Healthy hermit

[Image: A Russet potato, a red potato, and a sweet potato.]

For the last week I’ve been eating a diet consisting solely of fruits, vegetables, tubers (potatoes and sweet potatoes), and a small amount of herbs and spices. And loving it. I think sweet potatoes – in particular, the orange-fleshed variety marketed in the USA as “yams” – might just have replaced oatmeal as my favorite food.

I came up with this meal plan myself, for a number of reasons. As I mentioned previously, I wanted to revisit the sugar/salt/oil-free diet that I tried last year, as I’d been slipping into eating more processed, nutrient-deprived foods. I was feeling increasingly sluggish and congested, and gaining weight. I wanted to simplify cooking and shopping. I also wanted to use as little packaging as possible.

My working title for this way of eating is the “Healthy Hermit diet,” because I’ve been quite a hermit lately. Having the freedom to stay home for meals makes it a lot easier to stick to this diet. Though I now feel I should commit to going to farmers markets twice a week to get seasonal organic produce.

Yesterday I went to the Fort Mason Center Farmers Market for the first time in over a year. I’d stopped going there when my volunteer work at the Free Farm Stand conflicted, but I stopped that work some months ago. The stands had a large variety of organic produce. It’s a privilege to live in an area with year-round farmers markets, and to be able to afford organic groceries. I might as well take advantage of it.

I picked up some squashes I’d not tried before: Delicata and spaghetti. I’m looking forward to baking them this week. I wanted a greater variety of starches than just potatoes and sweet potatoes, as much as I love the latter.

It’s sad that a lot of people probably think this diet is extreme. As I posted before, eating large amounts of fresh produce shouldn’t be a luxury. A fast food meal shouldn’t be cheaper than a couple of pounds of organic fruit. And people shouldn’t have to work so hard that they have no time or energy to cook. (Though a lot of my cooking is now done in the oven, with little prep time on my part.)

Whatever anyone’s opinion, my own well-being will be the best test of this diet. Increasing exercise as my energy levels improve will also be crucial to my health. I look forward to a healthier body.