The Self Sufficiency Diet

My husband and I have been following a mediterranean diet since the early part of the year. I noticed that the diet did lead to an increase in satiety and overall energy (there was some weight loss too). My husband was pre-diabetic but with following this diet and exercise he reversed his condition. Sounds like an overall win right? Well the tricky part is that some key parts of our diet aren’t self sufficiency compatible.

Key parts of the mediterranean diet are olive oil, nuts, fish, less animal products (meat, eggs, dairy) whole grains, and overall mostly vegetarian. I think with some creativity we can make substitutions that remain true to the principles (ie substituting olive oil for sunflower oil we grow and make ourselves) but some areas will be tougher to maintain. Fish is going to be a problem, we would be dependent on what we could catch in the wild (unless we wanted to farm fish) and another big problem is grain. Grain takes up so much more space than potatoes to produce the same amount of calories. Potatoes are the much more practical choice for self sufficiency but I’m not really in the habit of eating them, my go to starch of choice is whole wheat pasta. Thankfully Jack grew up pretty poor and potatoes were his main diet growing up. Potatoes have a bad rap in the modern world but are actually quite nutritious and its possible to lower their glycemic index significantly by serving them with fats and protein. (I have a whole post in store about how awesome the potato is) So my goal is to get used to eating a lot more potatoes as any grain we grow will likely be reserved for beer making.

Another big clash that my current diet plan has with self sufficiency is that it overlooks the humble chicken. While we don’t plan on raising any meat animals and plan on remaining mostly vegetarian the chicken is kind of a self sufficiency cornerstone. They are easy to raise, they don’t need much space, and they produce eggs which are a high quality source of protein. The mediterranean diet only recommends poultry and poultry products once or twice a week and we would likely be eating them more often (especially when it came time to cull the roosters). I know that grass fed animal products are more healthy for you (more omega 3’s vs Omega 6’s etc) so hopefully we could figure out a “grass fed” chicken situation. Besides we need something to make up for eating less fish.

So I think Im going to try to adopt a self sufficiency diet with a Mediterranean bent. My current goal is to eat more potatoes and eggs and less pasta. We have been fishing this summer and have been enjoying wild caught catfish and trout so I think we will keep that up and try and have fish we catch ourselves account for more of our fish consumption..uh oh… guess we have to take up ice fishing.. brrrrr…

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5 thoughts on “The Self Sufficiency Diet

  1. Really interesting! I love how committed you are to finding the right balance within the self sufficient lifestyle. Would you be able to make your own pasta from organic ingredients, using a pasta maker? Would that fit into the lifestyle?

    • In theory yes but it takes a lot of space to grow the required grain and a bit of effort to make the pasta. My husband can do some awesome things with potatoes

  2. I think one of the biggest problems with potatoes is that most people tend to eat them fried most of the time! Whatever diet you adopt is bound to be healthier simply due to the fact that it’ll be raised/farmed by you and you know exactly what’s going into it, I would think.

  3. If you’ve been reading my blog (and according to comments, you have :D) you know I’m on a different diet. I do believe that grassfed raw butter is healthy, and potatoes are AWESOME when fried in a cast iron pan with bacon grease and/pr butter. Just a suggestion! I love how you’re planning this out. I’m rooting for you!

    • I think you and I could talk diet forever. I think you are the only person I know who is as interested in the topic as I am. We are considering keeping a Jersey cow (hello grass fed butter) but I am concerned with how resource intensive animal products are…. Hopefully we can afford enough land to keep one.

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