Thursday, September 5, 2013

Live Deliberately: Eating Differently

Before I start on this post, because the topic sounds so different from the rest, let me reiterate that deliberate living doesn't have to be tiny. For us, a tiny house was merely a catalyst to change our lives and one of the ways we did that was changing the our relationship to food.

I am not a poster child for excellent health. I don't eat perfectly and the only real exercise I get is walking up and down our mountain to our tiny house. But we had to change our ideas about food when we moved into our tiny house because of one very deliberate choice that we made.

We don't have conventional refrigeration. 

Because of our intentionally scaled back solar power system we chose not to include even a small refrigerator in our house. We researched some options and decided that there were a few alternatives. In our case, we bought a Coleman stirling engine cooler (sadly, they are no longer in production) which connects directly to the batteries under our house. It is an efficient electric cooler which uses very little power to run. We use this for anything that is required to be kept cold. Truth be told, mostly we use it for beer and we don't leave it on unless we need it. 

For everything else we take a very simple approach. We buy fresh food and eat it quickly. We keep staples on hand like rice and pasta so we can always whip up a meal. We visit the local farmer's market at least once a week and joined a CSA. We learned that many of the things we automatically refrigerate in our culture don't need to be kept cold like vegetables and hard cheeses. We eat perishable foods, such as meats, immediately. We buy a lot of produce and farm fresh eggs which make excellent meals throughout the week. We love making things like stir frys with fresh vegetables.

I find myself with a lot more energy now that I don't eat a lot of processed or frozen foods. We don't have a refrigerator full of condiments any more.

There are lots of ways to eat deliberately. You don't have to go without refrigeration like we did. You can focus on eating local or you can choose a vegetarian or vegan diet. Gluten free food is becoming more popular and more available. These kinds of changes can really affect your quality of life in a positive way.

How can you change your relationship with food to live more deliberately?

8 comments:

  1. This is completely inspirational! Keep it up!

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    1. Is this Michael Laing who is married to my kid?

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  2. awesome! You can always make homemade condiments from shelf items too, that would be fun since you don't have much room...Love it ;)

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  3. When I was doing a strict food plan I could travel anywhere with no refrigeration and feed myself well. Hard veggies are shelf stable for days. Cheese did fine if kept in a cool location, but didn't need refrigeration. I used some canned protein like tuna at times, and plant based protein like soynuts, canned beans, etc.

    It's very doable, thanks for sharing your tiny life with us. I am a full timer living in a 22' motor home and love my life. <3

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  4. When I was doing a strict food plan I could travel anywhere with no refrigeration and feed myself well. Hard veggies are shelf stable for days. Cheese did fine if kept in a cool location, but didn't need refrigeration. I used some canned protein like tuna at times, and plant based protein like soynuts, canned beans, etc.

    It's very doable, thanks for sharing your tiny life with us. I am a full timer living in a 22' motor home and love my life. <3

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  5. Totally doable, I've done it while traveling. Excellent, relevant article. Thank you!!

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  6. Yes it is deffinately doable. I've been living in a 40ft sea container for the past 4 months ( all through winter) without a refrigerator and is doing very easily. Need to think about refrigeration soon tho, with the warmer weather coming up. Might even try part burying an esky into the earth and see how that goes.

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  7. For me, I think it will be about simplifying what I eat - treating it as the fuel that it is - and in turn eating more healthily and growing as much of it as I can.

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