How I do food in the wood

After 3 months of living in the woods, it’s time for an update on my food habits, because as you can imagine, they have been affected quite a bit, especially by the following facts:

  • There are no quality food shops close by (plus there was the restricted movement due to Covid starting only 1 week after I arrived) => I order from an online organic food supplier, but only every 2 weeks to reach the minimum amount for free delivery  => My fridge is usually very full when the delivery arrives and I have to plan my purchases carefully in advance.
  • I only have a small fridge => I have very little storage space, especially after I just received a delivery of food. So I no longer efficiency cook 3-4 different dishes for a whole week in advance. I still usually make at least 2 portions of a meal when I cook and when I soak and cook grains or legumes, it’s always for several days as well. But other meals I just compose on the spot every day. Partially this is also due to the fact that I am eating more raw food, salads and bread again, which anyway are best prepared freshly.
  • My fridge only has a tiny freezer compartment and I actually stopped using it completely after we lost electricity repeatedly at night during a period of rainy & cloudy days, when the solar system couldn’t charge sufficiently => Since my organic food supplier only has meat and chicken once per month, I needed to find another way of preserving it, so I could continue eating some daily. So I switched from freezing to vacuum-preservation, meaning that I fill the meat and/or broth in sterilized glass jars and boil them for 2 hours (30 min if only broth without meat). That way, I can store them without refrigeration. In fact, I am very happy about this change, since according to Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine, freezing kills the “qi” of the food lastingly and makes it very cold on the body. Boiling on the other hand might kill some vitamins, but it doesn’t kill the warmth the meal provides to the body, to the contrary. I still eat some meat or chicken (or local rabbit) every day, but in less quantity than before, only about 50g per day plus 1-2 sardines. This is why I eat again some egg almost every day and also a bit of dairy (some raw cheese and since the warm weather began also some yogurt). Plus the broth and of course legumes.
  • Since the solar system has a limited capacity, we avoid using electronic equipment as much as possible. The only kitchen apparel I use occasionally is a hand-held, low-power blender. => I eat far less soup than I did before and if I do, I only make about a liter compared to 4 liters before. Especially now the weather is getting warmer and the lettuces are fully grown in the vegetable garden, I am back to eating more salads. That being said, I will take advantage of the sunny hours and vegetable abundance in summer to create a stock of soup for the winter, following the same method as with the meat (preserving by boiling glass jars).
  • We are not close to the sea, so hard to get fresh fish, especially during a period of restricted movement as we just experienced. => I only use fatty fish from glass jars that I order from my organic food supplier.
  • I started my own vegetable garden. => Rather than efficiency cooking, I actually enjoy picking the food just before preparing it. For the moment being only the lettuces are ready, but in the future I will also have tomatoes, eggplants, pumpkins, zucchinis, chard, cabbage and potatoes.

What has NOT changed is my frame when it comes to quality and to always combine slow carbs, clean proteins and healthy fats.

A typical food day

What does a typical day look like for me now in terms of food? This is always a tricky question, since there is not really something as a typical day for me. I eat when I am hungry and choose the “what” according to my appetite. But it could look something like this:

  • Breakfast (often I have 2 breakfast moments, one around 8 before going down to the garden or to the temple and one around 11 after coming back)
    • 2-4 slices of home-made sourdough bread (kamut) with coco butter, almond butter, real butter plus apple and beetroot, a tiny bit of chocolate and raw honey plus a herbal tea or carob-cacao… or with avocado, sardines, lettuce leaves… or with hummus and egg and raw carrot…
    • A cooked grain (oats, barley, amaranth, rice, buckwheat…) with apple, beetroot and carob, egg and yogurt. I might also make lentil-oat burgers with apple and beetroot and eat them with butter, cheese, yogurt, almond butter and a bit of honey. Sometimes I also make a hearty version of those burgers with oats, chickpeas, veggies (i.e. green celery) with egg/cheese…
    • Soup with oats or rice and minced beef
    • Oat-legumes-veggie burgers with cheese or egg and some extra veggies or salad
  • Lunch (these days only around 14h) /Dinner (still around 19h for me): A combination of rice with veggies (i.e. onion, carrots + zucchini or leeks and pumpkin, cooked in ghee) with meat or chicken in broth, or with chickpeas/beans, egg and sesame… or a salad with sardines, avocado and bread plus oil/butter… or cooked (and mashed) potato / sweet potato with leeks and sardine… or green beans-potato salad with egg and oil…
  • Snack: Oats with carob, whey protein powder and butter… or a salad of grated carrot, apple, cheese and pumpkin seeds… or a left-over… or just a piece of fruit with a bit of nut butter…

In summary:

  • I eat more grains and bread again
  • I eat more raw food, fruit and salads again rather than soups and stews
  • I eat some eggs and dairy again
  • I eat more fat again than in December-February
  • I still eat meat and fish every day, but in smaller quantities

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