both for environmental impact and taste.

I wanted to see whether eating locally is plausible - logistically and financially.

While undertaking a diet like this for a year seemed drastic, I was confident that I could eat this way for a month. I can do anything for a month.

Being based in Ontario, the month of September was the best month to do it with abundant produce and all the bounty of the farmer’s markets.

The best part? My husband got on board!!!


We were going ALL IN!

Those of you who know me well are gasping at the list above, because it contains two of my favorite things in the world: coffee and peanut butter.

But then if you know me well, you also know that I will sometimes do very very uncomfortable things for the sake of curiosity (and then an opportunity to share what I learned with others).

I was determined.

Planning ahead was going to be key here. This was NOT an experiment we could wing without preparation.

Curious how the experiment went? Did we finish it? What were some of the surprises? How expensive was it?



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