Our diets changed after the move to our tiny house.
Sounds crazy, right? This was the impetus for the inauguration of our Real Talk of Tiny Living series, because moving into our small house required a complete rewiring of our diet.
When We Realized We Had a Problem
Every Sunday evening, we cook our rice-and-bean lunches for the week, which we’ve been doing for months. We moved into our small house on a Sunday in mid-September, so of course, we had to cook our lunches for the week that day!
With September in Lancaster not often requiring the need for heating or air conditioning, the ambient heat from cooking quickly heated our entire house to nearly 80F (or about 27C, if you’ve been following me on Twitter). Yikes!
Because of our home’s high efficiency and small square footage, we’re going to have to focus entirely on eating seasonally like a two-year-old!
Winter Diet for a Small House
In the winter, indoor cooking makes a lot of sense, because we end up indirectly heating our home. In a small house, this happens very quickly; thus, our house is easily heated for an entire night after we bake our sweet potatoes or when the slow cooker is preparing a stew.
During the winter, we’ll consume all of the following on a regular basis:
- Rice-and-bean lunches
- Stews and soups
- In short, oven stuff
Such recipes are not only yummy, but they warm body and soul (and house). 🙂
Summer Diet for a Small House
In the summer, indoor cooking will not be happening. In fact, it may not be advisable to eat hot foods during the summer; if you click through the “eating like a two-year-old” anchor, you’ll find reasons why one eats seasonally, particularly in the summer. Thus, a focus on raw foods in the summer will be our new low-heat approach to our diet.
Real Talk: Diet Probably Required Change
Let’s be honest. We were regular consumers of cows, pigs, chicken and turkeys. Ignoring food intolerances and our unchecked consumption of protein sources likely resulted in chronic pain and inflammation–we weren’t healthy, and we were tired and overweight.
In the last several months of optimizing our diets, we’ve each lost at least 10 pounds and returned to healthy weights. We’ve even had to resort to drying clothes in the dryers at the laundromat to make them fit due to our clothes shopping ban. Exercise was not the only answer for improving our health. We knew we had to change our diets. Moving to our small house helped expedite this.
If I had to guess, your diet probably needs a second opinion. My advice? Take care of yourself–it’s cheaper now than if you waited until later. #frugal But I’m not a doctor or a dietician, so you should consult the experts.
Additional Dietary Changes
Regardless of the season, we’re also eating less meat and poultry. Meat and poultry require significantly more energy to grow, store and prepare than is justifiable. Meat and poultry are two products we’ve been trying to reduce or eliminate for a number of years, but given our laser-like focus on optimizing life and diet, this seems to be the year it stuck.
Our initial focus on a Paleo way of life was a great way to cut sugar and wheat from our lives, which left plenty of room for veggies. Red meat has its place one day per week, as does poultry and seafood; an ovo-vegetarian approach describes the rest of our meals. (Any further changes and Garrett will mutiny.)
Changing our diets to our new low-energy, small house diet impacts our health and budget, but there are also a number of positive changes for the planet and animal rights–yes, we’re going there. Here are some of the media I’ve consumed in the last 10 years regarding food:
TL;DR: An oldie, but a goodie about a 4th generation rancher who stopped producing and eating meat. Meat is bad, but antibiotics and inhumane treatment make it worse. Eat vegetables.
TL; DR: Consumption of meat or poultry daily is not sustainable for our health or the health of the planet. Eat vegetables.
TL;DR: We’re obsessed with eating protein and we need to stop. Eat vegetables.
TL;DR: Meat eaters and the cows they consume are responsible for much of global warming. Eat vegetables.
TL;DR: Meat is probably carcinogenic, but whether or not it is a Class 1 like tobacco is TBD. Bacon, sausage and lunch meat are carcinogenic. Eat vegetables.
How is your diet? Do you agree with the latest research on meat and poultry? Do you have any must-read books and or must-see documentaries about food that have changed your life? Please include in the comments!
Real Talk of Tiny Living, Part 1: Clutter
Real Talk of Tiny Living, Part 2: Time
Real Talk of Tiny Living, Part 3: Diet
Real Talk of Tiny Living, Part 4: Routine
Real Talk of Tiny Living, Part 5: Noises
Real Talk of Tiny Living, Part 6: Smells
Real Talk of Tiny Living, Part 7: Misconception