William and I have been dating for almost three years. When we first met, I was rather jaded by the dating process, so I did a quick Google search and classified him with a personality disorder to make sense of why he was messaging me so much. (If you have dated in the last 5 years, you will understand that there is this new art of "I send you a message, you send me a message". When someone doesn't follow that, labels are passed out like Costco samples.)
So, I say all of that to point out, I can be nutty at times. He just lets me do it, and watches from the peanut gallery. William is a graduate of the Naval Academy, has served in two wars, grown a couple beards, only owned one car his entire adult life, and is in the Marine reserves. It takes a lot to get a reaction out of him. However, I found his trigger.
William hates to be weighed. At the doctors, in his bathroom, for reserve training. During all of this quarantine stuff I needed to exploit this.
I shuffled into his home office space with a scale and smile and said, "It's surprise weigh-in time."
"You already know the answer to that," William replied without looking up from his email.
I took four steps closer to his swivel chair. "But this time--"
"--what will it take to get you out of here?"
I tapped on the scales digital number panel.
The dog barked.
Anyway, this went on for about 3 more minutes until William caved in order to get me out of his 9-5 life.
William didn't even take his slippers off when he stepped on. The numbers escalated. 15 extra pounds later, he shut the door while not yelling, but passively yelling, "This is why I hate being weighed."
I knew I could fix those extra 15-ers. Back then, William's diet fluctuated between starvation or carb binges. It was always an extreme.
I took over his meals, limited his binges to once a week (we call it what everyone else does"cheat day"), and did an exorcism throughout the pantry of anything you can pick up in the Walgreens food isles. Plus, kept him on his toes with surprise weigh-ins once a week.
Where William has struggled with diets before, and refuses to give up beer, I approached this not as a diet but new way of eating. The farmers-market way.
This is how we did it:
🥩 ) Replaced all meat with local meat only from Willow Creek Meats. What a huge difference this made for both of us. We slept better, were more satiated on less, and our digestion improved.
🧀 ) Sourced our dairy from Cream City Market. This was massive. As their cheese is made from a local dairy in Wisconsin, the taste, texture, and protein felt good to put into our bodies. Do not be afraid of dairy--be afraid of where it comes from. Vendors Mark and Kim are an incredible source of knowledge. Not only with their products, but helping customers navigate through the confusing world of dairy.
🥗) Swapped his pastas and pastries out for local produce from Our Little Nursery. This was tricky. A salad to him is like going to Sunday church. However, once I introduced him to the ripe tomatoes, spicy jalapeños, buttery lettuce, (and more), that vendors Jermey and Diego farm, William looks forward to all the unique ways to make produce feel and taste just as satisfying as his beloved processed carbs.
🌶️ ) This was/is perhaps my best trick on him: I turned up the flavor without adding calories. Flavor keeps us distracted from old eating habits. Every meal, I put on the table Cooper's Small Batch. With such a wide range of hot sauces, it gave William control to change his meals according to what he felt in the mood for. Green Belly also came to the dinner rescue, because their sauces have so much flavor, minimal heat, and a creamy texture--they take anything bland to flavor Batman.
Last week I told William, "Friday is surprise weigh-in day... just a heads up."
"Already weighed myself last night. Down 16 pounds."
~Hannah King, Owner
ABC Provisions: feel good about what you're eating.