I’m a few weeks into my 100-mile food challenge, and I am nowhere near eating 100% local. But my awareness is growing keen, and for better or for worse, I am ten times more conscious of my food-miles than I was before I started.

Descartes is overwhelmed at work and feeling sick and tired all the time, and I want to help him at least hang onto some health, give him lots of options for quick, healthy foods that he can pack with him, or eat in front of the fridge when he’s in between jobs. If I can stave off his recent habit of downing boxes of Cheez-Its, sandwich cookies and pizza, I do believe he’ll feel a little better.

So last night after he’d gone to bed (at 9pm) I made a list of foods I planned to buy, and I emailed it to him (yes, I really did) for approval, which he gave. I thought of every good/quick food I could, being mindful of foods he won’t eat – like meat or bone broth, or most things containing coconut – and foods I won’t buy – soy and sugar. Here is my list:

hard-boiled eggs
apples, pears, oranges, bananas
raw veggies – sliced peppers, cherry tomatoes, celery and carrot sticks, cucumber slices, etc.
cottage cheese, mild cheddar & monterey jack cheese, string cheese
nuts (will be soaked and dried)
smoked salmon (Descartes makes this every year for Thanksgiving and it’s delicious! we’ll make extra this week)
hummus (homemade)
spicy bean dip (homemade)
corn chips
whole wheat bread
canned tuna/salmon
veggie soups (homemade and packed in single-serving tupperware)
whole-grain crackers

(After much hemming and hawing, I removed “smoothies” because these actually take time to prepare, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon, and because the way I make smoothies nutritious drinks (rather than liquid sugar) is the addition of coconut oil, raw milk (yogurt, kefir or coconut milk will also work), raw egg yolks, and both veggies and fruit. This will probably not go over well, since Descartes is still very much afraid of raw dairy and raw eggs.)

Anyway, you can bet I was a happy girl when I got the OK for this list, and I set out today to fill the kitchen with healthy fast food. I quickly realized that this trip would be a real departure from recent trips to the store, in that buying local wasn’t going to be my only priority today. So far, if I’ve wanted something that can’t be found locally, I’ve gone without. But going without for Descartes means leaning back on Cheez-Its and the like. So my priority was 1) local, 2) organic, 3) the best version I could buy, preferably from a small company. I ended up buying probably 25% local (but probably 50% in-state), and maybe 65% organic. All in all, it wasn’t my ideal trip to the store, but if I can help get Descartes back on his feet, well, I suppose that’s one of my highest priorities.

As I was looking for a picture to go along with this post, I found a cartoon of the earth with a heating pad on its head and a thermometer in its mouth…I wish all my priorities could be happily met without feeling that one has sacrificed another.