My husband is a bodybuilder which basically means two things: 1. When he's eating on his nutrition plan, his diet is based on the specific ounces of lean protein, veggies and carbs his body needs to build muscle, stay lean and get that big body through each day; and 2. When he's off his diet, he eats A LOT and he wants meat, meat, meat. There is not a lot of budge when it comes to feeding Keith.
When Keith and I started dating and I started having him over for dinner, he loved my food habits. What I saw as the leftover habits and bare-bones efforts of my failed farmers market experiment, he saw as "clean eating" - a food goal of fitness nutrition. While I was trying to stay away from processed foods to avoid the creepy ingredients and the evil powers who make them, Keith was shunning extra sodium and empty calories and looking for the most quality nutritional value. We have different reasons for chasing the same thing - REAL FOOD.
As Keith and I continued to get to know each other, we learned of another food ideal we share - LOCAL FARMS. Keith grew up taking agriculture classes in school and working part-time picking tomatoes for a small farmer just minutes from his home. Keith is a true country boy, growing up in a community full of farms big and small, with lots of family farms and at-home gardeners. He knows that eating the food grown by his neighbors supports his community, that he pays for quality not for quantity when he buys from a small local farm, and that knowing where his food comes from is the only way to steer clear of pesticides and chemicals. My country boy and his kin are one of the few breeds left whose common sense tells them that food off the farm tastes better than food thats been in a warehouse and on a truck for who knows how long.
It didn't take long for Keith and I to fall madly in love, and soon I was cooking for my Hulk full-time.
Certainly, making huge changes in the food you cook and eat is much easier when the people you eat with are on board. Keith is all about local eating, but that doesn't mean I can clear out our pantry and implement Meatless Mondays. Part of doing this realistically is being honest about what I can and can't get away with. Meatless will never happen in our home... maybe Less Meat, but only for me and the little ones.
Luckily, Keith found Stagecoach Market (1015 West Stagecoach Trail, Lawndale NC). You pay one price for a set number of "slots" of meat and you pick how you want to fill each slot. For example, 1 lb Ribeyes is one slot, or 1.5 lbs sirloin tip steak is one slot. Keith actually volunteers to do the shopping when it comes to this man-cave of a grocery store. The con: the meat is not necessarily local, though it is all from the United States. The pro: at least if we have to buy non-local, our food dollars are supporting a small, local business and not some huge corporation.
I'm sure this will not be the last we've heard from my country boy...