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lasauge 01-08-14 01:57 PM

Eating Car Free
 
Maybe I'm just a glutton looking for justification but - do the rest of you fine car-free folks notice that you tend to consume more food than your less-active peers? And if you do eat extra for the sake of fueling your engine, do you account for the increased expense in that area versus the saved cost of gasoline, auto maintenance, etc.? Has your interest in a simpler, less polluting lifestyle encouraged you to adopt a vegetarian diet? What other kind of dietary choices do you make to support your car-free/car-light lifestyle?

In short, let's talk about food, I'm curious to see what kind of eating habits people in this unique group have in common and I'm sure this will be a useful topic for others to learn from.


----
As for myself, I decided to start this thread because I tend to get surprised comments from other shoppers when I leave the grocery with 50 pound sacks of oatmeal, or when I mention to coworkers that I can go through 25+ pounds of bread flour in a month, and because most people I know go without eating breakfast, while I can't function without it. For the record, I'm 27, male, and 6'0", and I do hike, ski, and ride for fun in addition to riding for transport, so those factors increase my calorie needs, but I doubt I would eat so much (and stay pretty skinny) were it not for getting on a bicycle nearly every day of the year to go places.

My diet is mostly vegetarian, primarily because meat is much more expensive then lentils, beans, nuts, and eggs. I do appreciate that vegetarianism is supposed to be better for long-term health and the environment, but I still enjoy eating meat on occasion and use animal fats and stocks in my cooking even when I might not be adding meat to a dish. I eat a lot of oatmeal (with banana and molasses and peanut butter mixed in), wheat flour in yeasted breads I bake at home and chapatis (think tortillas, Indian-style), rice, potatoes, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Most of my staple meals are stir-fries, curries, or oven-roasted vegetables served with some kind of basic carbohydrate, and I drink a lot of tea. And I cook nearly everything I eat at home, occasionally eating at restaurants if I'm out doing something with friends or family, or if I have to stop for refueling in the middle of a long ride.

Obligatory bread picture:
http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/5080/wqeb.jpg

plustax 01-08-14 03:47 PM

Vegan, cook at home. I don't take it into account because I'd still stay in shape if I did drive a car so the calories would still be extra.

I grow some of my own food, that's about the extent of my activism in that area.

Roody 01-08-14 04:03 PM

The bread looks great! I bake bread occasionally. I've been using Mark Bittman's no-knead method for the last few years. It's even better if you use beer instead of water. Another thing I make a lot is beans, all different kinds of beans. I think beans are a good carfree food because they give you good energy (calories) and other nutrients, and the dry ones are easy to carry home on your bike. Also a lot of the beans are locally grown by small scale farmers, at least here in Michigan.

350htrr 01-08-14 04:20 PM

Yes it's good to be full of beans when on a bike... The gasses don't hang around like in a car... :innocent:

The bread sure looks good. :thumb:

rockmom 01-08-14 04:40 PM

Mom always said I had a hollow leg and I do eat quite a bit more than other women my age and size. I am sure part of that is because I have always been rather active. I also have to feed a car free teen and preteen so we go through a lot of food. We are vegetarian so lots of beans, veggies, and grains. I do joke about the need to get us a feeding trough.

Mobile 155 01-08-14 05:18 PM

No bread, Gluten free. I am a meat-a-terian but I only eat meat once a day, I eat six times a day, and that in limited amounts. Only grains that are wheat free, I do eat nuts and Avocados for healthy fats. I do eat a lot of Soy products and green vegetables but then I am not car free.

Roody 01-08-14 05:24 PM

I love recipes (hint hint)

wipekitty 01-08-14 06:23 PM

Great topic! I, too, feel like I eat a lot more than most people, as does my partner, and I've also thought that maybe I'd save money by just driving everywhere (probably not).

Our diet is mostly vegetarian, and it changes seasonally. In cooler weather, we eat a lot of dishes with high carbs/animal protein, such as pastas and pizzas, or my new favorite, breakfast foods. In the summer, we tend to eat more salad (with cheese and bread), Mexican dishes, and beans. Most of our meals involve cheese (good thing we moved to Wisconsin, right?) I've found a few amazing Ethiopian stews, and make those from time to time. I'd like to do more with lentils and beans.

The one really weird thing is that we just eat one enormous pile of food a day. It was a habit from our 20s that we never grew out of, and it seems to work. When I do snack, it's something obscene like six eggs or a whole box of granola bars. The few times a year when I travel for work, I try to eat three little meals like the "normal" people, and end up being hungry the whole time, or sneaking out to find more food.

B. Carfree 01-08-14 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mobile 155 (Post 16394656)
No bread, Gluten free.

My wife's celiac's disease mandates a wheat-free household. However, that doesn't stop us from having "bread", we just don't use wheat flour. Tonight's dinner will be pizza.

rockmom 01-08-14 07:34 PM

Roody,

We had this:
http://www.kitchentreaty.com/crispy-salt-pepper-tofu/

with miso-vegetable soup and udon tonight.

I take the lazy way out and cook the tofu in the oven at 375F on a oiled, parchment lined baking sheet.

The soup was just chopped up carrots, turnips, and bok choi cooked in broth with a couple tablespoons of miso and a handful of wakame added at the end of cooking.

wahoonc 01-08-14 08:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16394665)
I love recipes (hint hint)

All Recipes, Cooks two of my go to's for stuff I want to try.

Looking for anything in particular? I eat pretty much anything I want in moderation. We try to avoid overly processed stuff. My wife does not tolerate a high carb diet, I pretty much follow the Mediterranean diet plan, which minimizes meat consumption. I eat a lot of veggies from our garden when in season, this time of year I am at the mercy of the local grocery store. I grew up on fresh baked bread, mom baked every Thursday. I still back when time allows. I enjoy cooking when I am not rushed. We quite often do batch cooking and freeze complete dinners that can be hauled out and heated on short notice.

As far as hauling groceries I get an entire weeks worth of shopping for 4 adults and a dog in a single trip on my city bike with 40 litre panniers.

Aaron :)

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8497/8...a0c445e4_c.jpg

wipekitty 01-08-14 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 16395151)

As far as hauling groceries I get an entire weeks worth of shopping for 4 adults and a dog in a single trip on my city bike with 40 litre panniers.

Are those 40L each, or total? Either way, they look great. What kind are they?

Roody 01-09-14 12:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockmom (Post 16395042)
Roody,

We had this:
http://www.kitchentreaty.com/crispy-salt-pepper-tofu/

with miso-vegetable soup and udon tonight.

I take the lazy way out and cook the tofu in the oven at 375F on a oiled, parchment lined baking sheet.

The soup was just chopped up carrots, turnips, and bok choi cooked in broth with a couple tablespoons of miso and a handful of wakame added at the end of cooking.

The tofu sounds great and I will try it soon. I think it would also be good on a salad, added at they last minute so it stays crispy. What is wakame?

Mobile 155 01-09-14 01:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B. Carfree (Post 16394858)
My wife's celiac's disease mandates a wheat-free household. However, that doesn't stop us from having "bread", we just don't use wheat flour. Tonight's dinner will be pizza.

I have tried some gluten free bread suggested by my health coach. She says her husband likes it but to me it is a bit like eating saw dust so I simply avoid bread. It is even hard to find any cereal that doesn't list wheat as one of the ingredients.

What makes is harder is part of my family are Yakamas and they are into organic foods, they even have an organic farm in White Swan on the Yakama Indian reservation. I get at least one anti GMO article e-mailed me every week. So I keep it simple. A diet of 40 percent protein, 40 percent carbs and 20 percent fat. The only real hard part is shopping because I prefer shopping twice a month and fresh vegetables just don't seem to last more then three or four days. So I have most of my dry goods shipped to me and only buy Meat, fish and poultry and what vegetables I have to have for the week at the local store.

ro-monster 01-09-14 01:44 AM

I seem to have been cursed with the metabolism of a hummingbird. My lunches are twice the size of the ones my co-workers eat. To be fair, my food is probably less calorie-dense than theirs, since I make almost all of it from scratch -- I have to, as I've also been cursed with allergies to nearly everything normal people eat -- milk, wheat, corn, most other grains, yeast, nuts, legumes, soy, tomato, sesame (and most other seeds), and apples.

While I would love to eat vegetarian food, for environmental and ethical reasons, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to obtain adequate protein from it, given that eggs are the only non-meat protein available to me.

But if you ever want a recipe for pizza made without wheat, milk, yeast, or tomato, I can give you one! It's even delicious. Recently I learned how to make pho, too. I could happily eat that every day.

Many of the recipes I like are Middle Eastern or Indian; there are lots of dishes in those cuisines that are easily adapted for my diet and the flavors are lovely. Lately I have been making spicy Indian cabbage with fennel seeds and cauliflower with ginger and green chilies frequently.

wahoonc 01-09-14 05:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wipekitty (Post 16395302)
Are those 40L each, or total? Either way, they look great. What kind are they?

40L total. Basil Kavan II, I believe they are discontinued. Basil makes plenty of other similar bags in a variety of sizes. Niagara Cycle seems to have the best listing of Basil bags in the US.

Aaron :)

bmontgomery87 01-09-14 06:03 AM

I'm not totally car free, but when I started commuting I did notice my eating increased back to what it was when I was much heavier, without an increase in weight.

I guess you could calculate the added food costs into your formula of how much cheaper it is than driving. But I don't think you can calculate the added benefits to your life, health, and sanity of riding every day.

Machka 01-09-14 06:35 AM

During the 6 years I was car free, I walked 2 km round trip to get my groceries. I could only buy what I could carry for 1 km. Therefore I had to make very careful choices ... especially on the trips when I went for kitty litter and cat food. :)

I was very thin and very fit in those days. Very little in the way of junk food ... because if I wanted to bring home meals, I couldn't bring home piles of junk food too. Plus a whole lot of exercise. Not only did I commute by bicycle, and walk everywhere else ... I was also heavily into randonneuring and all sorts of other long distance cycling.


More recently, we lived for about 3 years in a little town. Most of the time, there was absolutely no reason to use the vehicle to get groceries. I walked home at lunch, and most days on the way home, I picked up a few things. And every now and then, the two of us would walk to the grocery store to pick up a few things. Car free eating. :)


But with regard to food ... unless you're riding some tremendous distance each week, you don't really need to eat anything extra, or not much. My commute during those 6 years was 13.4 km round trip. I didn't need any extra food to fuel that. "They" say that a person should be able to ride 2 hours a day without any additional food intake. Of course, if you started losing a lot of weight, you might want to modify that.

Roody 01-09-14 07:42 AM

Here's a quick and simple meal I especially like to make in the late summer. I ride my mountain bike about 8 miles into the countryside to ride the trails for a couple hours. There's a farm stand near the trailhead where I buy tomatoes and basil on my way home. I'm always hungry when I get home, so I like something delicious that I can cook in less than 30 minutes.

Biftec Hinault (stir fried steak with basil leaves)
Cut a sirloin steak into bite size strips and season with salt and pepper. Heat a little oil, with a clove of chopped garlic in a skillet or wok on high heat. Stir fry the steak for just a couple minutes. It should still be somewhat rare. Take it off the heat and toss in some small whole basil leaves.
Quick Summer Sauce
Chop a couple big tomatoes, a small onion, a small bell pepper, and a chili pepper. Sauté them in a generous amount of olive oil for about 15 minutes. Season generously with salt, pepper, chopped basil, and sugar to taste. Add a little water (or wine) if the sauce is too dry. Serve on spaghetti, linguine, or rice alongside Biftec Hinault.
The steak recipe is from a former member of BF who loved The Badger, Bernard Hinault.

gerv 01-09-14 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockmom (Post 16395042)
Roody,

We had this:
http://www.kitchentreaty.com/crispy-salt-pepper-tofu/

with miso-vegetable soup and udon tonight.

I take the lazy way out and cook the tofu in the oven at 375F on a oiled, parchment lined baking sheet.

The soup was just chopped up carrots, turnips, and bok choi cooked in broth with a couple tablespoons of miso and a handful of wakame added at the end of cooking.

I eat quite a bit of tofu. I prefer the extra firm variety and I fry it until crisp in olive oil with some curry powder.

I know some recommend marinating in miso or soy sauce. I might try that soon.

Sixty Fiver 01-09-14 09:50 AM

We've adopted a higher fat / lower carb diet, don't eat bread / gluten (my wife has celiac disease) and don't buy any processed foods... it can make for some high grocery density but less volume. Olive and coconut oil is really heavy as are all the vegetables we buy.

We use the car sparingly... this morning I am going to take a ride down to the market and pick up a few smaller items as as my wife works at a grocery store it is not like we have to make an extra trip to pick things up and everything we need is close.

MEversbergII 01-09-14 03:00 PM

I do not eat more than my car-driving counterparts. By and large I eat less than they do, even for my size. I typically get just above my BMR's worth of calories a day.

My diet is omnivorous, with a bias towards meat and dairy. Vegetarianism is not by it's nature better for health - especially not modern style vegetarianism. It is certainly not better for the environment, either. That is propoganda, and does not stand up to scrutiny. However, it would be disingenuous for me to not mention that CAFO operations for meat and dairy production as we have them in the U.S. are not good for the environment as well. They share the same root problem, in the form of crop monoculturing.

M.

rockmom 01-09-14 03:25 PM

Roody,
Wakame is a seaweed. Yummy, yummy algae. :)

Gerv,
I like marinated tofu as well. Since it has such a mild flavor, it can take quite a range of seasonings.

wolfchild 01-09-14 03:28 PM

I follow a whole food diet the less processing the better... it's a low-moderate carb and high fat diet, I eat lots of butter, coconut oil, olive oil.. Red meat, fish, eggs, fermented dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, kefir... Sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, vegetables, Kasha, oatmeal, nuts, peas/lentils.

mconlonx 01-09-14 03:30 PM

Car-lite, bike commuter.

I have to really watch my diet when I'm riding -- stop riding and my body still wants to eat like it needs regular cycling amounts of food. It takes willpower and careful self-observation to not overeat when not riding.

Meat-lite, gluten-free, no nightshades (peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes)--wife's health issues. We buy very few prepared foods, most cooking is from scratch. Home made gluten free bread, lots of stir fry. Quinoa is a good grain substitute for rice; amaranth is... strange... I make gluten free cookies and macaroons commercially for my SIL's cupcake shop.

We had been vegetarian for about four years, but started adding a bit of meat back into our diets. So now we are meat-lite--less than 1 lb each per month, usually a single monthly meat-fest. Not buying meat for daily or even weekly consumption means we can splurge on free range, grass-fed, local farm meat which tends to be 50-100% more expensive than the usual box-meat fare in grocery stores. Here's a fav recipe:

Get a sirloin steak. Cut into thin, 1/4" strips across the grain. Usually, I'll halve the initial strip before slicing for ease of slicing and portion control. Layer: beef, prosciutto, provolone, with beef layers on the top and bottom. Broil until desired done-ness. *drool*

Since it's Wintertime, we are eating a lot more root vegetables, and I particularly like to bake a medley which includes carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower (not a root...).

Oatmeal every day, usually breakfast, but if it doesn't end up happening, for lunch or snack. Or dessert!


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